Ultimate Canadian Road Trip: The Beginning

Ultimate Canadian Road Trip: The Beginning

10 Days ago we landed in Toronto with certain expectations: we would purchase a car and we would leave with our car within the week on our Ultimate Canadian Road Trip … But this is us now, departing from Toronto on what can only be described as a BUS. A one way, 30 hour ticket, taking us far away from the city and missing a few crucial stops along the way.

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It turns out that the single province that we had chosen to begin our ‘100 Day Ultimate Canadian Road Trip’ is the only place in Canada where buying a car as a tourist is impossible. Believe me, we suffered through the trauma of trying just so you don’t have to and have made this comprehensive post for buying a car in Ontario as a tourist to help you out. Despite already naming our vehicle, ‘Giddy’ was destined never to be ours. It was both wonderful and rather miraculous that Brampton Used Cars dealership, after assisted us with choosing the vehicle also returned our deposit. We cannot recommend them enough but unfortunately, unless you’re from Ontario or willing to live there permanently, you can’t buy a car from them.

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Ultimate Canadian Road Trip
PRIDE Beach Party

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Somehow, during the car fiasco we accepted our fate and began to ease from the stress of making everything work. The moment we did this our expectations changed and we allowed Toronto’s energetic summer to draw us in day by day. The more we allowed it to distract us, the deeper we wanted to get to know the place… we eventually came to realise that we two nature bunnies could actually fall in love with a city, this city!

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First to attract our senses was the daily concoction of free live music that seeps from every crevice, a standard town square or temporary waterfront stage, out into the streets.

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We have watched professional performances of jazz, salsa, rap, rock, indie and country, buskers playing pianos on the corner of a bustling intersection and a trio of drummers drawing in a hundred-strong crowd. Our budget room at Neill-Wycik Backpackers Hotel couldn’t have been better positioned, a hop and a skip away from Dundas square.  Each evening as we made our way home we would pass by Dundas to be surprised by a FREE urban show whether that be new and upcoming bands playing at the NXNE festival or the Roots paying tribute to the origins of Canada’s Aboriginals. Despite Toronto’s numerous distinctive districts: Arty, ancient, waterfront, affluent and entertainment, for us Dundas square epitomises the spirit of this vibrant city.

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Ultimate Canadian Road Trip
NXNE in Dundas Square

 

 

And just when we thought it was all calming down, along came PRIDE Toronto. A celebration of everything and everyone delivered with a side of extravagant costumes, beach bum parties and lots and lots of colours. We might have seen Toronto’s wettest parade in years but that didn’t stop the stampede of hundreds of people celebrating the right to be themselves, nor thousands of feet dancing long into the night, every night, for an entire week.

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It was only once Prue and I had become accustomed to all of this wonderful noise and celebration of summer that we could see Toronto for its other touristic appeal. Sunset Island cruises, a huge tower to climb (the CN Tower is the 3rd largest building in the world and the best way to keep a sense of direction in Toronto) and the stunning domed Rogers Centre which showcases Canada’s only Baseball team. Filling our days was easy, too easy and with time slipping away we booked an extra couple of days to continue exploring Toronto on foot and via the City Sightseeing Toronto double decker bus, which Prue even used to create our very own micro-Brewery Tour. We also dined on as much diversity as we could: Dumplings in China town, poutine from a poutinery, veggie dogs (and toppings) from a variety of street carts, beaver tails, cream pies from a diner and bagels every morning for breakfast. It is said that the city possesses enough characteristics as New York with sky rises erupting beyond the clouds on a rainy day, and Chicago, for its pristine and glassy harbourfront. In fact Toronto displays enough similarities that it is often used a cheap alternative to films supposedly set in both cities.

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Ultimate Canadian Road Trip
CN Tower Glass Floor
Sailing in Toronto
Cruising on Kajama Tall Ship

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Time flies when you’re having fun and we felt that everyday in Toronto was crammed with just that. Even considering the loss of our ‘Giddy’ and the fact that numerous beautiful lakes are being left untouched, we wouldn’t have given up on the chance to get to know such a vibrant and entertaining place.

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Return to our ‘100 Day Ultimate Canadian Road Trip’ guide

 

 

 

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Written by

Rebecca Mayoll is a ‘just turned 30’ freelance writer and photographer from England. She is the co-founder and author of straightondetour.com, a travel website with the mantra ‘find your own adventure.’ Promoting adventurous destinations, independent travel and giving a humorous insight to the World of travel is what Becky does best.

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Hi we're Prue and Becks, travel writers and photographers who have been travelling the world together since 2012. Without taking ourselves too seriously, we divulge the lesser known, out of the way places and give you the tools to replicate it. Want to know more? Click on our pic.