Fashion Business graduate Cristina Josephine started her blog Inside My Sole during any spare time she got in college, and the rest is content history. Ahead, she takes us on a tour of her town of Toronto, Ontario, including tips for travelers on the best time of year to visit, where to find the most delish Wagyu Fried Rice, and more Toronto tidbits.
"Home. For me, home is Toronto. Ever since I was little, I wanted to live in the city. After I got married last year, to my amazing husband Michael, we decided to take the plunge and move from our small town, to the city. Yorkville is what I like to call, the boujee pocket of Toronto. It’s known for its upscale shopping, high-end restaurants, and not to mention it has the most adorable architecture. I live for the cobblestone and all of the adorable buildings. It’s a vibe, I swear. "
What to Pack
Toronto experiences every single season, and to the absolute extreme. If you are travelling to the city during the Spring and Fall, you will definitely need a light jacket, and maybe a beanie in case it rains. My go-to outfit is a light knit sweater, mom jeans, and a pair of black booties. If you are travelling here during the Summer, definitely pack a ton of flowy dresses that are made with the lightest fabrics because it gets VERY HOT AND HUMID here! If you decide to experience our winters, don’t forget a parka and heavy-duty winter boots. It doesn’t typically snow too much but temperatures definitely reach well below zero for most of the season.
Where to Stay
Whenever I used to stay in the city before moving here, I used to always stay at The Thompson Hotel. The Thompson is on King Street West, which is the hip and happening part of the city. You’re a short walk from some of the top restaurants, and not to mention your just an elevator ride away from the most stunning rooftop with the best view of the City. There’s also a diner on the main floor of the hotel, so you’re never too far from the best Mac and Cheese in the city. I think it’s time for me to plan a staycation.
Never been to Toronto before? I would totally recommend visiting in the Fall. The Fall in Toronto is short and sweet, but it’s absolute perfection and should be experienced by all. The weather is perfect for strolling around and for exploring the city. Take advantage of renting a bike for a day and exploring. If your focusing on certain pockets at a time, I would definitely explore on foot! If it’s a tad too chilly for that, I would recommend taking the subway throughout your adventure. For $3, you can hop on and off the subway, and freely explore the city.
Tip for First-Timers
I really recommend visiting Toronto during the months of May to November. There is so much you can do in the city and it makes it incredibly difficult to do them when the temperatures are well below zero. No one should have to experience our winters. Trust me.
Something I’ve really enjoyed doing, since before we lived down here, is hunt down the best coffee shops and brunch spots, the chicest boutiques, and the best Italian food you could possibly ask for. Spend 48 hours with me in Toronto- I know you’ll fall in love with it just as quickly as I did.
9AM Pick up a coffee at Boxcar Social. There are 4 locations throughout the city, so you will definitely be able to find one. My go-to location is in Summerhill. Just a short 2-minute walk from the subway, Boxcar Social has turned this two-story Victorian home into a quant spot for a cup of coffee. My go-to order: an oat milk mocha.
12PM It’s lunch time! Kasa Moto is a contemporary Japanese restaurant and lounge. If your visiting during the summer, it’s a must to eat on their rooftop patio! You also really need to try the Vegetable Tempura Roll and the Wagyu Fried Rice. It’s to die for!
Royal Ontario Museum
2PM It’s time to shop til you drop on Bloor St. Just a short 5-minute walk from Lunch, you are sure to find a bunch of goodies on Bloor. From the most luxurious designers, to the more modern brands, there are so many places to experience. I love window shopping in Holt Renfrew, and spending most of my time at Aritzia and Zara. Just try not to break the bank while you’re there!
4PM Squeeze some time in before dinner at the ROM. The Royal Ontario Museum is a fan favourite in the city. With so many exhibits going, there is so much information to drink up. My favourite exhibit has got to be from last year when there was an entire exhibit on Christian Dior. It was very much from my neck of the woods!
6PM Time for you to experience the best Italian food in the city at Trattoria Nervosa. This little yellow brick house has the most amazing pasta I’ve ever had. If you don’t order the “Mafalde ai Funghi”, you are missing out! Make sure to grab a seat early, because this place never has a dull moment and always has a waitlist.
9PM End off your boujee day with a drink at the Dbar in The Four Seasons. This lively bar is the perfect place to go to for a cocktail with company. Don’t forget to get a Charcuterie Board to share. So good!
TIFF Bell Lightbox
10AM It’s time for brunch and thank goodness. Portland Variety is a classic on King Street West. Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner…they do it all. The minute you walk in, your greeted with the fresh smell of muffins from their bakery. If you’re staying in for brunch, the French toast is to die for. I opted for the PV Granola this time around and as usual, Portland Variety did not disappoint.
12:30PM The minute you walk into Oretta Café, you will be in dire need of a cup of espresso and a caprese panino. If you are looking for even more Italian goodness, Oretta has a full-on restaurant attached. With all the pink and marble interior, you will definitely be able to sneak the most adorable picture while you’re there. Do it for the 'gram!
2PM Get your nails done at Her Majesty’s Pleasure- make sure to take advantage of the champagne phone while you’re there! Yes. You read that right. The Champagne phones. Her Majesty’s Pleasure is a salon, spa AND cocktail bar located in the heart of the Fashion District. Everything there is marble and pink. What can honestly be better than getting your nails done with a champagne in hand? Bottoms up!
5PM Guess what? You are directly down the street from A-list celebs. If you are in Toronto within the first two weeks of September, then you need to experience TIFF. The Toronto International Film Festival is one of Toronto’s biggest events of the year. It brings in thousands of celebrities to town to introduce their new films to the world. I highly recommend standing outside of the TIFF Lightbox and experiencing a red carpet. Maybe you’ll meet your future husband, Bradley Cooper.
Her Majestys Pleasure
7PM Experience the most high-end, elegant dinner while in town (and make sure to book a reservation while you’re at it). Jacobs & Co is the raved about steak house in the city. Get a taste of some house-aged steaks while listening to the piano playing in the background. I’ve always had a 10/10 experience at this restaurant, and I know you will too. Don’t forget your wallet at home because this place comes with a hefty price tag and it’s totally worth every single penny.
9PM Time for a drink and a good game of foosball at The Addisons Residence. This lounge-meets-club is the ultimate house party. With a kitchen area, a living room, a rec room, and the best backyard, there are so many parts of this house party to explore. Did I mention $4 drinks before 10pm?