Things to do around Toronto
Planning on coming before the MIAC Show, or staying after it's over? Check out some of the many attractions Toronto has to offer for you and your family. For even more ideas visit, www.Toronto.com/attractions or www.torontotourism.com.
Art Gallery of Ontario
For over a century, the AGO has displayed one of the world’s finest art collections. Among the gallery’s 68,000 pieces, some dating back to the first century, you’ll find major works by world renowned artists including Rembrandt, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Andy Warhol. Having recently undergone an intensive transformation, the AGO has itself become a work of art under the creative vision of Frank Gehry. Gehry, a Canadian born architect, is world renowned for having created some of the world’s most striking buildings including the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall of Central Los Angeles. Come and enjoy this unforgettable testament to fine arts and world culture.
Black Creek Pioneer Village
Visitors of Black Creek will enjoy 35 restored homes of the 1860s in a rural Victorian community in Northwest Toronto. The staff recreates the life and times of the people with costumes and customs. It's a welcoming environment that takes visitors into an imperative point in time. For more information, visit www.blackcreek.ca.
With over 200 attractions, over 65 rides and a 20-acre water park, Canada's Wonderland is one of the largest theme parks in North America, with the most variety of roller coasters. Open daily from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. in July and August, it's a day full of thrills. For more information, visit www.paramountparks.com/canadaswonderland.
Casa Loma Castle
This former home of Canadian financier, Sir Henry Pellant, brings a European flavour to Toronto. Open daily, this castle is fully decorated and features estate gardens, suites, secret passageways, towers, stables and a self-guided tour. For more information, visit www.casaloma.org.
Canada's National Tower, the CN Tower, stands tall at 553.33 m, providing a breathtaking view of the city from atop. It was built in 1976 by the Canadian National and features four lookout decks at different levels. At 342 m there is a glass floor and at 351 m there is the fine dining restaurant, 360, which gives a rotating 360-degree view of the city of Toronto. The basement is a kid's haven as it's filled with arcades and rides. For more information, visit www.cntower.ca.
The best-designed objects ever seen are on display at the Design Exchange at 234 Bay St. Everything from decorative arts to house wares and medical equipment can be seen from Canada and all over the world for their impeccable form and function. For more information, call (416) 363-6121.
The Distillery Historic District
James Worts, English immigrant, founded the distillery in 1837 and used it to produce his first whiskey. Over 100 years later, the distillery still stands. Visit the Distillery Farmers Market or the Distillery Artisan Showcase which are being held during the MIAC weekend. For more information, visit www.thedistillerydistrict.com.
National historic site, Fort York, was the location of the Battle of York in the War of 1812. The site is also Toronto's birthplace, dating back to 1793. The fort offers seasonal guided tours, drills, musket and music demonstrations. For more information, visit www.toronto.ca/museums.
Gray Line Sightseeing Tours
See Toronto's main attractions on a London-style double-decker bus. Tickets are good for three attraction loops, allows on-off access and are valid for three touring days. Attractions passed on the tour include the Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, St. Lawrence Market, Eaton Centre, the ROM, The Distillery District, Greek Town and more. For more information, call (416) 594-3310 or (800) 594-3310.
Hockey Hall of Fame
Hockey fanatics can get their fix during off season while coming closer to the legends on ice. Open daily, the Hockey Hall of Fame features Grand Old Houses Of Hockey, Sprit Of Hockey retail store, spotlight feature showcases, education programs and a $2 million new exhibit. For more information, visit www.hhof.com.
Located in Niagara Falls, ON, Marineland allows animal lovers young and old to come close to the inhabitants of Friendship Cove and Arctic Cove. It offers mammal shows and interactive animal displays as well as thrilling rides like the Sky Screamer and Dragon Mountain. For more information, visit www.marinelandcanada.com.
Metro Toronto Zoo
Featuring over 5,000 animals from over 460 species, the Zoo is located on 280 hectares in Rouge Valley. There are 10 km of walking trails and various food facilities on the grounds. There is also a Kids Zoo located in the Zeller Discovery Zone and there are plenty of gift shops. For more information, visit www.torontozoo.com.
The 11th Century comes to life with a four-course dinner and Medieval show at Medieval Times, located in the Exhibition Place. Greet the King and Princess before entering the Hall of Arms. Enjoy the show of ring piercing contests, javelin throwing, jousts, horses performing military drills and dressage. For more information, visit www.medievaltimes.com.
The powerful rapids of Niagara pummel down the horseshoe falls, downstream and into the infamous whirlpool. Both the Canadian and US sides of the falls are visible from Niagara Falls, ON. Ride the cable cars for an aerial view over the whirlpool or the Maid of the Mist to wet your face with a white out into the falls. There are also tunnels that run behind the falls to feel the powerful force that has become a wonder of the world. For more information, visit www.discoverniagara.com.
