Welcome to our monthly series we are running on Flat Earth Magazine! Our weekly blogs only touch the surface of what we’ve been up to, so we’ve decided to dive in a little deeper every month so you can see what travelling and living abroad is really like.
Recap our previous entries here.
Places Visited: Toronto (ON), Kawartha Lakes (ON), Muskoka Region (ON)
A weekend in Kawartha. Our weekend getaway was well needed and felt well overdue. We arrived back in Toronto feeling completely relaxed and excited to be in Canada with all the adventures and beautiful destinations it has to offer. You can read more about our trip here and here.
Pride Festival. Both Ryan and I love Pride and the parade never fails to have us sobbing on the sidelines. As longtime visitors to Brighton’s famous parade, we thought that nothing could beat it.
Toronto’s offering certainly gave Brighton a run for its money in terms of the sheer scale of the parade itself which lasted for over three hours! Whereas the atmosphere might not have been as unabashedly drunken and loving as Brighton’s, we still had a great day celebrating the city’s famous diversity. A front row view of PM Justin Trudeau was a definite highlight!
Brunch at Maha’s. Maha’s has been on our radar ever since we dropped by for a take out coffee a couple of weeks ago. The coffee was simply the best we have had in the city and finished with the most beautiful latte art – something that never fails to impress us fledgling barista nerds. After reading the Egyptian-style brunch menu whilst waiting for our coffees, we decided that we had to make time for a trip soon.
Well this month the time came, and despite waiting in a line-up for nearly an hour (we had chosen to visit the morning after Eid) we were finally seated and treated to one of the best brunches we’ve had. Ryan opted for the date and honey grilled cheese whilst I sampled the ‘Cairo Classic’, a plate heaving with fava beans, boiled egg, falafel and feta. We already have plans to return and tuck into their extensive sandwich menu…
Moving into our new apartment. You know how in last month’s round-up I was moaning about how impossible it is to find a place in Toronto? Well, I still stick by that but by a massive stroke of luck we finally moved into our own digs this month. Ryan was contacted by our new housemate on the Bunz Housing app (a must-have for any Toronto apartment hunter) and we moved in the day our final Air Bnb rental was up.
The apartment is in one of our favourite areas, Leslieville and an easy walk to work. We wasted no time in unpacking and decorating our new room (I am still at a loss to explain where all our clutter has come from) and it quickly felt like home.
Exploring our new neighbourhood. Having moved into our new place we have spent a lot more time in Leslieville and love it more and more each day. We are moments away from the main strip on Queen Street East which is full of coffee shops, bars, gorgeous shops, delis and restaurants. We have been spending Sunday mornings having coffee at Mercury Espresso Bar (our second favourite after Maha’s), evenings playing tennis in the park and taking sunset strolls down the Leslie Street spit for unrivalled views over the city. There’s a lot to love here.
Our first baseball game. Whereas the game itself may not have been a highlight so much, it was great to finally get down to a Bluejays game and see what all the fuss was all about. Tagging along with a Canadian baseball superfan was great as he very patiently explained what was happening to us newbies! We probably won’t be rushing back to a game anytime soon but it was great to experience a massive part of North American culture.
Finally falling in love with Toronto. To be honest, our relationship with Toronto has been rocky. Like any intense relationship, it began with love at first sight which then shifted to frustration as we struggled to settle and regret as we wondered whether this was where we really wanted to be. Toronto doesn’t necessarily depict the Canada you see on postcards. It’s not pretty, it’s not stereotypically Canadian but it is exciting, diverse and constantly changing. It took us a while to appreciate that but now we are settled and have time to sit back and assess how far we have come in this city in just two months, we couldn’t be happier with where we are right now.
Luckily this month has been all about the highs. After an unsettled first month in the city, the stability we’ve had throughout June has been a welcome relief. Long may it continue (touch wood!).
Posts Published This Month
We published a two-parter about our trip away to Cottage Country. It has been a while since we have sat down and written blog posts about single trips we have taken so it was well overdue. Now that we have a more settled work schedule I hope that we can start upping the ante when it comes to blog posts as there’s so much to share from our time here so far.
You can catch up with this months blog posts below:
Most Liked Instagram Photo
This moody shot of Toronto’s skyline came in first place this month. I’ve been holding off posting black and white photos on our Instagram page which has meant that I cull a lot of my favourite photos. However, this month I questioned why I was doing this and came up blank. So here’s to many more black and white photos to come!
Follow us on Instagram here.
Destinations of the Month
Muskoka Region. This whole area is just beautiful. You are completely surrounded by lakes of all different shapes, sizes and personalities. Whether you’re after a peaceful weekend retreat or family-friendly activity packed holiday, there’s something for everyone here.
Leslieville. I’ve already rattled on about our new neighbourhood but I definitely think it should be added to any Toronto itinerary. If you’re looking for a chilled out base close to the city and jam-packed with hipster hangouts then Leslieville is your place!
Coming up next month
We are hoping to get a visit to Niagra Falls under our belts this month which is exciting as well as get involved with as many Toronto events as possible. As summer gets into full swing, the city really comes alive and we hope to throw ourselves in head first!
What have you been up to this month? Let us know via our social media pages or in the comments below!