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24 Hours in Toronto

It was a girls weekend for a handful of our Smarties; personal shopping, high-end boutiques, world-renowned spa services and more make this twenty-four hour itinerary the ultimate treat-yourself getaway.

Trip Notes:

Trip Highlights:

  1. R&R at the Clarins Spa in The Ritz-Carlton.
  2. Private Shopping Experience at The Room.
  3. Lunch at Gusto 101.
  4. Graffiti Alley Tour.
  5. Explore the Queen West Neighborhood.

Where to Stay:

The Ritz-Carlton Toronto

24 Hour Itinerary:

9:00 AM: The Clarins Spa

Start your stay in Toronto relaxed and feeling your best. The world-renowned Clarins Spa in The Ritz-Carlton is exactly where we’re headed first.

We recommend Floating on a Cloud, Ritz’ signature treatment, a 90 minute essential oil foot exfoliation and full-body massage using aromatherapy oils. Drop your bags and melt time away before check-in, the spa opens at 9 AM on Friday and Saturday.

11:00 AM: Private Shopping Experience at Hudson’s Bay’s “The Room”

“Pleasure has no price” says Vesna Vuksan, personal shopper and buyer at The Room. Women looking for only top of the line fabrics, brands, and service, visit the ultra-VIP luxury boutique.

Racks and mannequins draped in the best of Azzedine Alaïa, Giorgio Armani, Hubert de Givenchy and Thierry Mugler, to name a few, decorate the store. While the window shopping can make for a charming occasion on its own, some have the grandeur of an appointment with their very own private style connoisseur in The Platinum Suite, which we’d be happy to arrange.

1:00 PM: Lunch at Gusto 101

A 15 minute drive from The Room, lunch is served in an industrial repurposed garage, au courant with the trendy scene of downtown Toronto. Gusto, meaning tasty in Italian takes a modern twist on Southern Italian food, drawing an impressive crowd for lunch, dinner and cocktail hour, even on a weekday. 

Our recommendations? If “one of everything” isn’t specific enough: Polipo, Calamarata con Gamberi, Diavola, and every drink on the menu is amazing.

2:00 PM: Graffiti Alley Tour

This side street saturated in colorful artwork has become one of Toronto’s more popular attractions, orchestrated by world-renowned and local artists. The alley isn’t very long, making it a fun “on the way” activity while exploring Queen West on foot.

Graffiti Alley begins at 1 Rush Lane.

2:30 PM: Le Gourmand Café

Le Gourmand Café is located at the end of Graffiti Alley, known for their famous chocolate chip cookies served fresh out of the oven. Grab a window seat and people watch while enjoying your coffee and sweet treat.

3:00 PM: Explore Queen West Neighborhood

Named by Vogue magazine in 2014 as the second trendiest neighborhood in the world, Queen Street West is home to local boutiques, patisseries, eateries, bars, galleries and more. Trend-setters and avant-garde fashionistas stroll the streets, lined with beautiful brick buildings of Old Toronto.

7:00 PM: Dinner at Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens restaurant is the chic dinner spot in Kensington Market. The lighting and decor create an intimate setting, perfect for any occasion. Servers are very knowledgeable of wine pairings and items on the sea-food heavy menu.

Our group dined in the Private Wine Cellar downstairs, available to groups of eight to fifteen. We loved the oysters, but everything was phenomenal.

9:30 PM: After-Dinner Cocktails

Experience the Toronto nightlife however you fancy, home to low-key dive bars and popular night clubs.

For a laid-back casual vibe, we recommend PrettyUgly Bar, an intimate dive bar with music changing daily. If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, try Everleigh, with room to dance as well as sit and chat with friends. Feeling like a party crasher? You’ll love the concept of The Addisons, a beautiful private mansion turned house party.

11:30 AM: Chefs Table at TOCA

Take a seat at the Chefs Table, among the liveliness of Ritz-Carlton’s TOCA kitchen. This one-of-a-kind breakfast experience offers custom menus and wine pairings while in the presence of TOCA’s acclaimed restaurant team at work.

Everything on the breakfast menu is delicious. Something sure to please everyone: TOCA Eggs Benedict served with hollandaise, rosti potatoes and sautéed asparagus.

2:30 PM: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

The pampering doesn’t stop at the airport; sit back and relax in Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge.

The lounge is equipped with computers and printers for the weekend warrior, showers, TV’s, and the latest publications. Complimentary food and beverage options are available including beer, wine, coffee and light snacks.

Until next time, Toronto!

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