Toronto is one great city, and by now, most of my Facebook and Twitter friends know it as I've disregarded the fact that I had no international plan for my data usage in Canada and kept updating my status with the photos of things I was seeing, eating, drinking and visiting in Toronto last weekend. It wasn't my first visit to Canada.
I was lucky to be growing up in a family that loves to travel, so when we were living on the West Coast, my parents and I took a road trip from Oregon to Canada, visiting cities and small towns - [and pretty much all the landmarks along the way] - in between.
I did like Vancouver and British Columbia. I found the cities very clean and semi-European, which I always love to discover about new cities, being a European myself... And years later, I've visited Montreal (two times) and Quebec, which I found more European and cultured than its west coast counterparts. Although, as I often say to my friends - [yes, it might appear as 'snobbish'] - if you've been to all over Europe and have lived in France, Quebec and Montreal would not be as impressive to you vs. to the tourists, who've never been exposed to the 'old France' as both Montreal and Quebec have a very distinctive French culture and influence.
However, I've never been to Toronto - the rather central part of Canada, and always wanted to go, so, last weekend it finally happened for me, and I must admit - I don't really remember the exact feeling I had about Vancouver and British Columbia, but I found Toronto very cozy, very friendly and very pleasant on an eye. It's a rather modern city - [I'd even say - very modern], but that gives that special 'aura' to the city - the CN Tower looks very impressive against the modern residential and business buildings and the Ontario Lake is a true jewel of that area.
That's said. There are two things I considered for my trip to Toronto:
1. Comfortable shoes - I knew I'd be walking around a lot, and this is exactly what I did. I think, I've seen 99% of Toronto by foot. Thus, my David J. Pliner's sneakers that I got at a sample sales back in June came in handy.
I've also taken my sandals that I got two years ago in Paris and which I'm very much obsessed with. They were the best investment ever as they are versatile and have saved my day many times - be it when I had to go out and/or walk a lot.
2. Shopping in Toronto - what girl wouldn't want to do some local shopping? So, I did, in Toronto's hip shopping area Yorkville (think of it as NYC's Soho district...) I ended up buying a pair of 'furry fabulousity' - these stilettos with a fringe. I love them!
A few tips that I've taken out of my trip to Toronto - even though I'm traveling quite a lot:
1. No matter how well you plan your wardrobe for a trip, there are always surprises - weather, landscape, etc., so the safest bet is to take your most favorite and comfortable jeans, cool sneakers that go as well with the jeans as with a dress/skirt and some rather uniform stylish shoes and/or stilettos for the outings. I took my plain black pumps and it served me well for late-night dinners and lounges, because it matched pretty much anything I wore.
2. Always a nice medium-size stylish bag in a distinctive color - to offset your travel outfits in black and/or neutral colors. A hint of color would never hurt...
3. Accessories - I'm all about over-sized watches and either statement necklaces/earrings and rings or - in the opposite direction, using tiny accessories. Either way, some bulky accessories would do the trick when you travel.
I'm off to Europe tomorrow, and this time it's gonna involved a much more elaborate luggage planning.