Highlights the best Toronto has to offer, from art and culture to fun-packed activities; we've even found the most inspiring place to enjoy the views from.
Worth getting out of bed for...
- Where to get a prime eyeful other than the world’s tallest building, the CN Tower? Head for the Sky Pod, which is 1,465ft off the ground.
- Arts and culture
- It’s not just what’s inside the museums – the architecture’s worth a look. Toronto’s Frank Gehry has worked magic on Art Gallery of Ontario at 317 Dundas Street West (+1 416 979 6648; www.ago.net); and Daniel Libeskind has given Royal Ontario Museum crystal splendour at 100 Queen's Park (+1 416 586 8000; www.rom.on.ca). Even to non-ceramic fanatics, the Gardiner Museum is extraordinary at 111 Queen's Park (+1 416 586 8080; www. gardinermuseum.on.ca). Footwear fetishists will love the Bata Shoe Museum at 327 Bloor St West (+1 416 979 7799; www.batashoemuseum.ca).
- Something for nothing
- Take a trip to China without leaving Canada. The Chinese community here has created four communities, the largest of which is on Spadina Avenue. A feast for the senses, you can experience the sights, sounds and flavours thanks to street signs and tempting stalls spilling onto the pavement with Chinese delights.
- With 300 stores and restaurants, Eaton Centre on Yonge Street, between Queen and Dundas West is your ultimate shopping mall. The most upscale option though is Hazelton Lanes at 55 Avenue Rd in Yorkville.
- 84 miles south of the city flows the ultimate in natural watery spectacles, Niagara Falls (www.niagarafallstourism.com). On the Canadian side of the border you get treated to the more special of the sights too, Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
- Best beach
- Cherry Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach, Ward’s Island Beach and Woodbine Beach all boast Blue Flag status and are sandy swathes suited to sunbathing; beware you leap into the water thought it is worth knowing that this is a part of the world notorious for E. Coli.
- Perfect picnic
- Take the 10-minute ferry ride to Toronto Islands. The Hanlan’s Point ferry takes you to a spot a stroll from two beaches – one of which is the city’s official ‘clothing optional’ beach. Perhaps head there in the hottest months.
- Amble through the formal gardens or wooded thickets of High Park, just west of the city.
- As any local – animal-loving or otherwise – would assert, Toronto Zoo in Scarborough is a must-visit. It takes about four hours to see all its inhabitants, but for a real dose of the native flora and fauna, make sure to see the moose, grizzlies and polar bears. www.torontozoo.com
- In the East End, the cobbled lanes of North America's largest Victorian industrial complex, Distillery Historic District, (www.thedistillerydistrict.com) are now a delightful pedestrianised area of warehouses converted into cute cafés, galleries, craft shops.
- Toronto is a smoke-free city except at designated outdoor terraces.
July During the third week it’s Beaches International Jazz Festival, the largest free festival, in the Beaches part of town (www.beachesjazz.com). Late July/early August The continent’s biggest Caribbean festival adds colour and zest, particular when the parade rolls in (www.caribanatoronto.com). September Toronto International Film Festival a rival to Cannes (www.tiff09.ca).