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Mike Myers, Drake, Neil Young – stars of stage, screen and speakers – you never know who you’ll bump into in Toronto. Canada’s cultural powerhouse with its corporate muscle, commercial bustle, mega-museums and film fests has the megawattage to power ahead of the rest.
Eaton or take away? No need to be punny – this shopping center is like a flash-mob of big brands coming at you from every direction. Meet the troupe – HMV and Indigo for the musically inclined, Ann Taylor, Marciano, J. Crew and Gap for the most stylish brands, plus a chain gang of food stores from cheap and tasty (hello, food court) to busting bistro.Accommodations near Toronto Eaton Centre
Square dancing – not just for those in the deep south. This square is the heart of Toronto, awash with people all day every day. Come here to dine and imbibe. Afterwards, catch a play at the Ed Mirvish Theatre or a concert at Massey Hall, or slip on in to the Eaton Centre and be on your merry way.Accommodations near Yonge – Dundas Square
Stadiums or Arenas
Run amok with the puck. Not the title of a long-lost Scooby Doo episode, but rather a place to uncover the mysteries of Canada's national obsession. See it all – the original Kings' Stanley Cup in the vault (think the Sistine Chapel of Hockey!), sport memorabilia and interactive displays. You'll probably see parents and kids equally excited about what’s on display here.Accommodations near Hockey Hall of Fame
The city's most refined spot. Hang with the art-savvy in the city's most cultured venue. Come here to see continental paintings, from the French salon to the old Flemish and Dutch masterworks of Rubens and Ruysdael. Past and future exhibitions include Art Spiegelman and Basquiat. An impressive cache of African sculptural and figurative works are also on display.Accommodations near Art Gallery of Ontario
CNything? Skip the text speak, fasten your seatbelts and take a smooth ride up the CN Tower! Untold tons of steel cabling and concrete were used to construct this iconic building, for a time the largest in the world. Views from the top are stupendous, offering a bird's-eye view of the entire city, and interactive exhibits that delve deep into Toronto's foundations.Accommodations near CN Tower
Wall Street isn't the only place known for its sharks. Take a swim (or more precisely, don't) in one of Canada's best-known aquariums. All manner of marine life—from clown fish to crustaceans—swim by behind reinforced glass. Don't miss a chance to play in the “ray bay” and run your hand over a slippery stingray breaking the water's surface.Accommodations near Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
A snapshot of modern Toronto. This gorgeous campus is a medley of languages, colors and cultures, where intellectuals come to satisfy their appetites. Take a walking tour of the lush grounds past centuries of fine architecture. Some big names have studied here – film directors, Norman Jewison and Atom Egoyan, and literary superstars, Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood.Accommodations near University of Toronto – St George Campus
A building that has to be seen to be believed. A fabulous fusion of post-modern might and industrial precision, this building is like stepping into a diamond. Once inside, you'll find a dazzling array of treasures, some cultural, many natural: bones of tyrannosaurus rex and wooly mammoth, meteorites and mega-sized minerals, and treasures of Canada's First Nation peoples.Accommodations near Royal Ontario Museum
Looking for an island getaway? Well wake up and smell the rhododendrons! The russet tones of autumn leaves, the fun of family-friendly wildlife trails, not to mention Far Enough Farm and the Centreville Amusement Park, with its mascot Beasley Bear; yes, you’ve landed on the island! There's even a golf course if you want to get a few rounds in.Accommodations near Toronto Island Park – Toronto Islands
Like a castle on a cloud. A little out of the way, but worth the trip, Casa Loma is a flamboyant Gothic-revival castle built as a family home between 1911-1914. The scene of movie sets to royal guests, every period detail here stuns – from the glorious stained-glass conservatory dome and grand Elizabethan library to the elaborate figurative causeways.Accommodations near Casa Loma
Nine-to-fivers work the week away in a sea of skyscrapers, but don't let that spoil the view. Believe it or not, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada is here. Head up the CN Tower for a bird's-eye view over T-town, or share in Canada's sport obsession – NBA Toronto Raptors and NHL Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre, or MBL Toronto Bluejays at the Rogers Centre.Accommodations in Downtown Toronto
