Canada’s biggest and most diverse city offers super-sized thrills to travellers willing to throw themselves into the mix. Book flights to Toronto and experience more than you might expect.
Since the nineteenth century, visitors have made the trip up to see Niagara Falls: 150,000 gallons of water a second crashing down into the mighty Niagara River. For many, Toronto, perched on nearby Lake Ontario, is little more than a convenient stopping-off point. But for anyone who appreciates craft beer, world food, raucous music and fine art, Toronto is a pretty stunning destination to fly to.
Almost half of Toronto’s population was born outside Canada, so it should come as no surprise to find a thriving Chinatown, Greek Town and Little Italy. For nightlife, though, it is hard to beat Little Portugal, with its tiny dive bars and late-night street scene. In the summer months, you could almost be in the wild heart of Lisbon. Downtown’s Cabbage Town, meanwhile, is busy channelling Dublin, complete with live music and free-flowing Guinness. Just steer clear on St Patrick’s Day unless you really like to party.
Speaking of parties, in recent years the hipster crowd have taken over West Queen West turning a working-class immigrant neighbourhood into a hub of galleries, boutique hotels and locivore restaurants. The Drake Hotel, with its outside art installation, neighbourhood pancake breakfasts and boozy trivia nights, is typical of the scene, attracting a good-looking crowd who remember not to take themselves too seriously. Also check out the nearby Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art - or MOCCA, as the locals call it – it’s a free, gorgeous space where dance parties and visual arts blur the line between installation and club night.
If all this sounds a little too cool for school, relax – Toronto’s also big on old-fashioned wholesome fun. The city boasts more than fifty ice hockey rinks, where you can join beginner-friendly ‘shinny’ games, and a host of beautiful islands to explore. Else spend an afternoon gaping at the ravines and mansions of Casa Loma, where the beautiful people of ages past sunk their fortunes.
And then – and only then – if you want to check out some big-ass waterfalls, be my guest!