Recently, Lisa Gill from Conde Nast Traveler was on the Today show discussing the best destinations for travel this year, and much to Andrew Rivkin’s delight Toronto came in as one of the top five picks for 2013! Toronto, Ontario, Canada is more often than not overlooked as a desirable vacation destination, but as Lisa reminds us Toronto is a “wonderful and sophisticated city with a thriving performing arts scene” including theaters, concerts and festivals. In addition, the beauty of the city’s architecture is unsurpassed, and the rich and diverse heritage is truly one of a kind. Consider Toronto as a vacation destination for 2013, and to help you along the way here are a few suggestions from Toronto native, Andrew Rivkin.
Things to do in Toronto
Get a bird’s eye view of Toronto and beyond at the CN Tower, which is a must visit Canadian landmark that attracts millions of international visitors every year. The structure was completed in 1976, and for over 30 years it held the record as the world’s tallest free-standing structure and the world’s tallest tower. Although these records were surpassed in 2010 with the completion of Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower, the CN Tower remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, and is the gem of Toronto’s skyline. Visitor’s can enjoy a thrilling ascent to the 346-metre (1,136-foot) Look Out Level where there are observation decks inside and out, as well as a nail-biting section of glass floor. The Horizons Cafe is an affordable option for dining, but the tower’s luxurious, rotating restaurant, 360 offers a truly unforgettable Toronto dining experience.
As Lisa Gill pointed out, Toronto has a spectacular performing arts scene, and the city’s theaters are as memorable for their architecture as for the performances on stage. Two must see venues are Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre, which is North America’s only double-decker theatre complex, and Young Centre for the Performing Arts, which has three stages in 19th-century tank houses in the Distillery District.
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) happens every year in September, and it’s the largest public film festival in North America. Plan your Toronto travel in September to catch this awesome festival! Visit TIFF.net to learn more about the charitable cultural organization and its mission to transform the way people see the world through film.
The Toronto Islands form a small chain in Toronto and are located just offshore from the city centre. These islands allow travelers to escape from the city surroundings and get back in touch with nature. The Toronto Islands feature premier walking and cycling territory, and located on Middle Island are Centreville Amusement Park, Far Enough Farm and Franklin’s Garden, which are all great for the kids. Frisbee golf is another popular activity, and beaches for swimming and recreational boating are in no short supply.
These are just a few popular examples of things to do in Toronto, but you can discover many more at Toronto.com.
Top Toronto Hotels
- The Thompson Toronto is located in the artistic King West Village, and offers city views like no other. This modern downtown Toronto hotel boasts 102 luxurious guestrooms, first-class amenities, three restaurants, a state-of-the-art screening room, bar, yoga studio and rooftop pool.
- One King West Hotel is another popular downtown Toronto hotel where guests can enjoy the comforts of hospitality and personal service. One King West Hotel places guests within minutes of the downtown business, entertainment and shopping districts.
- The Drake Hotel on Queen St. W. puts visitors right in the middle of trendy shops and modern art galleries. Featuring a European-influenced lounge, raw sushi bar, neighbourhood cafe, licensed rooftop patio, yoga studio, treatment room and restaurant, The Drake Hotel is perfect for the creatively inclined. It also has what’s known as The Underground which is a lower level entertainment space designed for performing artists, visual artists and live musicians.