The One of a Kind Show

Local artists of all kinds display their wares under one roof at the One Of A Kind Show, Toronto. Held at the Enercare Center, Exhibition Place, Toronto, this event happens twice a year and I got to experience the winter edition this year.  

Names of artists decorated at the entrance of Enercare center

The show brought back memories of my soap making days back in India when I would put up a stall for my homemade beauties. A slew of handmade skin care products was a sensory delight.

Handmade soaps, shampoo bars, body butters and much more

The most strikingly beautiful stall were of the painters from around Canada. Some artists had the most amazing captures of sights from Toronto and i hope to hang one of them in my home one day.

Art on the walls

Hand crafted jewelry was a major attraction here. I know of many people who buy only from select artisan jewelers and their collections are simply delightful. From large and chunky to petite and delicate, there jewelers had them all. 

If you’re looking to add some unique pieces to your kitchenware this might just be the place for you. Creatives dishes and containers made out of all kinds of materials from wood to ceramic to glass. Also, I discovered that you could have dishes exclusively for baguettes. 

A very interesting stall that I came across here was of a man you made fold-able art out of paper. You could buy them as flat sheets in various colors and fold according to instructions and get yourself a pretty little show piece. This guy even had a quaint little Instagram corner decorated with his folded paper art which was quite clever.

Folded paper comes to life

Oh, how could I miss the candles and chocolate stalls. There were so many and boy did I get a sugar rush after trying all those free chocolate samples! The range of aroma candles in regular wax and bees wax for every mood and occasion was mind boggling.  These would make perfect Christmas presents and you may even get some for your home.

Chocolates & Candles

Pop culture references in decor and art was also a hit here. Most of which was not familiar to me but I could understand how these items would make a wonderful collectible or just a funky addition to ones home. 

It’s the Pop

My key takeaway from the One Of A kind Show was the abundance of creativity and appreciation of such talent and skill. It’s a great place to come back to each year to see some unusual and beautiful things.

The Santa Claus Parade 2018

This year’s Santa Claus Parade in Toronto was the largest the city had ever seen and the very first for me! The rush of Christmas-ee joy all around was absolutely amazing. Stunning, creative costumes in every color imaginable.IMG_3109-COLLAGEMarching bands getting their groove on with heart thumping beats.IMG_3113-COLLAGEAnd elaborate displays from corporate and government bodies alike. Everyone from Ronald McDonald to Bumble Bee to Pokemon made an appearance. The grand finale was Santa himself who wished everyone the merriest Christmas.IMG_3139-COLLAGE

UBSS6935-COLLAGEThe crowd had gathered early in the morning with sleeping bags, camping chairs and the works to catch a good view of this 2.5 hour long parade. Good tip to keep in mind for next year. It sure was freezing this time around and since we were not moving around much it was getting more and more difficult to click pictures cause my fingers were frozen. Overall it was a day well spent and I think I’m going to make this my yearly ritual.

The Wonder that is CN Tower

One of the most touristy things to do in Toronto is to visit the iconic CN Tower. Named after Canadian National, the railroad company that built it, the skyline of Toronto is incomplete without it, and so is a trip to this beautiful city.  But for any first timers like me out there let me give you a small piece of advice. Buy the tickets to the tower and Ripley’s aquarium, which is right next to it, online cause it is much cheaper. You can get a package deal which turns out almost half the cost you would pay at the counter. Anyway, back to my little visit. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, right next to the beautiful Union station is the CN Tower built in 1976. Once we stood in line for the security check and the tickets, we were ushered in small groups to the elevator. On the way a bubbly young lady asked us to pose with our friends or family, in front of a green screen. Quick click which will later be superimposed on to the image or the city skyline and a view from the top of the tower. You can chose to buy these pictures on your way out.

So, a quick elevator ride to the Lookout Level at 346 meters about ground. When I said quick elevator ride, I meant it. The speed of the elevator was 22 km/h and took us to the first level in about 58 seconds! These elevators were glass paneled for visitors to see the journey up.

From the Lookout Level I saw the most amazing view of the city. I am a total sucker for views from balconies and high view points.you can take a full round and see the planes landing and taking off from the Billy Bishop airport, the picturesque lake Ontario and the islands, and of course a 360 degree view of the city. It was truly breathtaking! *sigh* This floor also has a wonder restaurant 360, for a revolving dinning experience. Have no fear it revolves very very slow so you can keep your food down.

An additional $15 will take you another 100 meters up to the Sky Pod which again offers an amazing view of the city.

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If you want to feel a bit giddy you may wanna check out the Glass Floor right below the lookout level. A view 342 meters straight to the ground! You really get the real picture when you see the vehicles down below seem like toys and people like ants. But personally I felt it didn’t make me woozy as it gave a very safe feeling of being surrounded by walls and a floor with just a few panes of strong glass.

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But then again there were some pretty interesting reactions from tourists there, some of who refused to look down. I managed to capture another great pose by a little girl who was just not afraid.

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Right next to the CN Tower is the famous Ripley’s Aquarium.  It’s pretty much the discovery channel in there. Underwater creatures from fresh and salt water. There was a separate tank for beautiful sting rays and small hammer head sharks. You can reach into this tank and touch the sting rays! This was a first for me and it was so exciting. The rays here are used to human touch so they really don’t mind coming up to the surface for a little rub. They were so…rubbery and slimy. Of course you don’t wanna offer a rub to the hammer heads for obvious reasons. You could also pay a bit extra to get down into the tank and feed the sting rays some fish bits under expert supervision. There was also a separate pen for the baby sting rays who were just the cutest little things. Not allowed to touch them though.

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From here you take a walk down into the aquarium and visit so  many species of under water creatures from sea anemone, octopus, lobsters, giant crabs, weird looking fish, electric eels, giant potato fish, turtles, jelly fish and many, many more. But the one that made my heart race was the shark, up close and personal. What a majestic, terrifying creation of nature.  Walking through the tube of the aquarium you can get a really good view of the sharks gliding around in the enclosure.

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From the aquarium, you may want to check out the train museum right next to it with some vintage engines and bogies on display out in the open surrounded by the city’s high rise buildings.

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I ended my trip at the Steam Whistle Brewery right next to the trains and tucked into a pretzel, pickle on a stick and some freshly brewed beer. Cheers!

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