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Your guide to Toronto
All About Toronto
Situated on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is the largest city in Canada, home to three million residents — roughly half of whom were born abroad, which makes it the most multicultural city in the country. You can grab a table at one of Kensington Market’s hip, world-class restaurants to enjoy Baja-style tacos or Jamaican jerk chicken, or sip third-wave coffee in Roncesvalles before browsing the employee picks at a cosy indie bookshop.
Art lovers will want to spend a day wandering from gallery to gallery in the pedestrian-only Distillery District or duck into Graffiti Alley to admire some of Toronto’s most famous street art. To experience the best view of the skyline, rise above the streets at Downtown Toronto’s 1,815-foot CN Tower — once the tallest freestanding structure in the world.
Nearby, Lake Ontario’s sandy shores invite sunbathing and summer swimming, with volleyball games at Woodbine Beach and juicy burgers by the Kew-Balmy boardwalk. The nearby Toronto Islands house an artists’ colony, hiking and biking trails, and an amusement park — all just 15 minutes from downtown by ferry.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Toronto
Toronto is a city that lives for patio season — the sunny months span from June to September, and everyone spills outside to dine alfresco and hop into kayaks for an evening paddle in the bay. It’s also the season for many outdoor celebrations, including the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and Pride Toronto — one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world. In winter, Toronto transforms into a real-life snowglobe, with average temperatures below freezing. You’ll need to bundle up for any outdoor activities, but the scenery is worth it. These chilly months are also a good time to explore Toronto museums like the Aga Khan — the first museum on the continent dedicated to Islamic civilizations.
Top things to do in Toronto
Stretching across 400 acres, High Park provides peace and adventure for locals and visitors alike, located just 20 minutes from downtown. Its perfectly manicured lawns, outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, and vast array of wildlife from bats to herons make it the city’s natural playground.
It can seem like every corner of Toronto has some street art to show off, but certain neighbourhoods are home to impressive commissioned murals that have to be seen to be believed. The most popular and most photographed collection can be found in the three blocks that make up Graffiti Alley, located in Toronto’s Fashion District. The walls here showcase local talent as well as some of the biggest names in the art world, and it’s also a popular spot to hold street festivals.
Snacks at St. Lawrence
Toronto’s gastronomic offering runs to over 7,000 restaurants representing a range of global cuisines and cultures. Among those is the popular St. Lawrence Market, a centuries-old indoor space that houses two floors of vendors selling everything from fresh-baked pastries to specialty cheeses. The best day to stop by is a Saturday, when the famous Farmers’ Market is in full swing.