Toronto is one of the most vibrant cities in the world and is home to a mix of cultures unlike anywhere else in Canada. It is the personification of Canada's proverbial mixing-pot. Toronto is comprised of six different districts, each its own unique neighbourhood. Much like the people who live in Toronto, the areas of Toronto are just as diverse.
With so much to do and see, many travellers are overwhelmed. If you're in town or passing through, here are some sights near Toronto that should be on your bucket list:
Roy Thomson Hall
Toronto is proud of its arts and has one of the most progressive music scenes in the world. In fact, it's impossible to visit the city without sampling this iconic music scene. If you are a musicophile and you want to take in a live music performance or opera in Toronto, you will want to visit the Roy Thomson Hall.
The Roy Thomson Hall opened in 1982 and has a distinctive circular architectural design with a sloping glass exterior. It is used for a variety of events and can accommodate up to 2,630 guests. Although the architecture is stunning, the acoustics of the building is its claims to fame, which is exemplified by its iconic pipe organ, built by Canadian organ builder Gabriel Knev.
Over 750,000 gallons of water hurl over Niagara Falls persecond, easily making the trip here one of the most exhilarating views on the planet. Not only are these falls one of the largest falls in North America, but they're also very accessible, with trains going to and from Toronto every hour.
If you want to take in the view from the top of the falls, you can stand safely a metre from the edge of Horseshoe Falls. Alternatively, you can go follow one of the 300 self-guided bike-trails and see the view from throughout the area.
You can also see the falls from behind through a tour called Journey Behind the Falls. Here, you can descend 38 metres of solid rock in a lift and stand right next to the roaring water.
If you want the best view and you aren't afraid of heights, you can always go on a helicopter ride and see the falls from above.
The craft beer scene is strong and vibrant in Toronto, and Bellwoods Brewery is one of the premier craft breweries in the city.
The award-winning Bellwoods Brewery is located at the city's West End and is home to several unique beers, such as Cat Lady, Goblin Sauce and Farmageddon.
Summer afternoons are always bustling with activity at Bellwoods Brewery, and people are often lined up to enjoy a crisp IPA on their outdoor picnic tables or on their lawn.
Hockey Hall of Fame
If you love hockey, you must visit the Hockey Hall of Fame. Hockey is a religion in Canada, and no trip to Toronto is complete without doing something hockey-related.
The Hockey Hall of Fame is a vast and expansive building at over 65,000 square feet. If you visit, you'll get your fill of all hockey-related paraphernalia, such as stick and goalie gears of the different famous hockey players and a picture with the original Stanley Cup.
While not everybody likes zoos, the Toronto Zoo is one of the most respected in the industry. It's located in Scarborough and covers over 700 acres, making it one of the largest zoos in the world. It is also home to over 5,000 animals, of which 450 are a unique species. The zoo is separated into seven regions, with its most popular attraction being the Gorilla Rainforest.
While at the Toronto Zoo, one can also take part in a rope course, a carousel, or a "zoomobile" ride. This ride can take you to the seven regions of the park, such as Africa, the Americas, and Canada. The zoo is also home to a 2-acre water play area and a theatre.
Considered by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the 1,815-foot CN Tower soars above Toronto's skyline. The view from the CN Tower provides a magnificent view of the city, the surrounding buildings and the nearby skyscrapers. The CN Tower is not just an engineering feat; it also has a practical purpose: it allows transmission of radio and tv broadcasts to pass with ease.
You can't climb the CN Tower, but you can take a short, minute-long elevator ride to the top. Once at the top, you will find four observation decks to choose from: The Glass Floor Room, the Lookout Level, and the revolving 360 Restaurant, and The Sky Pod, which is one of the highest observation decks in the world at 1,465 feet.
If you're the more daring and adventurous type, take a walk at the EdgeWalk, which is one of the highest hands-free external walks on a building. You'll be connected to a harness and walk on a five-foot-wide ledge encircling the top tower's main pod.
If you want to see more of the culture of Toronto, you'll want to visit Harbourfront Centre. This neighbourhood is full of warehouses that have been transformed into theatres, art galleries, eateries, shops, and parks. However, the main attraction of the Harbourfront Centre are all the community events and festivals that occur year-round.
The centre hosts up to 4,000 events each year for the millions of people that are living and visiting the city. If you want to participate in any of the events or just looking for a place to have a casual stroll, Harbourfront Centre is a good place to start.
I've known Jenn Smith Nelson for several years now, and I often look up to her for inspiration and guidance on how to grow with my blog. I remember hearing about her book over a year ago, and I've been holding my breath in anticipation ever since.
Smith Nelson teamed up with Doug O'Neill, another talented travel writer, to cover two Canadian provinces. Their new book, 110 Nature Hot Spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, is a part of a Firefly Books series that showcase Canada's diversity of nature.
If you've ever passed through Medicine Hat, or you're spending a few days in the area, you've probably wondered what to do there. To most people outside the city, Medicine Hat might seem like a sleepy little prairie town in the Canadian Badlands; but for those who live in Hell's Basement, they'll tell you that this city is one of the most exciting places you can explore in all of Alberta.
I've gone to Medicine Hat three times in the past two years, and while I'm no expert on this thriving city, I know where the hidden gems are. If someone I know is passing through the area, I tell them they need to visit Medicine Hat. To help explain why, I put an article together for anyone else interested in visiting the Hat.
If you're spending 24 hours in Medicine Hat, you'll need somewhere to sleep. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a little under an hour away and a great place to camp. Camping in Cypress gives you the choice to explore the park, the city, and everywhere in between.
It's the time of year people start heading south to Mexico to escape the winter blues. About two years ago I took my first trip to Mexico too, but I went to the Mexico City and Puebla instead of a beach-front destination. While preparing for my trip to Mexico I remembered that Xochimilco is just south of the Mexico City, and that this Venice-like community was home to the famous "Island of the Dolls."
I've written about my time to the island before so I won't go into too many details in this article. Instead, in honour of my almost two-year-anniversary of my trip to one of the creepiest places in the world, I put together a list of my Top 10 Creepiest Dolls From The Island of the Dolls.
(I would say "enjoy", but c'mon now, you know this is going make your skin crawl.)