At the moment I’m sure lots of us are honing our travel bucket-lists just waiting for COVID-19 restrictions to lift so that we can explore the world again.
One of the destinations I am really looking forward to visiting is Toronto. It is often called the New York City of Canada but is reputed to be much cleaner and safer. There is something to suit the budget of every traveller and you can buy cheap flights to Toronto without breaking the bank.
Toronto is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario and it is the country’ most populated city. Situated on the north-western shore of Lake Ontario, the city is recognised as an international centre of arts and culture and, in fact, is one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Toronto is warm and humid in the summer but the winter is typically very cold and windy, with frequent snow.
Toronto highlights you’ll want to visit
Below is a list of unmissable things to do on a visit to Toronto according to the travel guides.
Take a walk down Bloor Street
This is the Park Avenue of Toronto where you will find designer labels such as Gucci and Prada and the Holt-Renfrew department store. If you can afford $500 for a pair of jeans, this is the place for you. but window shopping and people watching are always free.
Visit the quirky shops of Queen Street
Here is where you’ll find trendy clothing stores, independent record shops, and other quirky establishments. Look out for the legendary Horseshoe Tavern where every great Canadian music act has played since 1947.
Stroll through Chinatown
If you are looking for authentic Chinese cuisine, exotic herbs or rare teas, Toronto’s Chinatown is the place to head for. Chinese restaurants shy away from the traditional “North American Chinese” menu, serving a variety of authentic dishes to over 400,000 people of Chinese background in Toronto.
Shop at the CF Toronto Eaton Center
Minutes away from popular Toronto attractions such as the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and the Art Gallery of Toronto, the mall is a six-storey structure with a glass ceiling modelled after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.
It has over 285 stores with a great food court on the lower level. Make sure to visit New York fries and order the Poutine – a blend of french fries, cheese curds and gravy.
Take a trip on the subway
The Toronto subway is clean, safe, and easy to navigate. There are two main lines, the Younge-University-Spadina and the Bloor-Danforth. From the subway, you can get to all of the main tourist hotspots.
Visit the top of the CN Tower
The world’s tallest building at 553m (1815 ft). The view is amazing. At the top of the tower is the world-class 360 restaurant. The floor does a complete rotation every 72 minutes and, when dining, you will get to view the city below from each direction.
Indulge your passion for art and culture
Toronto is an art enthusiast’s dream and is home to several major galleries and museums.
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is the largest in Canada with more than 40 galleries. The museum displays both artworks and natural history items and has the largest collection of avian and mammalian skeletons in the world.
The museum’s Far East Collection is the largest collection of far eastern artefacts outside of China and features the Ming Tomb, a complete seventeenth-century warriors tomb and the only complete Chinese tomb in the West.
The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art is home to more than 2,000 pieces of ceramic art with a collection featuring everything from pre-Columbian pottery to classic European porcelains of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The Art Gallery of Toronto has strong collections of European and Canadian art. One of the main attractions of the Gallery is its collection of Henry Moore sculptures, one of the largest in the world. Henry Moore personally designed the exhibit space for this collection in 1974.
For more than thirty years the Textile Museum of Canada has celebrated international fiber art. Their permanent collection contains more than 12,000 textiles, from pieces as much as 2000 years old to modern designs, with samples from more than 200 regions of the world.
And, lastly, why not visit The Bata Shoe Museum, housed in a whimsical, shoebox-shaped building designed by architect Raymond Moriyama. The museum is home to a 4,500-piece, semi-permanent “History of Shoes” exhibit that highlights examples of footwear spanning time and the globe, from ancient Egyptian sandals to the stilettos of the 1990s.
Gourmets will love St. Lawrence Market
Considered in the top twenty-five markets in the world, it has over 50 speciality vendors. Great vegetables, fruits, meat, cheese, and seafood abound. On the lower level, visit the St. Lawrence Market Juice Bar. They specialize in freshly squeezed juices of all kinds and related products.
Visit the eclectic Kensington Market area
Dating back to the original settlement of Toronto in the 1790s by the British, you will now find a diverse area of shopping representing the cultures of Portuguese, East Indian, Ethiopian and Caribbean.
Eat in Little Italy
Here’s where you’ll find wonderful Italian coffee shops, gelato, music bars and great night life – including latin dancing.
As you can see you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to holiday highlights in Toronto.
Have you visited this great city? What would you recommend?