Last year, the company Resonance released their annual list of the World’s Best Cities, declared by Bloomberg to be the most comprehensive city ranking on the planet.
The dynamic, forward-thinking city of Toronto in Canada came 18th, but that high placing only reveals half the story; Resonance reported that Toronto was the fastest growing city in North America, ‘’powered by diversity and education’’.
If you’re looking for a city break with a difference, Toronto is ideal. Canada’s largest city, it’s often described as a more modern and more manageable version of New York. It’s also one of the most multicultural cities in Canada and people from all over the globe have forged communities here, leading to a fascinating food and arts scene, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Toronto is also known as one of the world’s innovation hubs, with many global tech giants calling the city home. Welcoming 28 million tourists annually, could 2022 be the year you join that number, and get acquainted with one of the most exciting cities in the world? If so, check out this tourist’s guide to enjoying Toronto to the full in 2022.
Toronto and Canada are still subject to various COVID-19 restrictions which may present some hurdles to your trip here. You can answer a few questions on the Government of Canada’s official ‘Find out if you can enter Canada’ page to see if you’ll likely to allowed in, but currently, you must:
- Be fully vaccinated
- Submit your proof of vaccination in advance
- Have taken a pre-arrival COVID test
- Have no COVID symptoms
- Take a test on arrival
- Wear a mask during the flight and in airport terminals
You will also need to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada. Check the full list of entry requirements here.
Now we’ve dispensed with the small print, let’s check out some of the amazing things you can do in and around Toronto.
A MAGICAL TRIP TO NIAGARA FALLS
You must have seen that one coming? Niagara Falls is arguably the highlight of Toronto holiday, this year and in every one before it, with more than 13 million people visiting this awe-inspiring site annually.
Incredibly for such a famous natural wonder, Niagara Falls is just an hour’s drive south from Toronto. You can also catch the MegaBus from Downtown Bay Street station, or the combined GoTransit train and bus option, leaving from Union Station and changing from train to bus in Burlington. Both options take around two hours, and are competitively priced.
Once you’re there, prepare to be bowled over (not literally of course!) by the sheer drama of the Falls; 3,160 tons of water flows every single second and boy is it noisy! When you’ve regained your composure, a visit to the Journey Behind the Falls elevator is a must; this elevator takes you directly behind the falls and onto both the upper and lower observation decks for the two incredible vantage points of one of nature’s greatest spectacles.
TAKE A STROLL OF KENSINGTON MARKET
Rather than being a genuine, fully fledged bazaar, Kenginston Market is actually a highly strollable, eminently enjoyable neighbourhood, home to boutique shops, hip restaurants and bars, and a bohemian vibe.
Here you’ll see some pretty astonishing graffiti and street murals, as well as street performers doing their thing at all hours of the day; you certainly won’t get bored here, make no mistake.
Take a street food walking tour of the area and its neighbouring Chinatown, check out the vintage clothes shops along Queen Street, Bloor West Village, Liberty Village and Kensington Avenue, and then take a load off in Bellevue Square Park before launching into a night out at Kensingston Brewing Co.
THE OSSINGTON STRIP
Another neighbourhood we’re particularly fond of is the Ossington Strip in Downtown Toronto, just a half hour’s walk from Kensington Market, which has also become synonymous with a groovy, hipster vibe.
Occupied by rows of cute bakeries and cutting-edge bars, the Ossington Strip is fast gaining a name for itself as a hub for great food and even greater drinks. The best time to visit is at night where you’ll have a choice of bars to visit, many of which the locals won’t want you to discover.
ONE OF THE VEGAN CAPITALS OF THE WORLD
People have been emigrating to Toronto for years (50% of the population was actually born outside of Canada), bringing their culture and cuisines with them, sparking a foodie scene rivalled by few other cities. With affordable Toronto homes for sale and readily available, and with a population ever growing, this diversifying of the culture here is only expected to continue.
Accordingly, Toronto’s food scene is a melting pot of different cuisines, particularly from Asian regions where healthier vegan options abound. Indeed, Toronto has long been one of the world’s great vegan cities, and hosts Toronto Veg Food Fest, the largest event of its kind on the planet.
Started in 1985 and going in its current, supersized state since 2014, the event now attracts more than 50’000 punters annually, with 120 stalls slinging the good stuff every September. Indeed, the festival, and associated Toronto Vegetarian Association, has been credited with advancing the cause of the plant based movement across America exponentially. Reason enough to visit this great city, we think?
EXPERIENCE THE HEIGHTS OF C.N TOWER
The C.N Tower to date remains one of the greatest free standing structures in the world. Standing for the ‘Canadian National Tower’, it is regarded as symbolic of the tech-soul of Toronto as it controls the majority of telecommunications within the city. It’s also gained another level of notoriety in recent years as world famous Toronto resident Drake was pictured sitting atop it on the cover of his 2016 album Views.
It turns out the image was photoshopped, but nonetheless, the C.N Tower is a must-see Toronto attraction, and is the tallest tower in the western hemisphere. Offering panoramic views of Toronto, Lake Ontario and beyond, there’s no better place to see a sunset in the city.
Check out the tower’s EdgeWalk attraction, the world’s highest full circle, hands-free outdoor walk, to appreciate that sunsetting spectacle. It’s a hair raising, high stakes experience, but if you’re looking instead for high steaks, do nab a table at 360 Restaurant. Bliss.
EXPLORING THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM
The ROM, or Royal Ontario Museum, is also one of the best spots for you to acquaint yourself with the history of Toronto, Canada and, in fact, the whole world. One of the largest museums on the planet, sources suggest that the ROM contains up to nearly 6 million objects, with the museum attracting 1 million visitors per year.
True to the multicultural soul of the city, arguably the museum’s key attraction is its World Culture galleries, displaying a wide variety of objects from around the world. We won’t bore you with any more superlatives; instead, we’d just encourage you to visit!
And if you’re keen to explore Canada further, check out these 6 things to do with the kids in Vancouver, Canada.