Explorer Diaries: Toronto

Travelling and its unique ability to open hearts and minds to other people, cultures and ways of living is one of the main reasons that I value experiences over things. One place that I'd love to go is Toronto, Canada. Luckily for me, TFO's local guide Brittney was on hand to give me the lowdown on all the best spots.

From Britney

As one of the most multicultural centers in the world, Toronto has a huge variety of cuisine options for any palate. 

1. Canoe
A fine-dining spot in the downtown core, on the 54th floor of a high-rise skyscraper. Along with some of the best cuisine options in the city, it also comes with the best view of the CN tower! Get dressed up for a night on the town and feel the true magic of the city at this one-of-a-kind restaurant!

2. Aloette
Located in midtown Toronto, this modern restaurant offers a chic design in a welcoming
atmosphere. This is a more casual option in comparison to the fine-dining spot listed above. Sit back and relax in the cozy seating area with various comfort food options such as the famous local burger and fries!

3. La Palma
Also located downtown is the vibrant Italian inspired restaurant, La Palma. This is a great spot to grab a drink with friends or even sit back for a full course meal. The restaurant is famous for their gnocchi and oven-fired pizza! 

Toronto has a huge variety of places to stay, from chain hotels to a variety of B&B's – but what truly makes the visit special is a stay in a local hotel. The following spots offer unique touches for a truly local Canadian experience. 

1. Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square
This hotel is all about comfort and luxury – with spacious rooms, state of the art fitness centre, and contemporary style lounge. Guests will feel fully satisfied with the proficient service and hospitable atmosphere!

2. One King West Hotel & Residence
Located in the heart of downtown is the luxury hotel, One King West. Feel like royalty staying in this local hotel, fully equipped with the top quality furnishings, restaurant, and pool!

3. Executive Hotel Cosmopolitan Toronto
Feel true sophistication when staying at this luxury downtown hotel. Modern and chic décor, filled with top of the line amenities!

4. Old Mill Toronto
Escape the busy downtown core and head to the Etobicoke region to find the quaint boutique hotel, Old Mill. This is the perfect escape for a more quiet and restful stay in the city. Take time for yourself at the on-site spa with a variety of massage options.

There is so much more to do in the city than just the CN tower and Nathan Phillips Square! The
bustling city is filled with activities for any preference! Whether you want to relax on a patio with a drink or catch some local events, Toronto is the perfect destination with non-stop activities! Here's where the locals hang out.

1. Sports Games
Attending live sports games are a favourite pastime for Canadians! Depending on the season, be sure to attend the extravagant baseball game of the Blue Jays in summer, sit amongst the wild basketball fans of the Toronto Raptors in fall, or head to the rink for a hockey game of Toronto Maple Leafs in winter!

2. Distillery District
The Distillery District is a definite must any time of year! Step back in time and wander amongst the old, 19th century buildings that once housed the vibrant whiskey scene in the city. The quaint cobblestone streets are filled with lively pubs, cafes, galleries, and boutiques. If you’re lucky enough to be in the region during winter, the Distillery District is home to the famous Christmas Market with amazing local vendors!

3. Saint Lawrence Market
This farmer’s market is well known amongst the locals for selling some of the best local produce and other groceries for the perfect meal. With over 100 vendors, walk through the market, take in the local culture, and perhaps purchase some Canadian maple syrup!

4. Royal Ontario Museum
The ROM is a favourite spot for a truly cultural experience. Walk through and enjoy everything
from art to natural history all in one place! Being one of the largest museums in all of North
America and largest in Canada, be sure to book in at least a few hours to look around!

5. Toronto Island
For a more nature inspired experience away from the busy downtown core, head on a short ferry ride over to Toronto Island. This is a popular destination during the summer months, as locals flock over to enjoy the beach, swimming, walking trails, and greenspace!