I recently returned from a work trip during summer in Toronto, Canada. As with all my business trips, I like to incorporate as much pleasure in as possible. I tacked on a couple of my own days onto the trip so I could do some further exploration of Toronto in my own time. Luckily for me, Toronto typically boasts gorgeous sunny summers, and the June sunshine was certainly out in force. During my visit, I tried to mix in some sightseeing with some of the lesser known suburbs of Toronto.
Broadview Park, Toronto
For the first few nights of my Toronto stay, I was based in the suburb of King City, where Jordan lives. We got up early on Saturday to enjoy the summer sun, and first went for a walk around the city’s Broadview Park.
Broadview Park is a huge park between Toronto’s Cabbagetown and Riverdale suburbs. It offers awesome views across the Toronto skyline and to the CN Tower. The perfect park for summer in Toronto, there are soccer and baseball, as well as a pool, hockey rink, and tennis courts. It really reminds me of a park you see in the movies thanks to the view. In the summer, there’s also a free movie series that takes place where you can picnic and enjoy a blockbuster.
We sat and basked in the sun, watching locals exercising by running up and down the hill. It’s a really lovely place to relax on a bench.
Afterwards, we had the most delicious healthy lunch from Impact Kitchen. No pictures sadly, but I had the Zesty Mexican bowl and it was divine – tostada crumble, kale, black bean mole, rice, roasted sweet potato, and avocado. So delicious, make sure you stop by. We then headed to Merchants of Green Coffee. It’s a quirky little place, where you can purchase Greek decanters full of coffee. We relaxed, read the paper, and took in the surroundings.
Ossington Avenue, Toronto
After meandering through different neighbourhoods of Toronto, we fancied a drink and headed to Sweaty Betty’s on Ossington Avenue. It’s a quirky little bar with eccentric staff and ornaments throughout. There’s a heavy focus on tattoos and bizarre decorations, but it’s really cool.
We grabbed a couple of beers and sat in the sunny beer garden. The rays shone down while we passed a couple of hours drinking and chatting. The perfect activity during summer in Toronto.
Once we were done in Sweaty Betty’s, we hit Queen Street West, a fun street which is essentially a row of bars and restaurants. It’s awesome for bar hopping. There’s a Shameless Tiki Room in Vancouver and we discovered the same on Queen Street West, so we ducked in. Both are similar and unsuspecting from the front door, and dark and exotic on the inside. We each grabbed a drink in here.
Julie’s Cuban, Toronto
Working up quite the appetite, we took a wander through Little Portugal. It has some lovely Victorian streets with historic houses to peer into as you walk past. Jordan recommended a Cuban restaurant called Julie’s Cuban, so we went to find it.
We started off with a couple of Dark and Stormys – truly delicious. This was followed by a range of menu items. We gorged on some amazing guacamole, ceviche, some fresh shrimp, chorizo, and plantain. All of it was super tasty and great value. Drop by if you’re in Toronto!
Keen to walk off our large meal, we wandered around the local area. We came across some awesome street art around King Street West, and a bunch of stalls selling drinks.
Not too far away is Trinity Bellwoods Park. It’s well renowned as the perfect park during summer in Toronto. Hordes of young people bring picnics and drink, socializing in the heat.
Hotel X, Toronto
The next day, I had to move from King City to Hotel X, where I’d be staying with coworkers for the next couple of nights. It’s a stunning hotel with plenty of great facilities, and is perfect for summer in Toronto thanks to its rooftop pool. There are also several floors of sports facilities, from a fully equipped gym to multiple squash courts and a pilates studio.
With the sun out in full force, we hit the three storey rooftop. How gorgeous are these views across to the CN Tower? We checked out the rooftop pool, and grabbed a couple of sun beds. It must be one of the nicest places to be in Toronto in the summer, thanks to the cool pool, bar service, and stunning views over the city’s skyline.
We relaxed and sunbathed while waiting for my coworkers to arrive. My favourite activity in an awesome location!
After hosting an event on Queen Street West, a few coworkers and I went to find a karaoke spot for some drinks. We came across B Boss KTV and had such a fun night entertaining our clients and each other.
Summer in Toronto
The next morning brought another beautiful day. Some of our team left early to fly back to Vancouver, but the rest of us wanted to make the most of a sunny Toronto day. Luckily, Hotel X is pretty close to the waterfront. We went off in search of pedalos to take out onto Lake Ontario.
The water looked so shiny and inviting in the hot sun. The iconic skyline is just as prominent twinkling way off in the background. Sadly, we couldn’t find any pedalos as they’re redeveloping Ontario Place. Never mind – we continued on in our walk.
We worked up quite the sweat by the time we got back to the hotel, so we stopped off at the rooftop bar. We refuelled with refreshing mimosas and chicken wraps. Just look at the colour of Lake Ontario out there.
CN Tower, Toronto
With our clients long gone, we wanted to fit in an activity into our remaining time in Toronto. As Lucy’s first time in Toronto, there was only one thing for it – a visit to the CN Tower. We decided to go and have dinner up there later in the afternoon after a sunbathe.
If you’ve never been up the CN Tower, it’s well worth a visit up the 346m to the observation deck. The elevator itself takes fifty eight seconds to get up there, and the views are truly breathtaking. This time, I was led into the restaurant and seated at an impressive window table.
Dinner in the CN Tower, Toronto
Unbeknownst to us, the restaurant rotates a full 360 degrees within ninety minutes, so you are likely to get a complete view during your meal. We opted for the two course menu.
I started with the wild BC sockeye salmon tartare with flatbread. The perfect appetizer to get anyone’s tastebuds tingling. We also picked some cocktails. I went for a raspberry cooler, while Lucy opted for the iconic purple gin inspired by the Fairmont Empress in Victoria.
I remember the first time I went up the CN Tower, nothing really made sense. Without knowing the city, it was difficult to pinpoint exactly what I was seeing. Having visited several times since, it all began to make sense. It was fun literally watching the world spin around us, and to spot key buildings and places in Toronto below.
For my main, I went for the sablefish. It’s served with a ginger and maple syrup glaze, rapini, carrot glaze, and potato hay. That too was pretty tasty.
There was one last thing left to do before leaving – hit up the glass floor of the observation deck. It terrified me on my last visit, and it did today too. It’s over two feet of tempered glass, and offers a view 342 metres down. Although it’s perfectly safe and can hold 35 moose, it’s still psychologically scary. I did manage to stand on it though!
And that’s my roundup on a weekend spent during the summer in Toronto!
How do you spend summer in Toronto? Let me know your recommendations below!