Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I join Travel Massive and hop on the UpExpress to the 905


I have been wanting to expand my blog posts to food outside of Toronto so I decided to hop on the Travel Massive UPexpress and head out to a new venue called The Vue to see what's happening in the City of Mississauga and the City of Brampton.  This event was put together by Tourism Toronto
I really wanted to attend because I have never hopped on the UpExpress or heard of The Vue so I thought it would be a great opportunity to check them out for not other reason than to see what it's like.

Other than my confusing trek through the under construction Union Station to get to the UpExpress lounge before the designated train left at 5:30pm it was a very pleasant experience.  I am assuming that once all the construction at Union Station is finished they will have proper pathways and signage but for now it's best to enter from front street instead of navigating the confusing signage from the subway.  
Even though I rushed from my office to get there in time I was greeted by some very friendly Travel Massive people who handed me a lovely gift bag as soon as I got there.  I didn't even look inside but it smelled good and it turned out to be Balzacs coffee beans from the Union Station Lounge vendor.  

I got there with about 10 minutes to spare and then we hopped on the train to head to the Pearson stop where we boarded a quick charter bus to the venue.  It was a super quick ride, about 15 minutes with a stop at Weston Station and Bloor.  

I have to say that it was so pleasant and comfortable riding the UpExpress.  It's very quiet and the seats aren't jammed in like other modes of transport.  The whole time I was wishing my TTC subway commute was like that.

The only thing I found unfortunate was the view along the way and that it really doesn't go very far yet.  It seemed to go through the ugliest parts of the greater Toronto area from Dundas West construction, old buildings, junk, and industrial businesses.  It would have been an amazing view if it had flowed along the lakeshore.  Note to infrastructure designers.. Plan your route visually if you are going to go above ground to make it more attractive to be on board. But now that Metrolinx has lowered the cost of it to $9 with a Presto card it's kind of a great way to get from Union to the Airport fast and for less than the cost of a cab and no traffic jams.  It's still a bit of a pain if you have luggage because you have to cart it around but if you travel light this is ideal.

Once we arrived at Pearson we boarded a charter bus to The Vue. I am not sure exactly how long it's been open but I don't think too long.  It's a banquet hall that can be used for all kinds of events and it was the destination to showcase restaurants and attractions happening in the Mississauga and Brampton areas.  

Most people think about travelling to Toronto but there are unique and other things to do in Mississauga and Brampton.  The food was provided by a few of the local restaurants and it was pretty delicious.  

Marathi - Chicken Tikka masala
Nobel - Pulled Pork sliders
Corso - Ceviche
Acer - Sushi and Make rolls 
From these tempura asparagus, Thai noodles to the Ice Pops below.  
All fantastic and worth seeking out restaurants outside of your typical Toronto spots.

Some of the attractions and events that were showcased at The Vue were:

  • Brampton Battle Archery 
  • Treetop Trekking 
  • Signifi 
  • Stryke Target Range 
  • Carassauga 
  • Be Relax Airport Spa 
  • Woodbine Entertainment Group 
  • Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre 
  • Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East 
  • Plaza Premium Lounge 
  • iFLY Toronto Indoor Skydiving 
  • City of Mississauga 
  • City of Brampton 
  • Streetsville BIA 
  • Port Credit BIA 
  • Ontario Summer Games 

There really are a lot of interesting things you can do that you can't do in Toronto.  I have been wanting to go to Carassauga for a long time because as a  child my mother would bring me to the Toronto version around various community centres and churches to experience everything about other cultures from the food to the crafts and dances.  That's where I really developed my curiosity about other foods and how other people live.

I am not an axe throwing kind of person but I could see this as a good team building event for a company after a large stressful project.  Also the IFly skydiving looks so fun. I would like to do this one.  It's sky diving without the scariness of getting kicked out of a plane.
There will also be the upcoming Summer games and there is also the year round Racetrack and gambling at Woodbine.

If you are skipping the U.S. road trips this year because of the high cost of gas or just the time to get away is just too hard to do then this might be a great way to feel like you are taking a mini vacation. Get on the UpExpress from Toronto and go and explore Mississauga or Brampton and stay overnight and you will have that vacation feel without the travelling hassle or the added expenses.
Or bring visitors to the city to these destinations to show them something different than the CN Tower or Niagara Falls.  Everyone knows about them.. show them something most people in Toronto don't even do very often.

Food writer - Mary Luz Mejia

Tourism Toronto.

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