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Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Holiday Visit to Toronto

Toronto is a real hidden gem to those of us living in rural Ontario.  While I love the slower pace that we enjoy here in our little town of three street lights, I know there is a whole world of entertainment and attractions down the highway only a couple of hours away in Toronto.  

Toronto is an amazing, vibrant city and our family had the awesome opportunity to visit and experience a fun weekend of holiday sights and sounds!

Here's the highlights of our weekend being hosted by the Eaton Chelsea and Tourism Toronto. 

The CN Tower 

While the CN Tower may be one of Toronto's most recognized landmarks and destinations, it was all pretty new to my family.  I was up the CN Tower once before in my life when I was in grade five.  My husband and children have never had the opportunity to go up and everyone was excited and nervous at the same time.

We went up the tower on a crystal clear Friday evening and enjoyed supper in the revolving dining room at the top.  The views were outstanding and the meal was one of the most delicious I've ever enjoyed.

Our view over the city as we ate supper

Santa's Log Cabin at the Eaton's Centre

The Eaton's Centre in itself is a great Toronto destination.  But, did you know that out behind the shopping centre is a beautiful log cabin that houses Santa this time of year?   The log cabin is away from the hustle and bustle of the mall and city, that can often be overwhelming to children.  (my son included)   Children are escorted into the cabin for a quaint meet and greet with Santa.   Santa read our group a story and then each child had the opportunity to sit on Santa's lap and have a private chat.  It was a lovely, serene and civilized way to enjoy a visit with Santa.  Afterwards the children enjoyed running through the Christmas tree maze.

Visiting Santa's Log Cabin
The Distillery Historic District 

Take a step back in time and visit The Distillery.  I had heard from my friend a bit about The Distillery, but didn't really know what to expect.  What we were to find was one of a kind shops, food and entertainment.   We visited on a Saturday afternoon, and there was a buzz in the air as folks milled about, browsing and shopping from the unique vendors lining the streets.   It was chilly, and we found a great vendor to purchase warm and cozy ear muffs, mittens and hats.

Until next Sunday, visit Toronto Christmas Market to find a traditional Christmas experience right in the city. 

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

On a previous visit to a Blue Jay's game we walked around and took a look at the construction of the aquarium.  I knew it was going to be something pretty special and a place we would love to visit as a family.  So, while in Toronto we wanted to make sure we took the time to go for a visit.  Ripley's Aquarium is AMAZING!  We loved how it is interactive and gave us the  opportunity to get up close and personal with various marine life.     It is tranquil and calming to see all kinds of sea creatures - big and small.  The museum is broken up into several galleries full of fun and learning.    Ripley's Aquarium is enjoyment for the whole family. 

Wonderment at the Aquarium

Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square

We absolutely lucked out to be visiting on the weekend of the Cavalcade of Lights.  The Eaton Chelsea was only a few blocks away and it was easy for us to walk over to Nathan Phillips Square, along with thousands of other people.  Our family was amazed by the outstanding fireworks display and gorgeous Christmas tree.  We've watched the New Year's celebration at Nathan Phillips Square on tv for years, so it was pretty neat for us to be right there for the Cavalcade of Lights celebration.

Enjoy skating in the square all season long, and of course there is the New Year's Eve celebration coming up in a couple of weeks. 

This is just a small sampling of what Toronto has to offer family's during the holiday and winter season.  To find out more visit seetorontonow.com.  Thank you to Tourism Toronto for sharing some of your  sights with us and we can not wait for a return visit to explore the city more!

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