It wasn’t just Drake who made Toronto famous. It had become a major destination before the rap’ icon who is from chic mid city, Toronto’s, Forest Hills. He also has made Toronto into a hip destination. However, as much as I would like to meet Drake, this article is for tourist visiting Toronto. 

Toronto CN tower
Toronto
Toronto

This city has so many firsts and with great food and foodies, museums that exhibit world wide collections, shopping for fashionistas’ favourite – label loving boutiques, several theatres and the best film festival for the public in the world, Toronto International Film Festival (aka TIFF) . Cannes is for selling films, Toronto is for the movie lovers who stand in line for hours to see a few of the newest flicks a day. Smart film lovers buy their tickets early!

Toronto
Toronto

So where to start?

FOOD

Toronto food

Since Toronto is one of the most cultural diverse cities in the world, it is only natural that there would be restaurants from Kosher to Chinese, yes and even Kosher Chinese, Middle Eastern, Greektown’s contribution and also Little Italy (actually two but not near each,) Little, Korean, Little India. Now flourishing are the multi sushi and Japanese cuisines and , of course, French etc. etc. etc.

food Toronto

YORKVILLE AREA

  • Morton’s for steaks, always great.
  • One Restaurant located in the Hazelton Hotel, is the place to see and be seen.
  • The flagship, founded The Four Seasons’ dBar, on the ground floor, is certainly one of the most delightful venue for drinks and small meals. Boulud, has a more serious menu.

Downtown

Toronto
Toronto
  • Canoe, in the financial district located in Commerce Court, is not only for the mega rich who work in the area, it’s certainly the best place for viewing the city. And bravo for their meals. 
  • Trendiest is Kiin, is relatively new and and an experience. Must booked well ahead of time.
  • Take a look at top picks in the ‘new’ area of restaurants on Ossington Ave. 
  • Once the Polish area, Roncesvalles Ave., Polanaz Restaurant, a throw back to Old Europe, has been around for years and still has delicious comfort food.
Toronto union station

Midtown

  • Ah, Scaramouche Restaurant Pasta Bar and Grill, my favourite. There is one very large room carefully divided on different levels. The Pasta Bar, always filled with the casual chic who are also foodies . It is a true Toronto experience and only gets better with time. The Grill, has a serious menu. The wine list is an oenophile’s dream. 
Toronto

MUSEUMS

Toronto ROM
Toronto AGO museum

When Frank Gehry transomed the new facade to cover the bland and aging Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), he also created the now splendid interior and left his mark in the city where he was born and raised.  Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) doesn’t just have dinosaurs but also masses of jewellery from Moorish to Modern. Architect, Daniel Liebeskind added the controversial, Michael Lee Chin Crystal addition. I love it.

Toronto

The Bata Museum is the legacy of the Toronto-based Bata Shoe headquarters and where the family lived . Thanks to the late Sonja Bata, a collection of footwear from barefoot to Louboutin.

Bata museum Toronto

The Gardiner Museum is filled with glorious, old china and one of the finest of this kind in the world. It was built to house the collection by Gardiner family when it started to take over their home and now is part of the ROM. 

Toronto

SHOPPING

Stay in Yorkville area and you’ll find your favourite designer labels. Smaller boutiques like 119 Corbo on Yorkville Ave. carries Dries Von Noten, Rick Owens, Ann DemeulemeesterSacaiand more tempting desirable designer labels. Yorkville Ave. and Bloor streets are the places to walk where there are free- standing boutique eg. Fendi, Tiffany’s, Max Mara, Prada, Gucci, Harry Rosen (for men) and more. Yorkville Ave. Is where you’ll find Chanel, in the newly modernized, original, Mt.Sinai Hospital. A new neighbour is Brunello Cuchinellin.

