The Canadian city of Toronto is the country’s east coast wonder. It can be seen as Canada’s version of Manhattan, and this vibrant and young city quickly gets under your skin. It is a fantastic choice for a city break-type holiday and it will take only one visit on holidays in Toronto for you to want to pack your belongings and move here. Situated on Lake Ontario’s shores, the most eastern of the Great Lakes, the Greater Toronto Area is Canada’s financial, cultural and entertainment hub. The city’s importance is what makes holidays here so irresistible for people eager to explore the culture of Canada.
Book a stay in a Toronto hotel for a city break overlooking the stunning Lake Ontario shimmering in the distance. A large amount of the hotels in Toronto are situated close to the main sites, from picturesque gardens on the Toronto Islands to the eclectic range of shopping opportunities in Lawrence Market. Do you have a fear of heights? Treat your phobia by heading to the top of the CN Tower, which overwhelmingly dominates the skyline of the city - you don't want to miss the spectacular panoramic views. Get a taste of the cultural diversity represented here by taking a culinary tour of what is on offer in the city. Begin in Greektown for kebabs and mezes, visit Chinatown for some sumptious dim sum, and finish in Little Italy for the best Tiramisu to be found on Canada’s Eastern Coast.
The climate of Toronto is semi-continental, with warm and humid summers and cold winters. Downtown Toronto sits in the humid climate zone at Lake Ontario’s south-western end that covers the city’s southern part – including downtown, where average temperatures annually exceed 9 degrees Celsius.
The climate of the city is modified by its location on Lake Ontario’s shores. The temperature of the water in the lake means Toronto tends to be warmer in winter and cooler in summer than would otherwise be the case. The city’s location on the Great Lakes is also the cause of Toronto’s summer humidity, which a lot of people find uncomfortable.
The best times to visit for holidays to Toronto are from late April through to May and from September through to October. The peak tourist season coincides with the summer months: the streets come to life with pedestrian markets, terraces open at restaurants and cafes, and numerous cultural events take place. However, as the temperatures rise, so do the prices.
Toronto’s downtown area is vibrant and safe and is easy to navigate on foot, by public transport, or by taxi. The downtown area is also where you will find the majority of attractions, cafes and restaurants, and the best shopping, making it by far the best place for visitors to base themselves. (Downtown consists roughly of the area west of Jarvis Street and east of Spadina Avenue, running from Lake Ontario to just to the north of Bloor Street). The full range of accommodation options can be found in this area from budget to high-end.
It is not advisable to stay by the airport, that is, unless you have an early flight to catch next morning. While there is a good selection of airport hotels, however transport options from the area of the airport to downtown are either very slow or expensive. If you choose to stay near the airport on Toronto holidays, it will be more difficult to see the city - especially without a car.
Book early if you are planning on visiting the city in the summer. The peak time of year for Toronto hotels coincides with the Toronto International Film Festival (it runs for 10 days in early September, starting the first Thursday after Labor Day).
Yonge Street forms the backbone of Toronto – and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest street (since 1988), it stretches on for hundreds of miles out into northern Ontario. It begins at Lake Ontario and from the lake you can take a leisurely stroll to reach the Eaton Centre, a huge, rather impressive, mall. Keep walking up Yonge to Bloor Street and when you get to the intersection you will find yourself in a shopping district consisting of primarily high-end stores. However, Bloor Street also features a little pocket neighborhood, known as Yorkville, which is also great for exploring on holidays to Toronto.
In clear conditions you are able to see Niagara Falls from atop the CN Tower. It remains one of Canada’s tallest buildings, and if you are feeling brave try its’ EdgeWalk, which allows you to walk on and around the tower’s main pod’s roof – 356 meters up.
Downton’s best green space Park – some 161 hectares. It is perfect for relaxing picnics, it features a small zoo and Shakespeare in the Park outdoor play performances happen here in summer.
The Toronto Islands offer spectacular views of the city. The islands are a short 10-minute ferry ride from the downtown (C$7 return). As soon as you disembark, you’ll no longer hear the city’s traffic noise. Here you can hire a bicycle and ride along trails. Despite how close you are to the city you can feel like you are hundreds of kilometers away in the countryside.
Frank Gehry’s redesign of the Art Gallery of Ontario located on Dundas Street West is truly spectacular, and this gallery is just one of many beautiful buildings in the city. Immediately behind it is the OCAD University (previously the Ontario College of Art and Design), which resembles a massive rectangular box, decorated with black and white squares. It gives the impression of being suspended mid-air by blue, yellow, white and red spindly legs. People love it or hate it in equal measure.
The city of Toronto loves its books. There is a rich and varied literary heritage here and, as a consequence, some great bookshops especially Sleuth of Baker Street for crime fiction on Millwood Road.
A hidden gem to discover on holidays in Toronto is the rooftop bar that is part of the Park Hyatt, located on Avenue Road in Toronto’s downtown. It is called the Roof Lounge and is situated on the 18th floor, so offers amazing views out over Yorkville and the entire city. The patio is well-heated meaning you can enjoy it almost all year round.
If you are an avid foodie you will find everything you could want here because there are so many cultures represented in Toronto.
Two airports serve Toronto.
Toronto Pearson International Airport is Canada’s main gateway airport with flight connections to every continent and it ranks among the top 30 airports in the world in terms of aircraft movement and passenger traffic. There are more than 76 scheduled and charter airlines that currently serve Toronto Pearson International Airport and various air carriers provide non-stop services to numerous destinations in Canada, the US and the rest of the world.
Air Canada, Canada’s national carrier is a founding member of the Star Alliance and relies on Pearson International Airport as its main Canadian base with a wide range of domestic, US and international connections.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (formerly known as Toronto City Centre Airport) is among the world’s most convenient urban airports. It is situated on Toronto Island, just minutes from downtown with links by a short ferry ride or shuttle, and is served by both Air Canada and Porter Airlines.
Public transport is a bone of contention here. There’s only four subway lines, two of which are really short. Finding a cab is easy, and there is a good network of surface transport, such as trams (streetcars) and buses, but you can still find yourself caught in traffic. This means it sometimes takes time to get to where you want to go, however you’ll get there eventually – it is not terrible all the time.
While the majority of things to see on Toronto holidays are in downtown, Toronto is a city that spreads out into many interesting neighborhoods. The area is mostly flat, particularly the area surrounding Lake Ontario that continues towards Buffalo, New York state.
Many people have some preconceptions when it comes to Toronto. Stereotypes abound such as Mounties in their red coats being everywhere, that the city is deeply covered of snow all winter, if not for much of the year. None of this is true. The summers in Toronto are humid and hot, the only time you are likely to spot a Mountie is when there is a ceremonial event.
It is easy to like Canada's largest city. Toronto is orderly metropolis that is home to 5.7 million and the people here are almost all friendly. Meanwhile it is the influence of the more than 200 ethnicities that call Toronto home that makes the city vibrant. What is more the majority of the action happens in the heart of the city, that means it is possible to visit Toronto for a city break and experience it all without risking exhaustion.
Take our word for it and book your Toronto holidays with Booked.net.