A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Reese's Adventures Travel

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto

Toronto. If you didn’t know this tidbit about my life, this amazing city is my hometown. What makes this Ontario’s capital so awesome? There is a pulse you can feel like in no other city. Since my big sis was not able to get away with me for my fortieth birthday bonanza, we decided to plan a girls’ trip around downtown Toronto to be close to all of the action. I was so excited to continue my birthday celebrations at home!

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
CN Tower and Rogers Centre from HTO Park at Toronto’s waterfront.

A friendly “re-Union”

I decided to travel by train for this trip home. Once I had my luggage and weaved my way through other passengers, I couldn’t wait to get off the train. Union Station is currently going through a transformation, so it took a bit longer to get out of the station.

Every time I arrive at Union Station, I get excited to see an old friend before continuing on my journey. I make a point to see the Union Station Plaza Clock. It lets me know I have really arrived home.

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Clock and Departures/Arrival Boards at Union Station in downtown Toronto.

Checking in

On this visit home, I opted to stay downtown. It is where all of the action is happening. Since this trip was about celebrating new milestones, I decided to try staying at an Airbnb for the first time.

After checking in, I took in the space. It was as though I was house sitting for a friend while I was in town. It was more spacious than some of the hotels rooms and suites I have stayed in, and I had more appliances at my disposal, too.

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
View of Airbnb from entryway.
A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Appliances in kitchenette of Airbnb.
A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Stove and countertop in kitchenette of Airbnb.

There were two beds to choose from for my four day stay, a full bathroom, a kitchen/living room combo, and my favourite feature: the view.

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
A view of the Rogers Centre, the CN Tower, and Roundhouse Park in downtown Toronto.

I was facing CN Tower, the sight many visiting and living in Toronto never tire of seeing. I was also able to have a peek of Lake Ontario, the Rogers Centre, and many other structures that make Toronto the mega city it is.

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
A sliver of a view of Lake Ontrio and buildings in downtown Toronto.

My stops throughout my birthday adventure

One fabulous thing you can say about Toronto is that you cannot see all it has to offer in just one visit. I popped by three places that are always a must-see when I come home.

Beauty within the chaos

Old City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square are always a popular spot to see the hustle and bustle of downtown life in Toronto. There is always a crowd in this area of town. Visitors and residents are snapping a shot at the Toronto sign. 

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Old City Hall among traffic in downtown Toronto.

My favourite sight to see is Old City Hall itself. Now acting as a courthouse, this grand building is a hint to what Toronto was like over a hundred years ago. It also brings a flavour and a beauty to the more modern buildings around it.

The calm at the edge of the city

Toronto’s waterfront is a stop I try to make every time I am home. I feel as though this spot in the city is the calm at the edge of this metropolis. I love that is just steps away from the downtown core. 

Bike/walking paths are set up along its length for people to exercise or leisurely take in the sights of this area. Taking in this part of the city is like taking being in a more suburban part of the city. The pace is slower. The views of the lake are calming. And the sights are simply amazing.

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Ferries docked along Toronto’s Waterfront.
A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Picnic tables and trees along docks of Toronto’s waterfront.

There are museums, shops, eateries, and boats to take in. Seeing the long boats and other water vessels always make for a fun time. Looking at them makes me want to sail away on one of them for a tour of the lake. 

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Boats docked along the Toronto waterfront.
A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Rees WaveDeck along the Toronto waterfront.

Another hot spot to visit along Toronto’s waterfront is HTO Park. It is an urban beach that has been opened since 2007. This park allows for visitors to escape and sit by the water’s edge in comfy Muskoka chairs. 

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
CN Tower and buildings behind HTO Park.
A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Reese “sunning” it up at HTO Park.
A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
HTO Park along the Toronto waterfront.

Visitors area also able to get a view of the Toronto Islands and the planes landing at Billy Bishop Airport. Whether a picnic is in order, a rest from a jog, or a getaway from everyday chaos of work life, Toronto’s waterfront is the place to go!

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Billy Bishop Airport along the Toronto waterfront.

Shop ‘til I drop!

I love shopping, especially when I can’t find what I am looking for at home. CF Eaton Centre is where I pop into (actually, I could spend hours there) whenever I can when at home to get some items I crave. 

When entering through the Queen Street West entrance, the glass feature that welcomes visitors it stunning. There are so many photo ready opportunities to take at this post in the mall. You know I took the time to take a few.

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Queen Street entrance to CF Eaton Centre.
A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Class ceiling and stores of CF Eaton Centre.

Another great feature of the mall is its accessibility. There are plenty of entrances for visitors to take you to and from various parts of downtown. Public transit in the form of street cars and the subway run frequently to move people to and from this hot spot. My big sis and I made many trips to Eaton Centre during my visit. I love going there!

A taste for any time of the day

Another favourite past time of mine is eating. Since this birthday was a big one, I made a point to make sure I had fun while away from home.

No matter what time of the day and your taste in food, Toronto is a fabulous city to find something to eat. My big sis and I didn’t have to travel far to sample some of the delights the Toronto food scene had to offer. 

We enjoyed big breakfasts, sea-worthy lunches, hip and trendy dinners, and sugary treats in between. Most of the restaurants and eateries we visited were places we never ate at before. Many of these places were close to where I was staying, while others were a fun streetcar ride away. It is fun to take in the various places to eat in Toronto and the neighbourhoods they reside in.

A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Omelette ad Bacon breakfast at Evviva Breakfast and Lunch.
A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Cod Fish ‘N Chips meal from Butler’s Cove.
A Getaway for Birthday Fun in Toronto
Paper Airplane cocktail and Signature Roast Chicken meal at e11even.

