In April 2016 I went to Toronto, Ontario with my bestie. Our favourite Japanese rock band was performing for the first time in Canada and we just had to go!
We both work full-time and she has a kid, so we decided we’d only go for four days. We’d arrive on the 26th, sight-see and go to the concert on the 27th, shop on the 28th, and fly back home on the 29th.
Roku got to sorting through the tourist attractions while I started working on my shopping list. We were staying on Queen Street East which extends to Queen Street West and has tons of little stores and coffee shops!
On the 26th, we drove 2.5 hours to Winnipeg, MB to catch our flight. We each brought a suitcase (mostly empty to lug home our purchases) and a carry-on. Our flight was sold out so they offered to stow away carry-ons for free if anyone was willing, which was fine by me! My purse had everything I needed on the flight anyway; wrist braces, journal, mp3 player, phone and pain pills being the most important!
I had the window seat, Roku had the middle seat and a grumpy old man had the aisle seat. I didn’t enjoy the flight in the slightest, sadly. I’m sensitive to heat, bright lights and repetitive noises. Plus sitting in a cramped seat for two hours was torture for my chronic pain. But I managed to get through it by listening to the Gazette and watching a silly cartoon.
Landing at the Toronto airport…which is actually in Mississauga. I wanted to get food because I was starving, but Roku went in the other direction and found the exit so we decided to just go to our hotel. We opted for a taxi even though everyone warned against them due to the price. I was not in the mood to drag my suitcases to the subway and on the bus, y’hear?
We chose the cheapest hotel we could find. It was pretty nice for the price. We dropped off our stuff and headed down Queen Street East in search of food.
Idk if this was a park or something, but it was so pretty! We went by a few stores and asked for recommendations for restaurants; some ladies in a second-hand kids shop recommended the Ashdale but it was closed. The menu posted on the window sounded ah-mazing so we decided to come back for breakfast.
All the shop staff were dressed to match their shop’s aesthetic. I loved it! This shop had a retro, pin-up vibe. I regret not buying the sailor top I found D= my bestie bought a cute pair of heart-shaped sunnies.
We went to the Tango Palace Coffee Co., which I had marked on my list of places to see. It had a very retro bar vibe, with cushy armchairs as well as tables. I asked the barista for his best coffee drink and he made me a cortado. We also got sandwiches 😍 I couldn’t take a good pic of mine so Roku said I could use hers 😂 She had a veggie sammich whilst I had ham.
We visited a few more places and then stopped at Shoppers to grab food. Roku wanted to buy groceries so we’d save money which seemed like a good idea at first. We picked up water and a bunch of fruit, and then headed back to the hotel. I was in agony thanks to my chronic pain 😐 we couldn’t get back to the hotel soon enough. Once we did, i think we just crashed and maybe watched a movie
The next morning, instead of taking advantage of the hotel’s free brekkie (Roku’s plan), we headed to the Ashdale. We were pretty early so we were the only ones there.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to order a cortado or a matcha chai latte. I’m always worried about ordering my (new) favourite drink in a new place cuz what if it sucks?!
So I went with a cortado….and it sucked.
It’s funny cuz their sign literally says they do espresso. WHY WAS IT SO BAD THEN?
My brekkie sandwich was ah-mazing (bacon, eggs, aioli sauce and english muffin), but after choking down the cortado I had to order a matcha chai latte to wash the taste out.
We sat for a bit while I worked on my travel journal. It was a chill place to relax and people-watch.
I left my pain pills at the hotel and was trying to decide if I was brave enough to go without them since we were kinda late…turns out Roku left our tickets behind 😂 so we went back to our hotel room lately.
Roku said we should do touristy stuff in Toronto and I agreed. I was mainly excited for the gift shop 😂
I would’ve loved to go into this native arts gallery 😍 it’s the main reason I’ve been trying to get back for the past year.
Standing on the infamous glass floor at the CN Tower. Personally I don’t see what the big deal is.
I liked the portholes best.
Is that enough skyscrapers? Okay, moving on.
Then we went to Ripley’s aquarium which I wasn’t too pumped about. Too many squalling children.
The only part I liked was the moving sidewalk that went in a tunnel under the tanks. No more walking for this spoonie 😂
We had to rush out of the aquarium so Roku could meet someone. I decided to go on an adventure up Queen Street East in search for a new concert outfit. Such a pretty street 😍
I found this tank in a resale shop for $4. I tried to convert the shop clerk to the GazettE as well but it didn’t quite work 😂 I picked up some Nyx lippy for the concert too.
I stopped at an independent bookstore and picked up the last Raven Cycle book, too!
We were told to get to the concert at 5, we’d be let in at 6, GA would be let in at 7 and the concert would start at 8. We got there at 4:30 and discovered people had been lining up since 10 am.
A surprising amount of the concert-goers were young! I felt like Roku and I were the oldest ones there 😂 plus we weren’t wearing any fishnets, chokers or Demonia platforms.
The concert was ah-mazing. Oh and I spent my life savings on merchandise. No regrets.
We made a new friend named Christine! It was a great night 🤗
We spent the entire next day on Queen Street West. I spent pretty much all of my money at this little Japanese shop, Sanko.
Then I spent the rest of it at The Paper Place! Omg, I loved this shop 😍 I’d love to go back. I bought journals, washi tape and origami paper.
This store, Originals, was soo cool…but the sales associates had shitty customer service, so we didn’t buy anything. I love those Alice by Irregular Choice shoes 😢
Roku wanted to go on a streetcar so we went on them TWICE…It wasn’t that cool 😂 we went up Queen Street East and went to a really lame Chapters and a chocolate shop that wasn’t cool at all.
The intersection outside our hotel.
On our last night we went out for sushi! This place seemed iffy at first but it turned out to be really good 😍
The next morning we went home ❤