Toronto's a bustling, cosmopolitan city, yet it has plenty of old-world charm. What it lacks in European flair (think Montreal
), it makes up for in modern excitement. It's famous for it's the CN Tower, old and new style shopping venues, shimmering architecture, and the Hockey Hall of Fame. (If you want to fit in with the natives anywhere in Canada
, study up on your hockey and you'll have all friends you can handle.) Vacation rentals are a great accommodation option for Toronto, especially downtown. You'll be close to most of the major attractions and feel like you're in the heart of all the action.
. While no longer the tallest free standing structure in the world, CN Tower continues to attract tourists seeking the best view. On a clear day, you'll see all the way to Niagara Falls. There's a rotating restaurant at the top, so be sure to make reservations when you buy your tickets. It rotates once every 73 minutes, perfect for a relaxed meal.
. Toronto is a modern city with high rises and shimmering shopping malls. Nestled into a pocket of downtown is Yorkville, a quaint reminder of the city's storied past. You'll be surrounded by Victorian architecture as you browse dozens of art galleries and shops. Afterwards, eat at one of the many great restaurants. Yorkville is a magnet for celebrities when they're in town, which often happens during the Toronto International Film Festival, held every September.
. Similar to Yorkville, the Distillery District is a pedestrian-only area featuring 40 Victorian industrial buildings occupied by cafes, restaurants, pubs, galleries and shops. It's truly unique--you won't find a franchise operation. No Starbucks, McDonald's or any other chain store--they're actually forbidden from locating in the Distillery District.
. When you're ready for something bright, airy and modern, head to the Eaton Centre, a shopping mall in the heart of downtown Toronto that houses over 250 stores in all price ranges. It covers several city blocks and is four levels high. It's the city's top tourist attraction, and you won't be disappointed by the architecture. Its vaulted glass ceilings and open design have influenced shopping mall designs around the world since it opened in 1977.
. When you're ready to wind down a bit, head over to Centre Island, a series of islands on Lake Ontario just off Toronto. It's the largest car-free community in North America and includes beaches, a marina, restaurants, an amusement park and recreation areas.
Finally, if the weather's not cooperating or you just have a penchant for the arts, hockey or both, then be sure to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Toronto. All three offer great exhibits you're sure to enjoy. If they're in town, you might take in a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game. Toronto also offers an impressive array of theaters with live performances, so be sure to check out the Elgin & Winger Garden Theatre and the Young Centre for the Performing Arts (located in the Distillery District).