Places to Go (Vacation) - Road trip to Canada, Part 4 - Toronto, Canada - Bus Tour & Castle


Um, Toronto is big. I knew this before visiting, but I still wasn't quite prepared for how big. And it is growing - almost every corner has a new high rise under construction. T couldn't have been happier. "look, a builder! there! look! look another one!" and on and on.

We spent our first full day in Toronto on a double decker bus tour, taking in views of the city while relaxing in the cool weather (compared to DC). Toronto has lots of cool stuff - a nude beach (though I have no desire to go to a nude beach, I like the idea of a city where nudists can exist in comfort), apparently the best sports bar in North America (we didn't get a chance to visit), tons of great shopping (yup, missed out on that too). And did I mention it wasn't 100+ degrees there?

On the bus tour we learned that Canadians are quite proud of winning the war of 1812 and almost burning down the White House (they only singed it and we white washed over the damage, hence its name). We also learned that fires in Toronto don't go well, so landmarks are scarce. And we sat in traffic a lot, because cars move slowly in Toronto.


We exited the bus to tour Casa Loma, a real life castle. Exciting. Unfortunately, the man who built this architectural wonderland in the early 1900s went bankrupt soon after construction ended, so he only lived in his dream house for a few months. Sad. Now the city owns it. We checked out the fabulous gardens then headed inside before the rain started. Sort of creepy/sort of cool to wander around a castle in a thunderstorm, especially the dank, drippy basement passageways.


We tried to wait out the storm, but eventually castle life bored us, so we ran in the rain to catch the bus back to our hotel. T fell asleep on the ride back. And everyone on the bus kept pointing at him and smiling. There is something truly wonderful about a slumbering 3 year old.


  1. Thanks for all the suggestions. Dustin and I have been to Toronto half a dozen times. He has family there. Ironically, he keeps telling me about Casa Loma, and I've never been. Now that we have the kids, we'll have to try the bus tour too. Looks like you had fun!

  2. I love your photos and the stories that go with. You have a great blog, I don't get to read it often enough but when I do I am just so impressed. Thanks for all of the great ideas for how to really enjoy and capture life with kiddos :)

  3. Becca - Thank you so much! Your comment made my day!! And Marina, we bought the citypass, which included the castle, the CN tower, and the ROM (among other places). not sure if the castle is worth it on its own - the kids liked it for awhile, but if it wasn't raining they would have been over it pretty quickly. of course, if it wasn't raining we would have been able to see more of the grounds, which is what i really wanted to see.

  4. I now live near Philly (love your posts on things to do in the Philly-DC area) but I grew up in Ontario and I must say I never heard anyone say they were proud of winning the war of 1812 or burning the White House. That sounds very un-Canadian, in fact. Also wanted to comment that families should watch the X-Men when visiting Casa Loma as it was used as the Xavier Institute, a cool-factor for kids.



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