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Toronto, Canada
Canada | Cities

Where: Ontario, Canada
Trip purpose:
- City sightseeing
- Amusement and entertainment
- The largest city in Canada
- Amusement attractions and entertainment
- A hub for other Canadian destinations
- Niagara Falls within 1.5hr drive
- Cold winter
- Similar to other large North American cities
"Aerial view of downtown Toronto"

Why visit Toronto?

Toronto is the largest city of the English speaking Canada and the entire country. It is the financial and business center of Canada. Its skyline with CN tower and a dense collection of skyscrapers is unique for the country and readily recognized by many in the world. There are many local attractions and amusement facilities. Do not expect much history though. The city was built over a small fort York. While it was slowly growing in the 19th century, the real growth occurred in the 20th century, especially after the WWII, with a large influx of immigration. Toronto with its suburbs is one of the most ethnically diverse centers in the world. A visitor would understand the essence of Canadian multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance while visiting the city. There are also few places for sightseeing and amusement attractions. Toronto is 2 hours away by car from Niagara Falls which is a must see if you ever visit Canada. You can use the city as a base for a day trip to the falls or stay overnight in Niagara-on-the-Lake with its wineries.

Where in the world?

"Toronto on OpenStreetMap"
Toronto on OpenStreetMap


Toronto is the largest city in Canada. It is located on the northern shore of lake Ontario, across the lake from New York state in USA. It is the capital of Ontario province (not Canada!). Toronto is about 8 hour drive from New Your city, driving through Niagara Falls.

Getting there

Toronto is the major hub for Air Canada and there are many direct flights to its airports. The main airport is Pearson International Airport (YYZ) which is just outside the city boundaries. Many large airlines has direct flights from their regional hubs to Pearson. Therefore, there are plenty of choices for airlines and flights from around the globe. There is also a smaller Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on the central island, right next to the downtown core. It serves flights to eastern Canada and nearby US cities. Most international travelers will arrive to Pearson (YYZ). The best way to get to downtown Toronto is to use the express train - UP Union Pearson Express. Taxis also are abundant but there is almost always traffic on the way. The train arrives to the Union station from where you can take subway, or simply walk if your hotel is close-by. If you head to all other parts of Toronto (north of downtown), taxi is the best transportation method. On the way back, if you fly to US after visiting Toronto, make sure you arrive to the airport at least 2 hours (better 3 hours) before the flight. The US customs and the border are actually in Canada. So, you will need time to clear the US customs and the border before boarding.


"Canada electrical plug"
North American type electrical plug

120 volts, 60Hz, socket with two flat vertical slots.


English, although it is Canada, not many people speak French in the area.


Canadian Dollars (CAD) ~ $0.8 USD. Do not expect shops to take USD.

Vaccination and infections

According to CDC no vaccination is required in addition to the routine vaccination established in most countries (subject to your country of origin and your personal vaccination). Hepatitis vaccine is recommended. There is NO risk of malaria in the country. Prevent yourself from insect bites to avoid insect transmitted infections. Some parts of Canada are endemic for Lyme and other tick born diseases. Please see updated information for health at the CDC site or health authority in your country.


Visitors from most countries need either a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Check for your situation here.

When to go?

"Weather averages Toronto"
Weather averages Toronto

Canada is a northern country with a temperate climate. There are four sharply defined seasons. The coldest time of the year is December through February, although some Decembers can be mild and some Marches can be brutally cold. April is unpredictable. Warm weather starts in the second half of May and lasts till mid September. Few days can get hot and humid but overall weather is nice during this time. Canadian fall is a special time of the year during late September to mid October when tree leaves turn red and yellow. There are many parks and river valleys in Toronto and the entire city is surrounded by an intentionally preserved green belt. A special park is Scarborough Bluffs (see short movie below). December may be attractive in the city with X-mass decorations and seasonal activities, but do not expect street markets like in some European cities.

A short movie below shows the beauty of Canadian autumn.

"University of Toronto"
University of Toronto in October
"Toronto skyline at night"
Toronto skyline at night, view from central island

Where to stay?

"Toronto business district"
Toronto business district
Toronto banks

Best area to stay to explore Toronto is its downtown core. The lakefront hotels, which are south of the train tracks, are a 20 minute walk away from the subway. If you stay north of the tracks, a subway station is always 5 minutes away. The most convenient zone is defined by Bloor street in the north, Yonge and University streets in the east and west, and Union train station in the south. If you are driving, you will need to park for the day and then take public transportation because driving and parking in downtown Toronto is almost as painful as in New York city. It is much faster and easier to use the subway. Watch for TTC signs (Toronto Transit Commission). Streetcars are also available, but they are very slow. Streetcars survived in Toronto only as a historical feature. Not many cities in North America retained streetcars.

What to do?

"glass floor in CN tower"
Standing on glass floor of CN tower

CN Tower

"aerial view Toronto downtown at night"
View from CN tower at night

CN tower (Canadian National). CN tower is the most recognizable icon of Toronto. You will see it on multiple tourist merchandises and postcards. There are two levels you can go to: the lower observation level with two restaurants, and the SkyPod level with a narrow circular walkway behind a glass enclosure. There is a glass floor area on the observation level. One of the restaurants is for day tourists, while the other, 360 is a revolving platform with fine dining. The food there may not be an attraction but the views are! The platform makes a full revolution within one hour. Best time to go there is just before sunset. This way you will enjoy both, views of sunset over the lake Ontario and then lights of downtown Toronto at night. The tower also offers an attraction for brave and adventurous - EdgeWalk. You can walk on the edge while secured by a special harness.

City Halls

Old and new city Halls. Both are architecturally eye catching. While the old one is an example of Romanesque-style civic building of the end of 19th century, the new city hall is a Toronto's hallmark. Its two semi-circular buildings are on the city's emblem and Toronto's flag. You do not need to see the buildings from inside. Outside view is sufficient.

Casa Loma

Casa Loma is a castle built by a successful businessmen who always wanted to live in a castle. Nowadays it is a museum and a site for special events. There are not that many architectural creations like Casa Loma in North America. It is unique in that respect and is worth a visit and photo opportunities.

Ripley's Aquarium

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada is a relatively recent addition to Toronto's entertainment.

Royal Ontario Museum

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Although not as large and rich as some European museums it is worth a visit for its Canadian history and artifacts.

University of Toronto

Old campus of University of Toronto is a short walk from the museum. It is an example of classical old style university architecture.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Hockey Hall of Fame could be interesting for hockey fans. Hockey is a national sport and pride of Canada.

Toronto Island

Centre Island offers views of Toronto's skyline over the harbor. It is connected with Toronto's waterfront by a regular ferry service.

Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo is a large facility with a combination of pavilions and open areas. It is on the edge of city boundaries and best way to get there is driving.

African Lion Safari

Another zoo type facility is African Lion Safari. The park is about 1 hour drive from the city. It is a drive-through zoo where you enjoy most animals from your car. The most popular areas are sections with lions and baboons. The monkeys routinely jump on cars and take a ride on the roof, hood or side mirrors.

Canada's Wonderland

Canada's Wonderland is a large amusement park with rides similar to Disney World. It is outside the city boundaries but subway extends very close to the park. You will need a short connecting bus ride. Driving is a better option if you rent a car.

Performing Arts

Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts is one of the few in North America theaters with its permanent opera and ballet companies. Check for performances if you enjoy opera or ballet.

Ontario Science Center

Ontario Science Center is a science museum, mainly for children. It is a bit away from the subway line. You will be better off driving if you rent a car.

As always, we have no affiliation with any booking companies or resorts. We simply share our experience and opinions.