What Are Your Favourite Things About Toronto?
Diary Note, May 2012: It’s TBEX time! The travel blogging community and the travel industry are anxiously awaiting the chance to meet face to face at the end of May and you couldn’t ask for a better host community than Toronto. Here are 5 things I love about this buzzing metropolis (and three that I don’t).
Toronto's Urban Atmosphere
Toronto is a city, a real city! Living in Ottawa, I know that I technically live in a city, a city with a metro area of over a million people. But Toronto is the real deal, a massive city. Sometimes I just want to escape a city and head to the country. But when I want a real city and city experiences to rival New York, Chicago, London, Frankfurt, I head to Toronto.
Toronto is often cited as the most ethnically and linguistically diverse city in the world. If you can’t go to East Timor or northern Siberia or central Brazil, don’t despair. Just head to Toronto for your cultural fix! My Toronto residing uncle, who backpacked Afghanistan before the Soviets and Taliban rolled into town, says Toronto’s Queen Street West reminds him of a better-times-Kabul, thanks to the myriad of tiny shops and business.
I love how little pockets of Toronto can make you feel like you’re on the other side of the world.
Toronto's Great Eats
Not only is Toronto host to nearly every ethnic group in the world, but it also has all the world’s bakeries, bistros, delis, kebab stands, fruit stalls, and butchers. Combined with a thriving restaurant scene and an amazing collection of street eats and food trucks, my best advice for Toronto: bring your appetite!
One of the best theatre scenes in the world. Incredible museums and art galleries. Surprisingly accessible nature, beaches, and parks. Toronto has enough to keep you busy for weeks! Going separate directions for the day?
Women will love acclaimed collection of the Bata Shoe Museum – it contains everything from Napoleon’s silk stockings to John Lennon’s Chelsea boots to Marilyn Monroe’s red stilettos. Meanwhile, the men would love all the sporting events, as well as special events like the Toronto Auto Show– you don’t have to go to Vegas to get amazing presentations like this.
Getting Around With Ease
Toronto’s subway, streetcars, trains, and buses are easy to use, affordable, and efficient. This is what public transportation should be!
Toronto - The Not So Good
1.) Price: Toronto can be an expensive city to live in and visit. There are real bargains to be found but there is also no shortage of very expensive restaurants, clubs, and hotels. Some advance planning can help you to compare prices, seek out internet deals, and review the best venues.
2.) Wimpy-ness. The rest of Canada loves to make fun of Toronto’s inability to handle the little snow that they do get. As nearby Ottawa, Kingston, and Montreal and buried underneath feet of snow and minus 40 Celsius, Toronto seems to go in a panic at the slightest snow fall.
3.) A growing crisis: Like any big family, Toronto faces a crisis in how to support its homeless population. As the city population continues to grow, there will be a growing rate of people in distress and there isn’t a truly comprehensive plan on how to deal with it.
I'd love to hear your thoughts - what are your favourite (and least favourite!) things about Toronto?
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Funny - Toronto is the city so many love to hate! Personally, I can't wait to go to Toronto for TBEX - to see more of what it has on offer! It's a great weekend getaway ...have been going there for the theatre for years! I know there is so much more on offer! After all...isn't Toronto the centre of the universe!
13/5/2013 03:06:23 am
I used to really dislike Toronto until I watched Anthony Bourdain's Layover episode. It also made me feel bad for bad mouthing Toronto all the time. I still really hate the Leafs though...
13/5/2013 06:48:37 am
Oh no Lina! We're a Leaf's house here! I do love the Layover episodes - it's amazing the cool food and travel experiences that Bourdain can uncover!
I completely agree on all points Vanessa.
13/5/2013 12:58:55 pm
Hi Karla - thanks so much for the awesome feedback! It means a lot that you experienced the same things as a resident as I do as a visitor. (Great minds think alike, perhaps!) It is an amazing city.
13/5/2013 11:47:17 am
Lets not forget the Leaf Nation. Lets hope they win tonight. Maple Leaf Square will be packed with leafs fan tonight. Love Toronto!
13/5/2013 12:57:31 pm
The tension in our house is high tonight! Cheering like crazy!
Pretty much spot on. Though one thing I'll add to the weather issue, not as an excuse but just to enlighten a little... 50% of our people have immigrated here and many only recently so it becomes a big deal when many are not used to getting around in snow, being in snow, let alone driving in it. Just sayin'
5/6/2013 02:54:40 pm
Great point on the snow Andrea! It's true that many new Canadians do come from tropical locations.
6/6/2013 03:56:14 am
Yes! Clean counts for a lot in my books!
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