May 6, 2015
1. Go over the edge
It may be a 90-minute drive from Toronto, but Niagara Falls is well worth the trip. Watching close to 750,000 gallons of water a second hurtle down the curved cliffs is sure to impress. Take in the view from the top – the Table Rock site allows you to stand barely a metre from the edge of Horseshoe Falls – or head into the falls themselves with the Journey Behind the Falls, descending 38 metres through solid rock in a lift to stand next to the curtain of water. If that still doesn’t grab your attention, take flight with Niagara Helicopters and soar over the falls. As an added plus, you’re standing on the Canadian- United States border, the longest international border in the world.
2. Survey the wide blue yonder
It’s impossible to visit Toronto without seeing the CN Tower, mainly because at 553.33 metres high (1,815.4 feet) it dominates the landscape. Once the world’s tallest tower, it’s still impressive. Take in the view from the LookOut Level at 346 metres (1,136 feet), walk on air on the Glass Floor and outdoor SkyTerrace at 342 metres (1,122 feet), at check out the views from the highest perch of all: the SkyPod at 447 metres (1,465 feet) above the city!
3. Root for the home team
Hockey is more than a sport in Canada, it’s a national obsession, and Toronto is no different. And even though they’re currently having the longest dry spell in NHL history (the last time they won the Stanley Cup was in 1967), the Toronto Maple Leafs still draw a crowd. Maybe if we cheer hard enough, Torontonians will get to see the Stanley Cup somewhere other than the Hockey Hall of Fame.
4. Then join a home team
Every winter, over 50 outdoor ice rinks take over the city, the most popular in Nathan Philips Square where the fountain becomes a skating spot. So get your skates on.
5. Take in some history
Toronto is full of museums, like the Royal Ontario Museum, which houses a massive collection of cultural and historical items, as well as rotating exhibitions, or the Bata Shoe Museum, with over 13,000 footwear items in their collection.
6. Scare yourself fit
But why not get out and explore? It might not be 100 per cent the truth, but the Haunted Walk offers up some spooky tales and gory facts from days gone by. It’s also a great way to acquaint yourself with the place’s nooks and crannies.
7. Shop until you drop
Toronto has a handle on shopping. Toronto Eaton Centre is jammed with shops, from high street brands to more chi chi designers. Grab some fresh produce and antiques at the St. Lawrence Market, before scouring Toronto’s many independent bookstores for a good read. Still looking for that special buy? Twice a year the One of a Kind Show, the largest consumer craft show in North America, takes over. Everything sold at the show is hand made in North America, much of it local, and all of it awesome.
8. Eat your way around the world
Almost half the population of Toronto was born outside Canada, so it is entirely possible to take your tummy on a trip around the world without ever leaving the city limits. Head to Chinatown, Little India, Little Italy and more to stuff your face, or sample fusion cuisine like the Hungary Thai. It’s so popular, every summer Taste of the Danforth celebrates it’s Greek history with a celebration of everything Greek—especially the food. But make sure to leave room for that oh-so-Canadian favourite, poutine.
9. Behold delusions of grandeur
Every city needs a castle, and Casa Loma is Toronto’s! Designed by grandiloquent architect EJ Lennox for Sir Henry Pellat and finished in 1914, this ostentatious masterpiece includes marble floors in the stables and room after lavish room. And if you’re still craving the lifestyles of the rich and famous, check out Spadina Historic House & Gardens , financier James Austin’s lavish manse.
10. See a big show
Toronto bills itself as ‘North Broadway’, and with many touring companies coming through town, the city has an impressive theatre scene. There are theatres aplenty but two of the most popular are Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre, North America’s only double-decker theatre complex and Young Centre for the Performing Arts – three stages in 19th-century tank houses in the Distillery District.