Toronto is the capital city of Ontario, Canada. For many expats, Toronto serves as the landing spot. Admired all over the world, Toronto is a great place to set a roof over one’s head as opportunities and options are limitless. With a growing global population in Toronto, the city introduces individuals to new cultures and communities. This is also reflected in the everyday life of Toronto-based individuals, as most organisations value diversity. Be it schools, corporates, cafes and marketplaces, Toronto is a blend of cultures and people it comes across.
The impeccable city of Toronto has an amazing food and nightlife scene too. As much as the city values the intellectual and economic growth of its natives, it equally values entertainment, rest and recreation too. Hence, over the years several artists like Drake and The Weeknd have performed live in the city. The wealth of natural sights, historical edifices and shopping districts have made weekends and vacations much more sought after in Toronto.
So, the below article discusses what makes Toronto great in terms of its entertainment options and what are some of the must-have experiences here in the city.
Things to do
1. Niagara Falls
Beginning with one of the most visited attractions in the country; there is no doubt that all the hype is well deserved. Sitting right at the boundary, Niagara Falls is shaped by the blend of the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe or Canadian Falls. The second you visit here is the point at which you will acknowledge how enormous the Niagara Falls really are. Huge measures of water stream with such power, yet you will be shocked by the magnificence and peacefulness that encompasses it. You can partake in a boat visit into the cascades to see it very close, however, be prepared to get drenched!
2. CN Tower
Adorning Toronto’s skyline, CN Tower is an important landmark of the city. Glide up through the glass elevator and take in exquisite views of the cityscape. Those not scared to indulge in the dizzying EdgeWalk can purchase tickets and enjoy this one of a kind experience. While floor to ceiling windows and glass floors are enough for incredible 360° perspectives of Toronto, however, if you’re lucky, travellers can also sight Niagara Falls and New York State on a clear day.
3. Distillery District
The 1832 windmill converted distillery, the Gooderham and Worts Distillery is one of the top-rated attractions of Toronto. Bedecked with artists and their creations, the Distillery District is a national treasure offering the best insights into the cultural history of Toronto. The Victorian buildings situated within the district are testimony to the richness of this historical landmark attraction and why it is one of the most filmed locations in Toronto.
4. Harbourfront Centre
Set along the shores of Lake Ontario, Harbourfront is the cultural and entertainment hotspot of Toronto. Loaded with vintage theatres, cafes and shopping outlets, Harbourfront Centre is a place where one will never run out of options and would want to spend their entire day. However, it is best to visit during events and programs like Canada Day and Dancing on the Pier.
5. Royal Ontario Museum
There is something truly Royal about the Royal Ontario Museum, so missing out on this attraction of Toronto, is definitely not a good idea. Sheltering a permanent collection of minerals and gems, Roman antiquities, and fossils, the Royal Ontario Museum is a great place to brush up on your knowledge of history. Apart from Canadian artefacts and historical objects, the museum has exhibits that showcase South Asian and Egyptian antiques too.
6. Toronto Islands
Toronto Islands or Toronto Islands Park is a much-needed escape from the fast-paced metropolitan life of Toronto. A ferry ride from downtown Toronto takes travellers to the Toronto Islands, which is only 5kms extending from Ward’s Island to Hanlan’s Point. Be it kayaking, swimming, canoeing, or simply sunbathing, the list is truly neverending at the Toronto Islands and thus one of the best attractions of Toronto.
Where to eat and drink
Toronto is filled with great people and even greater places. While the variety of food doesn’t let foodies down, it definitely brings them to the problem of, what to eat and where to eat? So, below is a list of great places, where individuals can give their taste buds a splash of new flavours every other day.
1. St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market is a culinary rollercoaster for foodies. Treasured equally by natives and travellers alike, the market dates back to 1803 and has been carrying all sorts of flavours and specialities in its arms ever since. Harbouring more than 120 shops and vendors, culinary specialists include both professionals and home cooks, who are happily experimenting with conventional dishes for decades! Head to the Carousel Bakery for a well-prepared sandwich for breakfast or grab a tapas from Scheffler’s. For a taste of Montreal-special bagels, sample some from St. Urban Bagels. But that’s not it! St. Lawrence Market is also a great place to shop for fresh produce and seafood. And undoubtedly, one of the top attractions of Toronto.
