33 Reasons to Visit Toronto

Monday, July 15, 2013

torontoskyline

This article is brought to you by Emirates. Before your trip to experience one of these 33 reasons to visit Toronto, be sure to visit Emirates, which operates flights to Toronto from Dubai using a state-of-the-art fleet, including the new Emirates A380.

Toronto is one of North America’s largest cities and one of its most popular destinations for travelers. But just in case you needed a few reasons to visit soon, here are 33 reasons to visit Toronto from Toronto expert Natalie Taylor of Near Afar.

1) Because we greet you with our signs.

Hey

2) Because in case you didn’t know where you were, we made sure to spray paint the city name at the beginning of Graffiti Alley.

Iphone 109

3) Because it’s much more fun to find the Monopoly Man instead . . .

MonopolyMan-CherylHowardGraffiti art by Cheryl Howard/Instagram

4) . . . or the Original Banksy (since removed and now immortalized in a frame at Hotel Ocho).

Banksy

5) Because for $3, you can get from one end of Queen Street to the other on the best form of transportation in the world: the streetcar — ride the Rocket.

Benson Kua - StreetcarCongestion by Benson Kua/Flickr

6) Or you could ask this guy for a ride on his Tuk Tuk . . . 

TukTuk

7) . . . or we’ll get all Canadian on you and tell you to take a canoe. This one’s on land though (Canoe Landing Park), but nice view, eh?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
8) Because where else in the world can you take a canoe to one of three islands and visit a nude beach (Hanlan’s Point)?

canoes

9) Because we’re so nice here, we won’t even bother you when you’re exploring, you can just take a self-guided “Discovery Walk.” Just follow the signs.

DiscoveryWalk

10) Because one moment you could be in Little Italy (with its very own Walk of Fame) . . . 

LittleItaly-TomPurvesScenes after Italy’s win by by Tom Purves/Flickr

11) . . . and the next moment you could be in one of the largest Chinatowns in North America . . .

5995655538_e69553292fSpadina Ave. by Danielle Scott/Flickr

12) . . . and then a few minutes later, you could be listening to a sitar and didgeridoo duo (amongst many other street performers) on Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market . . .

KensingtonPSSunday - Shreyans Bhansali Sitar, didgeridoo and homework by Shreyans Bhansali/Flickr

13) . . . followed by lunch at what feels like the coastline of Greece (Sunnyside Pavillion).

greece-sunnyside

14) And while we may not be as known for our poutine as is Montreal, we’ve got out own fair share of restaurants serving the french fries/gravy/cheese curd dish.

WowPoutine

15) And because we like a multicultural twist, we take our fries, put kimchi, pork and mayo on it, and call it “Kimchi Fries.”

KimchiFriesBanh Mi Boys Sandwich Shop, 392 Queen Street West

16) In fact, half the people living in Toronto today were born outside of Canada, so for us multiculturalism isn’t just a motto, it’s a fact of life.

5892537921_caff1f8b35Canada Day by Svetlana Grechkina/Flickr

17) But sometimes it can get a little out of hand.

poutinespringroll
18) Because we don’t call the T Dot “Hogtown” for nothing.

SausagepartyHogtown Charcuterie, Kensington Market (@HTChar)

19) And you definitely don’t leave this city without having some Canadian back bacon at the famous Carousel Bakery in the St. Lawrence Market.

CarouselBakery

20) Because where else can you can swim with a view like this?

CNTowerviewThe Thompson Hotel Rooftop pool, Toronto

21) And because your apartment can have this incredible view for far less rent than you’d pay in Vancouver, San Francisco or New York.

CNTowerView-FortYork
22) Because Degrassi was Toronto-born and bred. (We have the street sign — and Drake — to prove it.)

Degrassi

23) And even though the Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967, our fans are still fierce supporters.

MapleLeafs

24) Because our music scene is incredible (Rush, Broken Social Scene and Neil Young are from Toronto), and you can check it out for free during the North by Northeast Festival at Dundas Square

DundasSquareDecember 28 by blackbodypie/Flickr

25) Because you can drink and dance with the dinos during the Friday Night Live parties at the Royal Ontario Museum . . . 

FNLROM

26) . . . and detox over the weekend with yoga at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

yoga288Drop-in: Yoga in the AGO via/Ago.net

27) Because The Evergreen Brickworks (a former factory site turned environmental center) makes our metropolis a better place.

EvergreenBrickworksThe Evergreen Brick Works

28) Because you can’t get any more hipster than bike polo in Trinity Bellwoods Park . . .

bikepoloWacky bike polo by Fermata Daily/Flickr

29) . . . or ironic game playing at the world’s largest board game cafe at Snakes and Lattes.

SnakesandLattesCafe photo by Snakes and Lattes/SnakesAndLattes.com

30) Because Toronto was home to perhaps the greatest and funniest show ever made.

2725710The Kids in the Hall Walk of Fame induction via/National Post

31) Because the Courage My Love shop in Kensington Market got artsy and put a bird on it years ahead of Twitter and Portlandia.

3018739863_b6e43b6ff0

32) And because even though our city is up “in smoke” about our infamous Mayor . . .

FordGraffiti

33) . . .  we all feel like there’s no better place in the world to live than here.

TorontoEyeToronto City Hall, Canada, by Francisco Diaz/Flickr

TheExpeditioner

Top Image: Toronto CNE by Paul Bica/Flickr

By Natalie Taylor

About the Author

NatalieTaylorBioPicNatalie Taylor is a freelance writer based in Toronto. She is a local expert and ambassador for AFAR and has been featured in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, National Geographic Traveler, Blackbook Magazine and more. Find her blogging about her adventures near (Toronto) and afar at NearAfar.com and see more of her quirky photos on Instagram.

  • frank oakley

    I don’t think they have Donair shops :(

  • superguest
  • vijju

    toranto looking fabulus city . all 33 reason are less it could be more reason to visit toranto

  • Natalie T.

    Thanks for the lovely comments guys! And yes, Adam, those kimchi fries are AMAZING (as is everything on the menu at Banh Mi Boys!). :)

  • chasing the donkey

    I had no idea, that it was so multicultural! If I am ever in town, I’ll be sure to have coffee and play a board game!

  • TripsByLance

    I’ve been to Toronto once and was fortunate to experience many of these. My favorite might just be the poutine, although all the street art was pretty cool too.

  • You had me at Kimchi Fries…

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