5: Places in Toronto


I am in Toronto this weekend with the Design League at CMU. We’re going on a bunch of tours of design studios here. It’ has been great to see a variety of businesses. We left on Thursday at 2am, drove all night until we arrived  at 9:15 am (thats right, the same day) and started touring. We wee all so tired. Even when the firms were interesting, it was painful and impossible for everyone to stay awake. It was not ideal, but that’s what happens when you try to cram everything in a weekend. :)

So far, Blok has stood out as a heaven on Earth for those passionate about design. We visited today after getting an ok amount of sleep. I think the word “passion” gets thrown around a lot in the design creative field, but the owner of Block, Vanessa Eckstein, talked with this fierce sincerity about her design philosophy that said more about passion for design than I’ve ever heard, despite her calm and controlled voice. She has this intensity and love for her work and studio that I admired. I hope to have a mentor like her someday.

But I won’t bore you, dear friends, with all the details. Here’s are five places i’ve been to so far.


  1. Royal Ontario Musuem (pictured above). We happened to come today and they happen to have a special event on Friday from 7-11:30 where they open up the museum at a cheaper price and have live music, food, and drinks. It was like a swanky party. There were a bunch of young people dressed to the nines. That was all well and good, but because they were all socializing and being loved, I got to pretty much have the museum to myself. Ideal situation.
  2. Chinatown. It was neat, we bought some cheap souvenir and ate a restaurant called Asian Legend that my housemate recommended.  Out of all the very authentic places we passed, I was surprised when I saw it and it looked the most American-ized with a modern atmosphere. He had lived in Shanghai for a time and visits Asia often and he had said it was some of the best Chinese food he’s had outside China. It was really delicious!! We got the chicken dumplings and Shanghai noodles. I’m sorry to say that I’ve never been to Shanghai so I don’t know how authentic it was, but it was delicious. It was super spiced, but it had a delicate and savory taste that made it so much more attractive to me.
  3. G is for Gelato. A divine little shop near our hostel. I was seriously blown away by how good it was. I got the coconut almond and the pistachio.
  4. Which reminds me, we’re staying at HI Ontario. I highly recommend. I’ve stayed at hotels that are much worse than the rooms and facilities here. It makes me think I should be internationally traveling more.
  5. Casa Lomo. A castle here a little north of where we’re staying. We didn’t go in ($20, we’re not made of solid gold!) but we walked around the exterior and it was pretty impressive. It looked so new though, when I think castle I think decaying a little. The windows pretty much looked dual insulated.

Anyway, more adventures tomorrow before we leave at 9pm (and get back at the super safe hour of 3am) At which time I’ll pay dearly for this mid-semester break with piles and piles of homework.As my mom would say “Laugh now, cry later.” (I think I’ve also heard this in a movie, ha). Loving Canada though.

Your Turn: