Toronto, also known as the Queen City, The 416 or T.O., is the “New York City” of Canada in some aspects. Featuring major sporting teams from hockey to baseball and boasting over 1600 named parks to explore with its eastern edge lining the Carolinian Forest. This city is a global powerhouse of business, arts and finance, and is ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities. Toronto attracts more than 25 million visitors annually, with events occurring throughout the various seasons that keep people coming back.
Nestled along the shore of Lake Ontario, the Queen City boasts a population of just over 2.5 million people and is the fourth most populated city in North America. This multicultural city’s peak season of travel is summer, from the months of June to August. Visitors traveling into Toronto can arrive using Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ / CYYZ), Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ / CYTZ) or Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport (YKZ / CYKZ). In-flight catering is available at all three of these airports through the Air Culinaire Worldwide Network.
If going to Toronto during springtime, you can enjoy such festivities at Canada Blooms during March. This is the largest flower and garden show in Canada, featuring over 6 acres of gardens in full bloom. This show has hundreds of vendors and presenters, such as Martha Stewart. Toronto kicks off its summer line-up with The Redpath Waterfront Festival on Lake Ontario with live music, street performances, an art market and great culinary experiences. Coinciding with the Redpath Waterfront Festival, you can further enjoy food and beverage with the Toronto Wine and Spirit Festival. As the leaves being to change and fall, so do the new clips of the Toronto International Film Festival in September. In late January to early February, you can partake in Winterlicious, a culinary event that features several different experiences to enjoy. You can delight in cooking classes, watch live demonstrations, indulge in tastings and spirit pairings or feast at an intimate chef dinner. Over 150 top restaurants participate by offering prix-fixe menus during this event.
Rogers Centre, the Canadian Opera Company, National Ballet of Canada, Casa Loma and the Hockey Hall of Fame are all wonders that can be explored while visiting the vast city. Home of the Toronto Blue Jays, Rogers Centre is one of only seven stadiums played in the MLB with a retractable roof to allow play in all types of weather. Looking to enjoy a harmonic performance? Then you need a ticket to the Canadian Opera Company (which is open year-round with critically-acclaimed artists) or be dazzled by the exquisite dancers of the National Ballet of Canada. Explore Casa Loma and step back in time while touring this spectacular medieval castle that is surrounded by the estate’s gardens. If you share the passion of hockey like many fans across the world, then a stop to make is the Hockey Hall of Fame to see the history of the sport and memorabilia not found anywhere else.
The food aspects are endless in this diverse city. Jumping on the TTC (Toronto’s subway) it can make you feel like you took a trip around the world with stops from Little Italy, Chinatown, Kensington Market and Koreatown. The options, like the people in the city, are diverse. For Korean home cooking on the cheaper price scale, head to Owl of Minerva on Bloor Street. Seeking Italian cuisine? Take streetcar Route 505 to Porchetta & Co to enjoy their highly sought-after pork sandwich.
When you are ready for a place to rest your head during your trip Toronto, this melting pot of the north boasts such hotels as the Ritz-Carlton Toronto and the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, where you can enjoy elegant amenities while in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle of the active entertainment district. If you are operating to Toronto during baseball season and staying at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, request a room with a view where you can kick your shoes off and relax while watching a live Toronto Blue Jays home game. You can also enjoy a more trendsetting and fashionable atmosphere with a rooftop bar overlooking Queen Street or enjoy the nightclub with some of the latest names in music at the Underground at the Drake Hotel. The rooms might be smaller, but this influential hotel is the place to stay if you are looking for a hot spot that offers it all at one location.
No matter what time of year you find yourself visiting the T.O., you will find that this destination is a treasure – with many people to meet, cuisines to feast upon, places to explore and fun to be had. From hidden rooms to explore at Kensington Market, stories being retold by dancers or singers, and medieval castles to descend upon – Toronto has something for everyone.
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