Soon my oldest will be starting high school, growing busier with school and social commitments. With Mother’s Day around the corner we decided to spend the day together, tourists in our own backyard. Ecco Shoes offered to keep us going during our Toronto walking tour.
With a CityPass in hand we planned our route the night before. Starting North at Casa Loma to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and down to Ripley’s Aquarium and the CN Tower. All four destinations were easily accessible by Toronto’s subway system.
We donned our Ecco shoes, ready for a mother-daughter urban adventure. It’s easy to assume sneakers would be ideal for a walking tour, like Verity’s floral slip ons; however, the brand is about comfort in all their footwear so I tried something a little different.
Fingers crossed that my fee would survive a day of walking around Toronto.
We put together a little video of our #EccoLovesMoms walking adventure here:
I think the last time I visited Casa Loma was when over twelve years ago. I forgot about the secret passages ways, separate servant staircases in the walls and the tunnel underground from the house to the stables. Of course there are a number of grand rooms and ground but the mysterious areas are always more intriguing. And if you’re interested in learning a little about the home’s history, the free audio guide will help.
From Casa Loma we discovered the Baldwin Steps, sighting the CN Tower from the top. We walked down the multiple steps, following Spadina down to Dupont subway station, and encountered some great street art too.
Second stop was the Royal Ontario Museum. Not a new spot for us, having slept with the dinosaurs and traveled to Pompeii but there’s always something new. We put our shoes to the test, visiting the four floors, exploring the totem poles and the exhibits found in the Staircase of Wonder. No elevator rides here. And the Museum stop is another creative subway station endeavor. Not all your new discoveries have to be above ground.
After we navigated through the Union Station ongoing construction, we worked our way to the Skywalk toward the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium.
My kids have been to the aquarium a few times but this was my first visit. Thankfully having a CityPass meant we could forgo standing in line since it was very busy on our Sunday afternoon visit. The backlit aquariums and dim lights gave you a feeling of being underwater. The large jellyfish tank was especially impressive, like a large piece of art. Ripley’s Aquarium obviously planned it this way as they included a seating bench across from the jellyfish alcove.
No surprise, kids (and adults) will want to get up close to the various fish, especially the sharks, found in Dangerous Lagoon. To avoid people “hogging” the viewing area and giving everyone a front row seat, Ripley’s has built-in a slow moving sidewalk through the tunnel. This is the closest you’ll get to scuba diving as you pass under fish swimming beside you and up and over you.
As you exit the lagoon you enter the more interactive area of the aquarium, with pods to touch stingrays, play with water flow and enjoy a water themed playground.
The best way to end our Toronto walking adventure had to be a trip up to the viewing platform of the CN Tower. No matter how many times I stand at the top of the tower, I’m in awe by the view.
It’s hard to believe we squeezed in so much Toronto fun in one day, from 9:30 a.m, until 5 p.m., covering 13,000 steps (over 9km) of walking in our Ecco shoes. And we were still walking in the end. If my shoes can put up with that kind of action, imagine how well they’ll deliver on a regular day. Join in the conversation by following the tag #ECCOLovesMoms on twitter and instagram.
When’s the last time you were a tourist in your own backyard, exploring what your city and neighbourhoods have to offer?