Journey Woman

Menopausal Tours

Female-friendly Toronto -- 32 Fabulous Tips

typewriterEvelyn Hannon

In a recent newsletter we asked members of the Journeywoman Network to tell us what they liked best about the city of Toronto. We heard back both from women living in the city as well as those who have visited for business or pleasure. Each and every submission had something interesting to offer -- tips on favorite restaurants, b&b accommodation, tiny shops, secret discoveries and fun things to do. We've started with a listing of 32 tidbits. There will be more to come so don't be disappointed if your advice hasn't shown up yet

BONUS TIP Medieval Times Dinner & Entertainment...

My six year old grandson, Jay dreams of being a knight in shining armour. He fuels his passion with books, costumes and pretend foam swords. This year as a special treat I took him to a performance of Medieval Times for a matinee of 11th Century 'fun, feasting and fighting.' We arrived, as requested, an hour before the performance where we were introduced to regal King Alfonso and his beautiful daughter, Princess Esperanza. Jay and I donned blue paper crowns that corresponded to the color of the knight that would be our hero for the afternoon. That meant we would cheer for him every time he made an appearance; we would also boo as loud as we could when other knights of any other colour came into view. During the pre-show orientation performers did an excellent job of interacting with guests (young and older) addressing us always as 'My Lord' and 'My Lady'. There were plenty of photo opportunities, time to browse for medieval memorabilia and the option to be knighted by the king in honor of a special birthday or anniversary. I requested that Jay be knighted for 'special bravery' and I don't think he'll ever forget donning the velvet robe, kneeling in front of the king and being touched on both shoulders with the huge sword. There was an added fee of $20.00 for this ceremony (worth every penny) which was recorded by the court photographer for posterity and already up on Jay's wall. Soon we were invited into the arena for the royal feast of chicken and ribs served on pewter plates and eaten with our hands (a little boy's dream situation). The show was everything I expected it to be: colored lights, passionate music, prancing horses and brave knights in battle gear, jousting, javelin throws and sword fights designed to keep us constantly entertained. The time flew by as we cheered and boo-ed and then cheered some more. When the show was over, my young grandson said, 'Awesome. This was the best adventure ever.' Grandma's mission accomplished!

Hurray for multiculturalism...

Type 1 Toronto is one of my favorite multicultural cities. You can take a "trip around the world" by visiting Greek Town on the Danforth, Little India on East Gerrard, Little Korea on Bloor West, Chinatown (one of the largest in Canada) on Spadina Avenue, Little Italy on College West and Little Portugal on Dundas West.

And, Carol Davies has a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in the Annex Area on Madison Avenue (Annex House) where you receive all the comforts of home in a huge and wonderful old house in a safe neighborhood. The Madison Pub just down the street invites students and neighbors alike to enjoy the draught and comfort food in warm and cozy surroundings. Address: 147 Madison Ave. Tel: 416. 920.3922.
Gloria, Waterloo, Canada

Discounted shoes and boots...

There's a wonderful little neighborhood shop (903 Bloor West) called Joe Singer Shoes that happily discounts brand name shoes and boots. I always find friendly service and up-to-the-minute styling at very reasonable prices in this neighborhood hideaway. Believe it or not, they even have a website so you can check their specials before you leave home. -
Evelyn, Toronto, Canada

Duck's feet to steamed veggies...

The city of Toronto has a huge and thriving Chinese community. One of my favorite eating places in Toronto is the Imperial Palace on Dundas Street, just east of Spadina in the heart of Chinatown. It is a second floor Dim Sum restaurant (about the size of a soccer field). Few, if any, of the customers or waiters speak English, but don't let that stop you. Come with an open heart and an open mind, because you really don't know what you will find there. I've experienced everything from steamed veggies to boiled duck's feet. It was a culinary and cultural delight!
Jessie, Troy, Michigan, USA.

CN Tower appeals to young and old...

The CN Tower is tall -- very tall -- 1,815 ft. tall. In fact, it is called 'the tallest building and free-standing structure in the world.' My young grandson, Josh is mesmerized by it. I took him to visit in the wintertime when snow swirled round the observation deck. He loved being (in his words), 'high up where the snow comes from.' In fact, he was intrigued by everything in this structure so we visited again in the summertime. This time the sun shone and we could see for miles from the observation deck. Josh even claims to have spied a pirate ship in the water below. When I asked what his two favorite CN Tower experiences were, he listed: (1) going fast and looking out the glass front elevator (so quick it takes only 58 seconds to get to the observation level) (2) standing on the glass floor in the tower (he actually described it as 'walking in the sky). Josh was braver than I was. When you stand on that glass floor, you can see over 1,000 feet straight down. Yikes! Plan on at least a few hours visit here. There's also a movie on how the tower was built, a motion simulator ride, and a marketplace offering up more CN Tower souvenirs than you can possibly imagine. Too bad Josh isn't old enough for sophisticated dining yet. Maybe next year we can go back to enjoy the 360 Restaurant together. P.S. This place is very popular so waits can get long at peak times. I suggest you avoid the weekends. If you can't, try showing up early (10:00am) or after 4:00pm. Address: 301 Front Street West. Website: Email: Tel: 416.362.5411
Evelyn, Toronto, Canada

Travellers will enjoy this tiny museum...

I'd like to suggest a lovely little hide-away spot in Toronto -- the only museum in Canada exclusively devoted to the collection, exhibition, and documentation of textiles from around the world. The Textile Museum of Canada, one of the city's lesser-known museums offers a unique cultural experience that most female travelers are sure to enjoy. Visitors will find a blend of interesting hands-on exhibits along with gorgeous, innovative wall hangings. The museum (with tiny jewel of a gift shop) is hidden downtown near the Greyhound bus station and is well worth a jaunt "off the beaten track." See their website for more details:
Stephanie, Ottawa, Canada

She eats out for less...

Try to time a visit to Toronto around their "Summerlicious" or "Winterlicious" programs. This is a gourmet's delight -- a time when you can have a great three course meal at any number of fine upscale restaurants around town for a very reasonable price. All of the restaurants and the special menu they offer are listed. You can get lunch for $10 or $20 and dinner for $20 or $30 and it's fabulous. Happy eating everybody!
Sonia, Toronto, Canada

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