Tourist in Toronto

Tourist in TorontoThe following guest blog entry was written by Mark.

If you don’t have much time in Toronto, make your trip a truly Canadian experience and only visit that which you won’t find elsewhere.

While Toronto has some of the best museums in North America like the Royal Ontario Museum, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is the only major public art gallery devoted to collecting and exhibiting only Canadian art. The permanent collection consists of almost 6 000 artworks by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Inuit and other artists who have made a contribution to Canada’s artistic heritage.

Learn about Canadian origins and head down to the Black Creek Pioneer Village – a recreation of life in 19th century Ontario. Here, you can explore more than forty historic 19th century buildings, decorated in the style of the 1860s with period furnishings and actors portraying villagers. The village is populated with ducks, horses, sheep and other livestock and is mostly self-explored, although many of the individual sites will have a guide inside to explain details of the structure.

If you’re not familiar with the country’s national winter sport, the Hockey Hall of Fame, dedicated to the history of the sport, is a great introduction to the game. Even better, go watch the Toronto Maple Leafs take to the ice.

Get on a streetcar. Toronto has the largest streetcar system in the Americas in terms of track length and ridership. It’s also the only large-scale streetcar system existing in Canada. While they might not be as efficient as the subway system, the streetcar is still a great and unique way to get around town and a good opportunity to see some sights and sounds.

Walk. Toronto has plenty of eclectic neighbourhoods worth seeing. If you want a little more information, take one of the free walking tours with the Tour Guys and explore the downtown core. The city also has designated Discovery Walks which highlight both the natural and human history of the region. These can be found with brown circular signs along the route and highlight other regions such as the Belt Line, Garrison Creek and the Humber River as well as the downtown core. While there are places to enjoy the night life, the city is currently debating the development of a new casino resort. Until it’s established, rather keep your gaming to the likes of Jackpot Capital Blackjack online and keep your Toronto tour truly Canadian.

Eat - lots! Toronto is considered to be one of North America's top food cities. It has the same variety as New York or San Francisco, while the compact, safe, and clean downtown core ensures that many renowned food neighbourhoods and restaurant venues are within a quick and pleasant walk's distance of one another.

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Rick C in Oakville

I have always believed a tourist has seen more of Toronto on a long weekend than I have in my lifetime. Other than taking my kids to all the touristy places, I just haven't explored it all that much having lived in the burbs. My loss I know.

May 8, 2013 @ 4:53 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

When I got back from Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin last fall, I told my lady friend we should get a hotel in downtown Toronto and pretend we're tourists for a long weekend.

As a tourist, you map your day and take in so much of a city. When you live in a city, you don't look at it the same way.

One day, I'll book that hotel room and look at my city through the eyes of a tourist.

May 8, 2013 @ 4:55 PM


I am so glad you gave some love to streetcars. The bizarre anti-streetcar debate really cheapen how good streetcars are. Streetcars are such a great way to travel especially if you have a day pass as you can leave and get on when you see a shop or cafe that catches your eye.

There was some talk that a TTC ticket will give u unliminated tranfers for a certain amount of time (let's say two hours)that would encourage people to leave and shop and then come back on the TTC and continue your ride.

On a bit of a sidenote, the debate over streetcar, LRT and subways is so disgusting and people are ruining transit to play political games with outright divisive lies.

I have to say I miss Ontario Place. It was a good middle ground from the more hyper crazy Wonderland but has more attractions than Centreville.

May 9, 2013 @ 3:37 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Tron: Have to agree about Ontario Place, growing up in the 70's, I guess I am biased as I spent of time there.

May 11, 2013 @ 10:48 AM

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