Experiencing the Best Toronto Has To Offer
Where can you experience the widest range of world cultures in one easy-going, friendly and totally accessible city?
It’s Toronto, Canada naturally!
Canada’s largest and most culturally diverse city is an intriguing ethnic blend. This modern and vibrant Ontario capital offers a fascinating assortment of traditions brought out in food, music, theatre arts, and festival events.
First Things First – Getting To Toronto
Whether by land, air or sea, Toronto is listed among the most accessible cities in North America. Air travel between the city and every continent is facilitated by the Toronto Pearson International Airport. On the ground, getting to and from Toronto Pearson just got a whole lot easier with the opening of Union Pearson Express on June 6, 2015. The UP Express travels between Union Station and Pearson in 25 minutes, departing every 15 minutes. The historic Union Station serves as the hub for both mid- and long-distance travel by either bus or rail linking Toronto to nearby locations such as Niagara Falls and to major cities within Canada and the USA.
How to Get around While You’re There
For an enthusiastic Torontonian’s view of their neighborhood, you can opt to sign up for a free guided ‘Toronto Greeters’ walking tour. The convenient north-south east-west grid layout of the city is incredibly walkable. Toronto’s Underground PATH is over 18 miles of walkway that winds its way through shopping, entertainment and various service centers in downtown.
It is also possible to get around the entire city by bicycle, if that means of active transportation is desirable to you. You may choose to hail any of the numerous taxi cabs, which provide efficient city-wide service on standard, metered and non-negotiable fares.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) serves the Toronto proper and accepts cash, discounted tokens and day, week or month passes. Visitors have generally found the day passes for TTC to be quite convenient and affordable.
Toronto is truly ‘the world within a city’, having immigrants from every corner of the planet, speaking over 140 different languages. This gives the city its unique and dynamic multiculturalism, as expressed in the varied ethnic stores and restaurants to be found in such neighborhoods as Chinatown (the city actually has 6 of these), Greektown and Little India.
Cultural events and festivals fill the spring and summertime, and you can enjoy the vibrant performing arts scene filled with live theatre and music. The Cavalcade of Lights warms the colder months and is a must see event if you are visiting Toronto at that time of year. There is also a wealth of museums and galleries open year round to suit any interest or artistic palette. They provide a diverse range of exhibits, programs and special events.
Toronto is undeniably the ice hockey capital of the world – the Toronto Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup thirteen times. Hockey isn’t all there is, however, as the many other sporting activities include top quality baseball, football, soccer and basketball.
Many unique and eclectic bookstores can be found in Toronto for those in search of literary gems. When you’re not treasure hunting you can visit one of the many sites used in such film productions as Chicago, Good Will Hunting, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding and X-Men, to name a few.
Food helps to bring out and bring together the different cultures that make up Toronto’s landscape. Culinary events fill the city’s calendar and include the Vegetarian Food Festival, Summerlicious, Winterlicious, Taste of the Danforth, Toronto Wing Festival, and the Toronto Beer Festival.
Outside of these special happenings, you can sample authentic cuisine from anywhere in the world by visiting any of the ethnic neighborhoods strewn across the city.
Whether you fancy fine dining or informal street food fare, you are sure to be tempted to taste some of the best foods you’ll ever try. Favorite dishes for locals and visitors alike include the Peameal Bacon Sandwich and the East Indian Roti – a spicy and mouthwatering curry stuffed South-Asian bread.
Whatever your style, it can be catered to in Toronto. You may even find that the range of great fashion offerings leads you to tweaking your signature style just a bit. Toronto serves up clothes, furniture, curios and just about anything you are searching for in locations that run the gamut from luxury to thrifty. Shopping centers, designer boutiques, antique shops, thrift stores, vintage stores, wedding shops and flea markets abound.
A search for sophisticated fashion, furniture or keepsakes might lead you to high-end Bloor-Yorkville, trendy King Street or cutting-edge Queen Street. For simpler tastes, there is a plethora of choices to get affordable, attention- grabbing, one of a kind pieces that could fit right in on the hip strip.
Health And Beauty
While in Toronto allow yourself to be pampered from head to toe, inside and out. There are a host of health food stores, spas and beauty centers to be found in the city. The beauty of many of them is that they are heavily influenced by the multicultural make-up of the city (no pun intended!) You can indulge in beauty secrets of Japanese Geishas or take advantage of the latest high tech beauty device.
Why not try a relaxing or invigorating massage? How about a rejuvenating facial or all-over body treatment? While most establishments are on the pricier side, located in posh downtown hotels, there are quite a few that are easier on the pocket and deliver first rate massage service.
Torontonians love their city, even though official estimates say that over half of them were born outside of Canada. What does that mean for its visitors? You can expect to feel welcomed here and encouraged to embrace and enjoy all that this complex mix of urban and old world charm has to offer.