Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada The Queen City just north of the U.S. border in Ontario, Canada remains a hot traveler destination due to the fun atmosphere and eclectic people. Over 2.5 million people live in Toronto, and many more visit the city each year. Here are a few cool places to check out in the city! 5 Must-See Attractions: St. Lawrence Market- A smorgasbord of food of every origin, meats, and plenty of fruit. St. Lawrence’s bakery options within the market, particularly the bread selection, are true must-tries. CN Tower- An iconic image of Toronto, CN Tower doubles as a scenic spot to grab lunch or dinner in the city, and the best lookout point! Toronto Public Library- Wait, what? A library? Yes, Toronto Public Library is impressive enough to clinch the must-see label. Rows and rows of books line over four floors in this state of the art library. Distillery Historic District- A quaint stretch of street with worked-over original distilleries made into shops and art collections. Casa Loma- Originally built in 1911, Casa Loma attracts tourists and travelers from all over the world to view the picturesque castle and the beautifully manicure gardens. 5 Great Sites for Kids: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada- This aquarium is designed for kids and adults, with interactive exhibits with aquatic creatures, and an underwater hallway for a 360-view of animal life. Hockey Hall of Fame- A sports fan’s dream, the Hockey Hall of Fame has a tremendous collection of memorabilia, videos, and exhibits, helping fans immerse themselves in the action. Toronto Zoo- While the aquarium inspires underwater wonder for kids; the massive Toronto Zoo provides plenty of wonder of its own with an enormous variety of land-bound creatures. Air Canada Centre- Toronto Raptor fans are always out in force, so the Air Canada Centre is always rocking and lots of fun for kids. Ontario Science Centre- Complete with an IMAX, plenty of hands on exhibits, and interesting technology, the Ontario Science Centre provides plenty of excitement for kids and parents. 5 Free Attractions: Toronto Eaton Centre- An architectural beauty, Toronto’s Eaton Centre is a nice place to people watch, window shop, and gawk at the structure. Kensington Market- A hip neighborhood spot in Toronto, Kensington Market offers plenty of artsy shops, organic food options, and excellent bakeries. St. James Anglican Cathedral- A beautiful church with pristine stained glass windows and a piercing spire highlighting the ornate architecture. Queen’s Park- Free tours of the grounds and historical buildings are provided by the park, but the peaceful atmosphere and tranquil sites are the true reason to visit. Bluffer’s Park- The beachfront of Lake Ontario makes the visit to this park well worth the trek away from downtown. 5 Great Restaurants: G for Gelato- Pizza and ice cream. There are few things better in this world than that terrific combination, and no one in Toronto does better than G. It’s a must try for pizza, Italian food, ice cream, and general food lovers. Cluny Bistro- A quaint little café that serves a fine array of French foods, all brilliantly presented, through an open kitchen with modern flair. Bonjour Bistro- Bistro number two on this list specializes in French breakfast pastries, fantastic coffee, and plenty of other traditional breakfast dishes for any pallet. It’s a small place in high demand, so make sure to get there early! The Elm Tree-A fine dining experience featuring the flavors of the Mediterranean and classics from around the world, like Chilean Sea Bass, the Elm Tree is one of the top restaurants in all of Toronto. Barbarian’s Steak House- Looking for a wine and steak night? Barbarian’s offers a variety of expertly cooked steaks, backed by an impressive and varied wine list. 5 Great Nightlife Spots: The Piston- A pub offering a large drink menu and excellent barbecue for people to wind down the day, or jump on the dance floor. Amsterdam BrewHouse- While not available to the late night crowd, the Amsterdam BrewHouse is a dinner favorite of locals and travelers alike, offering a mixture of pizza and expertly prepared bar food. House on Parliament-A huge selection of brews and wine list highlight this restaurant, which also specializes in gourmet pub food. The Smiling Buddha- A good spot to get a few drinks in, kick back, and enjoy the live music or acts that frequent the stage. Handlebar- A charming little bar with a dark, yet inviting atmosphere, Handlebar keeps a steady stream of live music acts rolling through to keep the crowd entertained. 5 Romantic Getaways: Tori’s Bakeshop- A mid-morning date to a bakery? Sign me up! Tori’s bakeshop offers a vast menu, cute decorum and interior, and a happy, intimate date atmosphere. The doughnut topped cupcake is a must try. Polson Pier Drive-In- The drive-in theater has been an intimate date activity for decades, which makes a trip to Polson Pier both romantic and nostalgic. Snakes & Lattes- A combination of game night and a coffee date, Snakes & Lattes is a fun place to escape the city for a little while and enjoy some quality time together. Beach Village- A walk through Beach Village or along the beach itself might seem clichéd, but the evening hours are tranquil and romantic; excellent for a date! Riverdale Farm- Spending a day at Riverdale Farm helps couples get out into the open air, and get an up-close view at farm animals. It might be a little unorthodox, but it’s a fun romantic getaway. 5 Must-Try Foods: Bymark Burger- An authentic, gourmet burger that attracts people from all over Toronto and far outside it. Poutine- Poutine remains a staple Canadian dish, and it’s a wonder that it hasn’t exploded outside Canadian borders (At least more so than it already has). The cheese curd, gravy covered French fry dish is available throughout Toronto with a number of different variations. Bakerbots Ice Cream- More specifically, the ice cream sandwiches from Bakerbots are gourmet and come in just about every ice cream flavor and cookie combination you can imagine. Just take a look at the pictures, they say it all. Doughnuts- There’s exquisite doughnut shops all around Toronto, but nobody does it better than Von Doughnuts. With different doughnut combination available every day, make sure to scope out the daily menu and pick your favorite. Buffalo Cauliflower- Buffalo wings may be a classic, but buffalo cauliflower from Home of the Brave packs a seriously good punch. Climate: The temperature range in Toronto fluctuates depending on the season. The summer months are warm, with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees, while the winter months are much colder with temperatures remaining in the 20’s and 30’s degrees Fahrenheit. Spring and fall are met with mild temperatures staying in the 40’s and 50’s. The average rainfall is highest in the summer months of June and July and remains relatively steady the rest of the year. Transportation: Toronto’s primary method of public transportation remains the railways; more specifically, the train lines and subways. Most places inside the city can be reached by subway, or even the bus lines, which are extensive. Taxi and Uber services are available for travelers, as well as rental car services as the roadways are navigable. Safety Precautions: For a large city, Toronto is very safe, but it’s still a smart idea to do your research before visiting the city, and have a general idea of where you’re going and any places you should avoid. Make sure to keep all of your identification and trip itineraries intact and on your person. A slash-proof PacSafe bag remains a nice option for people looking for a safe way to keep track of their stuff. Souvenirs: There are a number of little nick knack shops in the Kensington Market, making it an excellent place to pick up a small souvenir to remember your trip. Trip Highlights: A trip to St. Lawrence Market and the Historical Brewing District will absolutely leave lasting memories in your mind and mouth (All the great food!). For those looking for sites, Casa Loma and CN Tower provide the most awe-inspiring views in the city. Documentation: U.S. residents will need a passport or a passport card to visit Toronto. It’s also important to keep a copy of all trip itineraries and personal identification with you at all time when traveling to the city. Air Travel Information: Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) predominantly provides service to Toronto and the surrounding area. Most major airlines fly to the airport, including United, American Airlines, Air France, Delta, Emirates, and many more. Car rentals, taxis, and public transportation are available to take travelers to and from the airport.