Instagramming … Toronto Life in 2013.

(Last Updated On: February 19, 2020)

2013 was a very transformational year.

At the end of 2012, I’d given up on my expat life in Berlin in order to return to Toronto to start over again. With the old/new life came responsibilities like a full time job, bills and a new apartment. There was also, unfortunately, much less travel.

As expected, the adjustment was tough. There were times that I found myself missing Berlin and life on the road. Then unexpectedly, there were other times when I found happiness from being at home, standing still.

Despite the ups and downs, being at home has been extremely good for me. I like where I am, who I am and am confidently planning for the future. I’m excited about what this new year has in store!

As such, this time demands reflection of the past year so here’s some of my favorite Instagram photos of Toronto life during 2013.

Instagramming Toronto Life

In January 2013, I moved into the St. Lawrence Market area of Toronto. I took this photo on the day I signed the lease to my new rental apartment. It would be my first time living on the East side of the city and I was excited to experience all the neighbourhood had to offer.

Instagram Toronto 1

The new job demanded a crazy-long commute – two hours each way to and from work. I busied myself taking photos from the bus like this.

Instagram Toronto 2

Being home meant being able to revisit old neighbourhoods and favorite spots like Balzacs coffee shop in Liberty Village.

Instagram Toronto 3

In March, I had brunch with a friend who I’d met in Berlin but now lives in Toronto. We strolled around Yorkville on an unseasonably warm day, knocking ice sculptures along the way.

Instagram Toronto 4

Winter was long, and what better way to cheer up the look of my apartment than by decorating it with a fresh bouquet of flowers.

Instagram Toronto 5

At the end of March, Toronto finally saw a nice day. I took advantage of the weather and went for a bike ride along the East Lakeshore.

Instagram Toronto 6

Feeling more settled than I had been in a long time, I opted to add a new addition to the Howard household. Meet Pelé dos Santos, a betta fish who remarkably still lives today.

Instagram Toronto 7

The new job saw me working long hours. I took solace in beautiful moments like this when leaving work one day.

Instagram Toronto 8

Spring finally arrived and I took a late-night bike ride, snapping this pretty dusk photo.

Instagram Toronto 9

June brought a special treat as TBEX, a travel blogging conference hosted in Toronto. I was happy to be reunited with many old friends, including many from Germany. Their presence encouraged me to book a trip to Berlin for a summer vacation!

Instagram Toronto 10

Toronto didn’t really have much of a summer and there were many rainy days like this. Another shot taken on my commute to and from work.

Instagram Toronto 11

Summer did have it’s nice days and I took this photo during another evening bike ride through the city. It’s pretty much my favorite photo from the entire year.

Instagram Toronto 12

Another late night at the office, another stunning sunset.

Instagram Toronto 13

I finally left the city in August to travel to Berlin and took this shot of Toronto as my flight departed.

Instagram Toronto 14

Back in Toronto, it was a beautiful night as I headed to Steam Whistle brewery for a monthly Travel Massive event.

Instagram Toronto 15

In an effort to get to know Toronto better, I took a canoe ride out to the Islands.

Instagram Toronto 16

After taking a baking class at Le Dolci where I learned how to make macaroons, I spent an afternoon walking along Toronto’s rain-soaked streets.

Instagram Toronto 17

Toronto is oh so pretty. I snapped this picture when walking to German class one night.

Instagram Toronto 18

St Lawrence Market, my favorite place in Toronto to buy groceries. As I live right next door to the market, I shop here every week for fresh meat, fish, vegetables, etc.

Instagram Toronto 19

Missing the Christmas markets of Europe, I finally hit up the Christmas market in the Distillery District a couple of times. While not European, it’s nice and has a festive atmosphere.

Instagram Toronto 20

Brookfield Place is always a sight to behold, especially at Christmas.

Instagram Toronto 21

Met up with a friend for brunch one Sunday afternoon at a new German restaurant. When you can’t be where you want, you make do.

Instagram Toronto 24

Celebrating a quiet Sunday night at home with a festive house plant and a glass of wine. I can romance myself like no one else!

Instagram Toronto 22

A blizzard in my neighborhood and a harsh welcome to winter from Mother Nature.

Instagram Toronto 25

Toronto saw a freak ice storm that left many of us without power for days. Despite the havoc it wreaked upon the city, it was oddly beautiful.

Instagram Toronto 23

I wish you a happy New Year and all the best in 2014! May it be our best year yet.

If you like my photos, follow me on Instagram (@cdngrrleh) to see updates from my life in Toronto and on the road.

Interested in seeing some other some other people’s great Instagram posts? Check them here or join in yourself!

Founder of Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.


  1. Toronto looks beautiful. What a year of change it was! That commute is so long, but it’s good that you are not driving–gives you time to relax and read, etc.
    That’s so cool that TBEX came to your hometown. I’ve never been to a travel blogging conference but hope to change that one of these days.

  2. Thanks Jenna! It was super convenient to have TBEX here in Toronto and so great to see many old friends. 🙂

  3. Beautiful! I love to see places that I’ve known for years through new eyes. I’ve been traveling perpetually for almost 3 years now and I’ve no plans to return home or settle down anywhere. Initially the thought scared me a little but I know that I won’t be returning to the life I left behind. I’ve grown and developed as a person, overhauled my priorities and found myself perusing a completely new career. I’m excited for the future, whatever it might offer me! All the best for 2014!

  4. New Year’s resolutions 1 and 2:
    1.) Get a new camera
    2.) Receive a Cheryl-Howard-style masterclass in photography

  5. Beautiful images!!! It’s been WAY too long I’ve been to Toronto. And the 2-hour commute to work… yaiks. I’m doing one hour at the moment (well, when not on maternity leave) and even that kills me…

  6. These are some seriously awesome photos. I don’t know if I could pick a single favourite but the aerial view is pretty impressive. Did you take these all with your camera phone?

  7. Thanks Charli – the adjustment to life at home isn’t an easy one. But being away, you grow and learn. Then being at home again also puts things into perspective.

    All the best to you in your travels this year as well. 🙂

  8. Thank you! Hope you make it to Toronto soon. 🙂

    Yeah, commute is long but I get to work from home a couple times a week so that definitely helps.

  9. Cheryl,
    So glad you joined us this week. I love that last photo. It’s gorgeous.

    Wow. A 2-hour commute. I cannot imagine, but you’ve taken some great photos along the way.

    I’ll enjoy following you on Instagram.

  10. Even after living there for 7 years and my brief stop during my RTW, there’s a lot to like and miss about Toronto. Even if I confined myself to the areas bounded by Bathurst, the Lake, DVP, and Bloor-Danforth, and also Yonge/Eglinton, Yonge/St. Clair, St. Clair West, I think I’d be very happy.

  11. Wow, what an exciting year you had and such lovely photos. I really now want to visit Toronto!

  12. Reeta – thanks for visiting my blog. Welcome! 🙂

    Thanks for your kind comments. Really hope you make it to Toronto sometime. If you do, definitely let me know so we can meet-up.

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