Explore Toronto with Your Gal Pals

Spring is perfect for a “ladies only” weekend getaway – before school is out for the summer and ahead of the peak season crowds. No matter what you and your girlfriends are looking for, feel like a VIP with these tips for how to have a memorable girls’ trip. By Meghan Yuri Young.

Three women laugh at a coffee shop.

Charlotte — as in Sex and the City — said it best to her besties, “Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.” There’s no better bonding experience than a few dedicated days together with your closest gal pals. Need some inspiration? Here are three itineraries to get you started depending on what you and your girlfriends like.

The Fit Friends

Some people might think it’s crazy to put in any amount of work when on vacation, but others don’t see being active or healthy as work. For the fit friends out there, jogging or cycling around the city while hitting up some of the best healthy spots in town is the way to go — especially if you can keep the sweat at bay with a cool spring day.

Every active day should start with the right fuel and a favourite spot in Toronto for west-enders is The Grow Op. Although it boasts a great menu of delicious sandwiches and salads, the must-have is their acai bowls. It so happens that the Dundas and Ossington area is a great place to run with tons to see and do. Window shop along Dundas West until you hit Kensington Market and Chinatown where you can cool down while browsing second-hand boutiques, grocery stands and more until you’re hungry enough to sit down for lunch. Although there’s a diverse selection, the healthy options abound.

From there, run down Spadina Avenue until you hit Queen West where you can opt into a class at YYoga, which happens to be right near the wellness oasis of Saje, both proudly Canadian-owned businesses. Weather permitting, it’s particularly fun to hit up a patio in the afternoon to do some people watching on the iconic Toronto strip before winding down with a massage at Body Blitz, which is also known for its relaxing and communal waters. End the day with a filling dinner at Fresh!

The Culture Crew

Canada might be young in the grand scheme of things, yet it’s undeniable that there is a wealth of culture here — particularly The Six — if for the diversity of its people alone. It’s hard to visit Toronto and not feel like you’ve also experienced other parts of the world simultaneously. Culture doesn’t just extend to ethnicities but also encompasses the arts, and this city is brimming with it.

Before heading to any galleries, make sure to check out one of the city’s top historical sites: St. Lawrence Market. It’s chock full of incredible sounds, scents and finds including a plethora of places to grab breakfast. Walk around the neighbourhood before hailing a cab to the Aga Khan Museum, one of the newest yet most impressive the city has to offer.

After exploring the carefully designed grounds and curated collection, hop back into a cab to grab lunch at Tabule to continue the Middle Eastern theme. This restaurant is known for its vegetarian dishes, warm decor and welcoming vibe. From there, it can become a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure afternoon. Whether you check out the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), which is home to six million objects and 40 galleries in its collection, or the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and its 90,000+ works of art, you won’t be disappointed.

If you find yourself in that area, take a short walk to dinner at a local favourite, Mother’s Dumplings, and then sip on drinks at Peoples Eatery, an upscale-casual hot spot perfect for an international array of shareable bites as well.

The Luxe Ladies

Some girlfriends are looking to live their best lives while on vacation. With a little bit of adventure and a lot of pampering, visitors can not only experience the best the city has to offer, but also feel rejuvenated while doing so.

The only way to get around the city when indulging is by renting a town car for the day. Black Car Limo is a great service. From there, your driver can take you to Buca for breakfast (or brunch, depending on how luxuriously late you slept in before heading out). Although there are a few locations around the city now, you’ll want to head to the Yorkville one for some serious shopping in the upscale area afterwards.

Spend a few hours walking around Yorkville and then Bloor Street for higher-end boutiques. Before you know it, you’ll be hungry. The area has many great restaurant options including Sassafraz, Cafe Boulud and Brothers, but new favourites include Kasa Moto, a stunning contemporary Japanese restaurant and lounge, and Planta, an upscale plant-based spot.

After satiating the stomach, it’s time for another adventure. Drive south to Billy Bishop Airport to splurge on a heli tour of The Six, something that would definitely be recommended by Toronto’s unofficial ambassador, Drake. With all that excitement and adrenaline coursing through your veins, it’s time to head to the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris at the Shangri-La. The famous Momofuku Noodle Bar is on-location and perfect for dinner or, there’s also Alo if you are lucky enough to secure a coveted reservation at the current number one restaurant in Canada. If you opt to dine at Momofuku, you’d be a stone’s throw away from the last item on this luxe list: ballet or opera at the Canadian Opera Company. What could be more extravagant than dressing to the nines to go a show?

About the Author

Meghan Yuri Young is the editor of her eponymous site encouraging readers to pursue happier, healthier lives through her own experiences. Follow her adventures: Meghan Yuri Young on Instagram.

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