Last week I graduated after three years of going to college for graphic design at Durham College. I can now finally say I am a college graduate and have an advanced diploma in graphic design! Of course during this exciting time in my life my parents and my sister were able to come down and watch me graduate. With this visit I also got to do some fun touristy activities with my family. My dad purchased Toronto CityPASSes for all of us. If you aren't aware of what a CityPASS is, it is a booklet of admission tickets to the best attractions in a single city. With the Toronto CityPASS you are given admission to 5 must-see tourist attractions in Toronto. Those attractions are the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo, and the Ontario Science Centre. The only places we didn't manage to go to are the Toronto Zoo and the Royal Ontario Museum, I was able to check out the museum with my friends before the tickets expired but that's for another blog post.
* Please note that this blog post is very photograph heavy
First stop was the CN Tower here in Toronto. The CN Tower was once the tallest towers in the world but now is the third. It is still the tallest free-standing structure in the western hemisphere and has become the signature icon for Toronto's skyline and basically a symbol for Canada. Ever since I've lived in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) I have always wanted to visit the CN Tower. This experience was great and even though it was cloudy the day we went it was still probably the best day we could have picked to have gone when my family was in town. The view of the city was spectacular as you get to walk around and view the whole city. I can just imagine the pictures I could have gotten if the sun was setting.
The coolest part is the glass floor that you are able to walk on and see what's below. I have to give props to the Ripley's Aquarium for the decal on their roof and how it was designed to show sharks actually swimming in water. I also have to give props to my mom who said she wasn't going to come up with us and that she went to the CN Tower for a school trip once and that was enough for her as she's not a huge fan of heights.
The next place we visited was Casa Loma. Casa Loma is a Gothic Revival style house in Toronto, that is now a museum and landmark. The history and architecture of the house is just amazing. Feel free to click the images above to get a larger view of the pictures. This house doesn't seem so big when you first look at it but it has three floors (containing roughly 98 rooms), a 5-acre estate gardens, a tunnel to the stables along with the garage, and a tower (or maybe two since I think one of them was under construction).
The four pictures above are some photographs I took within Casa Loma. Feel free to click each one to get a full view of the photo. All the furniture had so much detail, and so did the ceilings! I swear while walking through Casa Loma there were so many rooms, along with rooms attached to rooms attached to rooms! They have a beautiful garden outside but since the day we visited it was raining a bit nobody really wanted to go out and walk around. So that just means I will have to go again on a better day to view the rest of the property. They did have the fountain going in the backyard for guests to walk out and view. I will admit I did not edit the photo of the fountain I have shared. The grass and shrubs really were that green and lush after all the rain we have been getting.
The tower attached to the house had a gorgeous 360° view of the city. Along with a beautiful view of the CN Tower. Which I have shown above. If you are ever in Toronto and love viewing parts of history and old homes then visiting Casa Loma is for you. This house is full of history and is actually used for a lot of popular movies. Scott Pilgrim vs The World, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and X-men just to name a few.
Not included in the CityPASS but still a place I visited with my family was Canada's Wonderland. Even though I brought my camera along I managed to go on rides most of the time and don't have as many photos to share. As I am not a huge amusement park person I surprised myself by going on a few rides with my family. Now the day we chose to go to Canada's Wonderland was the absolute best day to go! It was sunny all day and the weather wasn't too hot or too cold. I also treated myself to getting a Beavertail covered in Reese's Pieces, peanut butter and chocolate. Another thing I love about amusement parks is that they most likely will have henna tattoo booths around the parks. After seeing my sister get one I opted on getting a koi like fish on my wrist.
Another place we did visit during my visit with my family was the Ontario Science Center. Sadly we didn't get to see the whole place as it is very interactive, and my mom and I are those people who love reading everything. My parents told us we could go again another time so I don't have many pictures from that visit.
Overall, I love doing fun touristy things with my family. Especially since my parents pay for almost everything and I love spending time with my family since I don't live at home anymore. A cool thing that most of these places do is take photos of you on a green screen for you to purchase later that feature the background being of the location you are at. My family purchased the ones we did at the CN Tower and from Casa Loma. I would share them here with you guys, but I'm sure my family wouldn't be to keen on me doing that since they are hilarious photos of us not knowing how to pose as a family together.
If you are ever thinking of visiting Toronto I highly recommend getting a Toronto CityPass for yourself, your friends, or your family. You can use it for nine consecutive days after the first time you use it and you save almost 50% off admission prices if you were to just pay for each attraction individually. For more information about the Toronto CityPASS you can get more information by clicking here.