toronto

An Evening Exploring Burlington

Hiya lovelies!

It’s the summer time, and that means…weekend getaways! In my last staycation post, we looked at prime spots around Port Credit (read here). Continuing with my series of staycation spots within the GTA, we’re traveling down to Burlington. Burlington is another lakeside town sandwiched between Oakville and Hamilton. I haven’t visited since I was a kid, so I thought it would be nice to bring my parents down with me for the weekend.

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A Staycation In Port Credit, Mississauga

A Staycation in Port Credit, Mississauga

Hello hello hello! Looking for a vacation, but don’t want to travel? How about a staycation in Port Credit? Located 30 minutes outside of Toronto’s downtown core, Port Credit is a not-so-hidden gem during the warm, summer seasons. With lots of great restaurants, parks, and gorgeous walkways, it’s worth making a trip out here for a weekend this summer!

I’m sure you’ve all seen my Toronto travel guides. Toronto is great and all, but sometimes you just want to get away from the noise and bustle of the city. There are so many great little gems in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) that you might not know about, and I’ll be exploring a few of them this summer! Let’s take a look at how I spent my weekend in Port Credit…

Most of you will know by now that I love to travel and see the world, and I think going abroad is incredible. Nothing beats new cultures, new adventures and new experiences! However, so many people forget that we live in a wonderful place too…If you’re a GTA local or new to the area, it’s definitely worth taking a day or two to explore the charming cities and towns outside of Toronto.

Fun fact – I actually grew up in Port Credit! I went to middle school and high school in the Lorne Park / Clarkson area. I’ve seen the town grow and bloom throughout the years, and it’s really shaping up.


WHERE TO STAY: WATERSIDE INN

In my opinion, there’s only one place to stay when you come visit Port Credit – The Waterside Inn!

Located right in the heart of Port Credit, The Waterside Inn has you right in the middle of all the action. It is set against the harbor with the dreamiest of views, amongst all the great little restaurants and shops. It is also located minutes from Port Credit GO station on the Lakeshore West line, about a half-hour train ride from downtown Toronto’s Union Station.

 

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When I am planning a staycation, I want a nice big room with lots of space.

Staycations are all about relaxing and discovering cities and towns around you! The rooms at the Waterside Inn are very cozy. 🙂 The rooms are all suites, so you get a bedroom, living room, and kitchen area. We stayed in one of the Residential Suites, but they also have deluxe rooms and penthouse suites. Although the decor is a little bit dated, it has the charm of a boutique hotel. I think these rooms would be perfect for extended stays.

The bathroom has lots of marble, very instagrammy… [/pipdig_padded_text]

The kitchen comes with a washer and dryer, utensils, a stove, microwave, fridge, and dishwasher.

We had a huge balcony! Our room overlooked the Port Credit harbor…

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It was nice to sit outside in the evening and watch the sun set.

I felt so cozy after winding down in the evening after doing my skincare regime. Currently loving the Laneige Bright Renew line. You can read about my current skincare regime here!

I know that this venue is very popular for summer weddings and events so keep that in mind! 😉 Parking is $10/night (located behind the hotel in the Marina lot) and high-speed wifi is included on every floor.

The Waterside Inn is home to Breakwater Restaurant, a highly rated, classy little establishment if you’re looking for a more formal meal or evening drinks. They hold seasonal events, such as the popular Father’s Day brunch! Although we didn’t experience the Breakwater, I think this would be a lovely venue to dine at with family.

 

To top it all off, the customer service has been incredible. The general manager, Toni Frankfurter, was so lovely and really brought my experience at the Waterside Inn to a whole other level! Customer service really does make a difference, especially from independent boutique hotels – it feels much more special than the cookie cutter experience of big hotel chains. A huge thank you to the Waterside Inn team for looking after us so well.

Wine-ding down for the night.

Of course, we wound down in the evening with a class of JP Rosé Azeitão Syrah 2016 Bacalhoa wine*. Is it weird that I drank mine iced? It was a nice way to end the evening, looking out onto the lake.

I won’t lie, it’s a super girly drink – it is light pink and has an almost floral aroma, of roses and wildflowers! How lovely is that?

