July 22 14

What’s on your travel bucket list?

Come on, I know you have one. 

Mine is filled with all sorts of interesting places to see and visit. Martha’s Vineyard. Israel (with the whole family). Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland. New Orleans. Scotland. Florence. Portland. Northern Ireland. Maldives. Prague. Portofino. Santorini. Krabi. Toronto.

YES. Toronto.

I moved to Toronto in the summer of 1997. So, if you are doing the math at home, well, that’s a long time.

(What? It’s summer…I can’t really expect you do any kind of math)

In that time I have managed to own three homes and birth three babies, but I have never, ever, been to the top of the CN Tower, visited Casa Loma, or been inside The Hockey Hall of Fame.

That’s a thing, right? A thing that they say…that you’re never a tourist in your own city. I have been a tourist in many cities that I do not live in – all over the US and even over in Ireland. Just not at home.

But! Over the last few years we have tried to break that silly cycle with our kids, because (newsflash!) (if we ignore the hideous weather and that pesky little expressway that is literally falling apart) Toronto happens to be a pretty exceptional city.

Occasionally we break the stay-at-home cycle and explore Kensington Market or Pioneer Village or The ROM or The Toronto Islands or Fashion Week or the TIFF or Buskerfest.

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Screen shot 2014-07-21 at 1.47.11 PM

We’re getting better, us suburbanites, who sometimes let life and obligations and traffic get in the way of our exploration.

But then Priceless Toronto and MasterCard dropped an opportunity right in my suburban lap. A chance to explore my city. REALLY take it all in. They are offering packages (and great discounts) that help the tourist or the local tourist eat, play, shop, and stay in Toronto. From enjoying dinner overlooking the city to cruising the lakefront in style to pampering yourself at the spa, there is no shortage of things to do. (And all you need to unlock these awesome packages is your MasterCard. I have one — my husband sometimes hides it from me, though.)

We wanted to do almost everything on the list — except the boats, since I don’t do boats without panic attacks — but since we found ourselves kidless for the first time in years, we chose to save the kid-friendly excursions for another day and we did something totally and completely touristy.

We hopped on to the City Sightseeing Tours double-decker bus in the pouring rain and spent the day stopping and visiting all of its 21 stops, including The Distillery District, Harbourfront, and Chinatown.

We got really, really wet.

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And we got really, really (cloudy and wet) touristy shots.

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And now we can’t wait to keep exploring with our kids.

And I can’t wait to give YOU the opportunity to be a tourist in my city too.

I’m giving away a $100 Mastercard gift card to use on a Priceless Toronto excursion. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling me which attraction you and your family would most like to visit. I will choose a winner at 9pm on Tuesday, July 29th. Good luck!

*updated*

Congratulations Sean B. Pasternak on your win! I will email you today to arrange for gift card delivery. Thank you everyone for entering!

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  1. I would love to finally go to Casa Loma. I’ve driven by it, but never set foot on the grounds, sadly no even when it was part of Open Doors.

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    Comment by Amanda on July 22, 2014
  2. Oooh, I want to do these things when I come to visit!

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    Comment by Kristabella on July 22, 2014
  3. I immigrated to Canada nine years ago this August! I’ve done the CN Tower but absolutely nothing on your list.

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    Comment by Kate on July 22, 2014
  4. CN tower for sure, the beaches, The Royal Winter Fair, to name a few…

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    Comment by Sarah on July 22, 2014
  5. I’d love to visit the Toronto zoo!

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    Comment by Katy holst on July 22, 2014
  6. The sightseeing double decker bus!

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    Comment by Julia on July 22, 2014
  7. Hmmn – maybe one of the restaurants featured? Or really anything!

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    Comment by janet on July 22, 2014
  8. Center Island – we’ve been meaning to go all summer and the time is slipping away.

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    Comment by Joe McPhee on July 22, 2014
  9. After two years living in the city I would definitely have to go to a Blue Jays or a Maple Leaf game (I know, shame on me), explore the Distillery District because rumour has it the beer is amazing, and have dinner at the top of the beautiful CN tower.

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    Comment by Cristina on July 22, 2014
  10. The double decker Toronto tour sounds perfect! Hop on, hop off and see all the tourist attractions we never get to!

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    Comment by Dina on July 22, 2014
  11. Casa Loma. A friend of mine recently went there for the first time and I was blown away by the photos she posted on Facebook! I’ve never been there but think my nieces would absolutely love it (and I would too)!

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    Comment by Suzi on July 22, 2014
  12. Casa Loma!

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    Comment by Christine on July 22, 2014
  13. Anywhere!! Centre island!

