33 Reasons to Visit Toronto
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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.
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.
3) Because it’s much more fun to find the Monopoly Man instead . . .
Graffiti art by Cheryl Howard/Instagram
4) . . . or the Original Banksy (since removed and now immortalized in a frame at Hotel Ocho).
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.
Congestion by Benson Kua/Flickr
6) Or you could ask this guy for a ride on his Tuk Tuk . . .
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?
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)?
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.
10) Because one moment you could be in Little Italy (with its very own Walk of Fame) . . .
Scenes 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 . . .
Spadina 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 . . .
Sitar, didgeridoo and homework by Shreyans Bhansali/Flickr
13) . . . followed by lunch at what feels like the coastline of Greece (Sunnyside Pavillion).
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.
15) And because we like a multicultural twist, we take our fries, put kimchi, pork and mayo on it, and call it “Kimchi Fries.”
Banh 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.
Canada Day by Svetlana Grechkina/Flickr
17) But sometimes it can get a little out of hand.
18) Because we don’t call the T Dot “Hogtown” for nothing.
Hogtown 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.
20) Because where else can you can swim with a view like this?
The 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.
23) And even though the Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967, our fans are still fierce supporters.
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
December 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 . . .
26) . . . and detox over the weekend with yoga at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Drop-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.
28) Because you can’t get any more hipster than bike polo in Trinity Bellwoods Park . . .
Wacky bike polo by Fermata Daily/Flickr
29) . . . or ironic game playing at the world’s largest board game cafe at Snakes and Lattes.
Cafe photo by Snakes and Lattes/SnakesAndLattes.com
30) Because Toronto was home to perhaps the greatest and funniest show ever made.
The 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.
32) And because even though our city is up “in smoke” about our infamous Mayor . . .
33) . . . we all feel like there’s no better place in the world to live than here.
Toronto City Hall, Canada, by Francisco Diaz/Flickr
Top Image: Toronto CNE by Paul Bica/Flickr
About the Author
Natalie 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.