Even though I visited Vaughn, Markham and Ontario, Canada earlier this year for a wedding, I was fortunate to have visited Ontario again for a work trip, and this time I really checked out Toronto aka “Queen City,” “T-Dot,” “T.O,” and “The 6ix,” term coined by a well-known native, Drake.
A client of ours was hosting a listening session event for his upcoming project which gave us the motivation to take a trip. On the road we stopped to grab food, bought gas, blasted music loudly, listened to some Steve Harvey Morning Show pranks with Nephew Tommy, as well as interviews from The Breakfast Club.
As soon as we passed the Ambassador Bridge, I knew we were soon approaching the border. We handed our passports over to border patrol, answered a few questions and soon were on our way to Toronto and surprisingly, we hadn’t gotten searched.
After a long seven hours and some few minutes later of driving from Chicago, we finally arrived at our Airbnb condo on Mercer St., located in the heart of downtown, Toronto. The two bedroom/two bathroom condo was beautiful with a breathtaking view of the CN tower to stare at all day.
After adoring the condo and the view, we began our night life by heading to Soho House Toronto. My boss is a member of Soho House all over the country and she’s made it a habit to visit every location in the world. I was just lucky to have been her guest. We enjoyed the ancient antique and vintage feel of the building, but size wise , the Chicago location was bigger.
I indulged in some margaritas and my boss and I met a very cool person, DJ Romeo (Don’t Forget The Name), he’ll tell you that himself. He was just the perfect person we needed to show us the ins and outs of Toronto. We were night tourists passing through Queen St, King St. and Adelaide St., looking at big monuments of the city. The city itself has that Chicago vibe, with tall high rise buildings and shops everywhere. We also visited the famous TORONTO sign, next to the water fountain.
The night lights gave the city a new different perspective for us. The following day, we got ready for our main event at the Analogue Gallery on Queen St., lots of interesting people came by, admiring art and witnessed our client, Lord Haiti showcase his beat-making producing skills, and DJ Earn Money woo the people into the building with his EDM, rap and house mix.
After several networking and meetings with our new Toronto friends, we learned that people come out to party and play no earlier than 10pm. We met a bar owner and a fellow Nigerian, who hosted us for the rest of the night, by taking us through the back door VIP style to a reggae club, named Cold Tea. The intimate, almost secretive location was located in the Kensington Market district. That area had several graffiti and art on every block, which gave the neighborhood a unique character of its own.
We partied, drank and ate some vegetable dumplings, and the whole experience put smiles on our faces. We even considered moving to Toronto. The next day, DJ Romeo recommended an eatery called Dirty Bird, which was also located in Kensington Market. The food was delicious. I ordered the waffle and chicken with Caribbean jerk sauce which made the whole meal tantalizing.
The food was so good that when we met the owner, he gave us an invitation to the grand opening of the same restaurant at another location. When we arrived the following day, we walked into a live DJ set who played Afro-beats, the line was long and the customer service was amazing. Since Toronto was the city best known for its Maple and Maple syrup, Dirty Bird restaurant was a hit!
Some of my co-workers visited the Bellwood Dispensaries for its edibles and rich plants for smokers, and also visited Drake’s OVO store.
Thankfully our new friend, DJ Romeo, who was a big and well known DJ in all of Toronto, invited us to The University of Toronto, where the #1 Urban Hip-Hop radio show CIUT 89.5FM “The Masteplan Show” takes place. The show broadcasts over 15,000 watts all across Canada and some areas of the United States. I had a blast, doing my job as a Publicist as my client did an interview with the super cool radio station. I enjoyed meeting new people in the music scene and making connections. We also visited the famous Castle, Casa Loma which was huge. I definitely wouldn’t mind living in there.
To end our last day in Toronto, I visited the LA Tour CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, and Rogers Centre, which were all just a walking distance from our condo. We drove past the stage set up of the iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards and even received an invitation to the Remix Project party. (i.e. The remix project is a program responsible for the success of Drake, The Weeknd, Party Next Door etc).
The four days we spent in Toronto was filled with music events and after parties due to the fact that it was the North By North East Festival.
Overall, Toronto showed so much hospitality and beauty, to the point where I’m thinking of going back for the week of the Caribana Music Festival. The Caribana is a festival of Caribbean culture and traditions held every summer in Toronto. All in all, I definitely recommend everyone to visit “the six.” Drake hasn’t been bragging about the big city for nothing.