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Toronto's Visitor Attractions

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Toronto, Ontario.
Toronto, a veritable mosaic of cultures and experiences, is one of Canada's largest cities and offers unsurpassed opportunities for immersion in art, history, entertainment, sport and recreation. Distinctively urban in every sense of the word, the city is comprised of eclectic neighbourhoods and districts overflowing with one-of-a-kind adventures just waiting to be discovered. Pursuits of any variety are attainable to visitors of this dynamic city, whether interests are of a cultural, educational, recreational or sporting persuasion. Its diverse and vibrant social and cultural landscape engenders an abundance of world-class sights and attractions, which appeal to a wide demographic of visitors, from international travellers and day-trippers to romancing couples and families with young children.

EXPLORING THE ARTS & HISTORY

Artistic expression and metropolitan flair abound at the city's many cultural venues and attractions, including the impressive Frank Gehry-designed Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the Royal Ontario Museum (locally known as the ROM), where diverse exhibits and awe-inspiring architecture excite the minds of visitors both young and old. A hub for world-class live theatre, Toronto provides ample opportunities for experiencing Broadway-style open- and limited-run musicals and plays at a wide variety of theatres city-wide. Offering platforms for emerging and established artists, Toronto's gallery spaces are abundant and varied in form, including the public Toronto Sculpture Garden, which showcases thought-provoking, rotating installations in an urban outdoor environment.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN

Fun geared toward families is abundant in Toronto; science exploration, historical discovery, urban recreation and thrill-seeking amusements await. Boasting a collection of more than 5,000 animals from around the globe, the Toronto Zoo, which at 287 ha (710 acres), is one of the largest and most impressive zoos in the world. Catered to families, the zoo offers many added amenities to make any visit effortless, including locker, stroller and wagon rentals, picnic areas and food services.


Accessible from the foot of Yonge Street via a 10-minute ferry ride, the Toronto Islands are a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Extensive pedestrian pathways and cycling trails, picnic areas, supervised beaches, restaurants, a children's petting farm and an amusement park make for an excellent family destination. Open seasonally and offering entertainment for the entire family, the lakefront Ontario Place is also replete with amusements, including an impressive water park, exciting rides, miniature golf, an outdoor entertainment venue and IMAX™ film screenings in the well-recognized, dome-shaped Cinesphere.

Located in the northeast area of the city, the Ontario Science Centre offers exhibits and activities geared toward any age, whether preschoolers, teenagers or grandparents. Interactive learning, hands-on workshops, IMAX™ film adventures and innovative visiting exhibits are just a few of the highlights of the centre. Families will also appreciate the stay and play packages available, which include overnight accommodation and centre admission for two to four visitors. Riverdale Farm in the city's Cabbagetown district is an urban treat sure to please all ages. Set within a lush park, the 3-ha (7.5-acre) property is home to an array of farm animals, various historical buildings and a bustling seasonal farmers' market. In addition to offering opportunities to interact with animals, the farm also offers an array of amenities, including picnic spaces, a refreshment stand, a playground, washroom facilities and a gift shop. Admission is free.

HERITAGE SIGHTS & LANDMARKS

Toronto's most recognized landmark, the CN Tower stands sentinel over the city at 553 m high (1,815 ft) and is one of the city's most visited attractions, boasting close to two million visitors annually. The architectural marvel offers glass observation decks, simulator rides, interpretive exhibits and world-class dining in the 360 Restaurant, which offers remarkable cuisine and revolving views of the Greater Toronto Area. Many historical edifices and interpretive centres across the city offer visitors a glimpse into Toronto's vibrant past; these important heritage sites, including the majestic and distinctive Casa Loma castle, draw thousands of visitors for their connections to the past. The urban castle, built in the Gothic revival style, is a one-of-a-kind attraction sure to impress. Immaculate gardens, commanding towers, exquisitely detailed interiors and four expansive floors are at the ready to explore.

SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Toronto's world-class entertainment spectacles and professional sporting events draw visitors from near and far. Rogers Centre, most notable as the home turf of Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays franchise, also plays host to headlining concerts and special events year round. An on-site hotel, restaurant and central waterfront location nestled next to the CN Tower make it a convenient destination when exploring the city. Professional basketball and hockey are the games of choice played at the Air Canada Centre, where Raptors and Leafs fans can make their loyalties known. Within walking distance of both sports facilities is the Hockey Hall of Fame, sure to please the most fanatical of hockey enthusiasts. Interactive exhibits, memorabilia and the coveted Stanley Cup—when not touring—are highlights. Soccer fans can head over to BMO Field at Exhibition Place, where national and major league games are held during the April to October season.

DISTINCT AREAS OF INTEREST

Known locally as the heart of the city, Yonge-Dundas Square is a unique focal point of Toronto's vibrant artistic and cultural landscape. The open-air public space is ideal for taking in live musical entertainment, theatrical performances and cultural festivals, and provides a true feel for the city's eclectic vibe. A seasonal artisans' market held on weekends from May to October, square-wide wireless Internet and access to an array of adjacent shops, cafes and services make Yonge-Dundas Square an ideal urban destination for locals and visitors alike. The Harbourfront Centre, located in the heart of Toronto's waterfront, is a year-round attraction that offers a wide variety of recreational and cultural opportunities. Waterside boardwalks, marinas, gardens, a seasonal outdoor skating rink and an international marketplace (open during summer) make for an urban backdrop like no other. A hub of cultural programming and festivals, the centre presents over 4,000 multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary events annually.
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