Toronto, the capital of Ontario and the country's largest city, is home to a mix of tourist attractions, from museums and galleries to the world famous CN Tower and, just off shore, Toronto Islands. The city also offers a vibrant Entertainment District, featuring the latest musicals and other performing arts, and the historic Distillery District. The city center is still relatively easy to navigate, with many of the top attractions within walking distance of each other and a subway system to cover longer distances.
This island has a lot to offer including, rowing, sailing, swimming and other outdoor activities. In summer, the islands are the venue for numerous open-air events. In favorable visibility, there is a stunning view of the Toronto skyline. The Centreville Amusement Park is located on Centre Island, one of the Toronto Islands, and features a variety of children's rides. The Toronto Islands Ferry Service runs from Queen's Quay and travels to each of the main Toronto Islands.
Toronto's famous landmark, the 553-meter CN Tower, is one of the city's must see attractions and also the most impossible to miss. Towering above the downtown, the structure can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. Visitors have the option of simply appreciating the building from the ground, or taking a trip up to one of the observation areas or restaurants for fabulous views of the city and Lake Ontario.
Toronto's only castle may have never housed royalty, but it certainly has grandeur, lording over The Annex on a cliff that was once the shoreline of the glacial Lake Iroquois, from which Lake Ontario derived.
The 98-room mansion – an architectural masterpiece of castellations, chimneys, flagpoles, turrets and Rapunzel balconies – was built between 1911 and 1914 for Sir Henry Pellat, a wealthy financier who made bags of cash from his contract to provide Toronto with electricity.
Royal Ontario Museum:
Also known as the ROM, this museum is one of Canada's premier museums with an international reputation for excellence. Inside, the permanent collection features over six million specimens and artifacts, divided between two main galleries: the Natural History Galleries and the World Culture Galleries. The Chinese temple sculptures, Gallery of Korean Art and costumes and textile collections are some of the best in the world. Each year, the ROM hosts a variety of big temporary exhibits from around the world. The on-site Institute of Contemporary Culture explores current issues through art, architecture, lectures and moving image.
Art Gallery of Ontario:
The renowned Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has a whole series of temporary exhibitions mounted throughout the year. Highlights include the collections of Canadian, African and Oceanic, and European art. The museum also holds a particularly impressive collection of Canadian paintings.
Ontario Science Centre:
A family oriented attraction with many interesting exhibits to entertain children, the Ontario Science Centre occupies a site overlooking the Don Valley. Designed by the virtuoso architect Raymond Moriyama, this modern building was completed in 1969. Visitors to the center are brought face to face with the latest developments in technology, physics, space travel and more, all presented in an imaginative way with the help of suitably installed computing and other equipment.
Ripley's Aquarium of Canada:
Located near CN Tower, this fabulous facility displays all kinds of marine life, but the most impressive feature is the huge underwater tunnel with a moving sidewalk. Visitors can watch the ocean world go by all around them as sharks glide past and sawfish linger on the tunnel roof above.
Immediately adjacent to the CN Tower is Rogers Centre, a massive domed sports arena. The unique design includes a roof, which slides back, allowing it to be opened in favorable weather. This mega-structure, completed in 1989, is Toronto's answer to the ambitious Olympic Stadium built by its arch rival, Montréal. Rogers Centre can accommodate many thousands of spectators and is a venue for every kind of sport, baseball and football in particular, as well as for rock and pop concerts. The center also offers one hour guided tours with a behind-the-scenes look at the facility.
Dominating the spacious Nathan Philips Square with its bronze sculpture, ‘The Archer,’ by Henry Moore, is the still highly acclaimed new City Hall. It was designed by the gifted Finnish architect Viljo Revell and built in 1965. City Hall consists of two arc-shaped high-rise blocks, 20 and 27 stories high respectively, wrapped around a lower central building topped by a flattened cupola. Out front in the square is a manmade pond, which becomes a popular skating rink in winter.
A huge green space with sunken gardens, hanging basket gardens, nature trails, natural ponds, and streams, High park is a 165-acre country property that was originally owned by the Howards, but later deeded to the City of Toronto. Animal paddocks, swimming and wading pools, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a scenic train tour are the highlights. The grounds also include 19th-century recreated gardens, a Coach House, and the Howards' Tomb.
Toronto's answer to New York's Broadway, the Toronto Entertainment District comes to life in the evenings. This is the place to come to see major theater productions with the latest shows and musicals, concerts, and other performing arts. There are also all kinds of restaurants and places for socializing, as well as hotels and shops. The main center of activity in the Entertainment District is along King Street.
Toronto's Distillery District is a restored historic area that has been turned into a trendy entertainment and shopping district. Visitors will find charming boutiques, galleries, artists' studios, and restaurants. The Distillery District also hosts a variety of entertainment events and is home to numerous performing arts venues and schools.
St. Lawrence Market:
This market houses a variety of vendors selling various food products, flowers, and specialty items. The St. Lawrence Hall was built in Toronto in 1850 and served as a public meeting place and a concert venue. The hall was restored in 1967, but has retained much of its old charm. The building provides a unique atmosphere for the market and is also occasionally used for film and television shoots. The interior features a grand staircase and a gas-lit chandelier.