Category Archives: Toronto Canada Travel

Top Toronto Restaurants

Toronto is one of the most exciting cities in the world to live in or visit.  Thanks to its diversity, Toronto offers an array of alluring dining opportunities.  Feast on local and international cuisine at Toronto restaurants for every budget and situation.

Everyday Cuisine at Toronto Restaurants

There are plenty of Toronto restaurants featuring everyday cuisine with extraordinary flair.  The Burger’s Priest is a fast, cash-only burger mecca with a California feel.  Their signature Priest burger is an indulgent cheeseburger with a deep-fried patty stuffed with cheese and Portobello mushrooms.

Mangez on the west end serves up healthy gourmet fare at affordable prices.  Bite into tantalizing sandwich selections with sides such as asiago and arugula.  Complete the meals with a steaming bowl of mushroom or French onion soup or a side salad.  Top the meal off with vanilla yogurt and fruit, coconut ice cream or Mercury Espresso.

Family-Friendly Toronto Restaurants

The Muddy Duck Restaurant is a family-friendly venue in Mississauga.  The menu for those 12 and under features faves such as fish and chips and chicken fingers.  Their weekend breakfast buffet includes bakery items and make-it-yourself omlettes.  Diners have the option of sitting near a welcoming fireplace or in a lush green solarium.

A fun family restaurant for travelers and locals is the Old Spaghetti Factory.  This Toronto establishment has a variety of attractive artifacts for children, including a carousel and old streetcar.  The restaurant was originally built in the 1800s and converted into a restaurant in the 1970s.  Kids and parents will love their pasta dishes at affordable prices.

International Toronto Restaurants

Carisma at King East is an Italian gem owned by Michael Pagliaro, known for Il Mulino in Forest Hill.  This new restaurants elegantly serves favorites such as pumpkin raviolini , smoked salmon and octopus.  Their impressive wine list is a perfect accompaniment to a mouthwatering Italian meal.

For over 20 years, Edo in Forest Hill is the perfect place for sushi and sake.  Fresh and attractively presented food is ideal for everyday dining and special occasions.  Choose from menu options such as soft shell crab, battered tuna tempura roll and black cod.

Le Montmartre, named after the 19th century artist’s quarter in Paris, offers an authentic fine French dining experience.  Owner and chef Marjie Caradant was trained in Paris and Toronto.  She opened her first French restaurant, Le Faubourg, 30 years ago in Aurora.  Le Montmarte has a graciously artistic atmosphere for intimate dining or private functions.

Dos Amigos Mexican restaurant is a family-friendly venue with a kid’s menu serving traditional favorites including tacos, tortilla chips with fresh guacamole and enchiladas.  Patrons choose the level of spiciness from mild to hot.  The restaurant also offers an extensive list of tequilas and flavored margaritas.

Toronto Restaurants with Well-Stocked Bars

For fine dining, wine and atmosphere, make reservations at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower.  With the purchase of a main course, diners enjoy an amazing revolving view of Toronto from an elevation of over 351 metres (1,151 feet).  The restaurant menu includes steak, seafood and vegetarian options.  They also have a “wine cellar in the sky,” the highest in the world, serving over 550 Canadian and international wines.

Enjoy casual gatherings with delicious food on a chic patio at Origin Restaurant and Bar.  Nibble on deviled eggs, a tuna hand roll and other tasty culinary delights prepared by Chef Claudio Aprile.  Sit at the bar and sip updated versions of classic cocktails with a fabulous view of St. James Cathedral.

Toronto Dessert Restaurants

Decadent desserts are the perfect ending to a tasty Toronto meal.  Adam & Eve Chocolatier serves up sinful chocolate at a cafe in downtown Toronto.  Madeleines, Cherry Pie and Ice Cream is located at The Annex with a sit-down outdoor patio serving breakfast, brunch and take-out dessert treats.

Exploring Toronto Tourist Attractions

Canada is known for many things, some of which are located in its largest city, Toronto. As one of the world’s most culturally and ethnically diverse cities, Toronto has a lot to offer visitors.

Some Must Visit Toronto Tourist Attractions

Like all major cities in the world, Toronto has some not to be missed tourist attractions. In fact, when it comes to deciding on which Toronto tourist attraction to see, it is difficult to make a choice. The picks for any visitor’s ‘must see list’ will vary depending on taste.

Some of these attractions include:

  1. The CN Tower

With well over two million visitors annually, this Toronto landmark has earned its place among the modern wonders of the world. In fact, it was once the world’s tallest free standing building. Visitors flock to its observation decks at 1,222 feet above the ground to get an unbelievable view of the area. For anyone who wants to experience eating in a revolving restaurant, this can be done at the CN Tower, 360 Restaurant.

  1. Chinatown

Interestingly, there is more than one Chinatown in the city, but visitors will be guided to ‘the Chinatown’. This one, located in Downtown is the busiest and by far largest of them. Here is the place to experience authentic Chinese food. Beautiful oriental souvenirs can also be purchased in the area.

