12 reasons to visit Toronto
There is no place in the world like Toronto, a city chock-full of unexpected and unique experiences. Sure, comparison to the world’s other great cities can be flattering, but there really are great things to do, see and eat here.
1 - The Castle
Toronto is home to Casa Loma, North America’s only real, full-size castle, which spreads out over 98 rooms, complete with medieval turrets, gorgeous gardens and secret passageways.
2 - The Caribbean Festival
Feel the heat at North America’s biggest Caribbean festival. The Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto is a grand-scale shindig that first hit the streets in 1967 and combines wildly creative and colorful costumes with soca, calypso, salsa, steel-pan and reggae artists along a 1½ km route.
3 - The Honey
The Fairmont Royal York was the first hotel in the world to make its own honey on its rooftop. Now its apiary is home to 300,000 bees that produce more than 363 kg of honey annually.
4 - The Stars
Bono, Madonna and George Clooney have attended TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). The annual celebration attracts more than 400,000 moviegoers to films from over 65 countries. It’s North America’s most important film festival.
5 - The Game
Take yourself out to the ball game. The Blue Jays are Canada’s only Major League Baseball team. Tour the Rogers Centre, home to the world’s first fully retractable roof. An awe-inspiring feat of engineering, it opens or closes in 20 minutes and is 31 floors high.
6 - The Ultimate Game
The puck stops here for hockey fans. The Hockey Hall of Fame features the world’s largest collection of hockey memorabilia, including the Stanley Cup.
7 - The Thrills
Want your thrills on a large scale? Meet Leviathan, the country’s fastest (148 km/h), steepest (80-degree drop), tallest (93.3 m) roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland.
8 - PATH
Welcome to a Land Down Under. PATH is the world’s largest underground walkway, linking 28 km of shopping, restaurants, services and businesses, and encompassing approximately 1,200 stores.
9 - The Ceramics
The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art is the only museum in North America that focuses exclusively on ceramics.
10 - The Red Rocket
Ride the red rocket, as streetcars are known in Toronto. Hop on board the 501 Queen streetcar, anytime day or night, and enjoy the 24.8 km ride—the longest route in North America.
11 - Fishing
Go fish. On Toronto’s doorstep you can relax with a pole in hand and hope for a great catch. The salmon—especially Chinook and Atlantic varieties—are abundant in the Credit River with prime spots including Forks of the Credit Provincial Park near Brampton and the harbor in Port Credit in Mississauga, where the river empties into Lake Ontario. It’s urban fishing at its best.
12 - The Culture
Sole-searching begins here. The Bata Shoe Museum boasts the world’s most comprehensive collection of footwear and related artifacts.
Before you leave, be sure to take in Kensington Market—a story of immigrants and the best place to experience the city's animated multiculturalism; a neighborhood alive with street art; scruffy alleys and independent stores, bars and food stalls with food from around the world.
Here's another great reason to visit Toronto: WOW air's cheap flights to Toronto from the UK, Ireland, and Paris, to name just a few.
Words: Cindy-Lou Dale
Photos: iStockphoto.com and Cindy-Lou Dale
For more information on Toronto check out www.seetorontonow.com.