Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Winter Wonderland: Canada

The day after Thanksgiving, I went to Canada to visit my grandmother, who lives in the providence of Saskatchewan. Before visiting her, my first stop was Toronto, Ontario. This was actually my fist time visiting Toronto, and I must say, I absolutely loved it. It was almost December, and the weather in Toronto is very similar to New York, it was mostly in the mid-high 30's (Fahrenheit). After living in Miami for so many years, it was so nice to experience Winter in a cooler city.

  It definitely felt like Christmas in Toronto! I stayed in downtown Toronto, right on the water near the marina. In my opinion, Toronto is much like NYC- just cleaner and less crowded. (Sorry NYC!) Like NYC, Toronto is a giant mixing bowl with people from all over the world, and the many restaurant food options reflects this. There are so many great restaurants throughout all of Toronto- just like NYC.

Walking around Bloor Street in Yorkville.

My favorite part of Toronto, was the area called "Yorkville". It is super chic with great food and shopping. I especially loved Bloor Street, where all of the shops are. I drank hot chocolate and walked around every single day. I am one of those people who hate spending time in the hotel room- I always want to explore! There are tons of cute coffee and pastry shops throughout Yorkville.

At the Raptors vs Miami Heat game.

 I love basketball, as you know, so on my second night, I went to a Raptors game, and they were coincidently, playing the Miami Heat. The Scotia Bank Arena (where the Raptors play) is located in Downtown, so you can most likely walk to it if you're staying in the Downtown area. 

Here are five places in Toronto that I really enjoyed: 

  1. Sotto Sotto (Italian): I ate here on my last night, and If I had known it was so good, I would have eaten here more than once! The food was incredible. The founders are from Rome, and everything from the wine, to the appetizers, to the pasta is so tasty and authentic italian food. Also, If you're a Drake fan, he likes to stop by here a-lot the waiter said. He was there after the Raptor game we went to, which was the night before I ate there.
    Location: Sotto Sotto
  2. Yamato (Japanese Hibachi): All I can say is OMG- best Hibachi chicken and fried rice of my life! You cannot not go here if you're in Toronto. It's located in beautiful Yorkville, which means there are lots of shops nearby. Their sushi is incredible as well, so you can't go wrong!
  3. Soho House Toronto (Members Only): If you happen to be a member at Soho House, definitely stop by the Toronto location. It's right in Downtown, and is located in a very cool old historic building. Everything on the menu sounds so good, I had a salad, pizza, and mac n' cheese. The Mac n' cheese is to die for! 
  4. Holt Renfrew (Department Store): This department store (located on is the Canadian version of Saks Fifth Ave. I had never heard of it before, and it's really cute! They have everything from designer shoes and clothing, to cosmetics, to a Louis Vuitton boutique. I bought a cute white Holiday teddy bear, and proceeds go to help save Polar Bears.  
  5. Bloor Street (Located in Yorkville) Bloor Street is where all of the shopping and food can be found, just a new minutes north of Downtown Toronto. 


After four fun days in Toronto, I flew to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to see my grandmother, which is where the main airport is. My grandmother lives an hour north from Saskatoon and picked me up from the airport. It was such a great airport reunion! I immediately felt the crisp cold air as soon as the airport doors opened. To be honest, I loved it. 

It's not everyday I get to experience Winter. In fact, I don't even get to experience snow every year. As long as you're all layered up, Canadian Winter's are totally bearable. Just breathing in the fresh air was so therapeutic. 

We were really in the middle of no where on the hour drive up to her small town of Prince Albert. With nothing but trees covered in beautiful white frost, and large homes with their own barns attached- it was so beautiful and definitely a stress free environment.

If you ever visit Saskatchewan, you will definitely get to be one with nature. Everything is spread out, and there is so much untouched land- it's truly beautiful. I wanted to get away from the world for a few days, and I definitely got to while being there. I enjoyed all of the little moments like making cookies, playing Monopoly, and just being in the snow and enjoying it. And there was plenty of snow!

Small town living is definitely not for me, but it's good to be around a small-town lifestyle during the Holidays. It was the perfect family vacation I needed.

  My grandmother's house is sooo beyond cute! It's an old historic house (there was an extra room built onto the original home so it's larger than the other homes on the street), and my grandmother's interior decor is so adorable! It's a combination of antiques, rose painted China, and tons of Christmas decorations. The front yard also has two huge real life Christmas trees (covered with snow, naturally), surrounded by a cute white picket fence. Her house really looks like a house from a Hallmark Christmas movie. 

We stayed at Elk Ridge for one night, which is an hour north and is even farther away from civilization. It's a great resort with a great restaurant, and so many beautiful sights! Not to mention there are wild elk all over. Right next to the resort is Waskesiu Lake and a small neighborhood of gorgeous snow covered wooden cabins. I had such a great time on this trip! As you know, I love photography. Below are photos of me, and photos I took at Elk Ridge Resort and Wakesiu Lake.