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Where: Toronto, Canada.
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"Toronto, Almighty Toronto!" This is how I would represent this city. Dreams are coming true in Toronto, the largest, and one of the most important cities of Canada. In contrast to other cities Toronto has its own unique spirit.
Where: Toronto, Canada.
What: “Travel Smart” series
When the “journey” started, we saw the amazing nature of Vancouver, the ocean breeze, fog, forests different in their splendor, and many more. Then we saw Victoria as the most English city in Canada, keeping its own traditions and guarding the country from the west. Later on we moved to Winnipeg, the hub for businesses. That city is a testing field for companies both from all over the world and from all corners of Canada. Moreover, the city keeps its historical importance and meaning, having something memorable to offer. The next step was a trip to two small towns, i.e. the resort by the Clear Lake, and Boissevain, where you can find the history as part of people’s lives, and simply have a good time and relax. And, finally, here we are, in Toronto. This city is going to complete the journey in Canada for now; however, there is something more coming up as it is far from being over yet.
The name Toronto derives from the First Nations’ language, I personally heard the version of “place for meeting”, where the First Nations used to meet up. The second version is “place where trees stand in the water”. So, you may choose either of them or Google the information and find it out.
Toronto is the largest city of Canada, so basically it means that the city is extremely important to the whole country. Broadcasting mainly streams from Toronto so that the city controls the airing all across Canada. Here is the link to the official website of the city.
Toronto has a lot to offer to its guests. Thousands of tourists are coming to the city, hundreds of immigrants are trying to get into the country, and millions of deals are signed daily. So you can imagine how big and important this city is. If you want to find some information of what Toronto offers, check this website out.
Most obviously that you are going to start your trip from the very center, the very heart of Toronto, which is, I would say, the Union Station. From that station you can go any direction and get to some interesting and wonderful places. As Toronto is located by the Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes, you might want to see it and be part of it. Then you need to walk out the station and go kind of backwards. The moment when I was in Toronto, there were construction works and many exits were temporarily closed, but I am sure they are open now. Perhaps, the easiest way is to walk out to the Bay St. and go to the intersection with Queens Quay W. That is a new part of the city, new buildings, shops are built each year. I remember my trip in 2007 and I can tell you that in 2012 the city expanded and got closer to the water; it seems it added some land to be able to build more by the water. So, take a walk and DO take pictures; there is no doubt that you will enjoy it.
There are new stores at the harbor; take your time to visit them and find some souvenirs for yourself. I can tell you due to my own experience that I regret that I have not bought some of them at those stores. Well, I thought I would find the same ones cheaper, but I did not find them at all. So, if you see something you would like to purchase and keep as a good memory of that trip, do it!
Toronto is a huge city and it will take you a week (at least a week) to see everything in downtown. Definitely, once you get there, you also go shopping and it takes time. A good place for downtown shopping is Eaton Centre. It is a very comfortable place with everything you might ever need. It is a huge and famous shopping mall and office complex. There you can find all famous brands, for example, Sears, Canadian Tire, McDonald’s, H&M, Mexx, Hallmark, HMV, Starbucks, and many many many more, if you are interested, go check the website of the mall.
Part of that district is historical and it gives you a chance to see lots of old buildings with their own history. The impression you might get is terrific. You can spend a whole day wandering around and going up and down, changing different levels of the mall and walking outside, or stopping at a café to grab a cup of coffee. Moreover, if you are traveling by subway, it is very easy. There are many subway stations in downtown, some of them are in the Eaton Centre and some are near.
In addition to the abovementioned, you have a chance to see even more just simply going shopping. I mean the street, on which this mall is located, Yonge Street. It used to be the longest street in the world. Well, it depends if it is counted as part of the Highway or not, but citizens tend to consider it as the longest street.
