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Toronto, Ontario Travel Guide

Toronto Summary


  • Canada's cultural hub, with wonderful museums and a hopping entertainment scene
  • Fast and clean subway system
  • Culturally diverse
  • Excellent shopping and dining
  • Underground shopping city for the cold months
  • Its rich history can be seen in the beautiful architecture
  • Extensive green areas
  • Very safe


  • It’s the country’s most expensive city
  • Driving can be a frustrating experience due to the traffic jams and difficult, expensive parking
  • Unbearably cold winters
  • The subway has limited hours of operation, shutting down late at night
  • Expensive taxis and slow buses

What It's Like

Despite being a sprawling city, Toronto is made for walking. You might want to pick your route before setting off to wander about its very distinct neighborhoods, but there’s so much to do and see in all of them, that you will probably want to spend a while in each. Whether you visit the Financial District, with its glass skyscrapers and bustling streets, the Victorian houses and high-end shops in Yorkville, or the art galleries and boutiques around Queen's Park and The University, you will discover that Toronto has many faces. Chic restaurants, lively pubs and cafes, beautiful architecture, great museums -- it all stands side-by-side in this modern (and expensive) city.

Located on the western side of Lake Ontario, Toronto is the country’s cultural and financial hub. Although it's efficient and contemporary, it's home to preserved historic sites, like the downtown campus of the University of Toronto, a vast area in the heart of the city with beautiful neo-Gothic churches and buildings.

As an alternative to driving (which can be terribly frustrating), the subway is an excellent way of exploring the town. Fast and clean, it will take you almost anywhere. (But hours of operation are limited.)

Where To Stay

Downtown Toronto includes a number of smaller but thriving neighborhoods, each with a distinct vibe. The recently revitalized Art and Design District is full of boutiques and art galleries; the Financial District is the place to be if you want to stay close to theatres, sports arenas, and popular tourist attractions. Queen’s Park and the University is full of hopping pubs, diverse restaurants, and interesting architecture. If you’ve got some extra cash to spend, the city's most luxurious hotels, and best high-end shops, are in Yorkville.

The fairly organized grid system will help you get easily from one place to the other, but here are a few tips to find your way around: Yonge Street divides East and West; Bloor Street, running along the northern border of the University of Toronto downtown campus, divides North and South.

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