I’m terrible with describing wines, but it is described as having a fresh finish with a mineral note and a slight sweetness. It’s a medium-bodied and refreshing summer wine, and a great one to accompany a night in…complete with a face mask of course! You can find it at LCBO here.

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FOR THE BRISK MORNING WALK… JC SADDINGTON PARK.

There are a series of beautiful little parks on the lakeshore worth venturing out to. JC Saddington Park is located just off Lakeshore Blvd, a short walk from the Port Credit lighthouse.

I used to go on walks with my parents here during summer weekends when I was a kid, so it’s quite a nostalgic place for me.

JC Saddington Park is lined with little trails along the waterfront. It is a very popular choice for families to visit in the summer time, with lots of gatherings and BBQs. It can get quite busy at times, but it never feels crowded. Matt and I like going there after dinner because a circuit around the park definitely helps the food go down!

Keep in mind that during summer weekends, parking can get quite hectic during peak afternoon and evening hours. If you’re staying in Port Credit, there is parking along the main road, but there is Marina parking (behind Waterside Inn) for $10.

HONORABLE MENTION: PORT CREDIT MEMORIAL PARK…

If you don’t mind a bit of a shorter circuit, loop around Port Credit Memorial Park which lines the Port Credit river. You’ll likely see lots of rowers paddling up and down the river under the bridge. We arrived on the evening of the Dragon Boat festival so we saw a few of those speeding about! [/pipdig_padded_text]


FOR LUNCH… SNUG HARBOR

I love supporting independent, local restaurants and we certainly did that this staycation. Let me first say… dinner time peak hours at Port Credit are insane during the summer months. If you want to eat at the Snug (and not wait 2 hours for a table,) your best bet is to arrive at around lunchtime.

Snug Harbor is a cozy little restaurant located across from The Waterside Inn. Set right in the marina, Snug Harbor is a homey seafood restaurant that has one of the best views of the town! Unfortunately we arrived at about 7:45PM for dinner and there was a 1hr 45min wait. The Snug Harbor does not take reservations during the summer months due to demand, so we decided to try again some other time. I’ve eaten at the Snug before and it’s great- totally recommended if you manage to get a spot! Try to sit on the patio if you can, the warm summer breeze off the lake is lovely and you can watch all of the boats come in and out of the marina.

MUST TRY: Coconut shrimp, Rainbow Trout, Seafood Pescatore, and the classic Fish & Chips.

 


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HONORABLE MENTION…THE WORKS.

As a burger lover, I’ve got to mention to The Works! The Works is a gourmet burger place a little ways down the street from Burger’s Priest, and is more suitable if you want some place to sit down and relax. It’s pretty hip looking inside (think: exposed pipe and brick, drinks served in measuring glasses, burgers arrive in metal trays… etc.) I reviewed the Hamilton location here! The Works also offers vegetarian and gluten-free options.

I got the Juicy Lucy, which is your regular tomato/lettuce/onion burger, except the patty is filled with cheese! So gooooood. I also got a side of spicy die cut chips – a nice little change from the typical fries.

MUST TRY: The Juicy Lucy burger, the Nacho Libre burger, and the Son of a Beech burger.

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FOR DINNER… CROOKED CUE

As I mentioned earlier, dinner time gets quite busy in Port Credit on the weekends! We ventured out to the Pump House Grill (40 min wait) and then Door Fifty Five (30 min wait) before we finally got to the Crooked Cue. It has more of a bar atmosphere but it was recently renovated and looks quite sleek inside.

Half of the venue is a restaurant and the other half is billiard tables. Although it looked pretty full inside, we were immediately seated in a spacious booth. Our waitress was lovely 🙂

 

I ordered the classic Fish n Chips. You might remember me going through a fish n chip phase during postgrad earlier this year where I literally ate it every other meal… LOL. Anyway this was much better (obv).

My fish n chips came on a huge bed of fries but the plate was quite small so it was a bit hard to…navigate? Either way, the fish and coleslaw tasted great and I left the restaurant feeling quite full and content.

Matt got a massive Jack Daniels Smoked Burger, and he really enjoyed it!

