Last week I had the opportunity to visit Toronto, Canada for the first time…and it will not be my last.
My curiosity took me there; wanting to see what the conference of another Direct Sales company was like – Steeped Tea. I had only attended conferences for my chocolate business to date, and if you know me, I love to travel and I love information and knowledge.
First notable part of my trip was before I even got there: my flight with Porter Airlines to Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ). PS: you will not find Porter on the major discount travel sites. Porter’s tag line is ‘Fly Refined’ and they do live up to it. There were voted Best Regional Airline in North America by SKYTRAX and Top Small Airline in the World by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice. It was such a pleasant trip with customer service on the ground and in the air; I wish they flew everywhere. And Billy Bishop Airport is super-convenient to downtown Toronto. A quick ferry ride (possibly the world’s shortest ferry ride – just under 2 mints by my watch) and a free shuttle bus to the heart of downtown.
I spent the entire time in Downtown Toronto. Being a near-New Yorker, I love to see the differences between New York and other major cities. Here is what I found.
– Toronto was pretty clean…but I may have been expecting too much as the couple pieces of trash and graffiti tagging I saw was surprising.. A good friend kept telling me how clean it was and I must say, that for a relatively big city, it was very clean. There was also not a huge army of people out cleaning the streets. Based on my next observation, I think Torontonias do a good job of keeping their own city clean. Kudos to them.
– Jay-walking is almost obsolete. Being from the tri-state area, when you have to cross the street, as long as no cars are coming, you walk. Not so in Toronto. I got to a corner and after looking both ways and noticing no cars, I noticed that everyone (maybe 15 people) were all standing on the sidewalk, NOT crossing the street. So I decided it was best for me to wait too. Apparently, Torontonians are mostly obedient of the traffic laws. My Airbnb host informed me that the number of car/pedestrian accidents are on the rise, but so is the number of non-natives moving to Toronto. Evidence that when in Rome…
Hey is my 15 second recap: Toronto in 25 pictures. Otherwise, keep scrolling for me pictures and narrative below.
My first live view of the CN tower from the ferry.
The view from where I stayed (booked through Airbnb); right down the street from OCAD University (Originally called Ontario College of Art and Design).
A litte further down the block:
Across the street from the Art Galley of Ontario. Love the bohemian feel of this area; very eclectic.
Toronto has lots of murals/street art.
A great city for design, check out the Umbra mothership. I could live there…but only in the summer.
Speaking of design, love the street signs. #simple #nowords
Doing what I love to do – wander around experiencing the city, I wandered into Marilyn’s on Spadina and had the privilege of being fitted by Marilyn Wetston herself. I added two easy-travel, wardrobe-complimenting pieces. As I wandered further, I saw a storefront where the manakins looked like me – Voluptuous – so I had to go in. The ladies were super nice and even gave me the heads up on a couple of their models who were in NY for Full Figured Fashion Week (#fffweek). More on that in another post.
From high end to low end and all around town, Toronto has a great food scene. Notice the different eateries right next to each other.
I had ‘Milk and Cornflakes’ and Crack Pie from Momofuku’s Milk Bar. Thanks to my friend SteepedwithJoy for introducing my tastebuds to the Milk Bar. You have no idea what you did ;-).
Steeped Tea gave us a chance to explore that food scene even more with their lunch adventure – lunch money for us to enjoy the culinary offerings of the city. Mediterranean fit the bill that day. #Delish.
Steeped Tea had two ‘Dragons’ – the equivalent of the TV show Shark Tank – invest in the company and since then they have been very supportive with more than just their money. They did more than just show up at the conference too, doing a Q&A for the consultants on their best success practices. During our gala evening, while every one was clamoring to take picture with ‘Dragon Jim‘, I took the opportunity to chat a little with his wife Sandy. who was just as sweet to talk to as she looked.
A quick, fun and educational trip. I recommend you put Toronto on your list to not miss. While your experience will not be my conference, Toronto is beautiful, walkable city, with some pretty nice people in it.