The Tourist That Wasn’t

 My family is here!!!


Well, a small fraction of my family anyways. There’s a lot of us ;) My step-sis Sarah and Dad drove from New Brunswick and picked up my big-sis Jane in Quebec City along the way!

They showed up with an SUV filled to the brim with things I had to leave back in NB when I left. The world is such a better place when you have a rotating stand fan in your living room.


We were all hungry when they arrived, so we went to a nearby spot called the Ceili Cottage. (where I also went with my other big sis!)


The special of the day was an 8oz burger, which seemed too ludicrously huge for me. So I went for the Ontario Berkshire ham, soda scone, hot mustard.


Also came with some cabbage…


Yummm. I love old-man food and this hit the spot for me :)


Jane et moi! I must give Jane credit for about half the photos in this post. She is much better paparazzi than me ;) Jane is also a full-time musician, you can listen to her music here!

After dinner we hit up the friendly neighbourhood coffee shop.

Deciding on what tea to drink is serious business.

We then all went home and read books like the nerds we are. I was delighted to wake up this morning and have a group of people to make breakfast for!!


Fried up a large batch of scrambled eggs with bacon, whole wheat toast with a variety of nut butters (I chose dark chocolate dreams).

A fruit salad made with apple, orange, banana, coconut, cinnamon, maple syrup. I topped mine with cottage cheese. Fruit salads are way too underrated.

Then we hit the streets of Toronto!!


Funny that I’ve only been here three weeks and I’m already showing people around the city. The best part though was that I got to do some of the touristy things I’ve missed out on so far.


Including visiting the CBC Mothership (aka the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s headquarters). This building is ridiculous, but as a former broadcast journalist, it’s the kind of geeky thing I love.

It was also within these walls that I found the coolest thing I’ve seen in Toronto.


 Mr. Dressup’s tickle trunk!!! I loved this show as a kid.

Even more…


The window from the Friendly Giant!


The trolley from Mr. Rogers! Man, I loved his cardigans. Anyone outside of Canada ever watch these children’s shows? Jane and I got all giddy over these things, but they were a little before my step-sister’s time :(

Other touristy things included going up the CN Tower.


…and being sniffed for bombs on the way up. Thank you for capturing this moment in time Jane ;)

All the signs everywhere said the CN Tower is the tallest structure in North America, or something along those lines.

Nice view!! The place was like a mosh pit of tourists though.


Sarah and I were all over the plexi-glass floor.


It wasn’t really as scary as I was expecting. The elevator ride down was worse :\

Even though I haven’t been here for long, I knew just the place to bring my family for lunch downtown…

Fresh! I knew they’d love the healthy vegetarian fare.


Started with a beet root frappe: apple, beet, carrot, nutmeg, ginger.

Definitely the most “vegetable-y” one I’ve had yet – but it was at least cold!


I’ve already tried their salads and bowls, so today I opted for a wrap. I got the magic tofu: savoury coated tofu steaks with tomato, lettuce, cucumber, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, grated carrot & vegan mayo.


Omg. This was good. Sounds so simple, but the vegan mayo had a wonderful flavour, and the tofu steaks were marinated to perfection.


It came with a “coleslaw” and I ordered a side salad with their vegan caesar dressing. Another Fresh success!!

Fresh on Spadina is just a stone’s throw from Chinatown.

Chinatown still has the cheapest produce. And most unique ;)


By the time we made our way through Chinatown, we were all beat. I had to scoot off to the gym I work at for a “practice” training session. It went really well and I’m really appreciative that my new gym is taking the time to help me hone my skills as a trainer. Good thing too – I’ve got three clients starting at 5:30am Monday!

Now it’s time for me to sign off and spend these last few hours with the fam. Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new weekly series on my blog – so be sure to ch-ch-check it out!


Question of the Day: What touristy thing is your town known for? In Moncton, where I’m originally from, we’re known for the “Tidal Bore” when the tide comes in on the river. It’s as boring as it sounds. But we’ve got good seafood! :)

Posted on July 22, 2010, in Restaurants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. I bet it was so much fun to do those touristy things with family. I love doing the touristy stuff in my town. We’re known for the Coke World, the aquarium, Stone Mountain, and other things I can’t think of right now.

