One benefit to visiting friends while traveling is that you get to explore outside the typical tourist spots. For instance, if you were to tell me you had 24 hours to spend in Chicago I would advise to skip Navy Pier, limit your time on Michigan Ave. and experience a few of the other neighborhoods in the city.
There is so much more to Chicago than Michigan Avenue. Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast are walkable neighborhoods not far from downtown that have a bit more charm. And if you have a car, visit Logan Square and have dinner at Longman and Eagle.
But this isn't a post about what to do in Chicago, this is about our last day in Toronto! :-)
If it wouldn't have been for Mike and Keira we would have completely missed visiting The Distillery Historic District, which would have been a real shame. Built in 1832, the site was once The Gooderham and Worts Distillery, and represents the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian industrial architecture in North America. Industrial architecture is one of my favorites. Give me exposed bricks and high ceilings and I'll be set for life. If my home was once an actual industry building, I'd probably faint from joy.
The distillery district has now been transformed into a shopping center (and condos!) full of cute little shops and restaurants. They even hold a market on Sundays and a summer concert series.
Our first stop of the day was admiring Toronto's beautiful skyline from a look out point not far from the distillery. It was a perfectly sunny day and the view was quite spectacular! After grabbing coffee at Balzac's Coffee Roasters we spent the morning browsing different stores in the distillery district.
^ I love that Toronto has their own version of Paris' lock bridge.
^ See that bowl of guacamole right there? Yeah, that was my lunch at El Catrin and it was so good.
After lunch we walked downtown. I was amazed at how similar there downtown was to Time Square with a hint of Columbus Circle. The area was full of energy with people gathering around different acts being performed on the street. We went into a few stores, including this Japanese home goods/apparel store called Muji. Muji is to Japan what Ikea is to Sweden -- it made me want to organize our whole place in lots of acrylic boxes.
We also walked through a rather large indoor shopping center mainly to visit Indigo Books, which is Canada's version of Barnes and Noble (but slightly better).
Thanks for having us, Toronto! Until next time.