Toronto is Canada's largest city and a gateway to nearby Niagara Falls. Home to one of the most ethnically diverse populations in North America, Toronto tourism thrives on the city's reputation as a friendly, vibrant destination. Visitors flock to its soaring CN Tower – once the tallest free-standing structure in the world and a beloved symbol of the city. Toronto's steel and glass skyline reflects its status as Canada's financial hub but beneath the veneer of a modern metropolis is a charming old town with historical and architectural marvels lurking around every corner.
The top of most lists of things to do in Toronto is to take the lift to the observation deck of the 553-metre CN Tower. Views are expansive and take in a sweeping panorama over the city and as far as Niagara Falls. The striking two-towered City Hall is another local landmark looming impressively over Nathan Phillips Square. The downtown area is also served by the Toronto Eaton Centre – a large shopping centre which is now one of the city's top tourist attractions, with around a million visitors passing through its doors every week. Perched atop a hill overlooking the downtown area is 'Casa Loma,' a Gothic Revival mansion now functioning as a museum.
Food connoisseurs rejoice because Toronto restaurants are regarded as some of the finest in North America. The city's multicultural composition ensures you can get food from just about every corner of the globe. Toronto's sizeable Asian community is reflected in its Chinatown district, which is home not only to mouthwatering Chinese dishes but also many Vietnamese and Thai restaurants of considerable repute. For a more upscale dining experience try Auberge du Pommier in North York or downtown Scaramouche. Toronto's nightlife is centred around the appropriately named Clubland, including The Guvernment entertainment complex near the banks of Lake Ontario.
Where to Stay
Toronto hotels are just as likely to be found in its inner-city suburbs as they are in the immediate downtown area. Downtown is well served by several 5-star hotels, including the Intercontinental, Marriott and Sheraton hotels, as well as the popular Soho Metropolitan Hotel. Trendy West End is home to a range of boutique accommodation, including the hip Drake Hotel, which touts itself as the place to see and be seen. The Hazelton Hotel in Yorkville is a popular option on the northern fringes of downtown, while the Toronto Townhouse Bed and Breakfast is popular for those looking for cheap accommodation in close proximity to Cabbagetown.
The 4-storey Eaton Centre is the focal point of Toronto shopping and one of the city's most popular attractions. It houses over 250 stores selling everything from household goods to high-end jewellery. Downtown Queen Street is where young professionals seek out hip retro fashions and boutique art galleries, while the St Lawrence Market sells an eclectic range of locally sourced produce. Those on the lookout for luxury brands tend to head to Bloor Street in Yorkville to pick up the latest on offer from Gucci, Hermes, Prada and numerous other famous brands. At the other end of the scale is the neighbourhood of Kensington Market, where grungy used clothing shops sit side by side trendy cafes and high-priced antique stores.
Toronto like a Local
Ice hockey is Canada's national sport and the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the country's most popular teams. One of the founding members of North America's National Hockey League, the Maple Leafs play out of the Air Canada Centre in the shadow of the CN Tower. Their legendary rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens is one of the fiercest in North American sport and when the Maple Leafs are in form, home game tickets are some of the most sought after in town. Ice hockey's significance to the city is well documented in the Hockey Hall of Fame, which has been based in downtown Toronto since 1960.