  2. I’m from Moncton too, so I guess I’d have to say Magnetic Hill as a second choice!

  3. Well, I live in Edmonds, but I don’t think it is really known for much of anything beside maybe the Washington Ferry boats?! But we are just north of Seattle which is famous for a lot of wonderful things like Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, more Ferry Boats, Grunge, Kurt Cobain, and for wearing socks with sandals. Oh, and rain. And Sleepless in Seattle.

  4. Ohh I love Fresh! Their cookbook is freaking amazing!

  5. Aww your family is cute! :) I’m glad you had fun with them, it’s always nice to have family in town.

    Kitchener is known for Oktoberfest! We have the second largest celebration, right after Munich. Last year I fell in a creek on the way home, so you know it was a good time ;)

  6. The giant cherry in Minneapolis’ Walker Sculpture Garden for sure. It’s just a giant cherry!

    Looks like fun and wonderful times were had with your fam – love it! Your scrambled egg breakfast looks SO good. I need to jump back on the bacon bandwagon :)

    • I found this bacon in the freezer aisle – it’s a Canadian brand, but really thin cut for only 20 calories a piece :) Just enough to give everything that wonderful bacon flavour!

  7. OMG so many comments I want to make. As I read I thought oh comment on that, comment on this.

    1. Bowmanville has the bowmanville zoo. We have had many famous aminals come out of the zoo. We had a lion that was in the movie Second Hand Lions, and the ghost in the darkness with Val Kilmer. Also recently the zoo had 2 camels and I think another lion were animal napped while comeing back to town from a movie shoot in Quebec. That was all over the news. The animals have been safely returned and the bad guys arrested.
    The magic wrap is amazing, no?! I had it my first trip to fresh and got goat cheese added to it. It sure was magical.
    Finally love the MR. Dress up tickle trunk and Mr. Rogers Trolly. I don’t think I ever saw the other show. But I never knew that stuff was at the CBC office. So cool. I’ve lived 45 minutes outside T.O my whole life and in T.O for 2 years and I think you’ve seen more than I have in your 3 weeks here.

  8. WOW you and your sis look SO MUCH ALIKE!!!

  9. Excited to see you took advantage of the plexi-glass floor! Of course there weren’t bomb-checking things when we went up in the CN tower 15 years ago!

    My hometown, Cincinnati, is known for Cincinnati chili and Graeter’s ice cream.

  10. I’m super jealous that you went to the CBC… that and the Hockey Hall of Fame are the two reasons that I want to go to Toronto (other than a bajillion friends I have to visit). Is it wrong that the pictures of Mr. Dressup’s Tickle Trunk and the Friendly Giant’s window made me a little weepy? Or is it normal for ‘Canadians of a certain age’?

    I’d have to say the one thing Victoria is really known for is the Burchart Gardens (although they’re not in Victoria people!) but the Inner Harbour/Empress is also a big draw for people once they’re here.

  11. aww have fun with your family!

  12. I love when I had my camera over to a family member or friend for the day & ask them to document my day as they see fit. For some reason everyone is much more creative than myself. Which is depressing.
    I really need a DSLR camera so I can play around with photograph some more.

    Enjoy having your family around & all the things they dropped off for you.

    In Sydney we’re famous for three things. Center point tower, the sydney harbour bridge & the opera house. I still enjoy seeing them all, they are what makes sydney, well, sydney.

  13. Hooray for family!

    OMG…I would LOVE to see the trolley! I know i’m a dork.

    I guess the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a reason to come here. Only in May though ;)

  14. I love being a tourist in my own city! There is SO much to do :D

    I LOVED Mr. Rogers! I totally want to go see the trolley now!!

    Ooh, I haven’t tried the tofu wrap from Fresh… sounds delish!

    I’m super busy this weekend and the next… David’s tea date an evening this week or next?

    Have fun with your fam!!


