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Your guide to Toronto
All About Toronto
Ontario’s capital city sits at the far south end of the province, just across the water from New York state on the east shore of Lake Ontario. One of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, Toronto has become a north star for ambitious chefs and gastronomes. Kensington Market, the city’s cutting-edge restaurant district, serves up some of Canada’s most awarded meals, but you’ll find homey dishes, great coffee, and drinks spread throughout the city’s 100-plus neighbourhoods.
Beyond its culinary scene, Toronto is a city of art, commerce, and nature. Galleries abound in the pedestrian-only Distillery District, where massive murals and street art displays brighten the flanks of city buildings. In downtown Toronto, the iconic CN Tower — once the tallest freestanding structure in the world — offers unmatched views of the city’s skyline, while further east, Lake Ontario’s sandy shores invite sunbathing, summer swimming, and volleyball games at Woodbine Beach. There’s also the accessible escape of the Toronto Islands, which house an artists’ colony, hike and bike trails, and an amusement park — all just a short ferry ride away from downtown.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Toronto
Toronto is a city that lives for patio season — the sunny span from June to September when restaurants open their outdoor seating for dinner and drinks with a side of Vitamin D. This is the best time of the year to explore the city on foot, and with alfresco dining options all over the city, you can even bike from brunch to the beach, then back again for dinner. Summer is also the season for major outdoor celebrations, like Pride in June and the Caribbean festival in July. In winter, Toronto trades its sun for snow, with average temperatures below freezing. Vacation homes in Toronto are often built to stay cozy no matter how hard it’s snowing, but warm clothes and layers are must-pack winter items. A set of ice skates wouldn’t hurt, either — there are more than 50 outdoor rinks to explore.
Top things to do in Toronto
Evergreen Brick Works
Toronto’s industrial and environmental past converge at the Evergreen Brick Works, a natural park about 15 minutes away from downtown. Built around the remnants of a historic brick factory and open daily year-round, this community space offers scenic hikes on Lookout Path, tours of the sustainable garden market, and outdoor skating.
St. Lawrence Market
No culinary tour of Toronto would be complete without a visit to St. Lawrence. This centuries-old indoor market features two floors of vendors selling fresh-baked pastries, chutneys, and cheese, among other goodies. A weekly Farmer’s Market convenes on Saturday mornings, or you can stop by on Sunday to check out the Antiques Market.
If Toronto’s legal street art scene had an official “gallery,” Graffiti Alley would be it. Starting at the intersection of Portland and Rush, this Fashion District alley covers three city blocks in bright and colourful murals and graffiti. The alley is best explored on foot — with a camera.