The eye has to travel. How can you say you’ve truly lived your life if you haven’t taken in what the world has to offer? There is an endless stream of beauty in this world, you just have to look for it. Knowing this, I took it upon myself the last few weeks to take in some of the most notable sights and sounds in my new home, Toronto. I’ve lived here for three months and they have been the best months of my life but that’s not to say they’ve come without their own set of trials and tribulations. For every bump in the road though, there is always something better after it. Wanting to take advantage of my newfound optimism brought upon by the hustle and bustle of life as a Torontonian, I made a list of a few attractions I wanted to see: the Ripley’s Aquarium, the CN Tower, and attending a Jays game.
When news first came out that Toronto would be getting it’s own aquarium, I was ecstatic. I have loved marine animals my entire life and I have always wanted the opportunity to see them up close. I went to the zoo when I was a child, and the Central Park zoo in high school, but they don’t have the same focus as an aquarium. When my best friend Sam came to town last week, she was as eager as I to check out the aquarium. I can’t stress this enough: you have to check this place out. With an adult ticket costing $28, it’s the same price range as the zoo, and it’s HUGE inside so it’s worth every penny. The aquarium is separated by the different habitats but you get to see every animal under the sea: sharks, sea turtles, sting rays, lobsters, octopuses, coral, crabs, and much more. My personal favourite were all of the tunnels that allowed you to get photos while the sharks swam around you.
The CN Tower was something I’ve had on my bucket list since I was five years old. I remember coming to Toronto then with my parents and brother and seeing it in all of it’s glory but not having the opportunity to get up close and personal. Every time I have been downtown in the city, I get overwhelmed by how beautiful the tower is. It’s a beacon of Canadian history and I love saying that I have the opportunity to look at it whenever I want. My other friends had already seen the view so I was alone on this escapade. Paying $36 felt like a lot, but I knew that this would be a once in a lifetime (unless I come back for the 360 Restaurant!) visit. Going through the tower to walk to the elevator to the Observatory Deck made my stomach churn. I have a terrible fear of heights so not only was I marking this off my bucket list, I was conquering one of my biggest fears on my own. Going up the elevator I felt nauseous but once I stepped outside, I felt like I had entered another world. I have been to both the Empire State Building and the Rockafeller Centre in New York City but this view was a completely different experience. Perhaps it’s because this is a city I am proud to call home, or that I was feeling a natural high (no pun intended), but it was incredible. I took in all of the buildings, the islands, and the lakes taking mental pictures along the way. There is nothing like seeing a place you have wanted to after fifteen years to make your soul feel rejuvenated.
Last, but not literally or least, was attending a Jays game. I have wanted to see a Blue Jays game since I moved here because it feels like the one experience that solidifies you as a true Torontonian. A beer in one hand, a hot dog in the other, what could be better? Although I skipped the $10.50 tallboy, I shared a hot dog with the amazing person who took me to the game. It came with grilled onions and peppers and although I’ve had better hot dogs, it was the experience that I wanted to pay for. We had great seats because we were behind the plate yet we were high enough that we could see all of the plays going on below us. Although our area was rowdy, I was able to take in the game. I learned the rules fairly quickly and realized that baseball isn’t nearly as boring as people make it out to be. I may have felt differently if I wasn’t sitting live at the game, but at the time it was better than anything I could ask for. The icing on the cake was that the Blue Jays beat the Seattle Mariners 8-2! My first game ever and our team won on our own turf, talk about a great afternoon.
These are only three of the many experiences I have planned to take in while I live in Toronto. I want to say thank you to Sam and Drew for being a part of this with me and putting up with how excited I got as a tourist. Thank you to everyone who works at Ripley’s, the CN Tower, and the Rogers Centre for making these locations worthwhile places to visit. And thank you everyone for reading this far, I didn’t realize I would have so much to say about my city, but I’m happy I do.