Saturday, May 25, 2013

Chinatown - Toronto

Toronto's Chinatown - photo courtesy of City of Toronto

Toronto's Chinatown is a cheap and fun place to spend an afternoon with kids.  There are hundreds of shops and restaurants, all with something exciting for kids (and adults) to see, whether it is knick knacks, exotic fruit, replica swords, traditional Chinese herbs or cheap tshirts.

Checking out the exotic fruit in Chinatown

The restaurants in Chinatown also offer lots of options for budget concious families.  You can get bubble teas, noodle soup of dim sum all for reasonable prices.  Don't worry, for the very picky eaters among us, there is the occasional pizza or Burger King scattered amongst the local delicacies.

Trying some noodle soup in a Chinatown restaurant

Even kids who won't eat the food will usually enjoy the energy and atmosphere as well as the hunt for treasures in the shops along the way.  Lots of the shops in Chinatown are like dollar stores in terms of prices so most kids can find something exciting and new for very little money.  My kids each picked out an "antique" Chinese coin and a pretty fan which cost about $1 each.

Hunting for treasures

Chinatown is pretty close to the ROM, AGO, Eaton's Centre, Kensigton Market and Queen Street.  It is also a streetcar ride away from Harbourfront so it is easy to pair Chinatown with another destination and make a day of it.  You can take the subway to any of College, St. Patrick or Dundas and then make your way west to Spadina which is the heart of Chinatown, or you can take the subway to Spadina and then the streetcar down to College and walk south from there.

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