Toronto Cartier shopping
Toronto

SIGHTS

  • Ripley’s Aquarium, with everything that swims, including sharks. There are 16,000 swimming creatures.
  • Drinking locally brewed beer is only one of the fascinating parts of the cobblestoned Distillery District. Once operating as Gooderham & Worts distillery, this has become a destination to eat, see theatre (Soul Pepper Theatre) shop and live – if you could get your hands on a condo. It is the finest example of taking a vacant, deteriorating area and renewing it. Now these 10 acres, a favourite not only with locals but also tourists enjoying the variety of shops and food
  • And another must-go to, is Toronto’s castle, Casa Loma, once a private home now home to a steak house, public areas, outdoor summer symphonies in the large garden.
  • I can’t write about this city without mentioning the CN Tower which was once the tallest building in the world at 555.3 meters (1815.4 feet). There is usually crowded but worth the wait.
Casa Roma Toronto

HOTELS

Toronto hotel
Toronto hotel

There was once a Trump Tower but with various issues, it is now the St. Regis Hotel,in the financial area. Happily they kept the great outdoor mosaic wall of cheering masses. Must be for the Raptors or the Bluejays or the  Maple Leafs . . . but see if you can find the empty seat just waiting for you. 

Toronto maple leaf
Toronto hotel
  • On the waterfront, the Westin Harbour Castle offers magnificent views of city scape or the lake, while in the heart of Harbourfront Park. In the summer, always something to do and still a short walk from downtown.
  • The Shangri La Hotel, always a favourite with the international jet set, is stunning as expected and service is terrific. It also features the adjacent delicious Momofukorestaurant.
  • The Ritz Carleton is nicely located in the theatrical district and across from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company). 
  • A newbee is Bisha Hotel. It’s a rare location near the Rogers Dome. However, if you’re driving, beware not to miss the entrance, on the side down a narrow laneway.
  • The tres elegante, Hazelton Hotel, on Yorkville Ave. is a must go to especially in the warm weather with their great front terrace.
  • Hidden away from the madding crowd’ is the famed, The Windsor Arms. Charming , discreet and a favourite for all ages, located south of Bloor St.
  • Soho Metropolitan Hotel, that staff takes their job seriously and the lobby is a stunner. Added bonus is that the attached, Luckee Chinese food restaurant,is considered in the top five in this massive arena of Chinese food and probably the closest real Chinese’ this side of Hong Kong.
Toronto
Toronto hockey hall of fame
Toronto maple leaf hockey

MARKETS

There are two which stand out. 

Toronto
Toronto
  • The St. Lawrence Market has the freshest everything. They also have great bacon sandwiches which are ‘to die for’. And a place to sit and eat it.
  • Kensington Market, is unqiue. It became one of the first areas the Jewish immigrants moved into. Since then Kensington has become home to various immigrants. It is now for mavens with a variety of good restaurants. Buzzy, trendy, vibrant and where you’ll find the famous and popular, Tom’s Menswear, offering the greatest deals.

Toronto is special. So enjoy.


Having been a travel writer for more years that I want to remember, people began to come to me for advice on destinations, particularly, India. I have traveled the sub continent extensively and know about the pleasures and the pitfalls of India travel. With this in mind, I began to advise people on travel to India and established India-Concierge.Guru

All of India is ever-changing. Since I know the sub continent quite well, I recently made an itinerary for a couple to travel to destinations and areas that would suit their liking and their ability for walking. 

That’s my contribution. I listen to likes, ability and plan the itinerary. They were absolutely delighted with the hotels, the restaurants, sites, drivers, English speaking guides and since both have trouble walking, the wheelchair which was always in the car’s trunk, in each city, when and if needed . . . including assistance in air flights.

This couple returned so very happy and now are thinking of another area of India to visit next.

India-Concierge.Guru gets to know what each person wants and needs. My associate in Delhi makes my plans happen per the demands of the clients.

Let’s talk. India is a ‘must see’. You can reach me at bk@barbara3.com, Looking forward to hearing from you.

Let’s talk. INDIA-CONCIERGE.GURU BK@BARBARA3.COMWWW.INDULGEDTRAVELER.COM

Reach me at BK@BARBARA3.COM Visit the newest India Travel website: India-Travel.Guru and and do look up www.indulgedtraveler.com under Asia/India. Please help us spread the word by forwarding Indulged Traveler to your friends and family. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter (@indulgedtravel) Instagram
 
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