I had the good fortune to spend some time in Toronto last week to attend the Geneva Centre for Autism Symposium.  It was a great conference, enriching personally and professionally, and of course I had a few adventures!  Nothing too major – I’m long past wild metropolitan nightlife – but a great change of pace nonetheless.

Shortly after leaving gloomy cloudy Edmonton, the plane broke through the grey into a sea of sky!
Nice view, T-dot. (I’m advised that’s what they call themselves.  And they don’t run.  Er, okay but if it’s run or run-over, I’m running.)
Landed, took the train to Union Station, walked across the street to the Fairmont Royal York and…. hit the hotel pub for a bite. By bite I mean cocktail.
The Royal York is quite the hotel. I was surprised it was the accommodation of choice for the conference… pleasantly surprised! It was gorgeous at every turn!
Now that’s a door handle…
For Hagrid perhaps… Such incredible details everywhere.
Lucky bride to have her wedding in such a beautiful place during such a special season!
Each elevator has a stunning mirror – straight out of Sleeping Beauty.
The Rail Station is a little bar that is only open when the bartender is working. I am not sure what she’s mixing but if I’m ever there when it’s open, I will find out!
After day 1 of the conference, I stumbled upon a pop-up sample sale at the hotel! What good fortune!
Racks and racks of dresses!!!!
And a group change room…. when in Rome!
Took home this navy shift for $15 – as good as thrift!
After day 2 of the conference, I wandered down Yonge St. with my niece who’s starting her own young adventure! I loved the window displays!
Such small decorations at Eaton Centre…
Tiny little tree… (this is about half of it)
We hit Holy Chuck for the “3rd best burgers in the world.” I couldn’t rank them, but this Village burger with saganaki cheese was delicious. #healthnut
Truffle Asiago fries. YES PLEASE
Loved all the giant murals. That just doesn’t happen in my town.
Here’s another one…
The other end of the building.
After day 3, my colleague and friend went to the iconic The Second City show! So much fun!
Followed by more good food including Sweet Jesus ice cream. My restaurant advisor was right about this one!
Lemon coconut cream pie in size MINI.
AND I hit up my first TO thrift store, the Kind Exchange – same concept as Plato’s Closet but with a portion of proceeds going to charity. It wasn’t a fruitful stop and my friend overheard the clerks discussing their shoplifting exploits at other stores. Get some new employees, Kind Exchange!
Saturday was the perfect day! Started with a long coffee and catch up with my friend Marcie! Then we wandered to the St. Lawrence Market, stopped in some shops then headed back to the York for Holiday High Tea at the Library Bar!

After tea, we went on a historical hotel tour and were joined by the Red Hat Society ladies!  So sparkly and inspiring!
Then stumbled upon a ballroom dance competition!  So sparkly and inspiring!
We then headed to the Toronto Christmas Market – SO MUCH FUN! It was a warm evening with lights everywhere!

(not my family)
The Thirsty Elf – mulled wine available here! Every market needs one of these!
One of us is naughty and one of us is nice. I think you can figure it out.
On the way home, we stopped in at a quaint little restaurant, Uncle Tony’s and loved the real candles and ambiance (and apparently, others do too because before long there was a huge line).  Check out the mural in the background!
Nothing, just a stealth selfie with the accordion player.

Why don’t I make pear, Gorgonzola and honey prosciutto pizza at home?
The next day, we wandered around the Kensington Market and checked out a few vintage shops… There were some gems like this lovely piece – but I found myself not loving that secondhand scene…
There were beautiful pieces, indeed, but I prefer to sift through the racks and find my own vintage scores (for considerably less).
Cool vibe though.

Thanks for the good time, TO!  Now it’s back to life, back to reality, back to work and using all the great information I learned.

And look, I finally took *THE* blogger photo – my feet and coffee in a bed with fluffy white bedding. (Except my cup is chocolate and it probably doesn’t hold coffee!)  (I miss hotel bedding)


  1. What a cool trip! Drinks, clothes, food, the big city — thanks for sharing!

    • nicole

      Thanks for reading! It was fun – the only thing I missed was a good ol’ fashioned stop at VV Boutique – next time!!