Falling down is hard. No question. But hitting rock bottom may just be the best thing that ever happened to you. You’ll realize that perfection doesn’t exist, growth happens in the trenches, and other important lessons you need to learn in order to pull yourself up.
Whether you are thinking about what to do on your time off with the kids or having an adult escape, the city of Toronto has many wonderful options.
What is a city, anyway? Dictionary.com defines it as a large or important town. It may be thought of as a collection of people, minds, cultures, and landmarks. The word ‘agora’ is Greek for a gathering place for the exchange of ideas among the free-born as well as of goods. Geoffrey West, a physicist who has studied cities, describes a city as a magnet that draws people in; a living organism, in this video for The Atlantic.
This city -- what pulls you in? What makes you want to stay and experience it fully?
For Torontonians -- What would it be like to see your city with fresh eyes, as if you are visiting for the first time? For out-of-towners -- I invite you to experience a city full of diversity, intellect, compassion, culture, beauty, arts, sports, great food, entertainment, and spectacular views!
Here is my list of Toronto favourites, complete with hyperlinks to take you to more information. For further information visit the Tourism Toronto website and watch the new promotional video below that is garnering a lot of attention. Please share your favourites in the comments section and let’s celebrate Toronto!
Classically Good Things to Do
Even if you’re not up for The Edge Walk, the CN Tower is a must!
Buy your tickets ahead and skip the lines to see the wonders of Ripley’s Aquarium
Tour the Royal Ontario Museum, including the Blue Whale exhibit -it's always awe-inspiring
Browse the Art Gallery of Ontario
Imagine yourself a princess at Casa Loma (yes, our very own Castle!)
Experience Canada’s premier zoo and conservationist park at the Toronto Zoo
Get up early and pick up some fresh produce or a snack at St. Lawrence Market
Take yourself back to the 1800s at Blackcreek Pioneer Village and enjoy the simplicity of pioneer life
See one of Toronto’s many theatre productions (upcoming productions include A Streetcar Named Desire and The Sound of Music) or catch a live performance at the Four Seasons Centre, Roy Thomson Hall or The Sony Centre
Neighbourhoods that Built this City
Once the hippie district, Yorkville is the destination of choice for stars and stargazers – plenty of fine dining, shopping, and gallery options here!
King West has a nice selection of trendy dining, cocktail bars and upscale spas
Feeling like a lazy stroll or a volleyball game? Go to The Beach!
Greektown is alive with Mediterranean tastes…Opa!
Little Italy will serve up some of the best pasta, gelatos and espressos in town
Little Portugal will heat you up with Piri Piri
Chinatown is full of Chinese markets and dim sum restaurants
Little India on the east side will bring your taste buds alive
Leslieville is burgeoning with award-winning restaurants and hangouts
Roncesvalles and Bloor West villages offer up Polish and Ukrainian fare – some of the best sauerkraut and plum donuts in the city
A Small Selection of the Many, Many Fabulous Restaurants
360 CN Tower, revolving restaurant, Canadian, Downtown
Scaramouche, breathtaking views, French haute cuisine, north Yorkville
Sotto Sotto, Italian, Yorkville
Harbour 60, Steak, Downtown
Aria, Italian, near Air Canada Centre
Ruby Watchco, Chef Lynn Crawford, seasonal Canadian cuisine, Leslieville
Canoe, Canadian, 54th floor of TD Centre, Financial District
Ki, Japenese, Financial District
Terroni, Italian, 3 locations
Frank’s Kitchen, cozy, everything-made-in-house, fine dining, College Street
Joso’s, Seafood inspired by the Dalmatian Coast, Yorkville
Best Views of the City
Have a sunset dinner at the top of the CN tower
Take a ferry to Centre Island and see the entire cityscape
Sail a boat or take a boat cruise around the Islands
Enjoy a martini on The Roof, the Yorkville Park Hyatt’s bar
Walk through High Park in spring – complete with mini zoo
Play volleyball in the Beach and later enjoy a walk through the shops
Stroll the western beach in Etobicoke
Rent a bike and go on a cycling tour of the waterfront
Go on a scavenger hunt to see strange and interesting statues and sculptures
The Stillwater Spa is a classic, high-end spa - bring on the slippers and bubbly!!
Try out the Blitz Body Spa’s ancient restorative water treatments if you are on the free-spirited, naturalist side
Local Media Captures Who We Are
Newstalk 1010 is a great source for the hottest topics in the city
Eleanor Roosevelt said that “the purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Live your city. Enjoy Toronto!
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year and a time when each of us reflect on the bounty we have received.
But in the busyness of life, we often forget how profoundly impactful something like gratitude can be. What we put out into the world, we receive back, so it makes sense to stop, smell the roses, and give thanks.
The fact is, gratitude makes us happier.
Here's how to incorporate gratitude into your every day:
Wake up, open the blinds, feel the sunlight on your face and be reminded of the promise of a new day.
Keep a gratitude journal and jot down things you are thankful for as you think of them.
Review your calendar at a set time and reflect on all of the great things that happened.
Give someone an endorsement on social media.
Thank a service provider for a job well done.
Give someone an unexpected tip. Pay for someone's parking.
Mark an anniversary or special occasion.
Donate your time or money to a good cause.
Write an old-fashioned thank you note.
Call your parents or your children to say you love and appreciate them.
Give at least one compliment.
Meditate for 10 minutes.
Before going to sleep, close your eyes and give thanks for the day's blessings.
Start with a few of these every day. Before you know it, you will have created a habit. You'll be feeling even more grateful for your blessings and you will be spreading that love at the same time.
Lisa Petsinis is a career and life coach who works with resourceful people who want to create a life they love. Contact her today to bring more gratitude into your life or sign up for her newsletter for advice and inspiration.