From chair dancing to Toronto to saying my fond farewells to my sis and to my hometown, my fortieth birthday trip home was amazing! I had so many new experiences, revisited favourite places around the city, and ate some delicious dishes. We always see something new and find people who become new friends. I can’t wait to go back to Toronto! It is a city like no other!

A Birthday Getaway to Toronto
A Birthday Getaway to Toronto
Have you been to Toronto? What would you want to discover or experience there?

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  1. robin rue says:

    It sounds like you guys had an absolute BLAST in Toronto. I haven’t been there in years, but would love to get back.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hi Robin! We did have an amazing time! When you do go back, I hope you have a fabulous time!

  2. I am always ready to explore a new place. My son wants to go to Toronto so bad he can taste it. So I think that might have to happen before too long.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hey Jeanette! You and your son will have a blast on your visit to Toronto! Would it be a general visit, or will it be more of a shopping, sporting, or foodie journey?

  3. I’ve never been to Toronto, but I’m planning a trip there next summer and I’m so excited to see all of these amazing places. Pinning for future use!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks for pinning this post, Rena! Hooray! You are going to LOVE Toronto! There are so many more amazing places to see there. I ran out of time to see more of them. I hope you enjoy your visit!

  4. This sounds and looks like a fun time! I’ve always wanted to go to Toronto. Happy belated birthday!

  5. That’s so cool that you are from Toronto! I’m from Montreal and I’ve been three times, but only for a couple of days. I need to explore some more next time I visit!

    1. very nice photos and it looks you had a nice time

      1. reesespeaks says:

        Thanks Kuntala! I had a ball taking photos! I had a fabulous time in Toronto.

  6. Edward says:

    It’s was so nice of you to celebrate your special day in a new place like Toronto. I’ve heard alot of good things about about that place

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hey Edward! Thanks so much! There is so much about Toronto that is fabulous! Have you ever thought about making a trip there?

  7. Happy birthday! What a wonderful Toronto adventure. I love the AirB&B that you stayed in, and all of those lovely meals. The architecture around the city is also amazing. Thanks for sharing details about your special celebration!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hi Denay! I was really happy with the Airbnb I stayed in. The meals were unreal! I loved them. The way the old and the newer architecture blends in together is so beautiful. I love coming back home.

  8. I would love to visit Toronto. MY husband has been up there but I haven’t yet. It looks beautiful.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hey Ashley! Toronto is a fabulous place to visit. I bet there is more than a few things you will love when you make your visit there.

  9. I never had Canada on my wish list but the pictures are beautiful hope you had a wonderful time

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks Shante! Canada is such a picturesque place! Toronto lends itself to photographers because of its different natural and architectural landscapes. It was hard to put down my cameras.

  10. I love a good breakfast! And that Airbnb looked nice too. I would have never guessed Toronto to have such nice shopping areas either!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Oh, Kristian! Toronto is a shopping’s world! There are so many areas to shop for just about anything. I loved this Airbnb. I will be using it the next time I visit. Oh, Evviva is my new favourite place to breakfast in The Six.

  11. 204park says:

    Toronto sounds really fun..! The dishes looked so sumptuous..! Thanks for sharing these pics.. 😊 Love it..

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks 204park! Toronto is such a foodie’s paradise. This is just a few of the places I ate at during this visit.

  12. rika says:

    That was a nice birthday getaway! I have never been to Toronto, sounds like a fun city.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hey Rika! Toronto is a city for many to enjoy. I hope you make it there for a visit!

  13. Sincerely Jackline says:

    That was such a nice birthday giveaway..! I bet you really had fun.. Thanks for sharing pictures.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks Jackie! I had so much fun on this adventure. I loved all fo the shots I took. I love photography.

  14. What a fun birthday getaway. Toronto looks like such a fun city with so much happening. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks Minimalistmiri! I had an amazing birthday getaway! There is more I have to do on my next visit!

  15. Happy belated birthday! It sounds like it was a wonderfully planned getaway, with lots of fun places to go and things to do! Adding Toronto to my bucket list.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hi Karen! There is no place like Toronto to visit. Yes! Please do add it to your bucket list!

  16. I miss Toronto so much! Being a Montrealer, my parents used to take our family every summer to visit our family. I love everything about the city!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hey Lisa! I miss Montreal and I now live a few hours away. I also wish to go back to Toronto more than I do. It is a city to repeatedly visit.

  17. The one place I want to visit that i havn’t is anywhere in Canada.. Being in PA I have never made it to Canada.. Def looks like I’m missing out!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Huya Kelly! Canada has so many beautiful places to visit. Toronto is a hot spot that has so much to offer. You would love it!

  18. Cathy Mini says:

    Looks so interesting to visit there. I think my husband will surely enjoy this kind of spot.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hey Cathy! Toronto has something for everyone to enjoy! I think you would both have an amazing time there.

  19. Amanda R says:

    Happy Birthday! It looks like you had an awesome time!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks Amanda! I had an amazing time! Have you ever been to Toronto?

  20. Looks like you had a fabulous birthday in Toronto. Never been there but since my brothers lives in Canada, hopefully, we get to explore that area one day too.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hi Lynndee! I always have an amazing time in Toronto. I hope you get to have the chance to visit Canada, especially Toronto. You will have an amazing time here!

  21. I would have to say, going to Toronto for your birthday sounds like a blast! The views of the city and the food…..no wonder you wanted to go there! Not to mention, it’s your hometown!

  22. Ruth I says:

    Happy birthday! That is an awesome way to celebrate. Would love to experience the fun in there!

  23. […] know this may sound weird, but one of my favourite parts of travel is when I can put my head down where I am staying. Feeling at home after a long day of travel and […]

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