I have been visiting Toronto since early 2011. It has been well known to be the most multi-culturally diverse city on the planet.
My first impression of it was like a smaller, laid back New York. I feel that is basic description was accurate as I found out quickly that a lot of TV shows in which the location is New York is shot in Toronto with rented NY yellow cabs in the visible background.
Kensington Market (above) was my first arrival point after getting the Coach to Toronto from New York. 11 hours on a coach with no sleep. Big mistake. Kensington market consists of two parallel streets populated my greengrocers and fish shops with vintage shops and bars dotted in between. An easy comparison would be Camden Market albeit a very small version of.
Being a North American city, it follows a grid like system but as opposed to NY the streets are not numbered.
It is a lot smaller than London and feels it, which gives the place a more close-nit community vibe. I am sure that Toronto could fit into South London as surface area wise London is about 2.5 times larger.
View looking down Spadina Avenue towards Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands. The waterfront is dense with condominiums. In some areas of Downtown Toronto, neighbourhood development laws prohibit buildings higher than eight floors, not the case here.
Toronto is a great city to be in for foodies. In the last five or so years, there has been an up-swell of eateries often started by former bar-staff.
One of the best bar experiences I have was a couple of years ago at one of the best cocktail bars in the city, Barchef on Queen Street. The £15-35 price tag for drinks were well deserved.
Also with Toronto's community vibe it is very difficult not to have a local bar a la Cheers where everybody knows your name.
Things to do in Toronto
See a Baseball Game (Blue Jays)
See a Basketball Game (Raptors)
See a Hockey Game (Maple Leaves)
Check out the Toronto Islands (Preferably in Summer)
Walk the P.A.T.H. system (Underground Shopping Complex)
(I have only done about half of the things on this list.)
Toronto is a young city, still trying to find its identity but having a fun time doing it.
Things to know
Toronto is not the capital city of Canada, Ottawa is.
Loonie = 1 dollar (coin)
Toonie = 2 dollars (coin)
TTC Rides are now $3.25 but you can use your ticket as a transfer to continue your journey in one direction only. The Underground network is tiny.
Always tip for a drink. At least one dollar for a beer and at least two for a cocktail. The classier the bar, the higher the tip.
Last call is at 2am so you will want to be at the bar ordering at 1:45 AM
On rare occasions last call is at 4AM.
The best time to visit Toronto is between June and September. Many Bars extend their footprint to take up some of the pavements plus there are a mass of music festivals. The Toronto International Film Festival bookends the Summer in mid September.