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.