The largest city of Canada, Toronto with its diverse culture, clean but not a sterile environment dotted with flower beds in full bloom and a passion for theatre and art will make you fall in love with it. A city that loves its pooches to the extent that there are hangouts where you can spend time with your dogs has its own quirky charms. We were invited by Tourism Toronto on media familiarisation trip to explore the city.
While the best way to explore Toronto is on bicycles or the subway service, for a glimpse of the city from a high altitude, head to CN tower. It is one of the tallest free-standing structures and gives a spectacular view of the skyscrapers and the magnificent lake Ontario. For thrill seekers, it also has a glass floor with a view of the bottom of the tower.
Not to be missed here is the ferry ride on Lake Ontario. The journey is made better with the steady comic banter of the ferry captains who not only give you trivia about the city but keep you entertained throughout the journey. A short ferry ride will also take you to the islands around the lake, like the Centre’s Island which has the Hanlan’s point, a nude beach.
Museum on my menu
When in Toronto, don’t miss out on a visit to the Bata Shoe Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). The footwear museum has an impressive collection of shoes, some older than 4,500 years and shoes of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Pierce Brosnon.
Canadians love food and in every street you will find a restaurant with huge neon boards luring you for a glass of beer. The Distillery Historic District, with beautiful Victorian industrial buildings lined up with bakeries, sidewalk cafés and pubs, is a must visit for the foodies. Do visit the Beer Boutique outside the distillery. Weekends are celebrated here and streets are lined with trucks selling hot dogs, fries and sandwiches. Do visit St Lawrence market on a Saturday. From free wine-tasting to meat-tasting, the market often develops a carnival like atmosphere. The concept of food trucks which is popular in New York is also fast catching up in Toronto and one can get a taste of gourmet food from these trucks. All you have to do is follow the movement of this truck on micro-blogging website, Twitter and reach the area where it will be next.
A visit to areas inhabited by various ethnic communities and trying out their cuisines is a must. There is a Koreatown, Chinatown, Greektown, Little India and more.
There’s more to the visit
A visit to Niagara Falls l, 1.5 hours from Toronto is a must in everybody’s itinerary, not many people know that the area around it houses 28 wineries, most of which offer winery tours. Thrill seekers must visit the main town of Niagara -on- the- Lake. A scenic town with stunning Victorian architecture is said to be the most haunted town in Canada and ghost walks are organised for tourists. It is home to the Shaw Festival, a series of theatrical productions of works by George Bernard Shaw.
How to reach: There are various airlines connecting Delhi and Toronto. You need a Canada visa.
Where to stay: High End-Fairmont Royal York, Intercontinental Hotel.
On a budget: Bed and breakfasts, inns
Best time to visit: April to October
Other attractions: Casa Loma, Eaton Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame