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A 5-day Tik Tok Toronto visit with Teenagers

A 5-day Tik Tok Toronto visit with Teenagers

  By Joanne Begley  

Jason and I have been to Toronto a few times as our best friends live there so it has always been on the bucket list to bring the kids Aoibhinn (18) and Eoghan (16). The flight from Dublin Airport with Aer Lingus was tight as we got caught up in traffic at the Portlaoise toll as the ploughing championships were on that day in September. We parked in the Blue Car Park and bused it over to the airport. In August 2018 I was diagnosed with a brain condition called Chiari Malformation*, so I qualify for the sunflower lanyard for hidden disabilities which Dublin Airport recognises for queuing at security.  

It is also recognised at Pearson Airport in Toronto so as soon as we landed, we were directed to a fast track for passport control. Our flight with Aer Lingus was nice with in-flight entertainment and a choice of meals. I had downloaded the UBER app on my phone before we left and, once out of departures, I typed in my friend’s address. The app tells you where to go and wait for the driver. Kids loved looking at the Toronto Skyline as we drove towards downtown. We got to Maries and dropped our bags and headed to the local Amsterdam Brewery for some food. Food in Toronto is quite expensive, and tipping is a must at 18% so it did all add up in the end.  


We were up and out early. Toronto has lots of subdivisions or towns outside the city that have excellent access to a metro system called the TTC to take you anywhere you need to go. They use a presto card that you can top up and hop on and off all day. We headed for St. Lawrence Market for brekkie. This is situated downtown on Front Street and is a hive of activity for locals. We had the best peameal bacon and egg baps ever. We strolled onto the Museum of Illusions next- €28 dollars per adult and €22 per child. This was good fun but was done in an hour.  

We then headed in the direction of the CN Tower passing thrift shops and different areas of downtown Toronto. We bought tickets to the CN tower online. It was cheaper than buying them at the desk. It has a 360 restaurant that you can book and also an Edgewalk but at $195 dollars per head, we decided to skip this. The kids loved the glass elevator that brings you to the top in 58 seconds. It takes you to the observatory deck where you can see the whole city and walk on the famous glass floor. You can pay an extra $10 to go up to the next level called the Skypod.  

Across the way from the CN tower is Ripley’s Aquarium; suited to smaller kids and looked like a lot of fun. The Steam Whistle Brewery is across the road where you can look at the old railway station and sample some craft beers for adults. The Rogers Centre is located here also where it holds concerts and is home to the Blue Jays baseball team.  

We headed up towards the Eaton Centre Shopping Centre where we took in the different streets along the way passing the famous Toronto sign on Queen Street. This water fountain feature then turns into an ice-skating rink for the winter. As we love Penneys, we found the fashion extremely expensive in Toronto. Lots of variety but overpriced and you need to remember if something is priced $24.99 you still need to add tax when you get to the till. After shopping, we sat in the glorious sunshine and people-watched in Dundas Square, an equivalent of NY Times square on a smaller scale.  

We had the renowned famous Poutine from one of the food trucks and it was delicious, Poutine is fries, cheese curds and gravy. Later that evening we went to The Keg Steakhouse and had a delicious meal. 


This was the day we went to Niagara Falls. A 45-minute drive that our friend took us on but you can get buses and tours from downtown Toronto. We got there and took some fab photos. There was even a wedding happening there. The boys decided to do the maid of the mist boat tour which takes you right up to the falls. It was $32 each for 45 minutes. They had great fun and got some cool photos. Aoibhinn and I took a walk up Clifton Hill, a scaled-down version of Vegas with its bright lights and amusements. It is a Giant Street of Fun with the SkyWheel giving you spectacular views of the horseshoe falls. As Eoghan loves movies we did Movieland Wax Museum trying to guess who some characters were too. We visited the Upside Down House and there’s a Ripleys Believe it or not museum and Speedway, the largest elevated go kart track in North America. It was closed when we were there but looked like great fun. Lots of places with amusements that you could get the entire day out of it. Next, we drove to Niagara on the Lake. A beautiful place full of wineries and a place you only see on the tv in movies with its white wooden houses and pretty streets. We stopped off in the outlet centre in Niagara too where we did some damage in the Nike store and LuluLemon.  We stopped for food in Hamilton on the way home in a famous chip shop called Hutchs. An old diner with a working jukebox and the most amazing fish and chips we had while watching out over Lake Ontario. Home to bed then exhausted after a jam-packed day. 


We headed into town early enough on the TTC to get breakfast and decided to go to the Kensington Market area and Chinatown. Interesting places and worth a browse around. We headed for the famous Graffiti Alley then for some pictures. I did see this all over TikTok but found it very overrated. We looked into a big inflatable place called the bubble but my kids were a bit too big for it so we headed for The Rec Room, an indoor arcade bar, and stocked up with loads of tickets to play old retro games; very enjoyable. Home then for a change and straight back out to Canada’s Wonderland theme park for the Halloween Haunt. What an experience. It was open until midnight and packed with ghosts and zombie actors to chase you around the place. It was cool to go on rollercoasters in the dark.  


We headed to Walmart this morning to get some sweets that you can’t get at home and got some cool Halloween costumes. Next, we went to see where the famous rapper Drake lives, with his bodyguard outside. The houses were amazing here.  We headed down by the beaches then to go for a walk along the boardwalk and have a bit of lunch in Grape and Grain. They have a man made beach called Sugar Beach there which was nice to chill out on for a while. Then we caught a ferry to Toronto Island. It was nice to see the skyline from here and the kids enjoyed paddleboarding. Home to change and head out for a fab Mexican dinner. Toronto has every type of eatery to cater for all taste buds but as I said earlier very expensive with the tipping aspect in it.  


Time to pack up and head home today so we just chilled out, said our goodbyes and caught an Uber to the Airport. The kids loved Toronto. There is just so much to do and so little time. Now to plan the next TikTok Adventure! One thing to be mindful of is that Cannabis is legal over there so every second shop was a smoke shop, and it was stinking everywhere. It really turned my 2 off it anyway. 

*Note- Chiari malformation is a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. More information to be found here. FASD Ireland – Prevention : Awareness : Support 

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