  1. Toronto Waterfront

Whether or not you love water and the ocean, the sheer beauty of this spot is worth the trip. It also provides a perfect photo opportunity to serve as a memento of your time in Toronto. To top it off, this scenic spot provides the perfect background for other attractions in the area. These include the CN Tower and the Ontario Place. Depending on the timing of your visit, you may also be able to attend events such as Caribana, the Toronto International Film Festival and WinterCity. These are just a few of the events held at the Waterfront.

  1. The Toronto Zoo

Sure there are zoos all over the world, but each is unique in its own way. When it comes to Toronto tourist attractions this zoo is right up there with the most popular ones. With over 5000 animals representing at least 500 different species, the Toronto Zoo is worthy of note. There are exhibits from every region of the world.

Unlike many other zoos, here there are walking trails and an interactive zone where kids can have fun while learning about animals. One of the most attractive features is the Tundra Trek where one can see Polar bears in action. The Gorilla Rainforest will also be a hit.

  1. Toronto Islands

The Islands are accessed only by ferry. No cars are allowed which makes this a nice change from the mainland or the bustle of city activities. There are walking and bicycle trails, picnics areas, amusement parks and of course beaches.

  1. Canada’s Wonderland

For family fun in Toronto, few places if any, beat Canada’s Wonderland. Here visitors can choose from over 60 rides to provide thrills as they build holiday memories. There are also shows for all age groups so kids will never feel bored.

If you are looking for great shopping opportunities then the Eaton centre is where you want to be. With in excess of 250 stores shopaholics will have a field day as there is a wide selection of international retailers in one place. To fully experience this setting may take an entire day.

Toronto Tourist Attractions: The Paths Less Traveled

Like many other places where tourists flock, Toronto has a lot that will thrill visitors and locals alike, but some are not on the beaten path. These attractions can be called Toronto’s hidden gems for want of a better term.

Lovers of great historical architecture will want to take a look at Casa Loma. In fact, this formerly private home is really not so hidden, but it may be overlooked in a city full of wonders. The tour takes visitors through most of the rooms in this magnificent castle, as well as the gardens.

Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Toronto. As with any large metropolis, Toronto tourist attractions run the gamut from the breathtaking to laid-back, simple pleasures.

Things to do in Toronto – Sports, outdoors, and so very much more!

Toronto is the largest city in all of Canada and offers all of the things that you would expect from a major city, such as museums and theaters, but it also offers many things that you would not expect. The geographic location of Canada’s most populous city provides it with a unique opportunity to enjoy both the excitement of the big city and the casual lifestyle that can come only from getting close to nature.  The city’s climate also lends itself nicely to winter sports. In fact, Toronto is possibly best known for its sports teams.

Canadians are known for their love of hockey and there are numerous opportunities to enjoy this sport while visiting this great city.  The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club has one of the largest fan bases in the sport and any home game is an opportunity to be a part of the excitement.  However, the Maple leafs hockey team is not the only team in town.

The Marlies is a minor league team that once was part of the Toronto Marlborough Athletic Club along with the Maple Leafs. The Marlies play from October thru April, and offer plenty of opportunity to witness a home game at the Ricoh coliseum. The Marlies also offer an opportunity for the little tykes to get involved with the sport through their “The game is fun” program, which allows small skaters to practice their skills out on the ice.

The Hockey Hall of Fame is another opportunity to appreciate the sport. Located at 30 Yonge Street, this museum is dedicated to the history of hockey and the players that have made it such a great sport. The HHF holds exhibits about players, teams, the National Hockey League (NHL) records, memorabilia, and NHL trophies, including the Stanley Cup. This is a great way to learn more about the sport and to share with the children a bit of history and possibly even a chance to point out some of your favorite players.

While hockey makes up a big part of the sports scene in Toronto, it is not the only opportunity to watch professional sports. For the baseball fan the Blue Jays, or Jays as they are popularly referred, offer plenty of opportunity to watch some of the best professional baseball available. The Jays are the only team in the MLB not located in the United States, to ever win a World Series. The Jays season runs from April thru September and the home games are played at the Rogers Centre, formerly known as the SkyDome.

While discussing sports in Toronto it is important to remind you that what Canadians call football and what Americans call football is entirely something different. The sport of Football, or Rugby, is popular in Canada and there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy this sport. The Brampton Rugby Football club was established in 1962 and currently has three men’s and two women’s teams that offeran opportunity to witness the local talent in play.

If you are an avid sport spectator and desire to find a great place to get good food, drink and an opportunity to watch the game, then you should consider stopping at the Football Factory located at 164 Bathurst Street. This sports bar is a great opportunity to watch televised Rugby games and be part of the fun. They promise to be open any time there is a televised game.

While there is obviously plenty of opportunity to enjoy sports on all levels, the city of Toronto offers so much more than just sports. As mentioned above there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.  The Ontario countryside offers an abundance of professionally maintained hiking trails that are located close to downtown Toronto including the Don Valley Hiking trails.  There is also plenty of opportunity to enjoy the sites of downtown on foot.