Forget Broadway – the bright lights are right here. The crème de la crème of Toronto performs in the beautiful halls around King Street West, where cultural mavens flock to the National Ballet and Toronto Symphony. The major concert venues are here, too. If you like sports, get in on the nation’s hockey obsession at the Air Canada Centre.Accommodations in Entertainment District
Goodbye factories, hello fun! Shipbuilding factories became loft-style condos, folks traded their blue-collar shirts for hipster red, and today this 'hood is among the coolest in town. Watch paddle yoga in the bay (it’s a thing), or catch an event; see Harbourfront Centre for galleries, studios and theaters, or cross Lake Ontario towards Queens Quay.Accommodations in The Harbourfront
Stop, in the name of love. Dance in the name of "Pride." There's a rainbow that shines permanently over Church and Wellesley. The Village is the scene of flag-flying parades, tricks and plenty of treats. Dads walk hand-in-hand, urban sophisticates chat over cocktails, and drag queens lip-sync to Miss D. Ross. No matter what color or creed, all are welcome!Accommodations in The Village
What happens to celebrities when you close the tabloids? They’re probably living the glamorous life in Yorkville’s expensive condos and high-end shops, where "hi, how are you’s" roll off the tongue like silk. Run along and greet your good friends Chanel and Tiffany, steam up at the Windsor Arms spa, then dine at Buca (try the raw sea bass).Accommodations in Bloor-Yorkville
No goon squads allowed. Toronto’s historic rag-trade zone is strictly for fashionistas and the couturiers (or outlet stores) who dress them. Shop here for anything from buttons to bridal gowns, then watch the area transform into a stomping ground for hungry hipsters – try Jacob's & Co. Steakhouse for a seared porterhouse steak (it’s to die for).Accommodations in Fashion District
Students love books. And books love The Annex! Find secondhand bookstores, galleries and every student accoutrement known to man. Laid back and leafy, this city burb has art at its heart. See a play at the Poor Alex Theatre, shop for everything imaginable at Honest Ed’s, or bar-hop till you pop on Bloor Street (try the 90's-esque Dance Cave!).Accommodations in The Annex
Let's meet at the corner of Yonge and Fabulous! Fabulous being the Eaton Centre, best friend of Torontonian spend-a-holics – big chains, big range. Not your thing? Take a walking tour of the charming Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre (Saturdays at 11 am), or cross the square to dine and people-watch at Milestone's Bar and Grill.Accommodations in Yonge - Dundas
Well, some people use a flat iron on their hair... The Gooderham—a “flat-iron” building built in 1892—hints at the quirky architecture that can be found in the Old Town. Catch a matinee at the Rainbow Cinema (tickets are the best value in town), then pick a prime dining spot on the Esplanade. Saturdays, venture to the St. Lawrence Market for gourmet galore.Accommodations in Old Town Toronto
No need to take the slow boat to China – everything is right here at your doorstep! The birds aren't the only ones going “cheap cheap” – shirts, t-shirts, jeans and sunglasses are a dime a dozen and all for a dime. Shop a lot for a little, sip on bubble tea (a Taiwanese treat) and don't miss Dumpling House Restaurant for...what else, dumplings!Accommodations in Chinatown
Flicking that abacus all day takes its toll. Just ask the Financial District’s stockbrokers, statisticians and bean counters who make multimillion-dollar decisions that steer the nation. Toronto's Central Business District is a slick suit-and-tie affair, punctuated by even slicker skyscrapers. For proof, see First Canadian Place; it's the nation's tallest.Accommodations in Financial District
A cool, ethnically diverse neighborhood. Add a touch of bohemian, sprinkle in some counter-culture, and what do you get? Kensington Market: a chain-store-free zone brimming with thrift shops, hole-in-the-wall eateries and 1,001 places to hang. From live music at Supermarket, beers at Graffitis to dinner at Big Fat Burrito, "KM" has you covered.Accommodations in Kensington Market
Ciao! You may not be under the Tuscan sun, but Little Italy more than promises to throw shades of Michelangelo. This vibrant multicultural 'hood flaunts a bevy of beatific sights: cafes with espresso-sipping older gents reading the paper, restaurants serving old-recipe dishes made with all the love of a favorite aunt, plus shops aplenty.Accommodations in Little Italy
Whether it’s koftas-to-go (try Athens Pastries) or sit-down dining, this is the spot for all things Greek. Eat around Alexander the Great Square, or check out Messini for authentic gyros. In August, try Taste of the Danforth – over 1.3 million flock to this three-day event, and Danforth Avenue closes to traffic. Simply a-mezze-ing!Accommodations in The Danforth
.Rafael plays the drums in several bands and loves the city’s vibrant live music venues.
