Toronto is pretty great – not that I’m biased…
Our home base does some things really, really well… for example, the restaurant scene. Brunch? Not so much.
I can’t understand why. Everyone loves brunch. It’s the perfect excuse to indulge and say yes to ohhhh, I don’t know, an unlimited milkshake offering? (Not that I did that in London and wish I could do it every day for the rest of my life or anything).
In places like Dubai where alcohol is the power behind the brunch scene, you may want to make it an occasional activity rather than a routine.
But the point is, if I’m knee-deep in pancakes in the burgeoning Seattle morning scene, or nibbling at Claus Paris (they make Sunday’s sexy), there are cities that have stolen my heart with a brunch culture that’s not stuffy . *Hands notes over to Toronto*
Knowing this, I’m usually on the hunt for a new brunch spot in Toronto. And since my tolerance for our city’s standard one-hour wait is low, I was thrilled to find out that Casa Loma was doing a reservation-only Mother’s Day brunch.
Mother’s Day Brunch
This famous Toronto landmark, the “House on the Hill”, dates back to 1911 when an ambitious businessman dreamed up the romantic castle – and is it EVER dreamy.
Just be prepared – it’s busy – they host over 350,000 visitors a year. I personally love their Halloween party, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s “Symphony in the Garden” and their escape room series!
Making our way to the entrance, amidst the chaotic walk through the crowds, we’re warmly greeted and handed a flower before being escorted into the stately elegance of the castle’s “Library” or “Conservatory” room.
My mom and my dear friend, Mireille, spent the day catching up over strawberry mimosa’s while we gawked, wide-eyed in awe of the splendour that is Casa Loma.
After brunch, you’re also welcome to channel your inner explorer and delve into the castle’s twists and turns at your leisure. Because when is a hidden tower ever a bad idea?
Over brunch we spoke about how fortunate we were to be in each other’s company. Not everyone will sit across from their mother on the second Sunday of May. For some, it’s an emotional time of loss for the mom they never had, no longer have or can’t have. For others, motherhood may not have come easy or circumstances wouldn’t allow it to be. It’s because of the mother I have that things like this cross my mind.
To all the moms, those who are inspired by moms and the moms-to-be, I hope each Mother’s Day is filled with love. Your role is powerful and you are appreciated.
Thank you to my mom, Mireille and our gracious hosts at Casa Loma for an incredible day.
A Note: My Mom
My mom taught me that true empathy is rooted in humility. Something I attribute my success and resilience to.
My greatest champion, an endless supporter and my biggest fan. She faced challenges as a single mother. At best of times she didn’t have the means to provide me with the ‘luxuries’ other kids had, but she always gave me a firm foundation of unconditional love.
She instilled in me a priceless ability to exercise emotional intelligence. It’s an intrinsic ability for self-awareness, introspection, and motivation. I’m encouraged to walk on my journey, because it’s mine to take. The beauty is that I know she is there if I get lost along the way.
She teaches me not to miss an opportunity to tell someone what they mean to you; don’t miss a chance to build someone up – you may be their only champion that day or in that moment. Because often live today like it’s just another day and tomorrow we can try again, but there is no guarantee.
My innate ability to look on the bright side isn’t a delusional mentality; it comes from witnessing her appreciate little moments. Not many can find magic in a good parking space or handing a stranger a compliment, but she does.
Thank you, mom.