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    Comment by Gabriella on July 23, 2014
  14. I would love to visit the Toronto Zoo!

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    Comment by Nicole on July 23, 2014
  15. OK. I want to eat at 360 restaurant. I’ve lived in Toronto all my life, yet have never gone up the cn tower (i’m scared of heights). Food is a great motivator!!

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    Comment by Melanie D on July 23, 2014
  16. My wife just gave birth to our 5th child on July 16th and I would love to send her to the Four Seasons Toronto Spa for a little pampering. She has never experienced a spa day!

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    Comment by Jon Waller on July 23, 2014
  17. Double decker bus? Yes please! Sounds awesome, even in the rain. Or maybe, especially in the rain?!
    I would love to explore Toronto and all it’s sights and sounds.
    Thanks for the chance!

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    Comment by Mrs. Bailey on July 23, 2014
  18. We have a young family so I think we would most enjoy the Toronto Zoo!

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    Comment by Bev on July 23, 2014
  19. I’d love to take the kids to the Casa Loma or Legoland but I know they’ll want to go to the CN Tower for sure.

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    Comment by Maria @BOREDMommy on July 24, 2014
  20. Amazingly enough, I have NEVER been to Casa Loma. I’m almost ashamed to say it! That would be my choice. Thank you.

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    Comment by SUMMER PLEWES on July 25, 2014
  21. I’ve always wanted to spend the whole day in Hyde park. Walk it from end to end and have a picnic there

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    Comment by Mark V on July 25, 2014
  22. I would like to visit the CN Tower or the Toronto Zoo.

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    Comment by Glogirl on July 26, 2014
  23. I would just LOVE to go to Canada’s Wonderland and take the kiddies! :) Thanks!
    Email–> amyjaneheffernan@gmail.com

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    Comment by Amy Heffernan on July 27, 2014
  24. I’d love to see the zoo!

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    Comment by Alaine on July 27, 2014
  25. I have always wanted to visit Canada’s Wonderland. I know my family would have a blast

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    Comment by Belinda McNabb on July 27, 2014
  26. I really really really want to take the kids to Casaloma, as I’ve never been either…

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    Comment by Maria Siciliano on July 28, 2014
  27. My boys would love to go to the CN Tower or Legoland!

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    Comment by Laurie on July 29, 2014
  28. My favourite “tourist” destination in Toronto is Harbourfront. No matter how man times I’ve gone there and no matter what season (okay, perhaps not the dead of winter), there’s always something fun to do there. I’ve been on dates, met friends for drinks, taken my family, even gone for a walk around the pathways – it’s always a different and fun experience.

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    Comment by Sean B. Pasternak on July 29, 2014
  29. I’d love to go back to canada’s wonderland. I haven’t been in years and it has changed so much.

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    Comment by Jenn on July 29, 2014
  30. The most amazing person recently came into my life. We have plans to tour all the places in the city that neither of us has ever been and really experience life in Toronto. A perfect start would be a visit to the CN Tower followed by dinner at 360. That way we can look out over the city and plan out next adventure (and possibly start to tackle a mutual fear of heights

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    Comment by Tara on July 29, 2014
  31. I’d love to take the kids on a harbour cruise- it’s how their Dad and I met 19 years ago! Seeing the skyline from the lake is really incredible!

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    Comment by Heather Oliver-Hamilton on July 29, 2014
  32. I’d take the boys on the harbour cruise and a tour of the island, rent some bikes and show them how cool Ward’s Island is and the amazing beach there. Always wanted to take the big hippo bus. Does the city tour then drives into the water and does the harbour. I love Toronto!

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    Comment by Lindsey on July 29, 2014
  33. Since I now feel like a tourist when I go home, this is perfect for me! I think we’d hit up Canada’s Wonderland. I’d say it’s for the kids, but I loves me a roller coaster.

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    Comment by karengreeners on July 29, 2014
  34. I would follow Rob Ford around for a day. OK, not really.

    I would definitely go see the new Ripleys Aquarium – I have heard such amazing things about it!

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    Comment by Jess on July 29, 2014
  35. I think I would do the zoo

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    Comment by chana on July 29, 2014
  36. Casa Loma, Harbourfront, restaurants, museums…. It really is a great city!!

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    Comment by Dana Prutschi on July 29, 2014
  37. Would like to go take my boy to his first Blue Jay game and have a hot dog and beer (for me, not my kid) at Rogers Centre.

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    Comment by Steve Woolf on July 29, 2014
  38. I would love to take part in the The Best of Canada’s Bounty Comes to Your Plate! This sound to be a great experience!

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    Comment by Bailey Dexter on July 30, 2014
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