About an hour before breakfast was supposed to end at our hotel, we headed downstairs to the breakfast restaurant to eat. Since I’ve already wrote about the breakfast as part of the review of the hotel, you can read about it here: Residence Inn Toronto Entertainment District After breakfast, we went back up to our room and got ready for a full day of walking, sightseeing and eating. Firstly, we walked down Wellington Street towards Old Town Toronto. Our ultimate destination was St. Lawrence Market. Since the distance to St. Lawrence Market from our hotel was a little over a mile away, we decided to walk and burn some calories off in preparation for all the planned eating today. During our walk, we passed through the financial district which was full of smartly dressed people heading to work inside the many bank and financial services company skyscrapers.Eventually after stopping inside one of the office towers for a bathroom break and another stop at a small convenience store so my dad could by some lottery tickets and try his luck with Canadian Lottery, we arrived at the St. Lawrence Market building. The St. Lawrence Market building and the buildings surrounding the market really did feel like a true “Old Town.” After the customary picture taking outside, we went inside the St. Lawrence Market and browsed the many products sold by the vendors. The market was really clean and a complete 180 from the Mercado Central in Lima Peru that we visited last year. Even with all the fish and meat vendors, not a whiff of fishy or raw meat smell in the air. After we were finished with the main level of the market, we headed downstairs to see what else was down there. Here, in the lower levels of the St. Lawrence Market, we hit the jackpot by discovering the Stonemill Slow Crafted Bakehouse, which was selling freshly baked breads and French style pastries. While I originally planned on using only my Credit Card during this trip, it was a good thing that I withdrew some cash yesterday. The Stonemill Slow Crafted Bakehouse, is a cash only establishment and it would have been a shame if we had to just pass up the place because we had no cash on hand. My mom bought a bunch of pastries including croissants and some savory pastry with spinach(I think). When we went to the register to pay, the lady informed us that we get a free pastry for buying the number of pastries that we did. My mom chose the freebie that she wanted and I paid the lady at the register for all of the items. Just looking at the pastries on display, you could clearly see the layers of flaky dough, which is only visible on French pastries make the right way. The last time I saw pastries good as these were at Renaurd’s in Santa Barbara. After sampling some of the French pastries that we just bought, we headed out of the market and onto Front Street heading east towards our hotel. We passed in front of the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Fairmont Royal York Hotel during our walk east on Front Street. Once we reached the east side of Union Station, everything was familiar again since yesterday, we walked this same route to our hotel after arriving on the UP Express Train. While yesterday it felt like a long walk because we were tired, today it was a breeze walking the little over a mile from Union Station to the Residence Inn. We dropped off the pastries that we purchased at The St. Lawrence Market and took a little break before heading back out for lunch.
Yesterday night, after we got back from Chinatown, I discovered via Yelp and other online resources that King’s Noodle Restaurant, was the in place that anyone who visits Toronto’s Chinatown must try. My parents and I remembered that we had passed by in front of King’s Noodle Restaurant yesterday and thought to ourselves that it must be a good place since it was the only crowded restaurant out of all of the other Chinese Restaurants surrounding it. We almost chose to eat at King’s Noodle Restaurant, yesterday for dinner over Seor Ak San Korean Restaurant but in the end, Seor Ak San Korean Restaurant won out yesterday. So today, with all of the research and reviews freshly in my head, we headed out back to Chinatown to have lunch at King’s Noodle Restaurant. When we arrived, we were immediately shown to a table but after waiting for a while to order, we had to flag one of the waitress’s down to place our order. We ordered three main dishes and one dim sum dish which were all highly reviewed online.Food is good but service is definitely rough around the edges here. Plates were slammed down at the table without any eye contact or a word and off they go on with their business. English does not seem to be very well understood so I would not make any fancy or difficult requests. Except for the dim sum dish which I’ve had better in San Francisco, the rest of the items we ordered were fine. Personally I didn’t think it was a “must if visiting Toronto” but the food itself was solid. My mom ordered one of the many soup noodles and my dad and I ordered rice dishes. We all shared the three dishes as they came out. In the typical Chinese Restaurant fashion, our food arrived in random order as the kitchen felt like making it. King’s Noodle Restaurant only accepts cash so stop at the ATM before visiting.
After finishing lunch at King’s Noodle Restaurant, we headed north again on Spadina Ave.. Our next stop on our walk was Little Italy. Google directed us to Toronto’s Little Italy through Kensington Market neighborhood that we had visited yesterday. The distance showed on my App as 1.2 miles which after a filling lunch, was absolutely acceptable walk. One we arrived in Little Italy, I found a Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe on College Street and after consulting with the parents, we decided to go in for some coffee, dessert and to rest. At this time of the day, the cafe didn’t have very many customers, but according to their sign, they’ve been open since 1959, so they must be doing something right. The waiter came and took our order and I ordered a pistachio cannoli, some Sicilian Ice Cream Dessert, hot coffee for my dad and iced americano for myself.Everything was delicious, including the coffee. The cannoli seemed to be freshly filled to order. The outer shell was crispy and not soggy like the ones sold at many supermarkets which had been filled and sitting around. After about 4 miles of walking so far today, the dessert and coffee really hit the spot. No guilty feeling at all, especially considering we still have to walk back to the hotel. With our bellies full of sugar and nicely caffeinated, I checked our location on Google Maps. It showed that just about a mile north of us was Koreatown. We decided to burn off the cannoli and the ice cream by walking the mile to Bloor Street and check out Koreatown since Google Maps showed that if we headed west on Bloor, we would be back on Spadina Ave..
We started walking up North on Crawford Street, which eventually became Montrose Ave. Both Crawford Street and Montrose Ave are residential streets so we got to see a sampling of Toronto homes closeup. I know these two streets do not represent the full spectrum of Toronto Housing, but it was still great to see a small sample of the homes people in Toronto live in. Eventually, we met up with Bloor Street and headed west. During our walk, we passed by some Korean businesses and grocery stores but the area seemed quite tame vs Los Angeles or Orange County. Eventually Bloor met up with Spadina and we headed south on Spadina back to our hotel, which was another 2.5 miles of walking.
After we arrived back at our hotel, I did some calculations and came to the conclusion that since this morning, we’ve walked about 7.5 miles in total. My right knee which I injured two years ago was definitely telling me that it was a long walk. Tonight for dinner, we have reservations at 360 Restaurant atop CN Tower. Since we still had some time to kill, before our reservation time, we rested in our hotel room before heading out to dinner.