At a Glance
When to Go
Toronto Pearson International Airport is about 40 minutes from downtown by taxi; it’ll cost $50-60. Shuttle buses are around $25. The public transportation system, called the TTC, has a bus that takes you to the subway and then downtown. Have exact change of $3 for this bus, called the 92 Airport Express.
TTC trains, buses, and streetcars traverse the city. One-way fare is $3, and daily, weekly, or monthly passes can be bought in stations. Cash is also accepted, but make sure to have exact change. Taxis are readily available, and HAILO or Uber are the best apps to use to ensure a safe and reliable ride.
Food and Drink
The CN Tower has revived since the inception of Edgewalk, a thrilling walkway on the tower’s exterior and an incredible vantage point of the metropolis. The Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario offer fun and thought-provoking exhibitions and events on a regular basis. West Queen West, Ossington, and the Distillery District house clusters of small art galleries. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is home to performances by the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada. The symphony performs at the unusually-shaped Roy Thomson Hall. Toronto’s quirkier sights include the Bata Shoe Museum and the Canada Walk of Fame in the heart of Toronto’s theater district at King and Peter streets.
Though Toronto is most known for its film festival, TIFF, Hot Docs brings film buffs back to the Big Smoke every April. North by Northeast (NXNE), Canadian Music Week (CMW), and Jazz Fest keep music lovers entertained in the spring and summer. Neighborhood festivals like Kensington Market’s Pedestrian Sundays happen from May to October. In June, Toronto Pride Week celebrates the diversity of the gay community and is home to World Pride in 2014. The Canadian National Exhibition (known as the CNE or the Ex) is a fun way to count down the summer and has become known for quirky food creations like the infamous Cronut Burger. Art is celebrated year-round at the Contact Photography Festival in May, Nuit Blanche in October, and the Christmas Markets in December.
What the Locals Know
Natalie Taylor is a freelance writer and blogger based in Toronto, where she covers food, lifestyle, design and travels in Canada and beyond. She has contributed to National Geographic Traveler, Travel and Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, and the Globe and Mail. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.