Sweaty Betty’s on Ossington Avenue is one of my favorite bars. It’s one of the few joints in the city where you can sip on affordable drinks while you jam out to an old-fashioned jukebox. But this bar’s real hidden gem is its back patio where you can chill and mingle with the locals.Accommodations nearby
Janet spent most of her life in Athens, but has loved getting to know Toronto over the last 3 years.
Chester Hill Road is a hidden lookout spot tucked away in a residential area near Greektown. Although it’s off the beaten path, you can easily access it from Broadview Station. Snap some pics of the city skyline or bring your special someone for an unforgettable tryst!Accommodations nearby
Since moving from England 6 years ago, Alex has enjoyed exploring Toronto's diverse neighborhoods.
.The Dakota Tavern has exceptional live bluegrass and alternative country music nearly every night of the week. If the idea of sipping cocktails from mason jars makes you happy, you’ll love this basement honky-tonk! Stop by for some Southern hospitality, great music and affordable drinks.Accommodations nearby
.Cristina’s idea of a great time is eating at nice restaurants and playing board games with friends.
.Old MacDonald would be jealous of the variety of farm animals at Riverdale Farm. This free year-round attraction also has walking trails, a butterfly garden and a park that’s perfect for a picnic. If you’re lucky, the farmers' market might be open during your visit!Accommodations nearby
.When she's not browsing Toronto's malls, avid shopper Audrey loves a quiet stroll in the park.
High Park is Toronto’s largest public park. Its small zoo, playgrounds and picnic areas make it a favorite among kids and adults. Late April is cherry blossom time, and locals and visitors come together to view the beautiful flowers. It’s a quick escape from the busy city!Accommodations nearby
.Matt leads walking tours throughout the city and loves showing off Toronto’s coolest spots.
Junction Craft Brewery is a local brewery on a quiet street in the Junction area. Sample some ice-cold craft beers at the cool bar area in the front of the brewery. The walls are decorated with historic photos of the neighborhood, including a vintage map of the area.Accommodations nearby
.Shopping with friends and visiting the city’s hottest spots is what Divya is all about.
Trinity Bellwoods Park may be locally famous for housing a family of rare white squirrels, but it’s also a great hangout spot with activities like tennis and picnic areas. Grab some fresh produce at the weekly farmers’ market or just find a patch of grass to sit and while the day away.Accommodations nearby
Booking.com asked travelers...How can you enjoy the sights in Toronto while avoiding the crowds?
Toronto islands. Also a visit to High Park turned out to be very pleasant surprise.With easy access on the subway this park has beautiful trees,shrubs and flowers.Had one of the best meals of our 4 week stay in Canada in the Grenadier Cafe in the middle of the park.Would definitely recomend.See all 17 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Was it cheap, fast, or easy to use? What made it so simple to get around in Toronto?
