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Toronto's Airport Strip - Communities at the Crossroads

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A mere mile or so from here is the ultimate crossroads - Canada's main airport. Just north you discover more crossroads - cultural ones. Keep going - for here we find ourselves at more junctions, at the crossroads between city and country, lakes and forests, modernity and history, the perfect starting point for our journey of discovery and exploration.
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99 Rathburn Rd W, Mississauga, ON L5B 4C1, Canada
There should be some kind of disclaimer that you have to sign before you ever bring the family—or your buddies—to Playdium. “Enter here,” it should say, “and you may never leave.” Do the math. Eleven acres outside feature bungee trampoline,...
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215 Carlingview Dr, Etobicoke, ON M9W 5E8, Canada
Think high ceilings, lots of televisions, walls highlighted in copper trim, pool tables strategically placed throughout, natural stone on one wall, and a whole squad of gorgeous servers—and you've got yourself Arizona's, an excellent place to...
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950 Dixon Rd, Toronto, ON M9W 5N4, Canada
Sometimes, when you’re looking for a place for an evening cocktail, it’s easy to overlook the obvious, to turn your nose up at what’s right under said proboscis. Honest mistake: get in late, check in, head out for a drink. I've made the same...
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55 Reading Ct, Etobicoke, ON M9W 7K7, Canada
Locals tell me that Moxie’s, an establishment I'd mistakenly pegged as one of those run-of-the-mill in-house hotel lounges, is the ideal place to do champagne or Mojitos with my significant other. I’d envisioned a sort of quiet piano bar with...
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10365 Islington Ave, Kleinburg, ON L0J 1C0, Canada
Whether it’s actually true or a myth that Canadians love to believe, there is something about the national psyche that insists that we are a function of our environment, a part of nature itself. Nowhere is this more evident than in a Canadian icon...
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555 Rexdale Blvd, Toronto, ON M9W 5L2, Canada
Cue the bugle: ascending arpeggio echoing across an open expanse on a spring afternoon. Cue the announcer: “they’re off!” It doesn’t matter whether you’re a horse-lover or gambler or not; once those horses roar out of the starting gate, you’ll be...
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4141 Living Arts Dr, Mississauga, ON L5B 4B8, Canada
A local and worthy entertainment destination is the Living Arts Centre in nearby Mississauga. Opened in 1997, this performance venue is actually a one-stop cultural go-to spot. Hammerson Hall is a concert theater with seating for 1300 and hosts...
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7855 Finch Ave W, Brampton, ON L6T 0B2, Canada
Wild Water Kingdom is a literal oasis on a hot summer afternoon. Take little ones to play at the Dolphin Bay water playground, or supervise older tots at the wave pool. Race someone on the waterslides—thrill seekers should make a beeline for the...
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16500 Peel Regional Rd 50, Caledon, ON L7E 3E7, Canada
So you’ve checked into your hotel and explored the myriad delights of Toronto. But you’re ready for some down-time, you’re aching to get back to nature. Head north – due north – to Albion Hills Conservation Area. Kids tagging along? You’ll love...
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1 Canada's Wonderland Drive, Vaughan, ON L6A 1S6, Canada
What you see here is the most terrifying rollercoaster in the world. This thing is so big that one of Wonderland's original coasters runs beneath it—and is not even visible in this frame. The Leviathan, as it is called, is so large that it...
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500 Rexdale Blvd, Etobicoke, ON M9W 6K5, Canada
Remember those great days when you were a kid? The fall fair? Merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels, special treats and special games? Woodbine Centre is home to Fantasy Fair—a fall fair that runs rain or shine, a seasonal celebration all year long....
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61 Claireville Dr, Etobicoke, ON M9W 5Z7, Canada
It’s an eye-catching landmark right on the main drag for airport regulars, and it’s the starting point for a very different sort of journey—one to which, surprisingly, all voyagers are invited. It is an architectural wonder, this multi-turreted...
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8742 Claireville Conservation Rd, Brampton, ON L6T 0B3, Canada
There is concrete to the north of you, highways to the south. A procession of transport trucks roars to the east while apartments stab the sky to the west. But it is relatively quiet here. A low thrum from the traffic is present for sure, but the...
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205 Humber College Blvd, Etobicoke, ON M9W 5L7, Canada
You have to be both a bit of an adventurer and a person with faith to discover the Humber Arboretum in a lush valley a few kilometres north of the airport strip. Humber is a large college campus and the acres of parking lots, towering academic...
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195 Galaxy Blvd, Etobicoke, ON M9W 6R7, Canada
If you play a round at the Royal Woodbine Golf Club, don't be surprised if you flub a few strokes at first. There's something about the thundering sound of a jet engine and the view of a commercial airliner so close you could almost touch it that...
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10480 Islington Ave, Kleinburg, ON L0J 1C0, Canada
I’m no espresso connoisseur, but I know what I like and I like the Cookie Crumble Café up in Kleinburg. Then again, once you’ve bitten into one of the homemade pastries sold here (I’m thinking the butter tart that looks to weigh in at around two...
