Spring Break: Toronto and Niagara Falls

The boys had a week off for Spring Break, so we went to Toronto and Niagara Falls. Even though there is still snow on the ground and the temperature is hovering around zero degrees celsius, it’s nice to have most of winter behind us.

The boys love trains, so I took them on a transportation extravaganza. We took 2 different trains, a regional bus, a subway and a couple of city buses. They couldn’t be happier.

Our journey started with taking the VIA train from Ottawa to Toronto. It took just over 4 hours and we arrived at Toronto Union Station just after lunch.

Even though I’ve been to Toronto quite a few times, I have never been to Union Station.

The building is impressive with its grand architecture (a National Historic Site of Canada). It reminded me of Penn Station in New York City and I later found out it’s the 2nd busiest railway station in North America. Other than the VIA train (Canada), it is also the station for the Amtrak (USA train), GO train (Ontario regional), UPS (Toronto Pearson Airport), subway (Toronto area) and a major bus terminal.

We had lunch at the lower level food hall. It was really busy. It looked like a lot of families and university students were also enjoying their spring break. We walked around the building before heading onto the GO train, bound for Niagara Falls.

The GO train is a double decker regional train for southern Ontario. We took the top floor and it was a really nice. It’s spacious, pretty new and clean. It even has washrooms onboard (very important when travelling with kids). Our journey to Niagara Falls was 2.5 hours.

I’m impressed by how extensive Toronto’s transportation system is. I used to take the subway when I came to visit my grandparents when I was younger, but never on the GO system.

We get to Niagara Falls and visit the main tourist attractions in Clifton Hill. We walked around and went to Hershey’s Chocolate World, The Fudge Factory and played some games at the Great Canadian Midway.

The boys had a lot of fun there (especially the Hershey Store). I’ve been there a few times as a child and remember how much I liked it, so it was really great to be able to bring my sons there.

The falls are beautiful and majestic. We’re actually looking onto the American side of the falls, which is in the state of New York.

Spicy tofu soup and kimchi condiments. This is one of my favourite things to eat.

We had a memorable meal in Oakville, just outside of Toronto. There’s a small Korean restaurant called Owl of Minerva and we all agreed the food was really good and authentic.

Dolsat bibimbap: hot stone bowl with rice, beef, spinach, shitake mushrooms and vegetables

We also had a Tonkatsu, a deep fried panko breaded pork chop with rice. Too bad I didn’t get a photo.

I like to take short trips and this 3 day Spring Break getaway was really fun. I took my trusty custom Utility Tote, without the shoulder strap and added backpack straps. I packed very light, so it was just enough room.

I hope you liked seeing the photos and reading about this short trip. I’ll be posting more local and short trips in the coming months, as the weather warms up. Thanks for coming by. -Cat

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