Tag Archives: Toronto

Photo(s) of the Week: An Architectural Marvel in Toronto.

A few weeks back a few other travel bloggers and I were walking from the Central Business District to St. Lawrence Market when Mark of Mark’s Travel Journal, a native and local, suggested we walk through Brookfield Place. It’s an office complex and within is an architectural marvel, the six-story Allen Lambert Galleria.

Allen Lambert Galleria, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The atrium was designed by Santiago Calatrava and is also known as the “crystal cathedral of commerce”. You’ll find lots of people looking up and with their cameras ready.

Allen Lambert Galleria, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto: The CN Tower is my Guide.

Recently during TBEX weekend in Toronto I was going back-and-forth between Chinatown, Kensington Market, Downtown and other neighborhoods. I was traveling mainly on foot without using maps or the GPS on my phone. Why? I decided to use the CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, as my guide.

During my roaming it was over here…

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

…and over there…

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

…and everywhere!

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

Peekaboo, there it is. Thank goodness, I know where I’m at now! 🙂

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

You never know when the CN Tower will appear amongst the buildings…

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

…and the trees. It’s like a breathe of fresh air when you see it.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

The tower doesn’t just mark where you’re at, it also gives off countless scenic photo opportunities. Lot’s of blue between the tower, Roy Thomson Hall and the office buildings.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

I usually always grab a Starbucks photo (even if I don’t go in) when I’m in the big city and low-and-behold there the tower is. 🙂

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

I loved capturing the tower, with another historic staple, the electric streetcars and their corresponding wires. The King Street streetcar is going by.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

Lot’s of wires stood between me and the tower like these at the intersection of Spadina and Queen Streets.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

It’s early, early morning in Chinatown as I started heading towards the tower going down Spadina Street.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

Two location markers! The tower and the Kensington Market neighborhood. How could one get lost?!

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

More streetcar wire and CN Tower fun at Spadina and Queen. 🙂

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

The CN Tower can be used as a guide within buildings too, like here at the Metro Toronto Convention Center South Building. The convention center is vast, so an additional directional guide is handy.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower

It was a great weekend in Toronto. I could always count on my friend, the CN Tower, to appear when I needed them. 🙂 A scenic view usually followed.

What towers, skyscrapers, landmarks or other things have you used before as a guide in your travels?

My First #TBEX Experience.

My first TBEX or travel conference of any kind is in the books. The weekend went so fast. Tours, sessions, interviews, parties, coffee shop and neighborhood exploration, it was an action-packed non-stop weekend of fun and learning.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TBEX, Metro Toronto Convention Centre

It was exciting to see the amount of people whether it be PR professionals, people representing destinations and brands or fellow travel bloggers. Over 1300 people who share a passion for travel came together!

Everyone loves travel so of course a lot of the weekend would involve tours and sightseeing. I didn’t take a formal tour, but spent the first day in Toronto, roaming the city with Karla of Travelersoul76, Yishyene of Small Crazy and Mark of Mark’s Travel Journal. Mark was a local and Karla lived her before so it was great getting their insider tips on what to see as well as all of us discovering new things. We walked from the heart of downtown to St. Lawrence Market and the Distillery District also snapping photos of everything in between.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TBEX, Distillery District

Earlier, Karla even was so nice as to pick me up at Union Station to help get me acclimated to the city, with some Dark Horse Coffee along for the ride.

Lots of talking and hanging out with travel bloggers and other people in the industry with different interests and travel niches and writing and photo taking styles. It was great putting faces to the avatar or Twitter handle. 🙂 A silly pose by Karla, Lance, myself, Jill, Maria and Mike.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TBEX, credit Nomadic Texan

At the official parties of the conference at Roy Thomson Hall and the Toronto Islands, was great scenery, food, drinks and mingling. It was cool when someone recognized me. They usually asked what coffee stops I’ve made or planned on making while here haha. 🙂

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TBEX

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TBEX

Did I mention the great scenery at the parties?! The Expedia Party on the Toronto Islands had arguably the best skyline views I’d ever seen. People took turns mingling, just staring at Toronto, while others were getting ready to photograph the Toronto skyline as it became all lit up.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Expedia TBEX Party, Toronto Islands

Even an official after party lead to more great eats, drinks and conversations with the likes of Lauren of where in the world is lola? and Derek of The HoliDaze.

The conference itself was a mix of informative sessions that provided tips on SEO, social media tools, writing, press trips, making money and more. Even the smallest of tips caught the eye, realizing how much effect each one could have. For example Ian Cleary said to schedule out the same blog posts over-and-over again on Hootsuite using different words each time.

The two days also provided the opportunity for travel bloggers to talk with people representing destinations and brands through speed dating and an open market place. I didn’t take part in the former, but engaged several companies and destinations at their booths and during the market place.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TBEX

It’s exciting to see what everyone in this niche is up to and where it’s going. After one week I’m still analyzing everything, looking through business cards, thinking about opportunities and where I can take my passion for travel, writing and photography going forward. I hope to attend more conferences and have more meetups with fellow travel bloggers in the future. It’s an experience that will always be on my mind as I’m drinking coffee out on the open road. 🙂

#ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: When it’s Hot, it’s ok to go Cold.

It was TBEX weekend recently in Toronto and it was hot-and-humid, around thirty degrees Celsius. I was walking with Karla of Travellersoul76 when we escaped the heat to go inside the highly recommended Dark Horse Coffee in Chinatown. Once inside, it got me thinking about my last coffee tip, Drink it Straight! After thinking about it…

Dark Horse Coffee, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tip #10: …when it is hot outside, it is ok to get a cold coffee drink.

Even if your going to a place for the first time, if it’s hot outside and your craving a coffee/caffeinated beverage, the last thing you want is something hot. We got Iced Americanos which were delicious and they definitely hit the spot. I consumed it fast because of the heat and also to enjoy all of the coffee before the iced cubes started diluting it haha.

Dark Horse Coffee, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

There was a lot more exploration of the Toronto coffee scene that weekend. Stay tuned! 🙂

Photo of the Week: The CN Tower Standing Tall. Hello Canada!

The CN Tower standing tall from Harbourtown Centre right along Lake Ontario in Toronto. Hello Canada! 🙂

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, CN Tower