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Toronto for First Timers

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My Austrian-born grandfather lived in Toronto before he settled in Buffalo, New York and my mother has endless stories of trips north as a child. I've yet to visit Canada's cultural capital but the highlights below look like the perfect way to begin.
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479 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 2N4, Canada
It's one of the most beautifully decorated places in the city. It's away from the tourist fray in the East End, but if you're lucky to have your cuppa here, you'll be rewarded with a sweeping view of the skyline from Riverdale Park. This is a...
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1349 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1M1, Canada
At this most hipster of hipster espresso bars, Portland meets Toronto. And it is good. Don't let the hipster vibe deter you—the 'spro is solid, tunes are fine, and the baristas will even crack a smile (occasionally). They also bake their own...
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301 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2T6, Canada
Since it was built back in 1976, the CN Tower has topped the must-visit list of most Toronto tourists. Until recently, a visit was pretty standard; hop in elevator, shoot up to the observation deck, and ogle the city from a hawk’s...
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1575 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M6K 3C1, Canada
Do you love the tagline ("What creams are made of"), or do you love it? Ashley Jacot De Boinod—former pastry chef at Buca—has taken her doughnut creations to new heights. Tim Horton's tim bits these are not. If you want peanut butter, bacon, and...
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64 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Y7, Canada
I don't know of many places where you can grab a coffee, read a magazine, pull a pint, flip a tractor tire, swing a sledgehammer, and finish off with an organic wheatgrass and kale smoothie, but then I don't know many other places like the...
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790 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G3, Canada
The moment the snow melts, young Torontonians begin their annual spring migration to Trinity Bellwoods Park. The hippest park in town, Bellwoods stretches from the shopper’s paradise of Queen West up to central Dundas Street. On a...
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780 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 2R5, Canada
If you want to indulge on decadent desserts, this is definitely your place. From the cotton candy macarons to my favourite, the salted caramel tart, the desserts here are simply divine. This is also the perfect place to get a gift for the foodie:...
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Kensington Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2K2, Canada
A trip to Toronto without a visit to Kensington Market doesn’t make any sense. Despite its diminutive size, this neighborhood packs plenty of activity within its boundaries. Arrive hungry: Restaurants and cafés dish out bites...
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In the heat of the summer there is only thing to do: pack a lunch, grab some beers, hop on a bike, ride the ferry, and get yourself over to the islands. It doesn't really matter which ferry you chose (well, don't head to the airport) because the...
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93 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3, Canada
Toronto's St. Lawrence Market is crammed with 120 vendors, butcher counters, bakeries, ethnic eateries, and seafood shops. But there's one reason why most people come here: the peameal bacon sandwich, which is dished up at the Carousel Bakery....
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317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada
Frank Gehry was born inToronto, but his dramatic 2008renovation and expansion ofthis Beaux-Arts museum washis first Canadian commission.He first discovered art on childhood visits to its vast collection,which spans the world. Now themuseum...
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Toronto, ON, Canada
Toronto’s international film festival, held every September, drew half a million attendees last year. Dozens of movies have been shot here. But the cinema isn’t the only reason to visit “Hollywood North” this fall. Modern buildings by architects...
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30 Mercer St, Toronto, ON M5V 1H3, Canada
but gets all the basics we need just right. Crisp sheets, ultra comfortable beds, excellent yet not fawning service and a nice breakfast spread (included with your stay) not to mention free WiFi, makes this the place I book all my friends who...
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55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4, Canada
Toronto's Distillery Historic District attracts tourists all year round however I find it particularly atmospheric during winter with a dusting of snow and sparkle of lights. 2012 marks the 3rd annual Christmas Market that takes place here and I...
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17 Tank House Lane, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4, Canada
A Distillery District favorite, Pure Spirits Oyster House dishes some of the best seafood in the city, with tremendous daily specials on a variety of oysters from both Canadian coasts.
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The Distillery District, Toronto, ON M5A, Canada
Nobel Tonic No.1 barrel-matured maple syrup may be brewed in the USA, but it has deep roots in the Canadian woods. You can find Nobel Tonic products, as well as great teas, coffees, and candies, at the Tea Shoppe in the Distillery District.
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44 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Y7, Canada
Lost & Found is a neat little café and menswear shop on Dundas West that features a well curated collection of Canadian-designed threads. Wallets, belts, jackets, sweaters, and bespoke boots line the shelves, while a cup of fresh coffee is the...
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From the outside, the Royal Ontario Museum appears to have been struck by a mineral formation from outer space. When the original building was overhauled by starchitect Daniel Libeskind, many locals were dismayed by the new...
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210 Princes' Blvd, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3, Canada
Canada’s National Exhibition, or CNE, is a multi-purpose facility with live music venues, fairgrounds, waterfront parks, historic and cultural exhibits, and more. Canadians of just about any age can’t help but smile when they’re asked to visit The...
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145 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 4G1, Canada
The Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts is home to the venerated Canadian Opera Company, so you can rest easy knowing that a Saturday night inside is spent in good company. But the building does not lack for architectural delights from the...