Hang on; let me change my Spotify to some Drake.
Whatever you call it, Toronto is a call city that you should visit. For the last leg of my return flight, I found an Air Canada flight that had an 18 hour layover in Toronto. I had never been to the Great White North, so I figured it would be fun to check it out.
It was a long, weird flight from Beijing: 12 hours long, flight path up to North Pole, and crossing the International Date Line. I left China at 6:45 PM and arrived in Canada at 6:35 PM on the same day. I unfortunately did not sleep, but I did get to watch some movies. So I guess that is a win. Visa process coming into Toronto is even easier than America. Sadly, I didn’t get a passport stamp. I guess I have to figure that out. All in all, I was through in less than 10 minutes from plane to baggage claim… Then came the wait. 80 minutes later my second bag showed up. I don’t understand how PRIORITY BAGS get delayed that much.
As it turns out, I had a lighter that I had purchased in Azerbaijan as a gift in my bag, empty. China was not going to allow that. They stripped my whole bag and opened presents to remove that lighter. I guess their version of TSA is just as worthless and annoying.
I grabbed a cab and headed to the Westin Harbour Castle. I decided to give SPG a chance, now that they have merged with Marriott. I honestly was a little underwhelmed. I arrived with multiple bags to see that no one was outside to help. I walked up to the Platinum Desk and set my gear down. Some lady at the far counter finally yelled over to drag all of my stuff to her counter. It is a small thing. But when you are paying the kind of money these hotels charge, you come to expect some level of service. Finally a lady came to the counter to check me in. I ordered a wake up call and a metered taxi for my ride to the airport the next day. I went up to the room to find a pretty good space. The area was sizable, and the view was pleasant. The bathroom was beyond dated.
My first stop was C’est What. It is a lovely little brewpub near the hotel. I enjoyed a nice flight of their beers and an order of poutine.
After that, I drank some more of their local beers. The bartender was pretty cool. I feel like that spot would be my go-to if I lived closer.
Next I made my way over to Bar Hop Brewco. The bartender was hella cool, and the other two waitstaff girls were fun and cute. I odered the pork cracklins and walked my way through the rest of the Canadian beers. This spot gets busy, and it is a blast. I strongly recommend it.
After closing time, I went outside to hang out with some locals. They were very fun people. I was getting tired, so I grabbed an Uber and headed back to the hotel.
So I guess I forgot to close the curtains before I fell asleep. I woke up to a majestic sunrise.
Since I was awake, I went ahead and grabbed breakfast… this annoyed me… They charge like $30 for breakfast?
Apparently, I missed my wake up call. As I got back to my room there was a cop, the manager and a security guard. So… if you are platinum and miss your wake up call, they do a full wellness check to make sure everything is okay. WOW.
After a shower, I grabbed my stuff and went downstairs to catch my taxi. Turns out she never ordered a taxi to come pick me up. The guys out front tried to upsell me on a limo ride to the airport. Such a scam.
I don’t know why I always made so much fun of Canada. This place was pretty great. I definitely need to return. The Westin was in a good spot, but I couldn’t recommend it to anyone else.