Staycation Essentials

For the next two weeks I am on a Toronto Staycation.  I decided earlier this year that I was going to scale back and do some off the beaten track walking tours, discovering of new neighbourhoods in my hometown and most of all visit Toronto’s finest museums, galleries and attractions at cheap and cheerful pricing.

Before I start on the Essentials of a Staycation, let me tell you how great it is to wake up in my own home, make my own hearty breakfast with tea and being able to lounge a bit before heading out.  I like the feeling of not having to rush and just moving slow after a year of work where I am run off my feet.   I came home a short while ago and warmed up some spaghetti and meatballs I had made last night with a glass of wine.  It’s a good life!

Now onto the Staycation Essentials.  I purchased three essentials which I used today to the fullest.  The three pieces I encourage you to pick up are the City Walks: Toronto, a TORONTO CityPASS and the Moleskine City Notebook:  Toronto.

City Walks: Toronto

50 Adventures on Foot

By Neil Carlson, Maps by David Lindroth

4-1/16 x 5-5/8 x 1-1/4 in; 50 cards, tri-fold intro card, 50 color maps

Published in February, 2008

This deck of cards comes complete with detailed maps and insider information.

Walks include:

The Harbourfront

Queen Street West

The Entertainment District

Toronto Islands

Bloor Street

REVIEW:  I want to be on my feet and walking for the bulk of the next few weeks in Toronto.  There are so many neighbourhoods I want to explore and get to know a little better.  The ‘City Walks: Toronto 50 Adventures on Foot’ is the perfect for my needs.  The cards are a perfect size to slide into my Moleskine and to refer to quickly as I am walking.

Sure TTC (transit maps) are okay but you want quick tips in an easily digestible fashion, The ‘City Walks: Toronto 50 Adventures on Foot’ is your ally and a nice compliment to the TORONTO CityPASS. The CityPASS will put you in key neighbourhoods and the ‘City Walks: Toronto 50 Adventures on Foot’ will guide you to explore further into the attraction’s neighbourhood.

The information on the card is brief; it provides public transportation ideas, excellent hints on cool and off the beaten track cafes and restaurants to check out as you travel from one destination to the next, interesting notes on what you should be observing and shortcuts.  The maps are colourful, a decent font size for review, defined landmarks so you know at a glance where you are and most importantly closest subway and bus stops if you get fed up and want to stop walking.  😉


Toronto CityPASS is a booklet of admission tickets to Toronto’s 5 must-see attractions at 43% off the combined admission price. Save US$ 46.42 per adult and US$ 34.23 per youth, ages 4-12.

Included Attractions:

1.CN Tower

2.Royal Ontario Museum

3.Casa Loma

4.Toronto Zoo

5.Ontario Science Centre

CityPASS booklets are valid for nine consecutive days beginning with the first day of use.

Booklets include one-time admission tickets, detailed attraction information, coupons and a map.

REVIEW:  So as you can see – a really neat and comprehensive way to see a city by using a CityPASS. Plus offering and amazing value for the budget friendly traveler like me.  Speaking to what I mentioned earlier in this post – by using a CityPASS you are introduced to not only the best in cultural activities and exhibits but you can also venture out to off the beaten path jaunts that you wouldn’t necessarily would have been exposed to. The element of surprise whilst travelling makes me happy.

I am planning on visiting the Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma and the CN Tower using my TORONTO CityPASS in the next 2 weeks.  Attractions I have not visited in years and they are in my own city!

Sometimes strictly limiting your research to that of a travel book and internet searches isn’t all that and a bag of chips. Check out the CityPASS next time you travel to a big city. They are currently available in cities such as:

Atlanta | Boston | Chicago | Hollywood | Houston | New York | Philadelphia | San Francisco | Seattle | Southern California | Toronto


Customer Service

1 (888) 330-5008

Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. MT

Sat-Sun, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. MT

Moleskine City Notebook:  Toronto

The City Notebook is easy to use and self-contained. It’s for city travelers who come and go;

occasional and regular visitors – for tourism, leisure, work, culture. It’s also for city residents, as it’s

the pocket-sized pad to accompany new urban lifestyles.

The City Notebook reflects the individual lifestyles of people who are independent and free-thinking.

People who live their lives at a fast pace, always connected, but who can relax and enjoy themselves; people who are creative, and selective in their tastes.

The City Notebook is a perfect companion for those exploring the magic of the city.

The City Notebook is useful in planning a trip, organizing a stay, gathering information, news,

internet addresses. During a trip it’s helpful to note down useful information, personal reflections,

addresses, experiences. In this way you can retrace your journey, revisit memories, exchange

information, and update it for your next visit.

Each 228-page notebook is thread-bound, featuring a black cover, elastic closure, inner pocket and

three bookmarks in different colors.

It includes:

 Key map with the layout of the city

 Subway map

 Zone maps

 Street Index

 Translucent sheets for tracing itineraries over city maps

 City File – a tabbed organizer for food, drinks, people, places, books and 48 adhesive labels for personalize it according to individual preferences

 Detachable sheets for exchanging messages

 Blank pages for jotting down information, recording discoveries and stories

REVIEW:  I own quite a few Moleskine notebooks but this City Notebook for my fair city of Toronto is a godsend.  I have a Smartphone but I’m pretty old school.  I like being able to look up addresses in a notebook, I like to write down by hand my thoughts, experiences and most importantly write down ideas to follow up on when I get home.

The compact ability of the Moleskine City Notebook is also helpful.  I don’t want to be carting around a mega backpack in my own city so being able to pop in a lil notebook with a pen is all I need.

The maps are detailed and up to date.  If you don’t want to look like a tourist in your own city, the map sizes are perfect.  For visitors this notebook is for you.  You won’t look like you have a sign that says ‘rob me’ with this discreet notebook.

The 96 page archive with 12 tabs, 76 blank pages, 32 removable sheets for loose notes, 12 translucent sticky sheets to overlay and reposition are the luxe elements to this notebook.  When I am at home I like to dump all of my pieces of papers and notes on the floor and to provide my thoughts with some sense of order.  When I’m on the road this notebook has helped in offering me some OCD comfort.  Everything has a place in this notebook and the pages are so soothing especially when you want to capture all of your thoughts before they are whisked away in the romance of a city moment.

If you are a newbie traveller or a seasoned one like me, Moleskine City Notebook for Toronto is what you need as part of your toolkit to keep your organized, creatively stimulated and focused on the next destination to be conquered.

Check out Moleskine’s other awesome City Notebooks!

2 thoughts on “Staycation Essentials

  1. Sarah Merk

    Hi there,

    My name is Sarah and I’ve been looking for the City Walks Toronto edition everywhere. Chronicle Books published it almost 6 years ago but now they have taken it out of print and I cannot find it for purchase anywhere online. I don’t know if you check this blog but, if so, I would love to know if you’d be willing to either sell second hand to me or, if you really love the item and don’t want to part with it, if you’d be willing to scan them in and send them to me. I would absolutely be willing to compensate you for the trouble! I was trying to buy them online and a retailer JUST sold their last copy one day before I called so it’s really my bad luck. Let me know if you’d consider either option! I’m located in the GTA (Markham) and my email is or

    Hope to hear back from you soon!
    Thank you!



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