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Toronto & Niagara Falls Travel Guide

Day 1

Casa Loma 9:30am (Open 9:30-5pm)
Check out my photographic tour of the castle here!
Arrive at Toronto’s only castle. Built in 1914 and costing $25 Million to construct, Casa Loma has had a number of films filmed there, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and the Live Action Beauty & the Beast film. Enjoy a Belgian Waffle topped with fruit for breakfast in the castle’s cafe.
*I recommend getting the CityPASS to avoid long lines and to save 36% on a number of attractions on this itinerary*

Poop Café 11:30 am (Open 11am-11pm)
Head over to Korea Town and enjoy one of Toronto’s most unique cafes, where diners sit on toilet seats and enjoy poop emoji themed food and desserts. Drinks are served in a urinal, and everything is toilet themed! This recommended to us by everyone we asked for recommendations of things to do in Toronto, so we gave it a shot and even though it was really silly, the food is delicious and it’s certainly memorable!

Royal Ontario Museum 1:00 pm (Open 10am-5:30pm)
The ROM is one of the best museums in North America, because they include a diverse range of exhibits from an entire room dedicated to crystals & minerals, a Christian Dior exhibit, art and cultural objects from Native American and First Nation people, an exhibit all about vikings, a massive collection of dinosaur fossils, a vast collection of Asian arts and objects, and so much more. Plan to spend at least 2 hours here if you enjoy exciting and interactive museum exhibits!
*CityPASS Recommended

St. Lawrence Market 3:00 pm
The St. Lawrence Market has unique souvenirs, great street foods, and all the shopping you could ever want!

CN Tower 4:30 pm (Open 9am – 10:30pm)
Travel up more than 115 stories to the top of the tallest and most iconic building in all of Toronto to get a bird’s eye view of the city. It takes 58 seconds to get to the top via the elevator, and lines can be long to get in, but we were able to walk right in during our January visit. On clear days, you can see more than 100 miles in each direction. Dine at 360 for n unforgettable dinner!
*CityPASS Recommended

360 Restaurant 5:00 pm (Open 9am – 10:30pm)
Since you’re so high above the ground, you might as well stay for dinner! 360 restaurant rotates around, and takes 72 minutes to make a full revolution. We planned our dinner to coincide with the sunset, and it was a meal I will remember for the rest of my life. If you buy at least two courses, your elevator ride is free, otherwise it’s $40 per person or you can use the CityPASS to avoid the fee. While waiting for our food we played the most epic game of eye-spy ever, and took lots of photos. I highly recommend the Smoked Mushroom and Onion Soup, Pumpkin and Ricotta Ravioli, and the Heritage Guernsey Cheddar & Pineapple Cheese platter.
After dinner, head up to the bubble to reach the highest point in Toronto, or head down a level to walk on the glass floor!

Ripley’s Aquarium 7:30pm (Open 9am – 11pm)
After your meal, walk next door to Ripley’s Aquarium and see all kinds of incredible fish, jellyfish, sharks, turtles, and so much more in massive state of the art glass tanks and glass tunnels.
*CityPASS recommended

Reservoir Jazz Lounge 9:30 pm  (Open 7:30pm – 2am)
End the evening at Reservoir Jazz Lounge listening to live jazz musicians from around the world and sipping on wine, champagne, or mixed drinks. This lounge is located by lots of restaurants and other bars if you want to explore more of Toronto’s Night Life.

If you’re hungry after dancing and drinks at Reservoir, head to Poutini’s which is open everyday (except Sundays), until 3:30am to try this famous Canadian food! The Mushroom and Onion Poutine with vegan gravy is SO delicious!

Day 2
Early Breakfast at Eggspectations or Lady Marmalade in Toronto

Arrive at Niagara Parks (1 Hour drive from Toronto) 10:15am (Click here for hours as they change based upon season and day of the week)
Park at Fraser Hill, NF, ON L0S 1A0

Journey Behind the Falls 10:30am
I definitely recommend purchasing the Niagara Parks Wonder Pass to save on admission to all of the attractions around the parks and so that you can use the public transportation worry free. Journey Behind the Falls allows you to walk behind and underneath Niagara Falls, and it’s an incredible experience! In the summer, there’s an observation platform you can walk out onto that lets you get very close to the falls, and it’s an incredible experience! Arrive early to avoid long lines or crowds. We got here right as it opened and there was no one else around!

Enjoy the Falls
We spent a good hour walking the paths between the falls, looking out from the viewing areas, and taking photos of the falls. It’s absolutely breathtaking to see so much crystal clear blue-green water rushing over the cliffs. Table Rock Welcome Center is a great place to go to get an incredible view of Horseshoe falls, and

Floral Showhouse or Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens (Open 9:30am – 5:00pm)
Take the Green Line South bus to the Floral Show House to see beautiful displays of season flowers inside greenhouses, or head the opposite direction to get to Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens.

Eat Lunch at The Works and Ask for Tammy
The Works is one of the best burger places I’ve ever been, and they had dozens of options for vegetarians and vegans as well! I highly recommend the Three Ring Binder with a mushroom patty on a black and white sesame bun with their blue cheese ranch, it’s out of this world! Feel free to get the bottomless French fries, because you’ve been walking a lot around town!

