Canada Road Trip, Part 2 – Toronto Bound!

If you read my previous road trip post (Niagara Falls, Here We Come), you’ll know about the long, action-packed adventure we had crossing the border into Niagara Falls. If you didn’t, go read it now so you’re all caught up. No worries, I’ll wait.

Okay, all caught up now? Good! Because the fun only continues from there! After spending about 24 hours in Niagara Falls, we hopped into the car (again, taking cousins Matt and Ethan with us for the ride), and headed for Toronto.

Yankees versus Blue Jays!
Yankees versus Blue Jays!

It was mid-afternoon and our only plan for Friday night was to hit the Toronto Blue Jays game at 7 p.m. Oh, did I mention who the Blue Jays happened to be hosting? Yep, that’d be the NY Yankees! Woot!

We estimated it’d take us about two hours to get there from Niagara. So when we left around 3:30 or so, that seemed like plenty of time to make it to the game before the first pitch. “Hah!” I say now.

Yes, we hit traffic on the way but not terrible. If that was all, we would’ve been fine. But once we got right into the Toronto area itself (close to 5:30), it was super crazy traffic that took us again, roughly an hour to go a few miles into downtown Toronto. Ugh, ugh, and ugh.

We finally made it into the streets and were less than 1 mile from our hotel (that’d be the gorgeous and ginormous Eaton Chelsea! Review coming soon!). We actually drove right past the Rogers Centre and could’ve just gotten out right there for the game! Instead, we figured we’d go check in, toss our luggage in our room and race over to the stadium just in time.

That would’ve been the case, except… as we turned onto the final street (which we’d just have to take about ¾ of a mile straight to our hotel), the traffic was stopped. Dead stopped. But only on our side.

Apparently on the next block right after a traffic light was a fire engine sitting in our lane. I didn’t see any fire or even firemen running around, so I’m not quite sure why it was sitting there. But traffic on the other lane kept coming, and the cars in front of us couldn’t move because of the fire engine, and the two busses right in front of them.

So we sat. And waited. And waited. And people started making crazy turns to get out of there. And we waited. And then we made a crazy turn ourselves in the middle of a busy city street and prayed our GPS would reset itself. Which it did.

We ended up going around the block a bit and avoiding that traffic snarl, eventually making it to our hotel. Now I knew we were gonna miss the first inning for sure. Allie pulled up to the front of the hotel and I raced inside to check us in… only to see one humungous line at checkout. Apparently, the Eaton Chelsea is a pretty happening place.

The ginormous and gorgeous Eaton Chelsea
The ginormous and gorgeous Eaton Chelsea

Fast forward a bit and we checked in, Allie and her cousins parked and we raced up to our seriously sweet rooms. Everyone took a quick bathroom break and then bolted down to the lobby and out into the streets. We had to walk a bit through a mall to get to the Subway. By the way, in Canada if you see a sign saying “Metro,” it’s not a subway. It’s a supermarket. Just sayin’.

I have to stop for a minute to say how insanely cool the subways are in Toronto! Not just super clean, but way more practical. Unlike NYC subways (and most subway trains), all of the cars are open. So it really feels like it’s just one long train. You don’t need to open a door to step from one car to the next. That gives you even more room. Plus there are loads of pull-down handles to hold running down the center of the ceiling. Makes it real easy to travel.

Toronto Subway
“Yay, we’re FINALLY out of the car and… on a subway.”
Toronto Subway
Notice whats on the floor… yeah, nothing. So clean!
I love how the cars are all open and connected.
I love how the cars are all open and connected.
Train selfie with me, Allie, my extra chin and a photobombing Jason.
Train selfie with me, Allie, my extra chin and a photobombing Jason.

We finally made it to our stop and then had quite a walk through a skywalk to get to the Rogers Centre. On the way, I passed a number of young people dressed up in interesting video game and superhero attire. My comic book convention sense was going crazy and sure enough, it happened to be Fan Expo that weekend. Sadly, we didn’t go.

SUCCESS! Our insane day-long trip was over!
SUCCESS! Our insane day-long trip was finally over!

By the time we ultimately made it to our seats, it was the 5th inning and the Yankees were down 1-0. Luckily, things turned around quickly. We got to see Jeter get a hit, Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley knock out some homers (Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista hit one out too), and the Yanks win 6-3!

I have to say, the Toronto Blue Jays fans were awesome. The entire park was crazy family friendly and even when a few lone Yankees fans were cheering on their winning team, there was no backlash whatsoever. Quite the difference from watching a game at Yankees stadium where every other second is loudly punctuated with an F-bomb no matter what’s happening on the field.