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7166 Airport Rd, Mississauga, ON L4T 1E3, Canada
At this unassuming little establishment nestled snugly in an Indian enclave just north of the airport in Malton, the chef gestures toward a hot table where colors are a kaleidoscope, where steam rises as sensuous as that of Bollywood dancers, and...
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7960 Kipling Ave, Woodbridge, ON L4L 1Z9, Canada
After World War II, a tidal wave of Italians flooded Toronto, creating one of the largest concentrations of those passionate (and food-loving) people outside of Terra Nostra itself. Their children migrated to the suburbs in nearby Woodbridge. That...
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21 Nashville Rd, Kleinburg, ON L0J 1C0, Canada
For many area visitors, a trip to Kleinburg is a must-do, an excursion complete with a bit of culture and a stroll down a street that time seems to have forgotten. But there’s a caveat here—visiting Kleinburg without doing a meal at the Doctor’s...
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200 Queens Plate Dr, Etobicoke, ON M9W 6V1, Canada
I never realized it until recently, but when I eat at the Mandarin Buffet, near Woodbine Race Track, I am actually supporting a local business. Mandarin Buffet started in Brampton around 1979 as a small a la carte restaurant, and that’s where its...
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950 Dixon Rd, Toronto, ON M9W 5N4, Canada
The menu at Zachary's is varied and reasonable: seafood, beef, chicken, and a nice looking vegetarian dish. (And a burger that’s downright delicious, judging by the speed with which my neighbor devours his.) Also, other than a relaxing ambiance...
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5 Carlson Ct, Etobicoke, ON M9W 6A2, Canada
Canadians love cross-border shopping, and this pizza joint satisfies that urge. Named after the iconic American city, the establishment has a killer menu. Think killer burgers, and some of the best ribs you've ever had. Even though it's a...
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14 Stavebank Rd S, Mississauga, ON L5G 2T1, Canada
When it comes right down to it, there is not a single restaurant that lets patrons get closer to the water than Snug Harbour in Port Credit. A covered patio wraps around the west and north walls of this popular eatery no more than twenty feet from...
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12 Stavebank Rd, Mississauga, ON L5G 2T4, Canada
Way to the north the Credit River begins. Here, at Port Credit, it reaches its destination. Here it meets Lake Ontario, the ideal spot for lounging. Here is a harbour replete with charter fishing boats, a popular restaurant, a marina full of...
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8 Westmore Dr, Etobicoke, ON M9V 3Z7, Canada
Close your eyes. Listen. Imagine. Picture yourself in a souk, a traditional bazaar in downtown Marrakech, with a maze of alleys and a host of vendors. That’s kind of the feeling you get when you venture into Dr. Flea’s Flea Market any weekend of...
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162 N Queen St, Etobicoke, ON M9C 1A8, Canada
Sure, you may never do whitewater, portage through the backcountry, or bag that trophy bear. And odds are pretty good (though not overwhelming) that you may not be bushwhacking in snowshoes through mountain passes deep with snow. But you can...
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500 Rexdale Blvd, Etobicoke, ON M9W 6K5, Canada
Sure that big yellow sign just says “The Bay,” an admittedly strange and puzzling name for a huge department store plunked down at one end of the Woodbine Shopping Centre a few kilometres north of the airport strip. No surprise that you don't get...
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10516 Islington Ave, Kleinburg, ON L0J 1C0, Canada
So you’ve soaked up some local charm strolling the streets of Kleinburg and you’ve even received a lesson in both art and history at the nearby McMichael Gallery. Now it’s time to get up close and personal with all this Canadian culture. Stop in...
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1850 Albion Rd #6, Etobicoke, ON M9J 5J2, Canada
From the outside, it could be anything—plastic backlit sign guarding the entrance to a little shop in an industrial strip mall. And, to be fair, the establishment is a factory, though there are two exceptions to the norm: the product is an Indian...
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500 Rexdale Blvd, Etobicoke, ON M9W 6K5, Canada
The minute you step into Woodbine Centre you get a good feeling about the place – even if you’re not a shopaholic. No surprise that this is “inspiration mall”. The designer of Gateshead Metro Centre in England even readily admits that the plaza...
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12 Stavebank Rd, Mississauga, ON L5G 2T4, Canada
Your back strains from the effort, and the muscles of your arms are ropey. But you’re loving every minute of deep sea fishing on Lake Ontario. You feel like the protagonist in a Hemingway novel. Port Credit is ground zero on this end of the lake...
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Even though I’m not much of a horse person some of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve spent have been at Woodbine Race Track. Something fun about winning money and maybe paying for dinner with it. Something even more fun about the hoof-beating,...
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Kleinburg, Vaughan, ON L0J, Canada
When you meander the streets here, exploring boutiques, galleries and cafes, you you're strolling through history—it's the perfect place for a lazy, enjoyable afternoon. To take it up a notch, visit during the annual Binder Twine Festival, when...