Explore Toronto

Explore Toronto
Toronto is the cosmopolitan centre of Ontario and with over 2.7 million people it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Toronto has a vibrant city feel that draws in millions of visitors each year. With so many cultures living in one city – that could only spell out one thing – great food! There are little pockets everywhere of different cultures where you can feel totally immersed in a different way of life. Love Italy? Then check out Little Italy. Need some good whiskey? Check out the Distillery District. This area was formally the Gooderham and Worts Distillery but has now been converted into a historical and entertainment hot spot with many cafes, restaurants, and shops.

And of course, Toronto is known as being the financial and economic hub of Canada, particularly with many of the major corporations having head offices in Toronto. This also gives rise to a flourishing cultural scene.

The Distillery District

Places to Visit in Toronto

  • St. Lawrence Market
  • CN Tower
  • Casa Loma
  • Gooderham Building – classic flatiron style
  • Chinatown
  • Distillery District
  • Yonge Street
  • Canada’s Wonderland

Unique Things to See and Do in Toronto

  • Eat your way through the St. Lawrence Market
  • Enjoy a free tour of the University of Toronto’s Art Collection
  • Shoot a bow and arrow at the Castle
  • Visit the Bata Museum for a unique look into the history of shoes, with over 13,000 shoes!
  • Take a day trip out of Toronto to Black Creek Pioneer Village – a living history museum
  • Take a daring walk around the CN Tower’s Edgewalk
  • Day trip down to Niagara Falls

Toronto’s Culture

The combination of being “the city of neighbourhoods” with different ethnicities and having a strong business culture drawing people in from around the world has really opened Toronto up for some fantastic restaurants ranging from fine dining to trendy gastronomy hotspots, to mom and pop diners. A culinary tour mixed in with your regular sightseeing adventures is always a good idea, especially in Toronto.

The city is filled with museums, theatres, festivals, and sports activities. With its many art shows and exhibits, Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum is world famous. Another popular tourist spot is the TD Gallery of Inuit Art. For musical performances catch a show at the Royal Conservatory of Music, or check out the world famous Toronto International Film Festival. And if you need to inject a little spice into your venture, visit during July and catch the Caribana festival, the largest Caribbean festival in North America.

Toronto even has its own “Entertainment District” with a huge concentration of bars, nightclubs, comedy clubs, and restaurants. There are approximately 90 nightclubs in a one square kilometre area. Other popular neighbourhoods for nightlife are Yonge, Eglinton, Yorkville, College Street (Little Italy), St. Lawrence Market, Queen West, and Front Street. Needless to say, you’ll have no difficulty to match your nightlife likes with a good venue.

Getting Around Toronto

Toronto is one of the best cities in all of Canada for its transportation systems. Most of the city attractions are centered around a walkable downtown core, plus navigation is easy due to the grid street layout. What’s even more awesome is if you’re traveling in the winter, they have a 27km underground walkway that offers shopping, entertainment, and food stops! The underground is called PATH.

Public transit is serviced by a couple of companies with Go Transit that connects the city proper with the surrounding communities, and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) serves Toronto itself. Taxis are everywhere in Toronto, and all are metered and prices are standard. Be sure the meter is turned on when you start your trip – don’t use a taxi without an operational meter. Canadians usually tip their taxi drivers anywhere from 10-15%, but it is optional.

Did you know…?

The city of Toronto was originally called York and was the capital of Upper Canada. After it was incorporated in 1834 it was renamed Toronto.

Moffat, Murray and Company” by SimonPOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.
Murray and Company, built 1844; Yonge Street

Did you ALSO know…?

There are 52 outdoor ice skating rinks in Toronto!

Cycling in Toronto is a great way to see the city. There are plenty of bike rentals, plus the bike share program BIXI. Some great areas to cycle through are the Distillery Area, Kensington, Cabbagetown, Yorkville, and Chinatown.

Best Time of Year to Travel to Toronto

Toronto is lucky enough to have all four seasons, which means depending on the time of year you go you’ll need different attire.

The summers are typical travelling times for most, especially those with children, but be prepared for Toronto’s heat. The temperatures reach an average of  23C-31C from June to August and can soar to 40C which is stifling. With being so close the lakes, the temperature doesn’t vary much, and being an urban centre, the heat is trapped and the humidity level is high which will make it feel even hotter.

Spring and fall temperatures are the easiest for most travellers to enjoy. The air is crisp and sunny, but be prepared for some rainy days too. Ontario is gorgeous in the fall with the leaves changing to dramatic shades of red and orange, so if you plan on touring areas outside the city as well, then this is a great time to visit. Fall temperatures average 17C in September, and drop down to 10C in October. In the springtime, the city is in full bloom and quite pretty. Plus the farmers markets, antique shows, and festivals are starting up again after the long winter, so you’ll feel that renewed sense of spirit.

Winters in Toronto are cold, snowy, and magical. The temperatures may drop to below -10C and stay there for a bit, which isn’t too bad, but it’s the wind chill that makes it feel so much cooler. The trick to dressing appropriately is in layers. Always take hats, gloves, scarves, or anything else that will protect you from the wind.

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