Getting pumped about Toronto

It’s begun. I’ve started a countdown to our glorious return to Toronto. Lists are being made, clothes and household items are being sorted into keep/donate/sell/burn piles, and the frantic thoughts of whether we have all our things sorted to move back have settled in nicely and act like a nice warm hug full of crazy. Australia has been lovely and beautiful and we’ll miss it dearly, especially all the friends we met here, but I feel it’s time to head back home.

I’m going to ignore the insanity and frustration that goes with moving house, let alone moving house to another country. My mind is focused on the most important thing about moving back to the GTA.


  • Tim Horton’s
    Tim Horton's tea and my favourite doughnut Image:

    Tim Horton’s tea and my favourite doughnut

    A true Canadian classic. I’m not a coffee drinker but I can totally get behind Tim Horton’s steeped tea. I like tea that I can sip right away and don’t have to wait for. I’m a busy person with busy person things to do and don’t have time to wait for my tea to steep. And why am I paying for hot water and tea that I have to steep myself? If I wanted to steep my own tea, I’d do that in my kitchen for free. Pffffff. That’s just how I roll. I like Timmy’s because they steep it for me and put way more sugar in it than I normally would at home but hey, when in Rome! Did I mention I love doughnuts! I love doughnuts! I was extremely sad to hear that Timmy’s would be retiring some classics. One of them was my Dad’s favourite and I sent him a condolence card and a listing of all the local stores that still carried the remaining few. For his sake, I hope doughnuts freeze well.

  • California Sandwiches
    A delicious California Sandwich Image:

    A delicious California Sandwich

    There was a California Sandwiches location near the place I use to work and every now and then I would treat myself to a veal with cheese on a Friday. The only thing stopping me from eating there five days a week was my neurotic, evil brain making me think that I was going to become their Norm from Cheers and as soon as I walked into the restaurant, people would think “geez, she’s here again? Gross.” Luckily for my pants (which never split) and my self-esteem, that didn’t happen. I tried to wean myself off of these delicious foil-wrapped, fried sandwiches (sorry, “sangwiches”) and suffered through salad after salad and tuna with cucumbers or tuna with olives until I broke the habit. Salad and tuna sucks compared to California Sandwiches. To explain what a CS is to someone who has never tried the delicious breaded and fried veal (chicken, steak, eggplant, meatball, sausage or veggie) cutlet, smothered in a delicious tomato sauce and topped with provolone cheese, sweet or hot peppers, sautéed onions or mushrooms, it might sound a little basic and maybe even boring. But when you get every component right, from the crispy coating of the tender veal cutlet, the right acidity and sweetness of the tomato sauce, the right amount of hot peppers that won’t put you out of commission for a day and team it with gooey cheese (and a Brio)… its heaven. I can’t talk about this anymore. I’ve got a few more months before I can reward myself with one of these and this is torture.

  • Fuzzy Peaches and Swedish Berries
    Maynards' Fuzzy Peaches Image:

    Maynards’ Fuzzy Peaches

    I’m more of a savoury foods person but every once in a while I’ll crave something ridiculously sweet. Something like Maynards’ Fuzzy Peaches or Swedish Berries. I have and will eat an entire bag of Swedish Berries. If you put money on it, well then challenge accepted. I’m hoping to finish an entire bag of Fuzzy Peaches but will have to work my way up to it. That’s my Olympic dream.

  • Poutine
    Gourmet poutine Image:

    Gourmet poutine

    It’s not an everyday meal option for the GTA like it is in Montreal, but it’s a damn good one if you can get your hands on it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with poutine, it’s French fries with gravy and cheese curds. Again, it doesn’t sound that appetizing but done right and it’s amazing. When we left for Australia it had already cemented its place on trendy menus with luscious, high-end ingredients like butter-poached lobster and foie gras. We hacked out our very own version using frozen McCain Super Fries, instant St. Hubert Gravy and real cheese curds we found at Loblaws. Ghetto? Oh, you know it! I’m not going to say it was one of our proudest moments, and we ate it without making eye contact with each other but it satiated that salty, squeaky cheesy, gravy on carbs craving. Yummers!

  • Loblaws
    President's Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie

    A classic: President’s Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie, Image:

    I dig food. I dig good food. I dig making good food from scratch. I dig not paying a lot of money to make good food that I dig. I could go to the trendy gourmet supermarkets and pay 30-50% more for the same item but I’d rather go to a place where I know I can find affordably-priced items, right next to some bargain gems. Enter Loblaws. Oh how I’ve missed your flyers, Insider’s Report and commercials! You had me when I first tasted a Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie and saw Dave Nichols and his “Memories of …” commercials. I’m looking forward to meandering up and down your wide, neatly arranged aisles, taking my time to check out your frozen hors d’oeuvres, classic President’s Choice products and your new PC Black Label lineup. I might rent a space on the second level and camp out but don’t worry, it’s cool … I’m not weird.

Oh, right. So I forgot my family and friends might read this so for sure you guys are number one and up there on my list of priorities. Family and friends outrank food and I am absolutely not saying that to get a My Super Sweet 16 kind of welcome home party. That would be lame (but secretly I’m really hoping for one).

What foods do you adore from the GTA?

12 thoughts on “Getting pumped about Toronto

  1. This blog post was such a treat to read! Living in the GTA we take all these things for granted.. I mean timmys is always there when I need a dose of French Vanilla. Welcome back (whenever you are back) 😀

    • Thanks Aisha! It’s funny how we take certain things for granted when they’re around us and available all the time. We’re heading back in June – just in time for the weather to warm up 🙂

  2. jefflemoine says:

    I must say that the most delectable thing for me in Toronto has to be the abundance of Thai or Indian cuisine. Although I am sure the like is available down under, but there is something about the variety of places in the T-Dot that make it exceptional! Happy early welcome home!

    • Culinary diversity hasn’t really picked up in Brisbane. Toronto and the GTA really do have an abundance of these types of restaurants – Caribbean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Ethiopian, you name it, they got it!

  3. I felt the same way when I was coming back to Canada (not necessarily the GTA) after a long time away. For me, it was proper chocolate milk and hamburgers served without beet root and a fried egg on top.

  4. I’m already craving all of these foods, and I can get them (aside from that awesome looking California sandwich!) within a block. There really is something about Canadian food… A good burger or poutine choice on a menu are always solid options. What is your date to move back? PS: they FINALLY restocked the “original” Tim Tams at my grocery store…so as soon as I get that cup of tea…

    • We’re planning for a late May/early June return and it can’t come soon enough. After posting this I couldn’t stop thinking about all the great food in Toronto. Such a great city to live in or near. I think it influences a lot of our culinary experiences even if not directly in the core of the city.

      I just stocked up on Tim Tams. Helps that they’re on sale 🙂

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