Toronto the Capital of Life
Toronto is capital of Ontario, Canada. It is the most populous city in Canada. Fourth in North-America. If you are new, this alpha world city could be overwhelming. But don’t be alarmed. Take it slow. Enjoy the city. I have lived here for more than 10 years. Yet I’m still exploring.
It is like the world in a city. Over 100,000 immigrants arrive in the GTA annually. This makes Toronto the most diverse city in the world. No single nationality or culture dominates Toronto. There are plenty of ethnic neighbourhoods. Chinatown, Little Italy, Greek town, Little Portugal, Korean town, Little India, and more. You can pretty much travel the world! If you are looking for a challenge, do the “30 Days Around the World in Toronto”. Enjoy food and cultures from around the world right here!
Toronto showcases incredible architectures. They range from mid-19th century to the 21st. For example, bay-and-gable houses in older neighbourhood. Victorian residential buildings around Wychwood Park. It is also a city of high-rises. There are 1,800 buildings over 30 meters (98 ft). Condominiums are popping up like mushrooms. We jokingly refer to Toronto as “the CondoLand”.
You will recognize Toronto’s most prominent arhictecture CN Tower right away. Completed in 1976. It was once world’s tallest freestanding structure towering at 553.33 m (1,815 ft). Some other unique architecture sights include ROM diamond-like shape, OCAD cube, Allen Lambert Galleria crystal cathedral of commerce. Make sure you visit the skyscraper headquarters of Big Five Canadian banks.
There’s also a castle, Casa Loma, a storybook castle. It’s built in 1911 by a gentleman named Sir Henry Pellatt. It has been featured in children literature, movies, and wedding magazines. Completed with enchanting gardens, stables, and secret passages. It’s quite a sight! When you visit the castle or take the Toronto double-decker tour, you will learn the inspirational history of the castle and its owner.
Arts, Culture, and Festivals
Toronto is a mix of old and new. There is so much to reflect upon. No wonder it naturally attracts artists. Writers, painters, architects, singers, actors alike. Famous people who have lived or called Toronto home. Margaret Atwood, Jim Carrey, K’naan, Mike Myers, Neil Young. Of course, our beloved Rachel McAdams as well.
Toronto draws international attention with its annual Film Festival (TIFF). Actors, actresses, and entertainment figures flock to this so-called “Hollywood North”. We are all star-struck! I would love to meet Angelina Jolie in person some day. I often dreamed about being her colleague at the United Nations. Ha!
It is also home to famous National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Each summer, public squares will turn into outdoor theatres. A must see production includes Shakespeare in the Park.
Summer is always full of activities. There are Scotiabank Carribbean Carnival Caribana, Doors Open, Luminato, Jazz Fest, and more. One can pretty much spend every weekend attending festivals.
Away from the hustle and bustle of trade and tourism, Toronto offers niche neighbourhoods rich with characteristics. It certainly helps when you are looking for a particular thing. For fabric, go to Fashion District near Queen&Spadina. For booze, visit Distillery District. For theatrical shows go to Entertainment District.
By the way, there’s also a BarbieLand. Upscale neighbourhoods with mega manors. You will see half moon drive way, wood-like gardens, and tall gates. When you feel like starring in the Housewives of Toronto, just drive around these areas. Bridle Path in North York, Guildwood in Scarborough, Humber Valley Village, and The Kingsway.
This city offers a diverse array of public spaces ranging from city squares to public parks. The city’s main square is Nathan Phillips Square in front of the City Hall. Yonge-Dundas Square looks like mini NYC Times Square with its narrow street and blasting lights.
Urban parks (Allan Gardens, Grange Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park) offer cozy reading spots. Larger parks (High Park, Humber Bay Park, and Guildwood) offer canoe/kayak, rock climbing, ski/snowboarding, and more. Toronto Island resembles the NYC Central Park, only away from the city. It is tucked away on Lake Ontario, accessible with a short ferry ride for a peaceful getaway.
Toronto has humid summers. Its cold winters are plagued by cold snaps and wind chill. Thankfully we have an underground network called PATH. It links 30 kilometres of shopping, services, and entertainment. You can navigate through PATH to reach your destinations in weatherproof comfort.
10 Trivia about Toronto:
- Joe Shuster, creator of Superman, was a newspaper boy at Toronto Star. He features Toronto as Metropolis his Superman strips. Clark Kent worked for the Daily Star (later renamed to Daily Planet).
- Toronto has world’s largest underground shopping complex (Guinness World Records). PATH stretches 30km (19 miles). Offering approximately 1,200 shops and services.
- Toronto is often masqueraded as New York City, Chicago, Boston. Some of the well-known movies had been filmed here. For example, Good Will Hunting (1997), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), X-Men (2000), Chicago (2002).
- The TTC Bay Lower station is often converted to look like a stop in New York City subway.
- Toronto is the origin of the longest road in the world. Its name is Yonge Street
- Toronto means “Meeting Place”, a name given by the Huron Indian tribe.
- Toronto is the world’s most ethnically diverse city. Its residents originate from more than 100 countries (United Nations statement).
- Toronto is a culinary giant. It houses more than 7000 restaurants.
- CN Tower was the world’s tallest free standing structure until 2007. Its height is 553 m (1,815 ft). It still holds the record as the highest glass floor in the world.
- Toronto Zoo is home to more than 5,000 animals in their 710 acre land.
Now, have you fallen in love yet?
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