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.
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.
Being home meant being able to revisit old neighbourhoods and favorite spots like Balzacs coffee shop in Liberty Village.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The new job saw me working long hours. I took solace in beautiful moments like this when leaving work one day.
Spring finally arrived and I took a late-night bike ride, snapping this pretty dusk photo.
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!
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.
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.
Another late night at the office, another stunning sunset.
Back in Toronto, it was a beautiful night as I headed to Steam Whistle brewery for a monthly Travel Massive event.
In an effort to get to know Toronto better, I took a canoe ride out to the Islands.
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.
Toronto is oh so pretty. I snapped this picture when walking to German class one night.
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.
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.
Brookfield Place is always a sight to behold, especially at Christmas.
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.
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!
A blizzard in my neighborhood and a harsh welcome to winter from Mother Nature.
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.
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.