For Canada Thanksgiving, realizing that I’d get a long weekend, the boyfriend and I took a bus to Toronto!
I’ve never been out east in Canada until I moved to Montreal. Even before moving, the boyfriend and I both vowed to do some traveling during our time here! Since there were only 3 days for us to explore, we decided to visit Toronto.
We took a bus at midnight from Montreal and since it was about a 7-hour ride, we got to Toronto the next day at about 7:30AM. I slept quite a bit on my way there so I was pretty lucky. Once we got dropped off at Downtown Toronto, we went to Over Easy, a quaint restaurant that served breakfast! This place is usually packed, but since we got there so early, it was only us and another table. By the time we were leaving at about 8:30AM ish, the place was getting pretty full.
Our first stop in Ontario after reaching Toronto was actually Niagara Falls. I’ve always wanted to see the falls with my own eyes! We took the GO Train from Union Station to their Niagara Falls station, which doesn’t take you exactly to the Falls. We had a bit of trouble finding the connecting bus, but after we did and it dropped us off at the Falls, it was kind of amazing.
From afar, I was thinking “Oh, okay. That’s a lot of water. Looks cool I guess.” It didn’t look that spectacular. Actually, on the bus, the boyfriend and I were joking about how underwhelming it might be when we got there. We were so wrong.
Up close, the falls were loud and even though we were in a viewing area that was above them, the mist that the cascading waters created was crazy. It felt like we were constantly getting misted!
We had gotten tickets for the Hornblower to get right into the fall’s actions, but we both wanted to explore the entertainment strip first! Our first stop was the Rainforest Cafe.
When I was super young and Vancouver still had a Rainforest Cafe, one of my aunts visiting from Hong Kong took the family there. I recall being terrified of the animatronic animals, and every half hour or so, the whole restaurant would go through a “thunder storm” where all the animals would act up and the lights would flicker on and off to simulate lightning. I remember covering my ears for the entire duration of my dinner with my aunt and I’m 90% sure I cried.
This time around, there was no crying, other than when I saw the bill. Man, they really jack up those prices. The whole menu was in USD, and I think after 1 burger (my boyfriend’s), chicken wings (my meal that I ordered off the appetizer menu), and 1 coke, it came to about $60. Yikes. But it was really cool seeing the Rainforest Cafe again! It felt like one of those themed cafes you’d see in Asia. I’m sure it’s an excellent place to bring the family if you’ve got kids, and for me, it was a fun experience. But I can live without another trip here for quite a while because of the price vs. the quality of food.
When we were done, we went to board the Hornblower. There’s a bit of a lineup to get on despite having tickets. They have to shuttle people up and down these elevators that take you to the docking area, so that takes a while. When they let you on, everyone’s scrambling to get a spot where they can stand on the side of the boat so they can catch the full action of the falls. We managed to carve out a little area for ourselves!
Swipe to see the before and after pics! Warning: you will get drenched after the boat ride.
The feeling of being surrounded on all sides when you get near the falls was beyond words. They were like towering giants, raining down on us. They were beautiful and astounding. I highly recommend going on this short cruise if you go to Niagara Falls. It’s not that expensive—it was about $50 for the two of us in total. But the experience is something that’ll really stay with you! Expect to get wet. The free pink ponchos they hand out barely do anything.
After the Hornblower cruise, we went back to the strip. I can definitely imagine staying a family weekend here! There are endless arcades, museums, and weirdly enough, loads of haunted houses. Pretty sure these haunted houses weren’t only for October. I didn’t know Niagara Falls was famous for haunted houses. My sister had come here the year before, and she had told me this entertainment area felt a lot like Las Vegas almost—except more targeted at families.
Most of these are likely gimmicky tourist traps, but they were still very cool to look at! We didn’t have too much time left before we had to catch the GO train back to Toronto, but we ended up doing a lot of window shopping in terms of checking out the different rides and experiences.
We got back to Toronto at about 10PM and checked in to our Airbnb. We grabbed a super late night dinner at a dim sum place called Rol San that was usually opened till 2AM. Honestly, the food wasn’t bad at all!
It was a tiring but rewarding first day! So glad we decided to head out to Niagara Falls!