Destination Information - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
With its distinctive skyline, punctuated by the exclamation mark of the CN Tower, Toronto sits on the shores of picturesque Lake Ontario, a shimmering jewel of a city.
Against the backdrop of the lake the city seems somewhat incongruous, and when pictured against the vast expanses of wilderness that form the majority of the rest of Canada this thoroughly modern city does seem something of an anomaly. But explore further and you'll find a city every bit as rewarding and appreciable as anything the rest of Canada has to offer.
The largest and one of the liveliest cities in Canada it is hard to believe that Toronto for a long time had a reputation as something of a conservative, sleepy backwater of the British colonial empire. With a predominantly puritan population, through its early years the city was nothing like the energetic party town it is today. The colonial influence can still be seen in the administrative buildings of Old York Town and the Edwardian and Victorian buildings that survive in some of the city districts, notably the bohemian enclave of Cabbagetown. Despite this venerable heritage Toronto has most definitely relaxed its stiff-upper lip into a welcoming smile.
At last count it was estimated that almost half of Toronto's 2.4 million population were born overseas and the city is a lot more culturally and ethnically diverse than anywhere else in Canada. This is reflected in the many cultural quarters where you can get the flavours of the Far East, Africa or Europe within a couple of blocks of each other.
Although in appearance it might resemble a US city, you'll soon realise that Toronto is very different from its continental neighbours. In its attractions Toronto reflects the same diversity that you find in its population, world class art collections and museums with collections drawn from all over the globe are juxtaposed with more modern institutions that are distinctly Canadian, such as the (Ice) Hockey Hall of Fame.
With Niagara and the Canadian interior to explore just outside the city, you're unlikely to spend all your stay within Toronto's bounds, but the unique atmosphere of this cosmopolitan city will keep you coming back for more.