Toronto is Canada's largest city and the capital of the province of Ontario. Located on the north side of Lake Ontario in the south of the province, the city sprawls out along the lake and to the north taking in many former cities that surrounds it. The primary areas are:

  • Old Toronto (Downtown, West End, East End, Midtown, Islands) - The heart of the city which is roughly divided by the north-south running Young Street (the “longest road” in Canada). A particular favourite area of mine is Queen Street west of Young Street where there are a lot of small local shops and interesting fast food joints though in recent years this area has become a bit staler as high-end replaces cute and cheap.
  • Etobicoke - Largely residential.
  • York - A more ethnically diverse area of the city.
  • East York - Largely residential.
  • North York - Largely residential.
  • Scarborough - Largely industrial and residential.

What to See and Do

You want to go downtown. Though there are things like the zoo and Canada's Wonderland outside of this area, the main attractions are downtown centred around Young Street and mostly south of Bloor Street.


In the central area here are some notable sites:

  • Chinatown - Formally, the Chinatown area is in Kensington centred around the corner of Dundas Street and Spadina Avenue, but informally it stretches even further east and west along Dundas.
  • CN Tower - Once the tallest free-standing tower in the world, this tower is worth visiting for the wonderful views of the city and out over Lake Ontario (admission charge). It is attached to the “Rogers Centre” (formerly “SkyDome”) which is a large stadium home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team.
  • Royal Ontario Museum - Located on Queen’s Park (TTCSUB Museum) downtown, this wonderful museum is worth exploring with permanent and temporary exhibitions (admission charge).
  • St. Lawrence Market - Located at the corner of Front Street East and Market Street, east of south Young Street, this small indoor market has a good selection of produce and small places to eat.
  • Toronto Island - Located a short distance south of downtown and accessed by ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (Bay Street on Queens Quay), “Toronto Island” is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with walking trails and beaches.

Most theatres are located on and around Young Street while cinemas can be found everywhere.

Tip: In winter there is a small ice rink in front of City Hall. Skates can be rented here.

Slightly Further Afield

If you are willing to travel a bit further away, most of the time via car, you can see:

  • Canada's Wonderland (Vaughan) - A large amusement park quite a distance north of downtown on the 400 Highway.
  • Toronto Zoo (Meadowville) - A rather large zoo in the north-east corner of the city with an mono-rail to take you around.
  • Ontario Science Centre (Don Mills, North York) - A fun and interesting science museum on the edge of the Don Valley surrounded by parkland.


The main airport is “Lester B. Pearson” located on the west side of the city more in Mississauga than Toronto with regular coach and train links into the city. There are other smaller airports such as the one on Toronto Island but most flights are to Pearson.

The city itself has a subway network along with buses and streatcars (trams) operated by the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). There are four numbered subway lines, 1 runs from the north in Finch, through downtown and back north to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre in the north west, 2 runs west to east from Kipling (a few miles south of the airport) to Kennedy in the far east, while 3 runs from Kenny to McCowan in the east of the city and 4 runs from the north part of line 1 at Sheppard-Young to Don Mills. The streatcars run East and West south of Bloor Street.

It is easy enough to drive around the city with plenty of parking everywhere you go though, of course, parking downtown can get expensive. There are two large car parks in Eaton Centre (up a long spiral ramp), at Young and Shuter streets, and under city hall north of Queen Street between Young and University streets which I regularly use (the later is cheaper). Watch for the one way streets downtown.

Further Information

For further information, please see: