A Day in Toronto with Robin Esrock and Ford Canada

I love driving. My father is a mechanic who races as a hobby, so to say I love driving is a bit of an understatement. I was born into driving and got my licence as soon as I possibly could after my sixteenth birthday. The first car I learned to drive in was a Ford Focus. Imagine my smirk when I was handed the keys to a 2015 Focus this weekend at an event with the carmaker.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I was invited by Ford Canada to attend a day of adventure with my favourite travel writer, Robin Esrock, in celebration of his book The Great Canadian Bucket List. To research the book, Robin drove across our country, searching high and low for truly Canadian experiences to add to his bucket list — and he did it all in a Ford. To mark the release of his new series of spin-off books, The Great Western Canada Bucket List, The Great Central Canada Bucket List, and The Great Atlantic Bucket List, Robin and Ford Canada are back at it again and are spreading the word with a new book tour.

It all kicked off this past Saturday with #BucketListTO. We met at St. Lawrence Market for lunch, where I had a rather tasty sandwich from St. Urbain Bagel Bakery (the first company to introduce Montreal-styled bagels to Toronto).


After we were done eating and introducing ourselves to one another, the Ford Canada team led us to a nearby parking garage where we met a fleet of new cars. We were paired off into teams of bloggers (I was partnered with Aeryn of Geek with Style), and assigned to one of the vehicles. We hopped into the aforementioned Focus and followed the group to our first destination, The Toronto Archives.

2015 Ford Focus

The 2015 Ford Focus

Upon our arrival, we were escorted to a small theatre where we were treated to a personal travel talk from Robin himself. Robin, who spoke in front of thousands in Vancouver for a TEDx event, shared with us his most memorable experiences from multiple journeys across Canada — in particular his time on the Trans Labrador Highway (check out this piece in which they call the highway The Loneliest Road in the World).

I was one of maybe twelve people in that room. That was definitely a bucket list moment for me.


The Ford Escape Robin drove across the 1,247 kilometres that make up the Trans Labrador Highway.

After our talk we walked over to Casa Loma for a guided tour of the castle and its tunnels.


Begun in 1911 by Sir Henry Pellatt (the man credited with bringing hydro-electric power to Toronto), this grand and expansive “House on the Hill” took three years to complete, costing $3.5 million. It also became the largest private residence in Canada.


Once you make it to the other side of the tunnels, you find yourself in Sir Henry’s stables and garage. Here is where the estate keeps some original cars dating back to the early 1900s, including this 1914 Ford Model T.


Despite living in this city my whole life,this was my first visit to Toronto’s iconic castle. Now, I’m fascinated by the history of this building and must revisit!

After our tour, we made our way back to the fleet of cars and swapped keys with another pair of bloggers, so we can test out a different model. Our return trip to St. Lawrence Market was made in Ford’s hybrid, the C-MAX. This vehicle was so quiet it took me a few tries at the push-start button to realize it was on! It was such a smooth ride. I had never driven a hybrid before, so this was yet another new experience for the day.

2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

The 2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

With our arrival back at the market, our time with Ford Canada was officially over. We had previously said our goodbyes to Robin as he drove off in his Mustang, and now it was our turn to hand over the keys to the C-MAX. All in all it was an awesome day and I went home happy, excited, and inspired to do more exploring of my own within Toronto.

Thank you again to the Ford Canada family and Robin for such a great time!

If you’re interested in hearing Robin talk about travel and his adventures in Canada, check out his itinerary for the remaining dates of his book tour.


One thought on “A Day in Toronto with Robin Esrock and Ford Canada

  1. Pingback: Discover Ontario: Driving Hwy 6 – Day 1 | Meandering Mac

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