Toronto

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Toronto 14 May - 15 Oct Book Now
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The giant CN tower is as much a symbol of Toronto as the Eiffel Tower is of Paris so make it your first stop. At 533 metres, it was the tallest free standing structure in the world when it was built in 1976. Tickets to the viewing area at the summit cost $20-$30 and provide by far the best views of Toronto and Lake Ontario. There’s a glass floor for the real daredevils and a revolving restaurant on site if the altitude makes you hungry.

Exploring Toronto

From the CN Tower it’s only a short stroll to the Harbour front – the perfect place to spend a lazy day in a terrace bar watching the sailboats glide across the lake. The Harbour front also enjoys a vibrant cultural scene with 4,000 events staged annually, including theatre, dance, music, film and visual arts.

A trip to Centre Island is an absolute must. A free ferryboat from the Harbour takes visitors across the lake every 15 minutes (the ferry back costs $7). Centre Island’s 600 acres of splendid parkland include a beach, restaurants and a small amusement park. Renting a bike on the island is the best way to get around.

Shopping

Toronto is a great city for shoppers but if you don’t have your wits about you might miss some of the best retail centres in town. That’s because many of them are underground and interconnected by a series of tunnel walkways called “Path”. Once you’ve got your bearings, head for the massive Eaton Centre at Yonge and Dundas for a good mix of luxuries and bargains.

Eating Out

Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and this really shines through in its eclectic food scene. The city is dotted with vibrant ethnic enclaves (Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown, Little Korea, etc,) are all worth seeking out. But if you’re pushed for time, head to Kensington Market, a bohemian market district where you can sample authentic cuisine from around the globe (the burritos are top notch), and at rock bottom prices too.

Ice Hockey

Torontonians are ice hockey crazy and though their home team, the Maple Leafs, are going through a long championship drought, they remain the second most successful team in the sport’s history. Tickets to Maple Leaf Gardens are thin on the ground, however, so many people choose to take in a Marlies game (the reserve team) instead. Tickets start at just over $10 and you can usually get a seat right beside the action.

Getting Around

Getting around Toronto is relatively easy – a lot of the main sites can reached on foot, while east and west bound streetcars can be accessed on main streets. Also, a zippy underground system will get you across the city in minutes. A day pass (approx. $11) offers unlimited access on all buses, streetcars and subways for 24 hours and covers two adults and up to four children.

Five for free

  • Visit the Distillery District

    Situated roughly ten minutes to the east of Downtown Toronto, the charming Distillery District provides a great escape from the bustle of the city. The District originally housed a whiskey distillery and still retains its red-brick cob¬ble stone walkways. This chic area eschews chains and franchises and instead supports numerous independent shops, restaurants and coffee shops, and often hosts live music and markets. 

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  • Hit the Park

    Toronto is a city brimming with wonderful public parks. High Park, with its cherry blossoms and duck-filled pond, is probably the pick of the bunch, but an honourable mention goes to Trinity Bellwoods, which is located in the hip Queen West district. 

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  • Go for a dip

    Toronto can experience temperatures of up to 35°C in summer but thankfully there are many ways to cool off. The city offers a number of well-maintained indoor and outdoor swimming pools, free to the public. Alternatively, you could head east on a streetcar until you hit The Beaches neighbourhood, which enjoys a long stretch of waterfront. Take a dip in Lake Ontario, try your hand at volleyball or stroll the boardwalk – the choice is yours. 

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  • Visit Toronto Museums during free periods

    Toronto is packed full of impressive galleries and museums, and visiting them doesn’t have to break the bank. Entry to the Permanent Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario is free from 6pm-8:30 pm on Wednesdays. The Bata Shoe Museum (featuring Marilyn Monroe’s red pumps and Shaquille O’Neal’s size 23 sneakers) is pay-what-you-can every Thursday evening, while admission to the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) is pay-what-you-can at all times.

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  • Experience Riverdale Farm

    Riverdale Farm is great for families with young children. The little ones will love petting the animals and crossing bridges over frog-filled ponds while parents will enjoy the tranquillity of the scenic wooded areas and rustic farmhouses.

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