Olympus Digital CameraOn our first day in town, my friend and I walked for hours (Toronto is a good walking city, so bring comfortable shoes).

We started with a tour to the top of the nearby CN Tower. The views, especially of the waterfront, are spectacular. The bistro on top, 360 The Restaurant, slowly rotates to let diners take in the scenery. If you purchase an entrée, admission to the top of the tower is free (about a $25 value).


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We continued on to the Rogers Centre, a sports stadium, where the Toronto Blue Jays were playing the Phillies. Feeling spontaneous, my friend and I bought last-minute tickets from a scalper (we paid only a little more than face value) and watched our first Canadian baseball game.


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If you visit the stadium, try the famous Canadian hot dogs, which are nothing like their American counterparts. These hot dogs are heartier and tastier, with a wide mix of toppings. The Phillies lost, by the way – though I have to admit I didn’t know Canadians even played baseball! I thought they only cared about hockey.

After a couple of hours at the stadium, we meandered along Queen Street West. This is an avant-garde retail district with a mix of trendy retail shops. You can carry on from there north to Kensington Gardens, a multiethnic community located next to Chinatown, which runs along Spadina Avenue. Kensington is a little like San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury hippy neighborhood.

We carried on walking west on College Street toward Little Italy. I couldn’t come to Toronto and not check out Little Italy! It’s not large, and it runs primarily on College Street. Unlike the crowded and older feel of Manhattan’s Little Italy, Toronto’s looks calm, clean, and organized.

A trend in the neighborhood seems to be “modern Italian” cuisine – meaning less faux, old world décor and more luxe, modern touches with nouvelle menu interpretations. I suggest Briscola in Little Italy for an excellent lunch or dinner.

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