Rogers Centre
Really neat stadium. I was half hoping for rain so they’d close the dome.
Rogers Centre
Our seats for the game! Way high up, but right by home plate!
Popcorn and cotton candy. The kids are set.
Popcorn and cotton candy. The kids are set.
Yankees vs. Blue Jays selfie with my sweetie!
Yankees vs. Blue Jays selfie with my sweetie!

The next day we got schooled. Yes, we hit a museum! We’d heard great things about the Ontario Science Centre, and they were all true! It’s packed with loads and loads of hands-on activities for kids (and adults!). We spent a few hours there and only saw a small fraction of the place.

Ontario Science Museum
Ryan and Ethan were making a stop-motion movie!
Ontario Science Center
Ryan tries driving a lunar vehicle. It’s a lot harder than it looks.f
Apparently astronauts don't smile.
Apparently astronauts don’t smile.

After the museum, we headed back to the hotel to relax a bit. The kids went swimming, while Ivy went shopping and came back with pure awesomeness. Y’see, one really cool thing about Canada? They are light-years ahead of us Americans when it comes to food allergies.

Ivy brought back a bag of Nestle (yes, Nestle) KitKats and Scaries (Halloween-themed version of Smarties). The bags had a huge Peanut Free logo on them. Jason can’t eat the regular (made by Hershey) KitKats because they may contain traces of peanuts.

Nestle KitKats
Peanut Free labeling!
Just like M&Ms!
Just like M&Ms!

But did they taste good? What does this face tell you?

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Finally, to round out our trip to Toronto, we spent our last night going up the CN Tower. Yes, it’s basically a super tall building that you pay a ridiculous amount of money to wait in a super long line before going up to look out at the city views. And I’ll tell ya what… it was totally worth every penny!

We did have to wait a bit (roughly 30 minutes) before getting in the elevator that took us up roughly 1,136 feet. There’s a large area to walk around with glass windows everywhere. It was really cool going at night too. We’d love to go back and do it again during the day.

Sorry, but this was the best family shot that actually came out in the dark lighting.
Sorry, but this was the best family shot that actually came out in the dark lighting.

Ira and Ethan stayed down below, but Ivy and Matt enjoyed the views with us.

IMG_7202

Looking down at the Rogers Centre below!
Looking down at the Rogers Centre below!

What’s really neat, though, is you can walk down a flight of stairs and then actually go outside for a view. It was crazy windy and the changing colored lights of the CN Tower kept flooding us.

CN Tower
Outside on the windy CN Tower!
Apparently, Ryans King of the World.
Apparently, Ryan’s King of the World.
CN Tower selfie!
CN Tower selfie!

And the really really neat thing was that inside this level was the Glass Floor! It’s a small area made up of thick glass panes that look out over the huge drop below.

I ran right out to it to sit down and was surprised to see Jason join me! Allie and Ryan stayed on the sides not too happy with the two of us. It didn’t help that these two little kids were standing on the glass near us, jumping up and down as hard as they could.

Only 2 1/2" of glass separating us from over a 1,000 foot drop!
Only 2 1/2 inches of glass separating us from over a 1,000 foot drop!

For those keeping score at home… we survived. The glass didn’t break. The elevator didn’t fail. And we made it down safely to the bottom. The next day, we just packed up and spent the entire day driving home. It was a really long trip, full of loads of bathroom breaks. And coffee breaks. And more bathroom breaks.

We jammed a ton of fun into a short trip and had such an amazing time. Canada takes a lot of heat from us Americans (with South Park being the biggest culprit), but you guys are pretty darn awesome.

The CN Tower

 Have you ever been to Toronto?

Be sure to read Canada Road Trip, Part 1 – Niagara Falls, Here We Come! 

Comments

  1. ellen beck says

    I neve have been to Toronto! I didnt know it all was so fun looking. I also have never been on a subway- I would have never known metro except being metropolis . I love the pictures at the game, I bet you all had a ball there. So much to d, maybe going north would be a fun thing.

  2. Lisa Konieczke says

    Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun! Too bad you didn’t take in a Maple Leafs Hockey Game, I’m a Red Wings fan but Hockey is awesome. You were there during pre-season but that’s ok. I’d love to visit Canada.

  3. Sarah says

    Toronto looks like an awesome place and their transit system is so cool. The traffic sounded like a nightmare but I’m glad you guys were able to pull through. Would really like to visit there someday.

  4. Maria Malaveci says

    Love Toronto and remember taking a class trip there when I was in junior high school. But, we visited often as well with my parents.

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