Tornonto, as cities of this size go, is still a comparative teenager, but maturing really nicely. It has a vibrant downtown bristling with energy and series of neighbourhoods each reflecting different ethnic communities and cuisines. Start out at the east end's Distillery District (55 Mill Street) the only Victorian-era industrial complex of cobblestoned roads and warehouses and enjoy its galleries, restaurants and outdoor music festivals. But also ensure you fit in some other of our top ten must-sees:
1 CN Tower
The 181 storey CN tower, located in the heart of Downtown Toronto between the SkyDome and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Front Street, is the tallest building in the world. It rises to 553.33m (1,815ft 5 inches) and the view from the the skypod stretches as far as the Niagra Falls. By night the view is simply stunning. One of the highlights is dining in a revolving restaurant.
CN Tower 301 Front St. W. | (at John St.), Toronto, Ontario M5V 2T6, Canada
2 Paramount Canada’s Wonderland
If you like amusement parks, you will love this one. It is Canada’s premier theme park and offers nine themed areas and over 200 attractions.
Paramount Canada’s Wonderland, 0580 Jane Street, Vaughan, Toronto
905 832 7000
3 Bata Shoe Museum
Feed your shoe addiction by visiting the Bata Shoe Museum. It houses the Bata family's 10,000-item collection in a spectacular building, designed by Raymond Moriyama. The main gallery, "All About Shoes,"takes you on a tour on the history of footwear starting with a plaster cast of some of the earliest known human footprints (discovered in Africa by anthropologist Mary Leakey), which date to 4 million B.C. There’s even speciality shoes like a pair of 17th century spiked shoes used to crush chestnuts and a pair of Elton John’s 12-inch platforms.
Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor St. W. | (at St. George St.), Toronto, Ontario M5S 1W7
4 Casa Loma
You’ll find this castle perched on top pf a hill in the north end. It's a castle in the middle of the city built by Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt to fulfill his childhood wish for a castle. His dream took three years and $3.5 million to complete. He finished it off with secret passageways, breathtaking towers, sweeping staircase, 800-foot tunnel, stables and 5-acre gardens continue to excite all ages.
Casa Loma, One Austin Terrace | at Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5R 1X8, Canada 416-923-1171
5 Royal Ontario Museum
The moto of the museum is to "inspire wonder and build understanding of human cultures". With over 5 million items on display they’ve certainly given it a good shot. Visitors can explore the world’s natural and cultural history through its exhibitions, educational activities and associated organizations such as the Institute for Contemporary Culture.
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park Crescent. At Bloor St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C6 416 586 8000
6 Hockey Hall of Fame
This is a shrine to Canda’s hottest hockey players
Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge St. | At Front St. W., Toronto, Ontario M5E 1X8 416-360-7735
7 Art Gallery of Ontario
This gallery is one of the big boys in the art gallery world. The Henry Moore Sculpture Centre displays the largest Moore collection in the world including the climbable Two Forms sculpture located just outside.
Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W. | (at McCaul St.), Toronto, Ontario M5T 1G4 416-979-6648
8 St Lawrence Market
Toronto's premier market, a collection of three buildings that were once the city Hall, houses 50 speciality shops. It is located in the centre of the historic St. Lawrence Neighbourhood, close to the hub of today's downtown, sit three buildings that have served as Toronto's social centre, City Hall and market.
St Lawrence Market, 92 Front Street at Jarvis Street, Toronto
416 302 7219
9 High Park
A truly lovely park, this is a 398-acre urban oasis offering outdoor recreation including ice-skating, sailing, tennis, baseball games, nature hikes and exploring the park's greenhouse. You can even catch a Shakespearian show on lovely summer evenings. Admission is by donation. The Grenadier Pond in the southwest corner is called so after British soldiers who were said to crash through the soft ice while rushing to defend the town agains invading American forces in 1813. At the South end there is a zoo which is free to visit. Tel 416 392 81860
High Park. South of Bloor St. to the Gardiner Expwy, West End, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
10 Ontario Science Centre
A highly imaginative, thoughtfully compiled museum. You can stand edge of a black , hole, work hand-in-clamp with a robot, land on the moon, watch demos of glassblowing, papermaking and lasers take place throughout the day. The building is extraordinary: three linked pavilions float gracefully down the side of a ravine and overflow with exhibits that make space, technology, and communications fascinating. A dozen theaters show films that bring the natural world to life.
COST: C$14, parking C$8. OPEN: Early Sept.-late May, daily 10-5; late May-early Sept., 10-6.
Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Rd., Toronto, Ontario M3C 1T3, Canada 416-696-3127
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