There are a myriad of words to describe Toronto; liberal, clean, green, politically correct, polite… but none can really capture the essence of this underrated city. Want palm trees and sun? Go to Miami. Looking for amusement parks and hot weather? Go to southern California. Looking for a different cultural experience in an unassuming country? Toronto is your best bet. Here are four reasons why:
Move over Mardi Gras, there’s another festival that deserves some attention. Currently North America’s largest cultural festival, The Caribbean Canada Festival, is expecting more than 1 million tourists to experience live music, authentic Caribbean food, theatrical performances and art displays that reflect Caribbean inspired life. The shining star of the event is the parade itself. Known as the “Scotiabank Caribana Parade,” 10,000 masquerades will perform as they dance in vibrant costumes to elaborate traditional tunes.
The Distillery District, or as locals call it Hollywood North, is a part of Toronto where movies like Cinderella Man and Chicago were filmed. More than being a filming hotspot this area features brick-lined streets and dozens of vibrantly restored Victorian Industrial buildings. It’s the home to theaters, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. The area is completely closed to traffic and it’s here that you will discover the quaint charm of the city.
The Toronto Zoo is on par with many of the internationally known Zoos and it’s nearly impossible to see everything the Zoo has to offer in just one day. The Zoo is divided into seven zoogeographic regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, the Americas, Australasia, Eurasia, Canadian Domain and the Tundra Trek which makes it interesting on an educational level. There are more than 5,000 animals representing 500 species and some of the must see animals include Baby polar bear, penguins and lemurs. Many of the exhibits of large animals are arranged so that you can see them from different angles and underwater like the case of the polar bears and penguins.
Royal Ontario Museum
With more than 6 million themed galleries throughout the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), there’s something to see wherever you turn your head. From the architecture of the new Michael Lee Chin Crystal outside to the old museum walls inside, the ROM is simply stunning. Some of the must see treasures include The Tomb of General Zu Dashou, the Paradise of Maitreya, Barosaurus and the Head of Cleopatra.
These are only 4 of the many fun things to do in Toronto. As the capital of Ontario, it is North America’s largest, most diverse urban centers with more than 100 different cultures. Whether you are looking to see amazing art work, lively animals or experience the culture, Toronto deserves a closer look.
This post was provided by Dan Patterson, who works at CityPASS. To see the best attractions in Toronto for less, pick up a Toronto CityPASS. Each booklet includes admission to the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo, and Ontario