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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.