You Are Here: TORONTO

Today, Shannon is guiding us through the city of Toronto. 

I've never been to Toronto, but after reading this- I'd love to see all the places Shannon mentions.

I've known for a while that Shannon was super cool from her blog, What's Up Whimsy,
 but now that I know about her hometown... I like her even more.

Toronto, Canada

Aspiring Kennedy: Start us out the with basics. Where do you live? 

Shannon: I say I’m from Toronto, but I live just outside the city in Markham. I'm a Toronto girl at heart though.  

All my friends and half my family live there, my consulting gig is there and I drive into Toronto probably once a week to visit or attend some sort of event, so in the interest of this feature,: I “live” in Toronto.

AK: For those of us who have never been to Toronto, what are three things that make it great?

Shannon: First, there is always something to do in Toronto.

Whether it’s a street festival, an art show, a launch party, or a new restaurant: you can never be bored.

2. Multiculturalism = yummy food! 

 Toronto is known for it’s wide range of cultures and people. You can have dim sum for breakfast in China Town, souvlaki for lunch in Greektown, and an authentic wood fired pizza for dinner in Little Italy. Mmmmm!

3. Torontonians are friendly.

I never really paid attention to it until my family from England came to visit for two weeks.  So many strangers helped them get around the city when they got lost, showed them the right way to go on the subway, and pointed them in the right direction to the nearest tourist attraction.  I was so proud!
via 1, 2, 3, 4
AK: I love nice people. I also love food... where is the best local spot to grab dinner?

Shannon: My absolute favourite place is Terroni.  There are four locations in and around the city, so wherever you are in Toronto, you can get to a Terroni pretty quickly.  The restaurants pride themselves on their traditional southern Italian food.  

And they do not budge from their menu. I once saw a couple walk out in a rage because the waiter refused to substitute ham for sausage on their pizza.  They don’t do substitutions or changes of any kind to their menu, which may seem precocious, but I appreciate it! 

Not only is their food incredibly yummy, the decor in all four locations is gorgeous. {Think:  big, lavish, rustic Italian.}

Via 12 

AK: So the people are great, and so is the food. I like the sound of this place.
Now set the tone for us: what’s Toronto's overall style and feel?

Shannon: I would say the overall style and feel is very “trendy, hip and cool.”  

There's a large art scene in the West end of the city along Queen Street.  That area of the city houses the recently renovated Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD).

AK: Oh, I like it! Is there anyone we would know from Toronto? AKA- the local celebrity line up...

Shannon: The Toronto International Film Festival happens every September and it is a great time to spot celebs around the city.  You will most likely see them around Yorkville, known for Canada’s most exclusive shopping districts, which means the accommodations are extremely exclusive too.

Our biggest claim to fame right now is the singer/rapper Drake from Toronto's Forest Hill.  I once saw him at the mall back when he was on Degrassi and was star-struck!

AK: We've covered food & celebs.. which leaves us at our next important topic: Where do you shop? 

Shannon: As mentioned above, Yorkville is the place to shop if you want brand-name stores – Lululemon, Chanel, Tiffany & Co.The Gap, Banana Republic, etc., but if you want a wide array of unique home furnishing and clothing shops, I tend to hang out along Queen West

... Or in the East end in the Distillery District, a little “village” of brick-lined streets and restored Victorian industrial buildings.

AK: What is the blogging community in Toronto like?

Shannon: I have found the Toronto blogging community to be so welcoming and warm!  

I've become really good online friends with a few Toronto bloggers over my 6 month blogging career -if I could call it that- and, just recently, met a few of them in person (see picture below).

A bunch of us were invited to be in the audience for a taping of the Steven and Chris Show (picture a Canadian version of The Nate Show) on October 19th. I am so pumped to meet even more of my online friends in person.  

There is also a large Toronto Blogger Get-Together being organized for the end of November at a fun venue with sponsors. It should be tons of fun. I guess what I am trying to say is: the blogging community in Toronto is A-mazing!

From left – Jeff, DeeWendyJennyTaniaStaci, Brittany, Me and Janice
 So there you have it folks – my Toronto in a nut shell.  

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour, and if you are ever in the city for a visit, let me know.
I am always up for meeting new friends!  

Thanks again, Lauren, for letting me participate in this fun feature!

Aspiring Kennedy Readers: Head over to Shannon's blog to see my day in Oxford's covered market!
Posted on November 2, 2010 and filed under "canada", "guest writers", "you are here".