Addicted to novelty since 2001

Suggestions for Visiting Toronto

My Irish friend Declan writes with the following query:

I’m going on holidays in Toronto for 2 weeks in May, and I thought I’d take advantage of your local knowledge. I know its the otherside of the continent from you, but I thought you might have suggestions for things tourists should do when in Toronto/Ontario. We might rent a car so anything within driving/train distance of Toronto.

I’m embarassed to admit that I haven’t been to Toronto since I was five. Now, it is about 3300 kms away, so I don’t feel too bad. But, after the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame and a musical or two, I’ve got nothing. God forbid that the Leaves are still in the playoffs at that point, but stranger things have happened.

Does anybody have any suggestions for Declan?

11 Responses to “Suggestions for Visiting Toronto”

  1. Jen

    I know it’s grammatically incorrect – but the team name is the Leafs – not Leaves. Bad grammar *and* bad hockey. Does it get any worse than that?

  2. Jeremy C. Wright

    Oy, no poking fun :p

    To do? What NOT to do? Huge restaurant district, best theatre scene outside of New York, lots of attractions (touristy stuff like the tower, Ontario Place, Medieval Times (must see)).

    Lots of wine tasting, community shows, there’ll be lots of festivals in May…

    There’s a tourist place at the Eaton Center which is basically “what do you enjoy… okay, here’s 100 places to do that” type of thing.

  3. Darren

    Indeed, incorrect, but it’s a bit of an inside joke. It’s a pejorative usage, common in the Canucks newsgroup I post to. There are currently 4930 instances. See for yourself:

  4. alan

    In May, the musical Hairspray is playing, as well as The Producers and Mamma Mia, all of which are stellar shows.

    Also, there’s a castle in the middle of the city, I forget what it’s called, but I visited that when I went a few years ago. Oooh, and they can go for dinner at Medieval Times perhaps… :P

  5. alexis

    I would recommend hanging out on Queen St West, and in Kensington market.

    (Haven’t been to Toronto in a long time either)

  6. donna

    Go visit my family? That’s what I always do when in Ontario…

    Although Niagra Falls is fun, too. It’s gotten extremely touristy, but the falls themselves are pretty neat.

  7. Joan

    Little Italy in May is lovely. Everyone is hanging out on patios apprioximating the air of being European. Then it’s a short walk to Kensington Market and Chinatown. This is a good way to see a little funky diversity here that isn’t so typically touristy. Great shopping too.

  8. Sue

    If your friend likes roller coasters, tell him to try Canada’s Wonderland. It’s like Disney, only without the disgusting overload of trademarks. And smaller.

  9. James Bow

    When you’re in Toronto, be sure to check out the Music Garden, on Queen’s Quay West, just west of Spadina Avenue on the lakeshore. This large garden, commissioned by YoYo Ma as part of his “Inspired by Bach” series is a design masterpiece, in my opinion. It was going to go to Boston, but red tape blocked the project, and Boston’s loss was our gain. There are winding paths, interesting spaces, and the thing looks just beautiful when it’s in bloom. It’s probably the one thing that works as it should on Toronto’s waterfront.

    Toronto has its fair share of “big ticket” tourist attractions, and the Music Garden tends to slip under the radar. But it’s free, and it’s been the part of my old home town that I’ve been most proud to show my in-laws from Nebraska. They were suitably impressed.

  10. Declan

    Lots of replies, thanks everyone. We’ll be there from May 14th to May 24th.

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