As the capital city of Ontario, and the most populous city in Canada, Toronto has a reputation as a lively arts centre and cultural focal point.
Toronto’s cultural impact has been considerable, and the resulting slew of museums and galleries demonstrates just how important art is to the city. During your trip check out The Art Gallery of Toronto, the largest art gallery in Canada, which contains the world’s largest collection of Henry Moore sculptures. The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art has extensive exhibitions of the best in ceramics, while the Royal Ontario Museum contains collections of Canadian folk art, as well as the world’s largest totem pole.
If you have a head for heights then a trip to the top of the CN Tower is a must. The walkway that runs around the viewing platform at the top is probably best left to those who do not suffer from vertigo, though!
Back on terra firma you’ll find the Hockey Hall of Fame right on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. Canadians take their ice hockey very seriously, and if you want to really immerse yourself in Canadian culture then try to catch a game during your trip to Toronto. The Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League are the pride of the city but if tickets aren’t available, the Marlies of the American Hockey League also play downtown. Toronto is host to several others sports teams including the Raptors of the NBA, the Blue Jays of Major League Baseball, and the Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Toronto FC of Major League Soccer is another very popular draw for locals.
If there’s one absolute ‘must-see’ during your time here, it’s a trip to one of the seven natural wonders of the world – Niagara Falls. Home to three different waterfalls, Niagara Falls is around an hour and half drive from Toronto.
Eating in Toronto
Toronto is regarded as one of the best cities in North America for exclusive cuisine and fine dining. A plethora of restaurants with international reputations and excellent menus provide you with a rich variety of dishes, from fine French a la carte to Vietnamese, Arabic or Indian. The quality is superb, even if you’re simply buying some on-the-go snacks.
Toronto natives seem to function purely on tea and coffee, so you’ll find plenty of cafés serving excellent, freshly ground coffee and pastries. There are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, and the emphasis on quality means that seasonal dishes feature heavily on most menus, and you’ll find it challenging to find out-of-season produce in the majority of fine dining establishments.
Shopping in Toronto
The main shopping boulevard is Yonge Street, which according to the Guinness Book of World Records is the longest street in the world.
Toronto’s main Mall is Toronto Eaton Square, which is located between Queen and Dundas Streets on the west side of Yonge Street. So travelling to Toronto for some retail therapy is highly recommended!
Vintage is big news in the city, so there are plenty of flea markets and antique shops. The best markets to explore are Merchant’s Flea Market, which is home to over 250 booths and stores, and Parkdale Flea market, which also plays host to up and coming designers, jewellers and artists.
Canadians are widely known as being some of the friendliest people, and the Toronto locals are no different.
You will find that both French and English are spoken throughout the city, and some street signs may be written in both French and English.