I admit, appreciating Toronto takes effort. The city is still working on its identity — and, frankly, visitors may wonder what is so great about Toronto in the first place. As a native, I can state with confidence that what makes Toronto stand out from other major cities around the world is its multicultural atmosphere. People from over fifty nations now call Toronto home, and while they don’t always agree or get along, they manage to put their differences aside and civil strife is very rare.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and the most important hub for financial services and tourism. The downtown core is compact and can be navigated on foot, although I would recommend setting aside half a day to walk around. There is the Eaton Centre, Toronto’s largest mall. Nathan Phillips Square is next door, along with the twin buildings of City Hall. I’ve always thought Kensington Market is Toronto’s hippest neighborhood. The coffee bars, restaurants, and quirky shops attract a younger crowd, particularly university students. This area is most lively during the summer months. In fact, Toronto is best visited from May until October.
Winter doesn’t put me off at all. In November and early December, Toronto has a festive vibe as residents prepare for Christmas. I loved to skate when I was a kid and although I don’t do much of it now, I can always go down to the rink at either Greenwood Park or outside Ryerson University if I’m in the mood to glide on the ice.
What’s Toronto’s best attraction? The CN Tower gets my vote, and I don’t say that because I live here. It has been a while since I’ve gone up and enjoyed the view of the city from the Skypod, almost 1,500 feet above the ground. The EdgeWalk goes outside, around the rim of the pod. Maybe 2016 will be the year I finally do that!
Toronto isn’t London, New York, or Tokyo, and it will never be like any of those cities. I don’t think Toronto has to be, in any case. Myhome town has its good points, and one of them is that it’s still remarkably safe to walk around at night. That’s a bonus during the summer!