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Toronto is the cultural and economic centre of Canada. It is the largest city of the country and stands on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The attractive and vibrant heart of the city is enclosed within a number of satellite towns and industrial estates, which go to make up the area known as ' Greater Toronto', a zone which covers not less than 250 km2. Considered the most American of the Canadian cities, Toronto is however a safe and clean city to visit. Toronto is home to such a diverse number of cultures that in 1989, it was declared by ONU, 'the most ethnically diverse city in the world'. Downtown Toronto is cut in two by the long Yonge Street. The city's true centre is the area along Yonge Street, between the two side streets, Spadina Ave and Jarvis St and the intersections with Front Street and Bloor Street. A visit to this area can start from the CN Tower, the highest single tower in the world and the world's third tallest building. The tower has various platforms, one of which has a rotating restaurant, which completes a full rotation of 360° in 1 hour, 12 minutes and from where it is possible to gaze 160 km into the distance. The Sky Dome, situated nearby, is also a spectacular building. This stadium, which can hold 65,000 spectators, has a fully retractable roof. Harbourfront, at the lake shore, has abandoned its old usage to become a recreational area. The area has three boarding stations, Pier 4, York Quay and Queen's Quay, and has been transformed into an area comprising theatres, restaurants, bars, shops and craftsmen workshops. Financial District around Union station, is rich in modern buildings and tall skyscrapers including the interesting Royal York Hotel, the Royal Bank Plaza ( two towers with 26 and 41 floors), the BCE Place (54 and 44 floors) and the Bank of Montreal, built in Neo-Rococo style. Bay Street is the site of Commerce Court, Scotia Plaza and the three towers, which make up the Toronto Dominion Centre. The area to the north of the financial district is less built up and is the site of the city's public and cultural institutions, including the modern City Hall, which recently replaced the functions carried out within the Neo-Roman Old City Hall. Eaton Centre, a vast shopping centre that stands on the corner of Yong St and Dundas St, is visited on average by a million shoppers per week. This zone also possesses some interesting historic buildings including Makenzie House and Campbell House. Other interesting areas of the city include Chinatown,the University of Toronto district, which is home to Ontario Parliament, situated in the middle of Queen's Park and Yorkville, a one time hippy district and today full of shops, boutiques and high-quality restaurants. Toronto has a well developed public transport system. The underground has two lines and operates Monday to Saturday from 6am to 1:30 am and from 9am to 1:30pm on Sunday. The tram and bus service operates from 5am to 1.30 am.
Toronto night-life is an aspect of the city which has only recently started to develop. However this development has been both rapid and efficient and the city is now able to satisfy even the most demanding needs of its visitors. The busiest area is the area in central Toronto around the Theatre District in King St and Queen St, while Little Italy and Greektown offer a wide choice of places with a typical Mediterranean atmosphere. The enormous cultural variety of Toronto's residents is reflected in the wide choice of ethnic restaurants. Visitors must try the steak houses offering typical Canadian cuisine.
Hotels and lodgingEdit
In Toronto you will find many hotels. There are lots of hotels in the Downtown and Airport areas. Major hotels chains in Toronto are: Best Western, Delta, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Crowne Plaza and Westin. Large hotels are Sheraton Centre and the Westin Harbour Castle.
- Best Western. Phone: 1 416-487-5101. Address: 808 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2L2, Canada
- Delta. Phone: 1-416-849-1200. Address: 75 Lower Simcoe Street Toronto Ontario M5J 3A6, Canada
- Sheraton Centre Hotel. Phone: 1-416-361-1000. Address: 123 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2M9, Canada
- Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre. Phone: 1-416-977-6655. Address: 30 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario - M5B 2E9, Canada
- Comfort Inn City Centre. Phone: 1-416-967-6781. Address: 321 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M5B 2C2, Canada
- Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport. Phone: 1-416-675-1234. Address: 33 Carlson Court, Toronto Ontario - M9W 6H5, Canada
- Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. Phone: 1-416-869-1600. Address: 1 Harbour Square, Toronto, ON M5J 1A6, Canada
Visits to the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum are obligatory. The AGO, founded in 1900, houses a fine collection of Canadian art together with a collection of European paintings and sculptures from the 15th to the 18th century, including works from Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Poussin, Gainsborough, Renoir and Van Gogh. The museum's ' 20th Century Collection', contains amongst others, works by Picasso, Brancusi, Matisse, Leger, Dix. Mirò and Magritte, not to mention a section dedicated to the sculptures of Henry Moore. The ROM, founded in 1912, has an eclectic collection, which includes fine arts, craft work, natural science and archaeology. The dinosaur and Imperial China exhibitions are particularly impressive.
Toronto has a number of neighborhoods to explore including:
- North York
- Little Jamaica
- Little Italy
- Cabbage Town
- Forest Hill
Maps and transportationEdit
Getting to TorontoEdit
Toronto has many transportation options. It's main transport hubs are Lester B. Pearson International Airport (which is where highways 401, 409, and 427 meet) and Union Station (which is on Front Street, near Union Subway Station). Pearson Airport has three Terminals, each with many Airlines. There are four train companies operating out Union Station being: Via Rail Canada, Amtrak, Go Transit, and Ontario Northland. For getting around Toronto, there is the Toronto Transit Commission. It operates buses, streetcars, and subways. Also there are many bus companies that operate in Toronto.
Niagara Falls are situated a two-hours drive away from Toronto. The falls have always attracted visitors and are one of the most popular tourist attractions in North America. The waterfall comprises two sections, the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls. The Horseshoe Falls, in Canadian territory, are 52 metres high and 675 metres wide, while the American Falls are 34 metres high and 320 metres wide. Table Rock observation point is the closest view-point to the falls, however fine views can also be had from the Skylon Tower and the Minolta Tower. In addition it is possible to approach the base of the falls on board the Maid of the Mist, sightseeing boat.
Practical information and resourcesEdit
Currency : Canadian dollar
Electric supply: 110 volts
Climate : the climate in Toronto is among the mildest in all Canada. The summers are warm and wet with temperatures varying from between 15 °C and 25 °C. In winter the temperature rarely rises above freezing and there is abundant snowfall. The average rainfall per year is 760mms
Language : English and French
Opening hours : Shops are open from Monday to Wednesday from 10am to 6pm, on Thursday and Friday from 10am to 9 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am and 5pm. Many chemists and grocery stores are open 24 hours a day. Banks are open from Monday to Thursday from 10am to 5pm and from 10am to 6pm on Friday. Many of the major banks are also open on Saturday mornings.
Telephones : To dial to Canada dial 001 followed by the area code and the private number. Toronto has two codes 416 and 647.
-  IL FORNELLO is an Italian chain restaurant located in and around Toronto. Each of the nine locations offers it's patrons a unique look. My personal favorite, the church street location, has a sleek and semi-modern feeling to it. The menu includes appetizers, salads, pastas, pizzas, and entrees at reasonable prices. Executive chef Owen Steinberg has found a way to serve classic favorites while putting his own personal spin on the dish. Phone: 416.944.9052
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Provinces & Territories: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, Nunavut Territory
National Parks: Banff National Park ( )