Toronto Travel Guide

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G. Lapan

Toronto and its greater metropolitan area has a population of almost four and a half million and is the fifth largest city in North America (2002). It is the most ethnically-diverse city in the world according to the U.N. and offers much to attract any visitor. Besides the harsh winters, Toronto is one of the best places to live in the world.

Perhaps its most well known landmark is the CN Tower - the world's third tallest free-standing structure. It is situated in Toronto’s Harbourfront district near the Rogers Centre (formerly Skydome), home of the Toronto Blue Jays professional baseball club, and the Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Also in the area is the Air Canada Centre, home to the NBA’s Raptors and the NHL’s Maple Leafs.

Explore some of Canada's best museums and galleries including the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto has many opera houses, orchestras and dance companies. It is the third largest theatre centre in the English-speaking world. For Americanized theatre check out Ed Mirvish Productions of popular shows. For Canadian Theatre check out CanStage, the Factory Theatre, Harbourfront Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, or the Artword Theatre.

Don't miss the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Ontario Science Centre, the Metro Zoo, the Legislative Building and the magnificent Ontario Place, a fantastic leisure and entertainment complex on Lake Ontario. Outside of town is Paramount Canada's Wonderland, a large theme park.

Toronto is also very well known for its great food and fun bars. Within the downtown, or near-downtown area are a number of excellent neighborhoods to explore:

College St. west of Bathurst Street is called Little Italy and is home to many restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes and boutiques and grocers. For an authentic dirty rock bar head to Ted's Collision, for some espresso and panini, try Il Gatto Nero.

For a taste of something a little more alternative head to Queen St W. where you will find many independant clothing stores and a great collection of bistros and bars. Queen St. W between University avenue and Spadina Avenue is a vibrant but fairly commercial strip of shops and restaurants. For a little more of the Artsy scene, check out Queen St. W. from Bathurst To Dufferin, where you'll find independent designers, coffee shops, pubs, and boutique hotels / bars like The Drake.

'Clubland', where music is hammered out 4 to the floor every night of the week, can be found just south of Queen St. W. between University and Spadina Avenue.

Yorkville, once the haven of hippies, musicians like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, lies just north of the University of Toronto between Bay street and St. George Street, on Cumberland Avenue. You'll find high end shops, dining, hotels and celebrities floating around this district.

The Gay village runs along Church Street south of Bloor St. and is a world-renowned centre for gay and lesbian life and culture. Toronto's gay and lesbian communitiy is also home to the second largest Gay Pride Parade in the world, held every July. Plenty of fantastic clubs, shops and things to see here.

Looking for something new in clubland? Then visit Toronto's alternative queer village located in the west end of the city where there are  44 queer geared nights in more than 60 venues, none with a gay bar label. From Roncesvalles to Spadina, Bloor St W to King Street.

Summer events include an endless number of street festivals and cultural events, so make sure you're wearing your walking shoes. One of the most famous is Caribana, the largest Caribbean festival in North America, the highlight of which is the parade which typically occurs in early August.

To learn more about Toronto, please visit

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July 17, 2006 change by aislyn (1 point)

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