Toronto: The Canadian NYC

Over the holidays I went to visit my friend Olivia in Toronto for New Years. Ottawa to Toronto is about a 4 hour train ride, which is a much more comfortable option than flying. For those of you familiar with my blog, you’ll know that New York City has always been my dream city to live in, but as a Canadian it’s not so easy to get a job there. Toronto is the closest to NYC that Canada has to offer, so if I’m going to live somewhere in Canada, it seems like the place to be. Plus, there are numerous international companies in Toronto that could eventually transfer me or let me travel for the job in the meantime. Sounds like a pretty good compromise! :) Anyways, click to read more for the trip recap! 


Distillery District: I arrived at Union Station and since Olivia picked me up in a car, we were able to head straight to the Distillery District. This area is very trendy, I kind of imagine it as the Brooklyn/Meatpacking District of New York. The pictures will give you a better idea of what it’s like. There are shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes to explore. There is also a Christmas Market here, which we just missed.

Balzac’s: this is the coffee shop we went to in the Distillery District. The coffee is great and the shop is eclectic and trendy.

Heelboy: because I can’t avoid shoe stores! They had a great sale and a great selection of shoes. I wanted to buy three pairs of booties but settled on one Steve Madden pair.

Yorkville/Bloor: is such a lovely/posh neighbourhood. It kind of reminds me of Montreal. The streets are brick … how elaborate is that? Definitely a neighbourhood I would like to live in – if money allowed! Bloor Street is quite long but the section of it that passes through Yorkville is worth checking out. As we continued walking along the street I realized it’s Toronto’s Fifth Avenue. The shops were beautiful to look at, honestly just like Fifth Avenue … that’s all that really needs to be said!

Nathan Philips Square (Toronto Sign): is a lovely spot to visit; especially at night when everything is lit up! You’ve likely seen a photo of the Toronto sign that changes colours, it’s fairly new but hopefully it will stay! Also, similar to the Rockefeller Centre, it’s a lovely space to go ice skating in the middle of the city!

Queen Street: is a cool neighbourhood for shopping and dinning. I’ve spent more time there during past trips, but this time it was just a quick visit to get some crepes!

Cafe Crepe: What better to way to warm up on a winter night than ordering a crepe to-go? This place is really popular, so there can be a wait. I ordered one with Nutella, strawberries, and banana – delicious!

Hudson’s Bay: this is the Canadian department store … that was recently  bought my an american company. But the flagship store is quite a big deal in Toronto. They had the most magical Christmas window display outside. There was orchestra music playing and each window had a continuation of the story (which I believe was The Night Before Christmas).

Dundas Square: the Times Square of New York! Though it’s more similar to Piccadilly Circus in London – I honestly don’t think anything can compare to Times Square. Still a fun spot to check out, and it’s right by the huge Eaton Centre mall.

Bar Italia: is where we went for New Year’s Eve dinner. We were really lucky to get a spot because most places were booked up for the night. I had calamari for an appetizer and pasta for my main course and it was delicious! The restaurant it is Little Italy which is also a cool area to explore.

The rest of the trip was all about preparing for the New Year’s party being held at Olivia’s house, so that’s all the sight seeing I had time for. From what I saw on this trip, I can’t wait to move to Toronto!

Have you been to Toronto? What are your favourite spots? I’d love to know since I’m probably moving there!

20 thoughts on “Toronto: The Canadian NYC

  1. sarcasticopportunist says:

    Canada is home to a huge number of people from India. One of my fathers’s friend used to be a professor at some university in Canada, I do not recall the name. A high school senior of mine is currently a professor at the University of Toronto.


  2. Cassie says:

    My favourite part of Toronto is always visiting the Kensington Market. So many funky shops there and some of the food places are just incredible. Also a huge fan of the Distillery District, especially at Christmas time! Unfortunately I just barely missed the markets :(

    Liked by 1 person

    • Samantha Faloon says:

      Thanks for sharing! I’ve never been to Kensington Market but will definitely keep it in mind now :) and ya I would have loved to have seen the Christmas market but I went on the 30th of December


  3. Mali Capri says:

    I love Toronto, it’s really beautiful and I hope to go back soon. I really love Queen’s street- there’s an upcycled church that’s really an Anthropologie and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I also love the big mall they have there!


    • Samantha Faloon says:

      That’s so exciting! Comparing the cities is how I’m convincing myself it’s okay if I never get a visa to work in NYC lol … but I was actually blown away by all the similarities I discovered on such a short trip. Of course no city can ever actually be New York, but oh well!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ray says:

    I have been living in Toronto for 11 1/2 years now. As some of the people posted above, the Toronto Christmas Market and Kensington Market are good things to check out! The Toronto Islands are my favourite part of the city hands down, though, for the greenspace and beautiful iconic view of Toronto that you see everywhere on advertisements or television.

    Other attractions/events worth checking out include: Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Casa Loma, sporting events (Toronto Blue Jays/Toronto FC/Toronto Raptors/Toronto Maple Leafs), St. Lawrence Market, the craft beer festivals (Toronto has a burgeoning craft brewery scene now), Taste of the Danforth, Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, City Chase (like an “Amazing Race” scavenger hunt around the city), and the Canadian National Exhibition. These are just a “few” suggestions, though. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Robin Hogreve says:

    When I visited Toronto back in 2014, and also in 2015, there was no such thing as a ‘Toronto’ sign. I think it’s quite a nice addition. Very nice post on one of my favourite cities, by the way. I’ve also been to NYC, and I think Toronto really is Canadas New York, mixed with a bit of Hollywood, or at least I get your point.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. usathroughoureyes says:

    Toronto is such a beautiful city. In the past it was a monthly get away spot. You are right in associating it with NYC. It would be difficult for me to choose which would be a better place to visit. The Yonge Street district had a lot of appeal.


  7. abcadyz says:

    Just reading some of your old posts :) As a fellow Canadian it’s nice to see a spotlight on Toronto. Also Cafe Crepe is the BEST!! Another place people always tell me to go is Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese cheesecake.. haven’t yet, but it’s on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

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