2. The Annex Food Hall
The Annex Food Hall is the most American casual eating outlet one can find in Toronto. Serving the city’s best fried chicken sandwiches from P.G. Clucks and Bangkok style streetside tidbits from EAT BKK, fast food lovers have an immense variety to satiate their hunger. However, for the diet conscious, a big bowl of salad is served by Urban Herbivore. Guests can occupy the tables which are just perfect for groups whether big or small. The crowd here mostly consists of students working on their college assignments. The Annex Food Hall will soon be adding a licensed bar so that guests can accompany their meals with a beer or a hard drink of their choice.
Address: 384 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1X2, Canada
Contact Number: +1 647-979-0384
3. Le Swan
The Swan has been on Queen Street West for more than 20 years and is one of the most popular diners in Toronto. Now, “Le Swan” and run by Jen Agg, the diners serve a menu consisting of both French and American specialities. Make a reservation in advance to avoid last-minute hassle and don’t forget to try classics like Steak Frites, Rotisserie Chicken Platter and Fondue.
Address: 892 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G3, Canada
Contact Number: +1 416-536-4440
Patois in literal terms means a melange of food ideas from different cultures. That’s what Patois Toronto has done with its menu. Combining the Caribbean with Asia, Patois is a versatile and hip spot for both parties and has a hearty meal. A group of three and four can simply order “the Whole Shebang”, while others can sample individual delicacies like jerk chicken, and Chinese Pineapple Bun Burger.
Address: 794 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V1, Canada
Contact Number: +1 647-350-8999
Rasa’s ever-changing menu is its biggest USP, as visitors just come here to seek what the chef has experimented with today. The sleek and classy interiors might be too dry for some, however, the sitting area near the patio is just amazing to try the specialities here.
Other interesting places to eat in Toronto include, Parallel, which offers a delectable middle-eastern menu, Honest Weight serving the best seafood specialities, and several others that plate global cuisines in their own unique style.
Address: 196 Robert St, Toronto, ON M5S 2K7, Canada
Contact Number: +1 647-350-8221
Where to shop
Chinatown is one of the most popular markets in Toronto and the biggest Chinatown area in North America. Offering cheap bargains on jewellery, clothing and household items, Chinatown is one of the best places to shop in Toronto as a woman shopper. But Chinatown isn’t just about shopping! Some of the famous authentic Chinese, Vietnamese and Asian restaurants serve their best dishes here.
The Yorkville quarter is one of the chicest spots in Toronto. Fancied for its lovely Victorian architecture, including boutiques, restaurants and art galleries, Yorkville is definitely the right spot for high-end brands like Prada, Gucci and Hermes. So, travellers wanting to indulge in a luxury shopping spree can straight away head to Yorkville.
Renowned for hip cafes and clubs, Queenstreet is equally interesting to shop too. Housing retro, chic, and antique shops at the beach, Queenstreet is a HubSpot for Bohemian trinkets and all kinds of stuff that an individual might want in everyday life.
4. Kensington Market
Kensington Market is a shopper’s paradise, especially for those wanting a break from department stores and skyscrapers. Located just beside Chinatown, the market is packed with several retro shops, pocket-friendly clothing stores, chic cafes, furniture stores, and organic produce stores. So, in short, Kensington caters to all kinds of shoppers.
Other places like Yonge and Eglinton, St. Lawrence Market, Hudson’s Bay Company, and Toronto Eaton Centre are great too for souvenir hunts and casual shopping sprees.
In a nutshell, Toronto is nothing short of a dream come true with all that it has to offer. Whether it is the surreal natural treasures, exquisite historical sites, absolutely luscious culinary specialities presented in equally alluring cafe settings and markets offering tempting deals, one can always find innumerable reasons to choose the city over any other city in the world.
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