Whether you are thinking about what to do on your time off with the kids or having an adult escape, the city of Toronto has many wonderful options.
What is a city, anyway? Dictionary.com defines it as a large or important town. It may be thought of as a collection of people, minds, cultures, and landmarks. The word ‘agora’ is Greek for a gathering place for the exchange of ideas among the free-born as well as of goods. Geoffrey West, a physicist who has studied cities, describes a city as a magnet that draws people in; a living organism, in this video for The Atlantic.
This city -- what pulls you in? What makes you want to stay and experience it fully?
For Torontonians -- What would it be like to see your city with fresh eyes, as if you are visiting for the first time? For out-of-towners -- I invite you to experience a city full of diversity, intellect, compassion, culture, beauty, arts, sports, great food, entertainment, and spectacular views!
Here is my list of Toronto favourites, complete with hyperlinks to take you to more information. For further information visit the Tourism Toronto website and watch the new promotional video below that is garnering a lot of attention. Please share your favourites in the comments section and let’s celebrate Toronto!
Classically Good Things to Do
- Even if you’re not up for The Edge Walk, the CN Tower is a must!
- Buy your tickets ahead and skip the lines to see the wonders of Ripley’s Aquarium
- Tour the Royal Ontario Museum, including the Blue Whale exhibit -it's always awe-inspiring
- Browse the Art Gallery of Ontario
- Imagine yourself a princess at Casa Loma (yes, our very own Castle!)
- Explore Distillery District, with its shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants, night-time bonfires, and SoulPepper theatre
- Experience Canada’s premier zoo and conservationist park at the Toronto Zoo
- People watch at Yonge/Dundas Square and shop til you drop at The Eaton Centre
- Get up early and pick up some fresh produce or a snack at St. Lawrence Market
- Take yourself back to the 1800s at Blackcreek Pioneer Village and enjoy the simplicity of pioneer life
- See one of Toronto’s many theatre productions (upcoming productions include A Streetcar Named Desire and The Sound of Music) or catch a live performance at the Four Seasons Centre, Roy Thomson Hall or The Sony Centre
- Finally, cheer on The Raptors , The Leafs, The Argonauts , Toronto FC, or The Jays - or watch the crowd of die-hard home town fans!
Neighbourhoods that Built this City
- Once the hippie district, Yorkville is the destination of choice for stars and stargazers – plenty of fine dining, shopping, and gallery options here!
- King West has a nice selection of trendy dining, cocktail bars and upscale spas
- Feeling like a lazy stroll or a volleyball game? Go to The Beach!
- Greektown is alive with Mediterranean tastes…Opa!
- Little Italy will serve up some of the best pasta, gelatos and espressos in town
- Little Portugal will heat you up with Piri Piri
- Chinatown is full of Chinese markets and dim sum restaurants
- Little India on the east side will bring your taste buds alive
- Leslieville is burgeoning with award-winning restaurants and hangouts
- Roncesvalles and Bloor West villages offer up Polish and Ukrainian fare – some of the best sauerkraut and plum donuts in the city
A Small Selection of the Many, Many Fabulous Restaurants
360 CN Tower, revolving restaurant, Canadian, Downtown
Scaramouche, breathtaking views, French haute cuisine, north Yorkville
Sotto Sotto, Italian, Yorkville
Harbour 60, Steak, Downtown
Aria, Italian, near Air Canada Centre
Ruby Watchco, Chef Lynn Crawford, seasonal Canadian cuisine, Leslieville
Canoe, Canadian, 54th floor of TD Centre, Financial District
Ki, Japenese, Financial District
Terroni, Italian, 3 locations
Frank’s Kitchen, cozy, everything-made-in-house, fine dining, College Street
Joso’s, Seafood inspired by the Dalmatian Coast, Yorkville
Best Views of the City
- Have a sunset dinner at the top of the CN tower
- Take a ferry to Centre Island and see the entire cityscape
- Sail a boat or take a boat cruise around the Islands
- Enjoy a martini on The Roof, the Yorkville Park Hyatt’s bar
- Walk through High Park in spring – complete with mini zoo
- Play volleyball in the Beach and later enjoy a walk through the shops
- Stroll the western beach in Etobicoke
- Rent a bike and go on a cycling tour of the waterfront
- Go on a scavenger hunt to see strange and interesting statues and sculptures
- The Stillwater Spa is a classic, high-end spa - bring on the slippers and bubbly!!
Try out the Blitz Body Spa’s ancient restorative water treatments if you are on the free-spirited, naturalist side
Local Media Captures Who We Are
- Newstalk 1010 is a great source for the hottest topics in the city
- Tired of CNN? Be Canadian! Watch CBC or CP24 , and make sure you check The Weather Network for the weather forecast before you venture out!
Eleanor Roosevelt said that “the purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”