  15. Haha everytime I go downtime i’m essentially like a tourist!…sort of.
    We have…uh….the harbour! and uh..lots of stuff to do on the waterfront. PLUS. A CITADEL. How cool is that? ;)

    I REALLY wish we had a Fresh, though. SO JEALOUS.

  16. Ha! I was just talking about “Mr. Dress Up” and no one else had any idea what I was talking about. I’m glad I’m not the only one that watched that show!

  17. I agree with Katie- you & your sis look so much alike!

    I love being a tourist. I live near DC/Baltimore so there’s tons to look at (although, I rarely go)! I think it’s cuz my parents O.Ded on tourist attractions when I was a kid lol

  18. what a good host you are!!! I loved the CN tower :) I wen there a few years ago and it was such a fun experience. its so funny when i have visitors come to boston and I take them to all the toursity places! its like I get to travel again too because I never visit those places on my own!

  19. I was a huge Mr. Rogers fan. I loved how he had to change shoes and cardigans! lol!

    My town’s only tourist attraction is the exhibition coal mine. It’s basically a train that takes you into a cold, abandoned coal mine. Exciting, I know. I live a half hour away from the New River Gorge bridge. They have a big festival called Bridge Day each year and people can walk across the bridge. B.A.S.E jumpers are there jumping. It’s kind of neat.

    I grew up in the suburbs of DC so there are a lot more tourist attractions there! lol!

  20. It’s so fun to be a tourist in your own area!
    We have a ton of things around here. Lake George, of course, is a tourist haven, especially right now.

    You have to go to Fort William Henry and laugh at it’s tacky mannequin scenes LOL

  21. The pictures of the Tickle Trunk and the Mr. Rogers trolley brought back so many childhood memories!
    Montreal is known for many different sites and attractions, but I like to think our best ones are:
    Just For Laughs
    Jazz Festival
    Grand Prix Weekend
    The Old Port/ Old Montreal (sooo beautiful)
    Summer is the ideal time to visit our city, unless you’re a huge hockey fan, then I’d suggest the winter time :)

  22. OH MY GOD! That plexiglass floor would have freaked me out! I could see myself falling….eek! :P

  23. I’m from down here in the states and we certainly have Mister Rogers! But no tickle trunk for us. :) I love going to county fairs and festivals in the small towns nearby! Some of them I’ve never been to, some of them I pass through all the time but it’s fun to see them dress up their little towns and put on a festival!

  24. Awww, the Tickle Trunk…”.tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle – OPEN!” I loved Mr. Dressup when I was a kid (my Mom took my brother and I to see him at an appearance in F’ton). Casey and Finnegan were the best! And the Friendly Giant too….with his sidekicks Rusty and Jerome. LOL. Canadian TV at it’s finest.

    My original hometown (Fredericton, NB) isn’t so famous…but I guess it’s claim to fame is UNB – the oldest English university in Canada. Or maybe the fact that the entire city is the first community in North America to have a free municipality wide WiFi network.

    My hometown now (Windsor, Ontario) is famous for being the Automotive Capital of Canada and home to Hiram Walker/Canadian Club Whiskey.

    • I didn’t know Canadian Club is made in Windsor!! Whiskey is the only liquor I legitimately love, and CC is my go-to cheap whiskey :) (Shenley OFC when I don’t mind paying a few extra bucks)

  25. There’s a teensy tiny town right next to my hometown (Cobourg, just about 45mins east here) where the Friendly Giant HIMSELF lived (sadly, he’s since passed away)! And if you go to the local church they actually have the entire set you can visit!

    Did you used to watch Today’s Special? Aside from Fraggle Rock it was my favourite show as a kid!

  26. Touristy things in your hometown are fun :D

  27. I’ve never been to NOLA but I pretty much guarantee the beignets would be my favourite! Either that or gumbo. Mmmmm gumbo! :)

    • So this is what happens when I have multiple windows open with blogs I want to comment on. I get all messed up and leave you a random comment! lol Oh fail!!!

      Anywho – it totally looks like you’re settling into your Toronto life. Awesome! :)

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