Destination of the Month: Toronto
Swoop Airlines will start non-stop service to Canada this fall starting with Toronto, the capital city of Ontario. The largest city in Canada, Toronto is often called a smaller and cleaner version of New York. Unique architecture, history, world-class museums, and cultural neighborhoods make this city a great one for families to visit. Here are some travel ideas for your trip to Toronto! (Please note, because of COVID, many exhibits are closed temporarily. Check Ahead)
The CN Tower
The signature icon of Toronto, the CN Tower held the record as the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 33 years. Now it is the 9th tallest in the world. There is a glass floor at 1,122 feet that allows visitors to see down the length of the tower and a restaurant called “360” where you can take in the beautiful expanse for 100 miles. For thrill seekers try EdgeWalk where you can walk around the roof of the pod directly above the restaurant.
Want a beautiful backdrop to take some pictures? How about a real castle? Built back in 1914 Casa Loma has been preserved and is now part museum, part venue. Much like the Biltmore in N.C., this home offers tours of the castle and grounds. If you want to travel to the “dark side” head down into the tunnels below the carriage house for an exhibit about Toronto’s darker days like the Plague and Prohibition.
This waterfront park hosts more than 4,000 events a year in anything from theater to visual arts. Check the schedule for festivals that host both indoor and outdoor events. And in the wintertime there is ice skating. There couldn’t be a more picturesque spot to glide along the ice than overlooking Lake Ontario.
Royal Ontario Museum
This museum has something for everyone. It combines art, world culture and natural history into one of the largest museums in North America with over 6 million items in 40 galleries. The Controversial architecture addition “Cystal” by Michael Lee-Chin which juts out from a stately building built back in 1914 is definitely worth a look. For kids, there are two great discovery zones where they can be hands-on with the exhibits.
Just off the coast of downtown 15 islands comprise this car free destination. There are marinas, parks, beaches, and an amusement park for the kids. Rent a bike and cruise around or a kayak for a nature tour. The islands are also rich in history. They are considered sacred land by indigenous tribes. There are historical buildings including a lighthouse. Don’t miss the Amazing Maze, 15,000 square feet of Black Cedar trees where families can get lost in fun.
Chinatown and Kensington Market
Located next to each other, these neighborhoods are a multicultural bonanza. Chinatown is just one of many ethnic neighborhoods in Toronto including, Greektown, Koreatown, Little Portugal and Little Italy. It’s the largest Chinatown in North America. After you enjoy your Dim-Sum or Korean Barbecue head to Kensington Market to enjoy a long line of funky and inspirational shops. Some say this multicultural neighborhood, designated as one of Canada’s Historical Sites, has been photographed more than any other place in Toronto. It’s also home to amazing street art. Hundreds of murals can be found on walls, doors and even cars!
More than 40 boutiques and one-of-a-kind shops are housed in and around what was once the largest maker of alcoholic beverages in Canada. The Heritage buildings were built in the 1860’s and have been restored and renovated into a first class entertainment center. It’s also the location of the Toronto Christmas Market during the holidays.
St. Lawrence Market
If you like a good food market you’ll want to put this on your to-do list. Along with the usual non-prepared foods, there are many kitchens inside serving gourmet fare. Outside, the sidewalks offer all kinds of unique gifts including an antique market every Sunday.