Three man-made islands along Lake Ontario hold the rides and attractions of Ontario Place. Opened in 1941, this theme park features many water rides and games. For more information, visit www.ontarioplace.com.
Ontario Science Centre
Take a day out to have fun and learn the science that's around us everyday. The Ontario Science Centre features over 600 exhibits in 10 halls, so there's something for all ages. There is a new IMAX film titled Roving Mars, an animal glossary that takes an in-depth look at the slimiest critters on earth and a giant dome that allows you to explore live bugs. For more information, visit www.ontariosciencecentre.ca.
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
The history of Canada and the world is on display at the ROM. Over 5 million international pieces exhibit natural and cultural artifacts. It's the largest museum in Canada and has been a favourite for over 90 years. For more information, visit www.rom.on.ca.
Spadina Historic House & Gardens (Spadina Museum)
Businessman and financier, James Austin, built a home for him and his family in 1866, on 285 Spadina Rd., which has been home to four generations of Austins. Local and imported furniture and art decorates the inside of this house, which is located on a six-acre property. Tours are available. For more information, call (416) 392-6910.
Toronto City Pass
The Toronto City Pass can get you into six exciting attractions in Toronto. The pass includes the CN Tower, the AGO, the ROM, Casa Loma, the Ontario Science Centre and Toronto Zoo. Seems like a lot to cram into one day? No worries, you have nine days before the pass expires. For more information, visit www.tdbab.com/citypass.htm.
The Toronto Eaton Centre
Shop-a-holics, hold on to your plastic! With over 285 shops and services, including restaurants and a food court, the Toronto Eaton Centre mall is spread out across two full city blocks. It's a window shop haven. For more information, visit www.torontoeatoncentre.com.
Official Host Hotel
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
123 Queen St. W.
Toronto, ON, M5H 2M9
One of the most exciting and exotic characteristics of the world's most diverse city is the incredible opportunities to sample excellent cuisine from around the globe. The following is a list of Toronto Life magazine's best restaurants of 2009. If you're looking for an unforgettable dining experience, this list is an excellent place to start.
To read the full reviews or to find directions, visit www.torontolife.com
1) Nota Bene, 180 Queen St. W., 416-977-6400 (Closed Sundays)
Sophisticated and capable, their kitchen serves up specials that include gourmet lobster and cobb salad. Main: $19-$39 CAD, Recommendation: Suckling Pig and Boudin Noir Tart, Home Made Ice Cream
2) Black Hoof, 928 Dundas St. W., 416-551-8844 (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
This modest restaurant is a haven for those with a discriminating taste for food and drink.
Main: $11-$20 CAD
3) Frank, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6688 (Closed Mondays)
Enjoy elegant comfort food and an expansive wine list at one of Toronto's growing favorites.
Mains: $22-$30, Recommendation: Still Life with Pear
4) Loire, 119 Harbord St., 416-850-8330. (Closed Sunday and Monday)
This is an unpretentious but classy venue that offers excellent food and value for money.
Mains: $22-$29, Recommendation: Charcuterie Plate
5) The Harbord Room, 89 Harbord St., 416-962?8989.
Enjoy a plate of oysters at the bar or on the back patio of this relaxed neighborhood hangout.
Mains: $14-$27, Recommendation: Lamb Leg
6) Atelier Thuet, 171 East Liberty St., Unit 153, 416-603-2777. (Closed Monday)
This restaurant is a meat lover's delight with charcuterie and Alsatian-inspired mains.
Mains: $15- $30, Recommendation: Schiffala (Alsatian smoked and beer-braised pork shoulder)
7) Mildred's Temple Kitchen, 85 Hanna Ave., 416-588-5695.
Features an international wine list, friendly service, and comforting, savory meals and deserts.
Mains: $16-$26, Recommendation: Whitefish Fritters, Biryani, Profiteroles
8) Grace, 503 College St., 416-944?8884. (Closed Sunday)
Cozy with an urban edge, you'll enjoy a refined menu of homey yet sophisticated foods.
Mains: $16-$32, Recommendation: Pasta Special, Poor Man's Pudding
9) Delux, 92 Ossington Ave., 416-537-0134. (Closed Monday)
Delicious bistro style food with a Cuban sparkle will leave you feeling satisfied.
Mains: $19-$24, Recommendation: Roasted Half-Chicken, Cuban Coffee Crème Brûlée.
10) Gilead Cafe, 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680.
Enjoy scrumptious pastries, soups, sandwiches, and French fries. This is Canadian comfort food.
Recommendation: Yukon Gold Fries tossed in sea salt and thyme, flaky butter tarts