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Toronto is a multicultural metropolis par excellence. An unswervingly forward-looking city, its very essence lies in its diversity: its population includes 200 ethnicities speaking around 140 different languages. It’s a place of multiple districts, which sit nonchalantly cheek-by-jowl. If you take the tram down one street alone (Bathurst), you’ll pass Koreatown, Little Italy, Little Portugal, the self-proclaimed bohemian enclave of Kensington Market and the more moneyed but still self-consciously hip quarter of West Queen West.

Elsewhere, you’ll find the shimmering skyscrapers of a cut-and-thrust financial district, a street almost entirely dedicated to Canada’s history and art (‘Museum Row’), a thriving university quarter, and a sweeping waterfront overlooking the great sea-like expanse of Lake Ontario.

The instantly identifiable needle and orb of the CN Tower (once the world’s tallest free-standing structure, until Dubai’s Burj Khalifa stole its thunder) lords it over the city’s skyline.

At its summit lie observation decks and a 360-degree revolving restaurant. The restaurant offers, arguably, a serener viewing experience of Toronto’s cityscape (a full rotation lasts 72 minutes), and all meals include admission to the observation decks.

You gain the best view of the tower’s exterior from the water. Short small-boat cruises of Toronto Harbour depart regularly and provide good views of the city’s other flagship buildings.

View from Toronto IslandYou’ll see the low, egg-like bulge of the Rogers Centre, the home stadium for the Toronto Blue Jays. Amid a spate of luxury condos lie older offerings, notably the industrial bulk of the Redpath Sugar Refinery (founded in 1854).

You’ll get equally good skyline views from Toronto Islands — long, jaggedy streaks of parkland a 15-minute ferry ride offshore.

Here, you can take a cycling tour around the islands’ gardens, plush summer residences, bridges and bird-rich nature reserves. Even though Toronto isn’t a particularly frenetic-feeling city, the islands can still make for a pleasant escape from the downtown hubbub.

Away from the waterfront, almost slap-bang in the heart of the city and bordering Chinatown, stands Kensington Market. It’s less market as such, more a tight-knit community anchored around a grid of pedestrian-only streets with low-lying buildings. Here, anything goes.

It’s a rewarding place to explore (and even better when steered by a passionate local guide-cum-resident), full of flower-child whimsy and nonconformist spirit.

Prayer flags, graffiti, brightly painted façades, murals and bicycles zone into view everywhere you turn. Artfully shabby Victorian townhouses rub shoulders with what seems like a zillion thriving small businesses, including several fusion food joints (such as Hungarian-Thai and Jamaican-Italian).

To the south of downtown, close to the waterfront, you’ll find a market in the more traditional sense. Like the fusion-food pioneers of Kensington Market it’s doing its bit to cement Toronto’s reputation as a gastronomic powerhouse.

Local produce for sale in Toronto's St Lawrence MarketSt Lawrence Market is a cavernous Victorian red-brick hall housing more than 100 independent food vendors. Their stalls contain everything from fine homemade mustards to Portuguese spit-roast meats.

Continue east from St Lawrence Market and you come to the Distillery District. It preserves a 19th-century whiskey-distilling complex and other miscellaneous industrial buildings, transformed into a cluster of alfresco bars, boutiques, restaurants, galleries and performance spaces.

Torontonians have really taken the place to their heart. At weekends, the streets and patios are thronged with locals.

Looking farther afield, Toronto affords easy access to Niagara Falls. You can visit in a day or stay overnight.

Best time to visit Toronto

You can visit Toronto year-round, but the city is probably at its finest between June and September. Be aware, though, that temperatures can soar in the summer, just as they plummet in winter.

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Start planning your tailor-made trip to Toronto by contacting one of our Canada specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Toronto

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Toronto, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Toronto

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Toronto

    Accommodation choices for Toronto

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Toronto. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Fairmont Royal York, Toronto

      Fairmont Royal York

      First Class

      The Fairmont Royal York is one of the most iconic buildings in Toronto. Located in the heart of the city, many of Toronto’s main attractions and transport links are within easy walking distance.

    • Le Germain Hotel Toronto Mercer, Toronto

      Le Germain Hotel

      First Class

      Le Germain exudes youthful, urbanite sophistication. Along with its prime central location, it has a few tricks up its sleeve, such as an inviting library-come-cafe, an outdoor roof terrace, and a small rooftop putting green.

    • Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto

      Westin Harbour Castle

      Medium

      A well-situated waterfront hotel offering expansive views over Lake Ontario and easy access to the Harbour Islands as well as all the city’s downtown attractions. It also has a good range of dining options and leisure facilities.

    • Courtyard Toronto Downtown, Toronto

      Courtyard by Marriott

      Medium

      Located in downtown Toronto, close to the shops and restaurants, the Courtyard by Marriott is a modern hotel with spacious, comfortable rooms and a wide variety of facilities.

    Ideas for experiencing Toronto

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Toronto, and which use the best local guides.

    • View from CN Tower, Toronto

      Toronto City Tour

      Toronto

      Experience the sights and sounds of this cosmopolitan city as you explore the downtown and residential areas. Highlights include the Eaton Centre, old and new City Halls, Casa Loma, Yorkville and the University of Toronto.