Exploring Toronto – Part 1
For years, Toronto, Canada played second fiddle to Montreal, which was bigger, more sophisticated, culturally richer, and
more vibrant. About 30 years ago, Toronto caught up with Montreal and has now far surpassed it. Today, Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and the hub of Canada’s industry, business, culture, theater, and banking. Toronto is easy to navigate, using the city’s subway and bus system, or on foot, especially in the downtown/Queens Street West/Yorkville areas. If you’re planning a Canada vacation, don’t miss out on this “hot” city.
Toronto has much to offer. For travelers seeking culture, there is the Centre for Performing Arts, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Princes of Wales and Pantages theater. On any given night, there are over 50 different shows, plays or concerts offered.
For foodies, head straight for the huge St Lawrence Farmer’s Market, located downtown, or sign up for a class at Le Dolci Foodie Studio. Toronto offers a wide range of cuisines and restaurants, including Chinese (there are two Chinatowns in the city), Greek, Italian, Indian, French, and every kind of cuisine you can imagine. For outdoor enthusiasts, visit Toronto Island Park, offering a wealth of options. For those interested in art, visit the Sharp Centre for Design, the Royal Ontario Museum (do not miss the new wing designed by Daniel Libeskind), the superb art collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), or visit Casa Loma, an old mansion that feels like a castle. For shopping, try the Yorkville/Bloor Street area, or head over to Queens West for unique shops and one of a kind articles.
No visit to Toronto is complete without seeing the CN Tower, the tallest standing structure in North America, rising 1,815 feet over the city. To put the CN Tower in perspective, it is 361 feet higher than the top of the Empire State building’s antenna. The tower has two observation platforms and a restaurant called ‘360’, which offers excellent dining and a collection of 500+ of the world’s best wines, not to mention stunning views. The single most fun thing to do in Toronto, without a doubt, is to experience the Edgewalk at CN Tower (www.cntower.ca ).
What is the Edgewalk? First, you are outfitted with a jumpsuit and a harness on the lobby level and given a safety instruction. You then get on a special elevator, and go up to about 1,186 ft high. You then walk out on a metal ledge in the open air, high over Toronto. The entire time you are outside you have 2 cables to support you. The initial walk outside into the open air is breathtaking. An instructor shows you how to lean over the edge, and you feel like you are flying over the city. At first, you are a little afraid, after a while, you get the hang of it, after 30 minutes, you do not want to go back in! The CN Tower has a perfect safety record and the Edgewalk is without peer in the world. Tip: Make sure you book ahead, as there is great interest and only 6 people can go out every 30 minutes, with a guide. The admission to the Edgewalk also includes admission to the tower’s observation deck. But – once you’ve stepped outside into the open air, no observation deck compares!