Canada is also famous for and very proud of its education system and offers one of the best educations in the world. One of the most prestigious universities in the city is the University of Toronto, which is located near Queen’s Park and not far from Yonge Street. So, take your time and walk there. Actually, there are many universities in Toronto and even in downtown area. So, whatever you see you are going to be satisfied.
|University of Toronto (one of the campuses)|
There is a very nice place to visit while you are in the city, and it is the Olympic Park. It is quite easy to find it. You can ask somebody on the street or simply go to the world famous CN Tower, the tallest building in Toronto. Well, we will get back to the CN Tower in the second part of our journey in Toronto, as for now, we still have a lot to cover. Getting back to the Olympic Park, I was going to mention the beauty of that place. Walk there, spend time, take pictures, grab some food and get cold or hot drinks (depending on a season when you get there) and simply relax and enjoy the moment!
If you are there, at the Olympic Park, you can see some hotels, which you are going to need during your journey. Take your time, find and choose the most suitable hotel for you. One of the good options can be the Ritz Carlton Hotel located in downtown with a good view to the lake and the city. It is a tall building, which means you get a very good view and unusual experience (if you never had one before). And amazing design and helpful personnel will greet you and make your stay comfortable.
Another good option I would like to mention is the InterContinental Hotel, which is located nearby. It is an unusual building with charming inside and perfect service. It also gives its guests a chance to enjoy a perfect view both to downtown and to the harbor. InterContinental Toronto Centre is located on the corner of Front St. W. and Simcoe St.
Moving on to the other location, we get back to the Union Station and we will take a closer look at that area. I mean Toronto Dominion Centre, which is famous with its worldwide corporations, shops and the underground area, which we will talk about in the 2nd part of this journey. Those streets around it are filled with shops, cafés, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and just anything. Among those building you might find different modern and old buildings, which are very beautiful. Sometimes you can see that an old brick church is standing among tall modern buildings with glass walls. It is truly amazing and unbelievable how they can be together, but they are.
Getting back to the place, where we started our journey in Toronto, the Union Station, there is a very good hotel I would like to mention at the end of this part of the journey, it is The Fairmont Royal York Hotel. It is a marvelous historic building, which is so much attractive to people that it is unforgettable experience to stay there during your trip.
A perfect location in the very heart of Toronto is complemented by the underground world, i.e. underground walkways to the Union Station, Toronto Dominion Centre, to the subway station, other buildings and, of course, many exits, so you always feel comfortable and safe at the same time.
My impression was and still is simply WOW! I couldn’t say anything else, so amazing it was. I can say that I got lost a little when I decided to try the underground walkway first. To travelers I would recommend to use the main entrance in front of the Union Station, it is the easiest option. Or, if you take a cab, you simply name The Fairmont Royal York, drivers know it pretty well. Take a look at the true luxury style, the well-trained personnel and experience the high level service! It is something you would not forget…
I believe it is time to conclude this part of the journey. However, we are going to have the 2nd part of this chapter about Toronto and a surprise coming up right after. As for now, the next trip we are going to have is… ladies and gentlemen, the Niagara Falls. I am sure it is everyone’s dream, especially if you are or planning to be in Toronto. Therefore, keep traveling, discovering other destinations and never limit yourself with typical boundaries, keep exploring the world!
Kirill “Traveler” Malyutin
TO BE CONTINUED…
In the next series – “Canada travel tips: Toronto (part 2)”.
About Travel Smart series:
“Travel Smart” is a section, narrating about different countries and good travel tips, advised by the author, Kirill Malyutin. The series contains recommendations, including selected places to visit, character accommodation, and reasonable shopping. Simply get inspiration!All stories of the series →
О серии «Travel Smart»:
«Travel Smart» – раздел, в котором автор Кирилл Малютин рассказывает о разных странах и дает необходимые в путешествии советы. Серия включает в себя рекомендации по посещенным автором местам, характерным средствам размещения, а также разумному шопингу. Вдохновитесь приключением!Все выпуски серии →