Welcome to Toronto, the most multiculturally diverse city on the planet: over 140 languages are spoken. The flavors, aromas, sights and sounds of almost every nation converge peacefully in the streets of Toronto's many neighborhoods: microcosms of culture thriving in a somewhat hazy 'bigger picture' that proud locals defend regardless. You're likely to feel accepted here: it's estimated that over half of Toronto's residents were born outside Canada, and despite its complex make-up, Torontonians generally get along. Reports of intolerance and race-related violence are uncommon; no doubt a factor in Toronto winning the bid to host the Pan-Am Games in 2015 (July 10–26). The third-largest international multisport games comes with a $1.5 billion dollar price tag and is expected to draw 250,000 visitors to town.
When the weather is fine, Toronto is a blast: a vibrant, big-time city abuzz with activity: some of the world's finest restaurants, happening bars, clubs and eclectic festivals are found here. At the height of summer, humid downtown neighborhoods become an endless convergence of patios bursting at the seams: alfresco is the way to drink and dine. Locals lap up every last drop of sunshine, beer or martini while they can.
Winter in Toronto, however, can be a real drag. Things get messy on the web of unacceptably congested highways. An archaic public transit system groans under the weight of a growing population and struggles to adequately serve the ever-widening boundaries of the urban explosion. At the time of writing, when the large-scale construction of infrastructure to support Toronto's insatiable expansion should have long since begun, only a vague vision for the future of public transportation was apparent and but a handful of long-overdue essential projects had begun.
Come with patience, an open mind and during the delightfully temperate and colorful spring or fall, and you're bound to have a great time. Whatever you're looking for, you're almost certain to be able to find it – eventually – in Toronto.
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