Overall, I really liked the Cue. We’re probably going to come back sometime in the summer. I’m sure the atmosphere really picks up later in the evening as it seems like a popular place for drinks and pool.


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HONORABLE MENTION: COLOSSUS GREEK TAVERN

If you’re into Greek food, I’d say it’s work checking out Colossus. I’ve eaten there quite a few times and I really like their food – you can’t go wrong with a chicken souvlaki! I love Greek food because it isn’t super fried and greasy – just clean, simple food. A chicken skewer, some tzaziki, potatos, and a salad – so good! Colossus tastes like great, home cooked food.

 


FOR  A LITTLE DESSERT… SCOOPS

One of the classic little shops on Lakeshore is Scoops – an independently owned ice cream shop that offers a huge selection of flavors. Chances are you’ll see the line going out the door. Worth the wait in my opinion because nothing beats an ice cream cone on a hot summer day near the lake!

MUST TRY: Espresso Robusto (especially if you’re a coffee lover!), but there are about 50 different flavors to choose from!

 

FOR THE ~ROMANTIC~ SUNSET WALK: PORT CREDIT WATERFRONT TRAIL.

The summer sunsets in Port Credit are absolutely gorgeous. You have the silhouettes of the famous lighthouse against dreamy fire-lit sky.

There’s a circuit I love doing which basically goes through Port Credit Memorial Park (up against the Port Credit river, back up and around, across the street towards Snug Harbor, and along the back walkway! There are always lots of people around and usually a few street musicians – just some really good vibes.

You can also cross the bridge and walk up along the other side towards JC Saddington Park. That will give you another great view across the harborfront which looks totally different at night.

If you have a car and are willing to drive out a bit towards Clarkson…

HONORABLE MENTION: JACK DARLING PARK
Jack Darling is another park I love frequenting. It is a large park with long winding trails that line the lakeshore, eventually reaching Ratray March. The park itself is very popular amongst families, so you’ll see plenty of groups starting BBQs or having gatherings. There are lots of big willow trees and shady spots to sit. Protip: bring bug spray… the gnats can get a little insane.

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You can find all of the locations posted on this handy little map! 🙂 (Jack Darling is a little bit out of the way though so you might have to zoom out.)

Parks are marked in green, hotel in orange, and restaurants in purple!

Have you been to Port Credit? Have you visited any of the other lakeside cities in the GTA? Do you take staycations?

*Thank you to the Waterside Inn for providing a room in exchange for an honest review.

 

Ontario Science Centre + Marché Restaurant | Toronto Travel Guide

 

December 31, 2016

Hello lovelies! Hope your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations were fun! I’m starting to get back into the swing of regular blog posts. How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? I’ve always been the type of person who wants to go out on New Year’s, wear a fancy dress, and party all night! However, I’ve haven’t actually been able to cross that off my bucklet list. Maybe next year. This New Year’s Eve, we took it easy.

Matt and I had a pair of free tickets to the Ontario Science Centre which expired on the 31st. We had no other plans, so we thought why not? I’ve never actually been to the Science Centre, so we figured it would make for a nice little date. Unfortunately it’s a little ways outside of downtown Toronto, just off the Don Mills Parkway.

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GenBeauty Toronto 2016 | Event Recap + Creator Party

 

Generation Beauty Toronto 2016

Generation Beauty (or rather, GenBeauty), was held on May 14-15 at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. You may recognize the venue, as it is the same hall that Fan Expo Canada is held!

GenBeauty was founded by Youtube Star and ipsy creator Michelle Phan. It’s not so much a convention (like I originally though – more on that later), but a gathering of brands, beauty content creators, and their audiences. This was their first time holding a GenBeauty event in Toronto, let alone Canada. There have been other events held in New York and Los Angeles, and it was nice to see the online beauty community expand into Canada.

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Ripley’s Aquarium Toronto | Toronto Travel Guide

Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto

A continuation of my adventure downtown with Redbubble… (psst, there’s a giveaway too! Check it out!)
The Ripley’s Aquarium opened in 2013, right next to the CN Tower! It’s a large aquarium that features a very streamlined path – you make your way through tanks featuring fishes from freshwater and saltwater lakes, to the shark tunnels, to tropical fish, the rays, the jellies, and a behind the scenes of the water filtration systems. It’s a beautiful and relaxing environment, great for destressing (unless you’re afraid of water, haha!)

