With more than 2.5 million inhabitants in the city, Toronto is Canada’s largest metropolis. Taking into account the surrounding municipalities, the Greater Toronto Area has more than 6 million people. And the densely populated area of southern Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe has more than 8 million residents, about one quarter of the entire Canadian population. Toronto tourism statistics indicate that the city welcomed more than 10 million overnight visitors and more than 22 million day-day visitors in 2009.
Some of the key attractions in Toronto include signature sights such as the CN Tower, the RoyalOntario Museum, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Casa Loma, the Bata Shoe Museum and many of the sports stadiums, such as the Rogers Centre (the former SkyDome), the Air Canada Centreand BMO Field. Here are some ideas of things to do in Toronto
- With a height of 553 metres (1815 feet) the CN Tower was the world’s tallest free-standing structure and the world’s tallest tower from 1976 to 2000. Even today it is still the world’s 3rd tallest free standing structure and attracts more than 2 million international visitors per year.
- Casa Loma is “Toronto’s Castle”. Built by financier Sir Henry Pellat in the early 1900s, this huge mansion was Canada’s largest mansion with 98 rooms. It features such technical innovations as an elevator, an oven large enough to cook and ox, a central vacuum system and two secret passages.
- One of the most popular museums in Toronto is the Royal Ontario Museum. Housed in a historic Romanesque Revival Building, it has a modern concrete and glass addition. It exhibits cover dinosaurs, ancient China, Art Deco, and many others.
- Not to be missed during a Toronto visit: the Distillery District. This collection 13 acre complex has more than 10 Victorian-era heritage buildings, former industrial buildings that have been turned into shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries and even a theatre.
- The St. Lawrence Markethas been in existence since 1845 and is housed in a historic building that used to be Toronto’s first city hall and jail house. It houses dozens of food vendors and other retailers and is one of Toronto’s most colourful shopping places.
- Kensington Market is Toronto’s other market and represents one of Toronto’s most multicultural neighbourhoods. Historically the catch basin for the most recent waves of immigration, the Kensington area has been home to various ethnic groups, from Eastern Jewish immigrants who arrived here about a century ago, to Portugese, Caribbean, East Asian, African, Middle Easter and Central American newcomers, the area today reflects the real multi-ethnic character of Toronto. And it’s great for shopping too.
- The Toronto Islands are a wonderful urban oasis that is removed from the concrete hustle and bustle of downtown by a 20 minute ferry ride. You can stroll on serene pathways, go bicycling or canoeing, or visit a children’s amusement park.
- The Toronto Harbourfront is a great place to sit and enjoy the water, have a bite to eat, do some people watching, enjoy a concert or take a cruise. In the winter you can do some harbourfront skating.
- Toronto also has dozens of theatres and concert halls. Among the big Broadway-style theatres are the Canon Theatre, the Panasonic Theatre, the Princess of Wales Theatre, and the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Roy Thomson Hall, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the Four Seasons Centre and Massey Hall are just some of the concert halls that delight music lovers.
- Toronto’s public transit is quite efficient, safe and extensive. It’s the 3rd most used public transit system in North America and covers the downtown well. Save money by buying a weekly pass or buy 10 tickets at a discounted rate.
- Toronto has over 80 bed and breakfasts, many of them in the downtown area, close to all major sightsl Some of them are luxurious while others are down-to-earth and affordable. Many of them are located in historic mansions, a great place to explore the city.
- What makes Toronto special is that it is a city of neighbourhoods. The whole world is represented here, and you can experience it in neighbourhoods such as Greektown, Little Italy, Chinatown (several of them), Little Portugal, the Indian-inspired Gerrard Street Bazaar and many others.
- A unique feature of Toronto are its ravines, ancient river valleys that criss-cross the city. Many of them have walking paths and bicycle trails and in the winter people use them for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing.
- Ireland Park is an urban park at the foot of Bathurst Street. Opened in 2007, it commemorates the tens of thousands of people who fled Ireland during the Great Famine of the late 1840s. It also offers a beautiful view across the water to Harbourfront and downtown Toronto.
- The Annex is a historic neighbourhood in Toronto that is located just north of the University of Toronto.Composed of many large mansions it has historically been home to some Toronto’s most important citizens. Today, many university students live there as well. Adjoining Bloor Street has many great eateries and bar.
Toronto will provide you with lots of sights to see and things to do.
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