Toronto, sitting on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, is Canada's largest city, a cosmopolitan, clean, hip city to which immigrants – Germans, Italians, Chinese, Russians, Poles, Irish, Greeks – have flocked for centuries. This modern, buzzing city pays tribute to this diversity with distinct communities (Little Italy, Little Greece, Chinatown) fused cuisine and a plethora of cultural festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Gay Pride Parade and the Caribana Festival.
Finding cheap flights to Toronto are just the starting point for savvy travellers. For picking up bargains and browsing, Yonge Street, Queen Street and the Church Wellesley Village (one of Canada’s most vibrant communities) are the places to go.
The Royal Ontario Museum, renovated and expanded under Daniel Libeskind’s guidance, is a fascinating place. It has more than six million artifacts. The Art Gallery of Ontario, the tenth-largest art museum in North America, has more than 40,000 works in its collection, from 100 AD to present day.
When the city gets too busy, Dundas Square or the Beaches offer a respite. A ten-minute ferry journey from the Harbourfront will deliver you to the Toronto Islands, full of lakeside charm.
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Toronto has a moderate climate as one of the southernmost cities in Canada with the warmest springs and summers in the nation.
When to fly to Toronto
The best time to look for Toronto flights and to visit is from June to early October. During this time there are numerous festivals and events taking place. In July and August the city can be muggy and humid. Autumn is a nice time to visit when temperatures are mild and the sun is still shining.
Although winters are cold, the city is still active playing host to numerous holiday festivities and cheap flights to Toronto are easier to come by.
Getting around Toronto
Toronto’s public transport consists of a connected network of subways, buses and streetcars that offer safe, efficient and reliable transport. With all of those options, as well as a light rapid transit reaching to the Harborfront, you can get anywhere in the city. The subway has four lines and buses and streetcars can be boarded at every major subway stop. After 1:30am the Blue Night Network services the main streets. And don’t be afraid to travel alone if you’re a woman. The Request Stop Program allows women to get off the bus anywhere between stops. Cabs are easy to find and you can take ferries to the Toronto Islands. Renting a car in the city isn’t worth it. Traffic is awful and parking expensive.
Toronto insider information
- One of the top film festivals in the world - the Toronto International Film Festival – begins on the Thursday night after Labor Day. In around 23 venues in downtown Toronto up to 400 films are screened.
- Visit the Canadian National Tower, the highest freestanding structure in the world. Walk along its glass floor or book a table in its revolving restaurant and look out at the hundreds of miles of the city.
- Travel along Yonge Street which stretches almost 2,000km from the heart of the shopping district to the University of Toronto and from the lakeshore in Toronto, north to Rainy River, Ontario, near the Minnesota border.
- Try the InfoTOgo visitor system that makes getting around Toronto extremely easy. You’ll find maps specifically designed for the area each “pillar” located at more than 20 sites at various points around the city. Historical locations and public transportation stops are highlighted on the map.
- Yes castles do exist in North America. Casa Loma is Canada’s most famous with 98 rooms and set on five acres of manicured estate gardens that are in full bloom from May through October.
- The "Biggest Underground Shopping Complex" according to the Guinness World Record is Toronto's underground city, PATH. The "city" has more than 28km of indoor pedestrian walkways linking hotels, shopping, dining and major attractions all underground.