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Spirited Away with Redbubble + GIVEAWAY!

 

Spirited Away

As you guys already know, I absolutely love Redbubble! It’s a fantastic website where you can get beautiful artwork printed on almost everything, ranging from clothing, to phone cases, to duvet covers, and notebooks! Not only can you get unique pieces to wear, but you’ll be supporting the artists you love at the same time. I was more than excited to join them for their spring campaign. I picked out a few Studio Ghibli inspired pieces featuring some awesome fanart from super talented artists!

I have a few pieces to share with you today! There’s a fun giveaway at the end where you can win my featured pieces, so keep reading! 🙂

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Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Cafe; Toronto’s First Maid Cafe!

Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Cafe…

Tucked away in the heart of the Toronto is a huge Otaku secret. In their efforts to expand and introduce Toronto to Japanese food culture, the famous Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake cafe has opened up a maid cafe.

Maid cafes are a prominent and reoccuring theme in Japanese anime and otaku culture, and can famously be found in areas of Tokyo such as Akihabara. Maid cafes combine elements of anime, and cosplay culture – it is often a small, brightly lit, and pastel coloured cafe. Customers are greeted with a hearty “Irasshaimase!” or welcome! Girls in maid uniforms (think more cute and reserved than kinky/sexy) serve desserts such as cakes, parfaits, and teas to visitors, as well as perform dances at set times.

Mle and I decided to visit Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Cafe! Here’s what we discovered…

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The Estee Edit Launch Party

#BeautyAttitudes

About two weeks ago, Sperrens and I were invited to the Toronto launch of The Estee Edit! As you may have heard, The Estee Edit is part of the Estee Lauder line, but with a fresher and more trendy approach! We walked down to The Distillery District (which I had surprisingly never been to – it’s so rustic and cute!) The launch was actually held at a venue called Airship 37. The room we were in was chic and modern looking, decorated with white couches and blue lighting, totally on par with the brand’s look!

There were makeup stations set up in the middle of the room to play with the products…

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An Evening in Downtown | Sansotei Ramen, A-Game Cafe, & Cafe Crepe

Let’s Go Downtown!

Hello friends! Hope you’ve all had a great weekend – mine was quite eventful! Today, I’ll be posting another one of my Toronto Hot Spot series. Hopefully these posts will introduce you to new places to stop by for lunch or dinner, or if you’re looking for something fun to do downtown Toronto! You can read the rest of the posts here.

Saturday’s events are all within walking distance, and could make for a fun night out downtown.

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Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake in Toronto | Worth the Wait?

Hey lovelies!

Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake – the “it” bakery/cafe that’s on everyone’s lips at the moment! Their supposedly famous Japanese Cheesecakes attract the masses, resulting in hour-long lineups outside their Toronto shop. I recently took a trip downtown and stopped by in order to find out what all the hype was about, and if the cheesecake was actually worth the wait!

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The Sheraton Gateway Airport Hotel in Toronto YYZ

The Sheraton Gateway Airport Hotel

Let the travel blogging begin! WOO YES, one of my favourite things to do! Haven’t been able to do it that often but I’ve got a great series of posts lined up for you! On July 1st, I flew out to the city of angels for Anime Expo 2015! However, the night before, I had the pleasure of staying in the Sheraton Gateway Hotel located in Toronto Pearson Airport.

While organizing my stay, I originally messed up the dates…twice! Felt a bit like an idiot because (for some reason) I thought that there were only 29 days in June. Luckily the Sheraton customer service was completely understanding and were able to change the dates of my stay!! What a relief! Made me look forward to my stay even more!

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Day at the ROM | Toronto Travel Guide

The Royal Ontario Museum

Popped by the Royal Ontario Museum today! Students get free admission on Tuesdays so we went to check out the exhibits. Especially wanted to see the dinos after seeing Jurassic World, haha!!

Brought my 50mm lens to test out, still getting used to fixed lenses since I’ve only really used an 18-55mm.