United States of America
Transportation was incredibly simple. I never had to look far for a subway sign or a bus stop, etc. It is quite cheap, always safe, and even a newcomer like me had no issues learning it. It probably only took a single day of sightseeing to figure it all out.See all 18 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Which fine art museums should a first-time visitor to Toronto start with?
United States of America
Go to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the Casa Loma museum, and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). You can go to all three and more very cheaply with a Toronto City Pass. Google it!See all 14 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Did the theater performances in Toronto live up to their reputation?
Yes, they do. Could you not a deal together for a stay at your motel and at discounted price, we have done that in the past and it was great, can you please do that?See all 20 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Is there more to shopping in Toronto than just brand-name stores?
Yorkville, Distillery District, restaurants on Queen St and in the Distillery District.See all 17 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What's the secret to sampling all the diverse food Toronto has to offer?
Get talking to locals and ask for their favourite food places.See all 16 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Where should people go if they don't want to eat in a tourist trap?
United States of America
The House on Parliament on Parliament StreetSee all 25 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Describe what other people like you would like about shopping in Toronto.
Lots to see lots to buySee all 19 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What was the most entertaining thing you saw in Toronto?
AGO. This tripSee all 19 answers
Toronto Pearson Airport is Canada's largest and busiest airport. The fastest way to get downtown is the UP Express train, which connects Terminal 1 with Union Station. It takes 25 minutes and costs CAD 12. Taxis take 30 minutes and cost around CAD 60. Be aware of unauthorized drivers soliciting inside the terminals. TTC Buses provide a cheaper alternative, but the journey takes more than an hour and requires multiple transfers.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is small and commonly referred as the Toronto Island Airport. The fastest way to get downtown is to take the footpath that runs under the lake. There is also a free ferry that runs every 15 minutes, which takes you from the airport to the terminal on the southern tip of Bathurst Street. Once you arrive on the mainland, there is a free shuttle that drops you off near Union Station in the downtown area.
Toronto’s metro system has 4 lines connecting the north, south, east and west of the city. It runs on weekdays and Saturdays from approximately 6 am – 1:30 am, and on Sundays from 9 am – 1:30 am. You'll rarely have to wait more than 4 minutes for the next train to arrive. A single ticket with unlimited transfers is CAD 3, and can be purchased from the ticket booths in any station. Metro stops are identified by a signpost with the red TTC Subway logo.
TTC buses generally run from 5:30 am – 1:30 am and fill the gaps when the metro and trams aren't running. The system is well organized and buses make frequent stops. Stops can be identified by the red and white signs on lamp posts on street corners. A single ticket with unlimited transfers is CAD 3, and can be purchased at a ticket booth in any metro station. Alternatively, you can pay with exact change on board by dropping your payment in the box by the driver.
Known locally as streetcars, Toronto’s trams run along several main roads, stopping at all major junctions along the way. Most routes run from 5:30 am – 1:30 am. Stops are identified by red and white signs on lamp posts on street corners. Single tickets with unlimited transfers can be purchased on board (CAD 3, exact change only) or from booths in metro stations. Make sure you keep your receipt (known as a "transfer") to ensure you can continue your ride for free.
Taxis are a convenient but expensive way to get around in Toronto. You can easily hail a taxi in the street or visit a designated taxi stand. Although taxi colors vary, they can be easily identified by the taxi sign on top. Some major taxi companies include Beck (orange and green cars), Maple Leaf (blue cars with a white stripe) and Crown (yellow cars). Most taxis accept credit cards, but cash is preferred. A tip of 15-20% for exceptional service is customary.
Driving in Toronto can be a complicated and frustrating experience. Traffic downtown is often very heavy, and icy roads can make for dangerous conditions in winter. Parking is also expensive, and fines can be high. The car parks marked with a green "P" are the most affordable. Street parking is paid by the hour: buy a ticket at the gray parking meters. Make sure your printed ticket is clearly displayed on your dashboard.
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