The Queen City
This article was written by Heidi Seifkas and was featured in our July issue of Home By Design magazine. To visit the original Home By Design article and view more photos, click here.
Toronto, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, is home to nearly 2.8 million residents; however, it is the diversity of Canada’s largest city that makes it magical. From its cuisine, arts, history, and numerous festivals, Toronto has something for every type of traveler. Discover must-do adventures, hotspots, and enjoyable side trips for your next trip to the Queen City.
To get the lay of the land and the immense Lake Ontario, there is no better iconic spot that the CN Tower. From the largest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, measuring 1,815 feet tall, you can admire the spectacular beauty of Toronto, its neighboring islands, and the easternmost of the five Great Lakes. The CN Tower not only provides panoramic views, but a total sensory experience. For those hungry or thirsty for inventive, seasonal Canadian flavors, try its 360 Restaurant. Care for a dose of adrenaline before you dine? Opt for EdgeWalk where you get a bird’s-eye view of the city while walking the outside edge of the tower.
If you prefer to explore Toronto from the ground level, there are a plethora of pedestrian, biking, and watersport options. With nearly fifty kilometers (approximately twenty-eight miles) of waterfront, there are countless biking and walking trails from which to experience the shoreline. For rentals of bikes and watercraft such as kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, head over to Queens Quay. The bustling area offers restaurants, rental outfitters, the ferry to the Toronto Islands, and, last but not least, stellar people watching. Take a quick ride-share or fifteen-minute stroll from Queens Quay to experience Canada’s Walk of Fame in the heart of downtown. The maple leaf stars displayed on the sidewalk over multiple blocks highlight Canada’s most notable actors, authors, athletes, and other luminaries. Find favorites such as Alex Trebek, Martin Short, and Alanis Morissette.
Dine and Dash.
Feel the mélange of cultures when you look for a place to grab a bite in Toronto’s global neighborhoods. You will find a vibrant Little Italy as well as Chinatown. Plus, there’s Greek-Town, the largest in North America, which hosts its own Taste of Danforth in the summer to celebrate Hellenic cuisine and culture. For those lured by shopping, history, and gastronomic treats all in one place, the historic Distillery District is the ticket. Visitors can peruse art galleries, cafés, boutiques, and theaters, all on foot, throughout a hybrid of Victorian industrial architecture combined with the creativity and design of the twenty-first century. If you and your travel companion(s) crave a market where everyone can pick their favorite treat, the St. Lawrence Market is a crowd-pleaser. With over one hundred different, local specialty vendors offering fresh produce, baked goods, meat, fish, and dairy, the hardest part of a visit is narrowing down your picks.
Something for Everyone.
Whether you have a passion for food, music, the arts, the outdoors, history, or a combination of it all, Toronto has you covered. Treat yourself to dim sum in Chinatown or a cannoli and cappuccino in Little Italy. Indulge in local, award-winning wine while listening to global jazz artists at one of many music festivals. Experience life at your own pace via bike or kayak along beautiful Lake Ontario. Allow your passions to collide in the diverse city of Toronto. There’s always something new to experience here, in the waterfront Queen City.
|WHEN TO GO: |
May through October is the most temperate time to visit (mid-40s to upper 70s F). June through August is the busiest time of the year with summer festivals and warmer temperatures.
SUMMER FESTIVALS OF INTEREST:
June & July: Beaches International Jazz Festival, TD Toronto Jazz Festival
August & September: Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), Taste of the Danforth, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
*All events are subject to change per current gathering restrictions.
Niagara Falls (a bit over a one-hour drive)
Ontario Wine Region (one-hour drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake)
Toronto Islands via Ferry from Queens Quay (fifteen minutes)
Muskoka’s Cottage Country (two-hour drive north of the city)