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A look around Chinatown | Toronto Travel Guide

Hello lovelies!

This past weekend, my mom and I went downtown for a little day trip! I’m always downtown these days because I get bored of living in the burbs and downtown is only a subway trip away. She hasn’t been down there for a while so it was nice to spend time on her in between final projects and work.

Starting the trip by getting off at Spadina station, took the street car to Chinatown just by Kensington market.

Stopped off at the Hong Kong Island bakery for some bunz. It was around lunch time so we stopped off for a quick snack.

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A Day On Center Island | Toronto Travel Guide

Hello lovelies!

Two weeks ago, I went to Centre Island with my parents! It’s an island that’s located right offshore from downtown Toronto. It is full of attractions – Centreville (small amusement park, mainly for small kids), restaurants, parks and beaches.

In order to get there, you need to take a ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (9 Queen’s Quay West)! If you’re walking from Union Station, just walk south along Bay Street to Queens Quay and you’ll see it.

I was really happy because I’ve been working full time since I got back from SDCC and haven’t really had a chance to go out on the weekend. The weather was beautiful which was great considering we’ve had a really crap summer so far, mostly cloudy days and rain.

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Maid Cafe + Toronto trip!

Hello darlings! (・∀・)

Before I start, can you guys check something for me? When I try to click the [Follow via Google Friend Connect] button in the top right corner, I’m getting a We’re sorry… We were unable to handle your request. Please try again or return a bit later.” message. Are you guys getting this as well? I just need to know in case the link is broken so I can fix it. (・ε・)


Anyway, last Wednesday I attended my university’s Japanese Association’s maid cafe! I think it was for some charity thing.. I was still really excited to go though because I have never been to a maid cafe! (Basically a small cafe set up in which girls cosplaying in maid outfits serve you food and play games, take pictures…super cute!) (・ω・)/ I’ve seen them at conventions like Anime North and they look really fun so I decided to go with my friends Michael and Tim. (None of my girlfriends here wanted to go because they’re not into anime/cosplay. ) (ノ_・。)



The weather was horrible that night – very rainy/dark/windy. Luckily the building that the cafe was held in was down the street from my residence.






Cafe was held in a classroom. It was quite full! Admission came with a slice of cake and some tea.

I had strawberry cake. Oh god it was the most delicious strawberry cake I have ever tasted. (°∀°)b

Tim had green tea mousse cake and Michael had caramel-chocolate cake! So tasty~

More pictures under the cut!

Maids~ Fushi and Michelle!

We only stayed for about half an hour but it was still really fun! They’ll be having another maid cafe in the spring so hopefully I’ll be able to attend that as well. ≧(´▽`)≦


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This weekend, my lovely waifu Ringo came over to my university! Haven’t seen her since Fan Expo ;_;

Went along with Wasi and Zarrar to see Zombie Walk (basically a parade where people dress up as realllly scary looking zombies! Quite a spectacle – you can see some awesome photos here!) . We ended up getting to Toronto a bit later than expected due to traffic.  (;´▽`A“

CN Tower~
When we got to Toronto we first headed to Bzhaun’s place to drop stuff off, but then we found out that the Zombie Walk was  pretty far from his apartment…so we ended up skipping out on it and going to Eaton’s centre instead.

Dundas square at night – it was really crowded because there was a street performer there!

(This picture pretty much sums up the night haha!) γ(▽´ )ツヾ( `▽)ゞ

After we met up with Anton, Nancy and Jeanie for dinner! It was lots of fun since I hadn’t seen them in a really long time. Since it was really late, everyone ended up sleeping over at Bzhaun’s apartment, who had a really nice view of the CN  tower + Lake Ontario!

Ringo and I were so tired the next day. (´_`。) We basically ended up spending half the day on buses since part of the highway was closed off so the ride back was super slow. All in all it was really fun getting to hang out with everyone again! It was a nice distraction before the upcoming hellish week (History essay for Thursday, Linguistics midterm exams on Thursday and Friday) (/_;)/~~ Somebody save me…

I’ll try to make a scheduled post showing you some of the pics I got from the cosplay event last week- got some nice studio photos! (●´ω`●)ゞ