No discussion on the great outdoors in Toronto would be complete without the mention of Niagara Falls. The Canadian side of the falls is only an hour and a half drive from downtown Toronto. This makes a great side trip for the family. The time spent to get there will be well worth it. Be sure to visit the falls both during the day and at night, for the lighting display on the falls is truly incredible.

One way to take in all the great sites, that this area has to offer, is to explore the CN Tower. This observation tower has been declared by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world. The top of the tower is located over 1,800 feet above the city streets, the observation deck and restaurant are located over 1,100 feet above the ground, and the sky pad is over 1,400 feet high. It is said that if the sky is clear enough you can see to Niagara Falls, over 100 miles away.

While the above-mentioned attractions have expressed some of the sports and outdoor activities available this is just a short list of things to do in Toronto. There are also an endless array of shops and restaurants to visit, along with plenty of opportunity to enjoy Toronto’s location on Lake Ontario.  The list of water front activities include the Boardwalk, the Harbourfront center, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, and of course the beaches. There is even a clothing-optional beach on the west side of Hanlan’s point, for those that are truly daring.

Historic Toronto hotels that provide a touch of the past

Toronto is truly one of the most diverse and exciting cities in the world. The fifth largest metropolitan area in all of North America and the most populous city in Canada, Toronto is without a doubt a world-class travel destination.  There are few places in North America that offer the history that Toronto does and few hotels in the world that provide a better opportunity to enjoy the class and sophistication of yesteryear then some of the Toronto hotels.

Dispersed among the streets of downtown are some Toronto hotels that have been here since long before the fire of 1907 that almost destroyed the city. Furthermore, some of these facilities have existed since her conception back in the mid 1840’s. One such hotel is the Fairmont Royal York. This grand hotel sits on the site of one of the very first hotels in all of Canada. While the current structure opened in 1929, it is the third hotel to occupy this site and is evidence of the rebirth of the city after its devastating fire. The original hotel was named the Ontario Terrace and opened in 1843.

This facility, located at 100 Front Street West, offers over 1,600 rooms and was the largest hotel in the entire commonwealth at the time it opened. Being historical does not imply that a facility is old and tired, on the contrary this hotel offers old world styling with modern day accommodations and conveniences.  The rooms and central gathering areas are furnished with large comfortable furnishings and decorated to reflect the elegance of yesteryear while still providing the comfort that the modern day traveler has come to demand.

While many hotels claim that they are ‘fit for a king’, the Fairmont Royal York truly is fit for a Queen. In fact, this historic building has been the Queen of England’s home away from home on more than one occasion. The queen and her entourage typically reserve an entire floor of the hotel, with the Queen staying in the Royal suite itself.

Nestled near the financial district, the Le Méridien King Edward Hotel (37 King Street East), or King Eddy as it is colloquially identified, has offered world-class accommodations since 1903.  This facility has been subject to renovations and its original grandeur has been restored. The King Eddy has been the center of a bit of history itself, it is here that John Lennon, and Yoko Ono stayed prior to their famous “Bed-in for Peace” episode in 1969. Moreover, the entire Beatles band stayed in the very same suite in 1964 when 3,000 fans bombarded the hotel. It is also here that in 1964 there was a picketing by the “moralists”, who were outraged that Liz Taylor and Richard Burton were sharing a suite while they were not married to each other.

While the King Eddy is not nearly as grand in scale as the Fairmont Royal York, it does offer equally as elegant accommodations. The current management purchased the hotel in 2010 and is committed to traditional hospitality while still offering sleek modern sensibility. While there are only 298 rooms, each room offers old world turn of the century charm.  The new management has refurbished the rooms and provided the ultimate in style and comfort.

On an even smaller scale than the King Eddy is the Isabella Hotel and Suites. This facility, which houses only 39 rooms (31 standard rooms and 8 suites), is actually housed in two historically significant buildings in the St James section of town.  The first structure is a renovated mansion and the second structure is a tower. The property, which opened in 1891, resembles a fairy tale castle on the outside with its stone exterior and an ultramodern structure on the interior, with lots of glass, marble and chrome. Those that prefer something a little more private than the typical hotel will find this facility to be ideal.

While the downtown area of Toronto is certainly one of its most exciting and interesting areas it is by far not all that this great city has to offer. Actually, Toronto is broken into several small districts and one of the most elegant and selective of these sections is the area referred to as Yorkville. This area slightly north of downtown is considered one of the most fashionable districts of Toronto. It is in this district that the Windsor Arms Hotel can be located. (At 18 Saint Thomas Street, to be exact.) The Windsor Arms is considered by many to be the most opulent and elegant facility in all of Toronto and has in fact been rated by Conde Nast Travel Magazine as “the #1 hotel in the entire city”.  Built in 1927, this boutique hotel offers a full service spa, a highly regarded steak house, and a quaint tearoom known for its exceptional tapas menu.

When it comes to opulence and sophistication this great city certainly has plenty to offer. The above-mentioned Toronto hotels are just a few of the many world-class facilities that offer luxury and convenience and a chance to step back in time. When visiting Toronto you certainly wont run out of temporary housing options, but why settle for the standard hotel when you can be taken back to a grand time of opulence and sophistication.