Facing-off against New York State, far across the slate-grey waters of Lake Ontario, Toronto walks the line between American cultural osmosis and staunch northern independence. Masters of this balancing act, Torontonians embrace both worlds with verve and open-mindedness. Enlightened, multicultural and uniquely Canadian - welcome to T.O.!
Once an earnest 'icebox' town, Toronto has thawed through waves of European, Latin American, Asian and Caribbean immigration. One in two Torontonians was born somewhere else, their transplanted cultures creating an effervescent patchwork of neighborhoods. Typically laconic, Toronto is both unpretentious and complex.
Toronto's big-ticket sports teams rarely deliver, but fans remain optimistic. Creativity provides solace, the arts community thriving on suburb-to-suburb evolution. This is a literary, artistic, musical town - symphony seats sell as fast as hockey tickets (well, almost…).
As September hints at winter, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) provides a cultural Indian Summer. When the red carpets recede, street festivals, rock concerts, exhibitions and dance extravaganzas take the stage.
Hungry? Toronto's kitchens are as multicultural as its population. Korean walnut cakes, Italian espresso, Malaysian laksas and face-melting Indian curries - all in a day's dining.
Shopping here is wonderful, too. Rummage through the racks with the sharp-dressed locals. If shopping's not your bag, escape into the city's leafy ravines - full of raccoons and sweaty joggers - or day-trip down to Niagara's vineyards.
Air pollution and homelessness are big-city headaches, but 'Toronto the Good' isn't a menacing place. Courtesy prevails, but there's no shortage of sexy subculture here: 'Clubland' gyrates towards the dawn, wine lists impress, bar stools wobble until 2am.
Sound appealing? Believe it! Underwhelmed Montrealers sneer, 'Is diversity enough to hang your hat on?' Calgary's boomtown rats say, 'Why define your city by a lack of consistency?' Torontonians smile wryly, knowing that in this age of tinderbox international relations, their recipe of good-hearted tolerance may be the answer to all our problems.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- Save time and money with the Toronto City Pass
- Explore the beautiful wilderness of Northern Ontario on an 8-day adventure
- Take a day trip to Niagara Falls from Toronto
- See Toronto at your own pace on a hop-on hop-off tour
Last updated: Jan 24, 2013
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