Explore Downtown Niagara Falls, Ride the Ferris Wheel, and More
Downtown Niagara Falls is like one gigantic theme park or midway, in that there are lots of crazy and unique tourist attractions like the Guiness World Record Museum, the Niagara Skywheel, Tussauds Wax Museum, and lots of other whacky attractions. This is a perfect area for families with kids or those wanting to unleash their inner-child.
There’s also a Casino downtown, and lots of souvenir shops.

If you stay in Niagara Falls until sunset, you can capture some incredible photographs of the suns setting over the falls, and most of the year they light up the waterfalls at night with multi-colored lights for unique lightshow.

6:30pm Back in Toronto
Distillery District for Dinner & Drinks or Mother’s Dumplings in KoreaTown
We heard fantastic things about the Distillery District in Toronto but decided to get some comfort food from Mother’s Dumplings and we were so happy with that decision! These were some of the best dumplings and hands down the best steamed buns I’ve ever had. They have plenty of options for all diets like vegetarian and vegans. I highly recommend the vegetable steamed buns and the onion and chive dumplings!

After dinner enjoy a play or ballet the Princess of Wales Royal Theater. The week before we visited the Nutcracker Ballet was in town, and they always have incredible performances playing!

Day 3

Early Bird Coffee & Kitchen 9:30am (Has lots of Vegan/Veg options) for Breakfast (Open 7am – 5:30pm Daily)
This place had the best breakfast and brunch in Toronto! I ordered the Eggs Benedict with Pink Beet Hollandiase Sauce on Hash Brown Patties with a Match Late and my husband ordered the Ricotta Mushroom Toast and both were out of this world!

Art Gallery of Ontario (Open 10:30am – 5:30pm Daily)
A 15 minute walk from Early Bird Coffee & Kitchen, the AGO is one of the coolest art galleries in Ontario! Each exhibit is set up to invoke an emotion or convey an idea, like the model ship room with its low lighting and wave-like glass cases, or the clusters of paintings by painters like Andy Warhol and Claude Monet. They even have a beautiful wooden spiral staircase that’s worth climbing to the very top to get a unique perspective on Toronto (the staircase itself is very photogenic too!). Get here as close to opening time as possible, because it gets crowded especially on weekends. We arrived just as it was opening and headed to the top floor to work our way down rather than competing with everyone walking the opposite way, and it worked perfectly!

Seven Lives for the Best Tacos in the World (Open Noon – 8pm or until they sell out Daily) *Cash Only*
Trust me, mi abuela was from Mexico, and I worked in a really great Mexican restaurant in high school (and I just love Mexican food so I’ve tried lots of ), and these are the best tacos I’ve ever had by far! They’re $6 each and they only accept cash but I would have paid double the price in all honesty. The Baja fish tacos and camarones y queso are out of this world!

Toronto Zoo  (Open 9:30am – 4:30pm Daily)
We made the 30 minute drive to the Toronto Zoo just to see the 4 Giant Pandas on loan from China, and they were 120% worth the drive! The pandas are going home to China in March 2018, so if you’re able to go before they leave, it’s worth it for that alone. The other animals in the zoo are beautiful as well and they seem to be very well cared for. We went here right after the Art Gallery and we didn’t have to wait in any lines. It is a bit colder than in the city, so be prepared for a slight temperature difference. The walkways were a bit muddy from melting snow, so be sure to wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, or rain boots.
*CityPASS recommended!

I recommend spending your remaining time exploring anything that piqued your interest but you missed out on before, and sampling the incredible food Toronto has to offer! We went back to Mother’s Dumplings and ordered some more vegetable buns to take home with us and share with our family. We then popped into Peace Treats for some over the top milkshakes like the Go Shawty It’s Ya Birthday which had a piece of birthday cake and a lit candle on top, and the C.A.K.E. which had a scoop of chocolate ice cream and two powdered donuts on top! Below is a list of things you can check out on your last day, or swap throughout the itinerary to customize your adventure!

Other Things to Eat in Toronto
Brunch aka Blunch @Next Door Restaurant
Sushi Burritos @Mi’Hito Sushi Laboratory
Crazy Ice Cream & Shakes @Hollywood Cone Toronto
Black Charcoal Ice Cream @iHalo Krunch
Matcha Cheesecake @Japanese Bakery Uncle Tetsu (Open 8am – 11pm)
French Macarons @Nadege (Open 9 – 5pm and closed Sundays)
Crazy Huge Ice Cream Cones @Sweet Jesus (11am – 11pm Most Days)
Mac ‘n Cheese @Bobbie Sue’s Mac ‘n Cheese
Blind Servers Serve Mystery Meals that Diners Eat in The Dark @ONoir

Let me know if you found this itinerary helpful, and what you’d add to it!

xAnnie Fairfax
Follow Me for More: @AnnieFairfax

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  1. Jessica Malinowski says:

    Love the falls!

  2. Larissa Page says:

    The falls should be on everyone’s bucket list. Thanks for highlighting it’s beauty!

  3. Even though I’ve been a few times now, your guide has made me realise that I still haven’t done everything! Great photos as always. What camera do you use to get such incredible shots? These belong in a magazine.

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