toronto day 3: CN Tower & Harbourfront

I’ve already detailed our train ride to Toronto on day 1, with The National concert that evening, and day 2 was spent at the Ontario Science Center. for day 3, we decided to try a lighter and quicker breakfast, so we just walked a block from our hotel to the nearby market, and got some various snack foods for breakfast – the boys wanted Pringle chips, my dad got a fresh croissant, my mom and wife both got a fancy Starbucks coffee with caramel sprinkles on the top.  we then hopped onto the subway towards downtown, but we got off the subway 1 stop prior to Union Station, and walked the PATH most of the way over to the CN Tower (the PATH is Toronto’s underground walkway that links a huge section of downtown together via underground walkways, mixed with little shops as well).  after that, it was a fairly short walk outside to the CN Tower.

we took the glass elevators up to the observation floor of the CN Tower (or the “Empire Space Needle” as my 3 1/2 yr old son likes to call it), and took in the spectacular view of Toronto, the surrounding city and suburbs, and the waters of Lake Ontario.  the observation floor is 1136 ft above the ground!

3 boys at the lookout level

we then took the stairs down one level to the glass floor and outdoor viewing area.  it was pretty cool to see the boys jumping and dancing on the glass floor (after their initial hesitation).  several adults walking nearby wouldn’t go near the floor, though.

our 3 boys laying on the glass floor at CN Tower

after the CN Tower, we walked down to Toronto’s waterfront along Lake Ontario. we quickly walked around the Harbourfront Centre (it was pretty cold and windy there!).

my 2 older boys sat down to look at the ships at the docks.

there are several ships in that area that will give short rides out on the lake, but none looked to be open that day, plus it was a bit too cold to take the boys out on the open water.  the tallship Empire Sandy was docked there – it was an impressive looking ship: 200 ft overall, with 11,000 square feet of sail per the ship’s website.

we kept walking along, trying to find Captain John’s Harbour Boat – a restaurant on a boat, but when we got there, we found out it wasn’t open until dinner time! the boat was pretty big, and looked like it would have been a really neat place to eat though (the tower cranes are behind the boat.)

so we walked to a nearby sports grille for lunch, before jumping on a streetcar that took us directly up to Toronto’s Chinatown.  Chinatown is fascinating – with people walking everywhere, looking at all the various stores and vendors along the street that are selling their goods – sometimes clothing, but a lot of small markets, with interesting foods that I’d probably never buy.  a lot of dried tiny fish and dried shrimp, strange looking mushrooms, and a ton of fresh vegetables.

after Chinatown, we headed back to our hotel to grab our luggage and get ready to head home (my parents were staying a couple extra days, so it was just my family).  we made the short walk to the subway station, ready for our last ride on the subway.

we were taking the evening train back to Windsor, and the boys were pretty exhausted.  it didn’t take too long for my 3 1/2 yr old to fall asleep.  after that, my 7 yr old wasn’t too far behind.

when we arrived in Windsor, he woke up and said, “wow, that was a lot faster train ride home.”  we tried to tell him it was because he had been sleeping, but he didn’t believe us!

after that, it was just a short trip back through the Detroit Windsor Tunnel, and then back home.  overall, it was a great trip to Toronto – we had a great time and would love to do it again and visit some of the other area attractions next time.  maybe next time it will be in the warmer summer months so I can try sailing on Lake Ontario (and cross 1 more of the Great Lakes off my list).

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