As the largest city in Canada, Toronto is a cosmopolitan centre, bursting with exciting things to see and do.
With cheap flights to Toronto available daily from many departure cities, this vibrant destination is at the top of many Canadians must-visit lists for a weekend city break. In fact, Toronto attracts thousands of international travellers every year.
Over the last 50 years, Toronto has claimed its place as a global hub and it’s now known around the world as a sleek, chic and efficient city that rivals New York and London in terms of size, breadth of entertainment and gastronomy.
At the top of visitors sightseeing to-do list should be the famous CN Tower. As Toronto’s most popular tourist attraction, this tower is a must-see for visitors. You can even eat lunch at the top in 360 The Restaurant.
Those who like to live life on the edge can do the CN ‘Edgewalk’. Visitors test their nerves by walking, attached to safety harnesses, around the circumference of the roof – it’s the world’s highest full-circle, hands-free walk.
Those travelling with kids might want to check out the Toronto Zoo and its newest attraction, the Giant Panda Experience, featuring famous pandas Er Shun and Da Mao. The state-of-the-art Panda Interpretive Center also offers visitors the chance to learn more about these incredible animals.
The Ontario Science Centre is another great day out for families with 600 activities in 10 exhibition halls offering interactive science and technology experiences that will delight and inspire inquiring minds.
For more family fun, head to Canada’s Wonderland. Another popular Toronto attraction, this amusement park has a host of rides, including the 20-acre Splash Works water park and the awesome Leviathan, Canada’s tallest and fastest roller coaster.
For a relaxing experience, hop on a ferry at Queen Quay in the harbor front area and head to the Toronto Islands. This collection of eight islands offers the ideal venue for picnics, cycling and relaxation. The islands are also home to Centreville, a fabulous amusement park nestled in more than 600 acres of parkland and boasting more than 30 rides and attractions, plus a variety of food outlets.
When the sun sets, why not venture downtown to check out Toronto’s many restaurants, bars and entertainment hot spots? Those wishing to sample the local beer should head to the quirky and flourishing Distillery District which plays host to a brewery, art galleries, workshops and cafes. Here you’ll discover a smorgasbord of gourmet fare in an ‘industrial chic’ setting. Whether you’re after fresh seafood, authentic Italian cuisine or succulent steaks, you’ll find a dish that will entice you.
Food lovers should also check out Summerlicious, Toronto’s favorite culinary celebration. Held each July, the festival allows visitors to sample the finest dishes in the city and enjoy three-course prix fixe menus at a selection of the city’s top restaurants for a fraction of the normal cost. The farmers market at St Lawrence Market Complex is also a must for foodies with its cheese stalls and specialty food vendors.
There’s so much to do you’ll probably need a moment to reflect and plan as your flight to Toronto touches down. Make sure you add Ripley’s Aquarium to your list. New in September 2013, this aquarium is well worth a look. It features more than 13,000 creatures on show, from cuttlefish to sea turtles, and a host of interactive experiences including a unique 96-metre-long moving walkway below Shark Lagoon; this attraction is sure to be a popular addition to the Toronto tourist scene.