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Toronto Trip: Part 1

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View Toronto 2022 on amikulski's travel map.

Once again, the trip that we had planned for 2020 did not seem feasible this year. We started looking at Canada as a way to travel internationally without COVID testing requirements on return flights (which were still in place while we planned our trip). We chose Toronto because it had a lot of things to do. It was a new place for the kids, and DH and I hadn’t been since we were 19 and went with there for spring break with our friends (yes, spring break! Nobody had funds for a warm weather trip, and it was an easy international train ride from East Lansing.).

Day 1

We left home and discovered that the Buffalo-Pittsburgh highway (US 219) is smaller than what you would expect for a road connecting 2 cities with professional sports teams, each the second largest in their state. Nevertheless, we made good time. The border crossing at the Peace Bridge went smoothly and took about 40 minutes. Once we were over, we stopped for a few minutes at Niagara Falls to take in the view.


When we arrived in Toronto, we settled into our townhouse, got dinner, and planned the next day.

Day 2

Even though DH and I already had seen many of the major sights, we purchased City Passes because it was the girls’ first time in Toronto. These grant admission to 5 of Toronto’s big attractions: the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, the Ontario Science Centre, Casa Loma, and the Royal Ontario Museum. The trick is scheduling: the CN Tower and ROM require timed ticket entries. The remaining attractions don’t require advance reservations for City Pass holders, but they say that they will be granted the first available timed entry: that wording had us wondering how long we may be waiting. We therefore made a plan to go to the Aquarium and CN Tower, with a lot of buffer space in between.

We arrived at the Aquarium just before 10 AM and got right in. We enjoyed the variety of creatures we saw, from jellyfish to anemones and paddlefish.


One cool feature of the aquarium was this long, slowly moving sidewalk that takes you through a tunnel where sharks and rays will swim over your head.


It took us about 2 hours to get through the aquarium, but our tickets for the CN tower next door weren’t until 4. We went to Guest Services at the tower to see if we could switch our reservation, and they gave us a 2 PM time. We had a leisurely lunch and still made it back early, around 1:30.


We were prepared to just wait if they needed us to, but they let us get started on the lines and going through security. The day was clear—we had looked at the forecast before choosing our tickets—and we got some great views!


There is an app to help you identify landmarks, but unfortunately I couldn’t get an internet connection at the tower, so that was a no-go. Also, I don’t know when they put the bistros on the observation deck—I hadn’t visited since 1995—but I wasn’t a big fan because you can’t get up close to those windows anymore, at least not without invading somebody’s space. It was still fun, though.

We then tried beaver tails from a food truck by the aquarium.


They were sugar bombs! I’m glad we shared because I don’t think any of us could have finished one.

Fueled up, we took a walk down to the city hall buildings, in part to recreate a pic from 1995.


By this time, our feet hated us. We got back to our place, figured out a nearby dinner, and called it a night.

Day 3

Today’s plan was the Ontario Science Centre. It isn’t very convenient to the subway, so we drove there (note that a Science Centre stop does appear to be under construction, but I didn’t see when that would be operational). Because of a major renovation, the Science Centre was shuttling visitors to a different exit. It was a little odd, but they kept the shuttles running constantly, and I didn’t recall any exhibits being closed. Even if something was closed, there was still plenty to do. We spent over 4 hours there, including lunch. We did many, but not all, of the hands-on exhibits, so people who do everything will take longer. Some of our favorites were the rainforest


and the simulator where you tested a plane that you had designed to break the sound barrier.


Also, as a linguist, I was happy to see activities about language science.


We saw kids of all ages throughout the museum, and the exhibits held DD1 and DD2’s attention. One level has activities designed especially for those 8 and under. DD2 and I did a brief walk through some of them. Several of them are physically smaller versions of things in the main museum. DD2 stopped at a couple of things, but at 8 and a half, she was a better fit for the main exhibits. This area would be great for younger kids, though.

After the science museum, we got dinner and walked to the neighborhood supermarket for supplies.

Posted by amikulski 00:29 Archived in Canada Tagged waterfalls children museums tower aquarium

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