Toronto, Jewel Of The North

When you think of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, you probably think of ice and snow and how cold their winters are, but not too much else, right? But there is so much more to that great city than meets the eye or the imagination.

Toronto is the capital of Ontario and the financial capital of Canada and a busy metropolis. Found on the shores of Lake Ontario and on the St. Lawrence Seaway, it is important port and is city is a beautiful place to spend a day, month or a lifetime or anything in between. The temperatures can range from well into the 90’s during the summer and hover around freezing or up to 10 degrees below in the winter with an average of five inches of snow per winter.

In and around the city of Toronto there are plenty of things to see and do and experience! There is so much that make the city of Toronto the exciting, vibrant city it is! It boasts many cultural areas such as a large China town, Little Italy, Greektown and even a French quarter. Toronto is a world class city with an excellent subway system and a large concourse of underground shopping malls running through out the downtown core. With many large highways and a major airport nearby, it’s easy to get to as well for the long distance traveler.

All through the year, you can find many activities and different venues of entertainment that fit into everybody’s interests and tastes. And speaking of tastes, in Toronto there is almost every country of the world represented by way of restaurants. There are a huge number of first class restaurants down town and through out the city. Feel like eating some Chinese today and may a Mexican dish tomorrow? No problem at all! You could go out to eat every night and almost never go to the same restaurant twice. Along with different and exotic foods, you can find a great restaurant to grab a burger at after a day or shopping or sightseeing.

Shops and boutiques are plentiful in and around the city. The stores of Hazelton Lanes can compare with the boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles or the one’s on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Who knows you meet even meet a star or two catching a bargain (the American dollar gets a little extra bang since the Canadian dollar is worth slightly –about 10 cents less than the US dollar). Toronto is dubbed “Hollywood North” by many producers and directors and many movies are filmed there. Hey, I have even seen Robin Williams walk past me down Yonge Street! (Yonge Street is one of Toronto’s major thorough-fares and Ontario’s longest street) So if you are lucky, you might even see stars when you venture in and around the city!

Toronto also has many 5 star hotels in its exciting downtown area to spend a few days in. Hotels such as Intercontinental, The Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and The Delta-Chelsea to name just a few of the major hotels that are in the immediate downtown area, put you in the center of the city’s non-stop action and are a treat to stay at and feature amenities that some only dream of.

Special attractions that will interest the whole family can be found such as the Royal Ontario Museum, The Ontario Science Centre, The CN Tower (the world’s tallest free-standing structure), The Metro Toronto Zoo, Paramount Canada’s Wonderland (a huge amusement park), and Centre Island. These venues along with many others make it a very appealing city for a family get-away.

Do you have a sports fan in the family? Come and visit the Hockey Hall of Fame (the home of hockey!) Toronto also is the home to 4 professional sports teams: The Toronto Blue Jays (Baseball); The Toronto Raptors (Basketball); The Toronto Maple Leafs (Hockey) and The Toronto Argonauts (Football within the Canadian Football League or CFL – Canada’s Version of the NFL). It is also home to such exciting sports events as Dragon Boat Racing and The Molson Indy that was held here in Toronto just a month ago. The city also is the home to Skydome, – known as the Air Canada Center, the world’s first multi use stadium with a retractable roof which houses these venues along with concerts and more.

Culture, theatre and music are also very much alive and well in Toronto. Plays such as “Cats” and “Mamma Mia” have enjoyed successful runs in the various theatres such as The Princess of Wales Theatre and Pantages Theatre here. Acts such as Hillary Duff, Sarah McLachlan, WWW Raw, U2, Elton John, Duran Duran, Van Morrison, Shakira, The Foo Fighters, The Black Eyed Peas and Hall and Oates have played or are playing at the in venues including the Air Canada Centre or are doing so in the near future. There is also great Jazz clubs, beautiful symphony music and pretty much any type of music, film, comedy (home of Second City), well just about anything that would appeal to the creative side of you, you are able to find it here in the city of Toronto.

Special events and cultural events are held at different times through the year, these are the Gay Pride Parade and other events such as The Canadian National Exhibition, Caribana (the largest celebration in North America of the Caribbean way of life and features a massive parade that is the highlight of every year’s festivities and draws people from all over North America to enjoy these happenings.

Toronto also boasts several top rate universities and colleges, like the University of Toronto (opened in 1857) is Canada’s largest and York University, Canada’s 3rd largest university and along with a great public school system, it’s a great place to raise a family. Housing can be reasonable or pricey depending on the part of the city that you live in, but with a great transit system, you are within hours of the downtown, no matter where you live.

No matter what you find yourself doing in Toronto, whether it is business, living there or visiting there on a vacation, you will find that Toronto is a great place to visit, work, and play and live!

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