I'd like to thank Aubrey 'Drake' Graham for making Toronto my birthday destination. Another festival i've always wanted to go to was OVO Fest, and the fact that it ties in to the Caribana Festival is just icing on the cake. It always falls right around my birthday either day of or within the week of so when we went last year for the first time, we had so much fun that it became a Birthday staple.
When we went last year we met up with two of our friends from San Francisco in Toronto. It was my first time staying in an AirBnB but the apartment was really nice. We were up on the 22nd floor and the views of downtown Toronto were just beautiful! With uber handy, and all of us coming from cities where public transportation is a norm, we had no problems finding our way around. Upon arriving we purchased a pass that allowed us to visit three different attractions of our choosing so we set out to do one a day.
On the first day we visited, The Royal Ontario Museum where they had an amazing Tattoo exhibit as well as 'one of the most spectacular exhibitions exploring colour, light, and form by one of the world's foremost artists working in glass today,' Chihuly, 'From Sand. From Fire. Comes Beauty.' After that, we went to the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada and then grabbed some dinner.
The following day was my Birthday and I woke up in an amazing mood. It was also the frist day of the Caribana Festival and OVO Fest. We woke up and headed down to the festival. As soon as we hit the street, we saw people dressed up in costume heading to the festival which ended up being a short walk from our Air BnB. When we reached the festival, there were thousands of people swarming in and somehow Sascha and I ended up dancing in the parade with some new friends that we made. When we left the Festival, we went to change and headed to make our dinner reservations at 360 The Restaurant at CN Tower, which is one of Toronto's finest, featuring 'unforgettable Canadian cuisine combined with an outstanding revolving view of Toronto more than 350 metres (1,150 ft) below.' After dinner we headed to Reggae OVO Night and got to see Machel Montano and Sean Paul, as well as some other reggae acts that had us feeling All the vibes.
We HAD to make a stop at the OVO store while we were in Toronto. The line was wrapped around the corner but that didn't stop us from waiting. Once we finished shopping, we headed to eat and then visited the arts district in West Queen West before hitting the concert. If you've never been to an OVO Fest, you know that there are separate days, the first being a more reggae themed showcase and then the following day the actual show with the Man of the hour himself. Back in 2016, I'd like to think not only were we able to witness the best OVO Fest of all time but it was Definitely top of the charts for best concert i've ever attended. Drake was hot all 2016 (i'm bias), but fusing the Summer Sixteen Tour with OVO Fest was an amazing experience. Drake brought out Roy Wood$, dvsn, Baka, Future, Popcaan, French Montana... and as if that wasn't enough, my heart was filled with Bliss when I saw my girl Rihanna come out on stage... The ULTIMATE Cherry on top was when Drake was performing Pop Style and MY FOREVER MCM Mr. Kanye West emerges from underneath the stage. My heart stopped, I started crying... it was truly a moment I will Never Forget. The rest of the trip was pale in comparison to that, but definitely fun enough for us to go back the following year.