Canada: Five Cities, Five Days

By Alan Muraoka for PASSPORT Magazine
Toronto, Canada
Toronto, Canada (Corbis)

Day Two found me in Toronto, Canada's largest city. As I live in a sprawling metropolis already, I decided that the only way to compare my New York existence with this one would be to spend the day doing what I normally do in a big city: dine at a nice restaurant, go shopping, and take in a flick. So after checking into my hotel, the Fairmont Royal York (100 Front St. W.; Tel: 416-368-2511), I hightailed it over to Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner (111 Queen's Park; Tel: 416-362-1957). Located on the third floor of the Gardiner Museum, this vaulted-ceilinged, glass-encased restaurant offers up tapas-sized dishes that Chef Kennedy describes as "Canadian interpretations of international classics." Specialties include Hopper (a Sri Lankan crepe made with rice flour and coconut milk) with curried fish, and wild boar terrine with cider glaze.

Next, I needed a little retail therapy. So off I went to the upscale department store, Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor St. W; Tel: 416-922-2333). With nine locations throughout Canada, its high-end designer merchandise is on a par with Barney's New York or Fred Segal. Since I was only playing the role of jet setter, I really couldn't afford this pricey couture. So I just browsed and gladly accepted the free samples from the men's cosmetic counter.

With the meal and shopping out of the way, the only thing left on my hit list was the entertainment. Wouldn't you know that I made it to town just in time for the Toronto International Film Festival. Being the hooked up jet setter that I am, I was able to snag a VIP seat to one of the premieres. As I strolled past the paparazzi and crowds to settle into my seat, I thought that the only thing that would have made this moment any better would be to have a Kit Kat bar and some Peanut M & M's, the items I usually sneak into the theatre to save on the price-gouging concession stand. I didn't want to blow my faux riche cover, so sadly I went snackless. Ah, the sacrifices of the upper class.

Published: 11 Aug 2008 | Last Updated: 1 Apr 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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