Toronto

General Information

Canada’s most populous and arguably most financially successful city

Has been warmly welcoming visitors throughout its 180 years, giving it a uniquely cosmopolitan (and ultra-modern) feel today. Many have liked it so much they’ve stayed - half its inhabitants were born outside Canada – drawn, perhaps to its glass peaks, urban beaches, astonishing natural hinterland and easygoing nature.

Shopping

Unusually for a large North American city, Toronto has managed to retain a largely mall-free downtown environment. Aside from the Eaton Centre (22 Yonge Street) – a hand-picked collection of chains and designer outlets presided over by that famous flying geese sculpture – the supersized arcades are all located in the suburbs. Instead, locals get their retail therapy at bustling gourmet markets such as St Lawrence Market (92 Front Street East) and at independent boutiques. Higher-end shoppers head to Yorkville for Prada (131 Bloor Street West), Chanel (131 Bloor Street West) and of course the ‘Harrods of Toronto’ Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West). Queen and College Streets draw a younger, more alternative crowd.

Food & Drink

Toronto is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and the diversity of its population is reflected in the food scene. Whether your preference runs to Tibetan sha momos, Scandinavian smørrebrød or simply good, homely pub food, you’ll find something to tickle those taste buds here. Some of the best restaurants Toronto has to offer are brand-spanking new – check out Shōtō (190 University Avenue) for the ultimate in contemporary gourmet extravagance, or the old-school Edulis (169 Niagara Street), which is still a secret known only to savvy locals. Terroni’s Bucatini all’Amatriciana (720 Queen Street West) is a Toronto institution, and serves up lip-smacking Italian dishes at decent prices.

Events

Pride Week

Hotels

Toronto has one of the glitziest luxury hotel scenes in North America. In 2012 alone, four of the world’s most opulent brands opened branches here: Ritz-Carlton (181 Wellington Street West), Shangri-La (188 University Avenue), Trump (325 Bay Street) and Four Seasons (60 Yorkville Avenue). Canada’s capital also has plenty to offer outside the five-star market. From the 1930s-inspired Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) to the designer Hotel Ocho in Chinatown (195 Spadina Avenue), Toronto’s boutique accommodation is fast becoming legend among travellers. Budget visitors can get their trendy fix at The Rex (194 Queen Street West), a lively jazz bar with a small selection of rooms.

Essentials

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