- After New York City and Mexico City, Toronto has the most heavily used public transit system in North America, making it easy and efficient to get around without having your own wheels.
- Start walking. Toronto is filled with a plethora of amazing neighborhoods and parks, so just getting out and wandering will give you a great feel for the city, plus it’s free!
- You don’t typically think of beaches when you think of Canada, but Toronto has several nice ones on the shores of Lake Ontario.
- Get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and head to The Toronto Islands.
- Explore some of Toronto’s many ethnic neighborhoods like Little Italy, Portugal Village, Chinatown, Little India, or Koreatown.
- Toronto is just as diverse as New York City and San Francisco when it comes to restaurants, but you can actually eat for much cheaper.
Why you should add Toronto to your RTW travel list
- Play “spot the local” in the world’s most diverse city
- Eat food from a different ethnic neighborhood every day
- Take a day trip to Niagara Falls
- Check out the great views from the top of the CN Tower
- Understand why Canadians love hockey at the Hockey Hall of Fame
- The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the world’s premier festivals for film premieres
- Watch the Monarch butterfly migration in Point Pelee National Park
- Plan your walk along the 800km Bruce Trail
Why you should not add Toronto to your RTW travel list
- Winters can be really brutal here in Toronto.
Canada’s largest city is easily one of North America’s nicest and most livable large cities, assuming you are okay with the winter weather, that is. The city center is clean and modern and the public transportation system is world class. An area adjacent to the business district conveniently contains much of the city’s nightlife of every kind and not far away is a pleasant beach community. With a huge immigrant population it’s not surprising that ethnic neighborhoods dot the city and the Italian, Greek, and Chinese districts are great places for a meal or a stroll.
What To Do
The skyline is dominated by the CN Tower, which is the tallest freestanding structure in the world (for the moment) at 553 meters. You can take an elevator to the top for amazing views and don’t miss the portion of the observation floor that is made of thick glass. Just stepping out on it is a mini-thrill ride in itself. Particularly during the summer months there is loads to do in the Harbourfront District. And the aforementioned Beaches district is a nice place to visit in good weather for a walk through this laid back urban neighborhood.
The city has its share of museums and galleries, but the Toronto experience is probably better achieved by checking out the ethnic neighborhoods in the center of the city. In addition to the ones mentioned above there are Korean and Indian neighborhoods to explore. It’s impossible to find such an international city that is so clean and easy to access. For sports fans Toronto has the Hockey Hall of Fame and during the season avoiding the sport is completely hopeless and futile in this hockey-obsessed city.
Unless you’ve decided to rent a car and are driving in, you’ll want to book a flight into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Being such a major city there are often good deals available if you look around. The airport is well outside of town and there is an expensive shuttle bus that takes passengers into the city center, but there are also bus services that take passengers to local subway stations for a much smaller fee so ask about those when you land if you’d like to save a bit of money.
Where To Stay
The city’s charms and attractions are well spread out so it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to stay in the center. There are several hostels in Toronto and quite a few hotels to choose from, but as everywhere the better and cheaper ones tend to book up early so plan ahead. The Theater District near downtown is a great neighborhood if you want to be near clubs and theaters, but there are nightlife options all over so you don’t have to stay close in if you are on a tight budget.