Learn about the Totally Toronto City Guide, where we provide you with an introduction to learning about the city of Toronto, the provincial capital of Ontario, Canada.
You can learn more about Toronto by following the links to other guides to the city of Toronto.
-- Accommodation (airb&b, hotels, apartments)
-- Architecture and Buildings
-- Bars, Pubs and Breweries
-- Entertainment - Nightlife and Nightclubs
-- Festivals - Annual
-- Restaurants and Food
Toronto is one of the southern-most cities in Ontario and situated on the northwest border of Lake Ontario. Being the provincial capital, Toronto is home to over 2.5 million people, making it the fifth most populated city in North America.
Stretching north 13 miles and across 27 miles, Toronto is a relatively flat piece of land. Heading into the North York, altitudes can reach as high as 210m above-sea-level.
When comparing that to the 75m above-sea-level along the shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is literally located on a large downhill slope.
Toronto is known for being a multicultural society. Almost half of the city's inhabitants are immigrants. Although English is the primary language spoken in Canada (followed by French as secondary), a large number of languages can be heard throughout Toronto.
Toronto has been labeled as one of the safest cities in Canada because of its low crime rate and high living standards. Toronto's leading economic sectors are telecommunications, finance, media, and tourism.
The history of the land goes way back to the Huron tribe. The origin of the name "Toronto" has always been the topic of discussion. The word "Taronto" used to refer to a channel of water that flowed through Lake Simcoe. The city's name is also said to originate from a native village called "Tarantou," but its location was closer to Quebec.
Later, Fort Toronto would become the first settlement for that area. John Graves Simcoe would go on to name it the capital of Upper Canada.
Toronto is divided into unique regions and areas;
-- North End
-- West End
-- East End
-- Downtown (Central)
-- Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
Each part has its own list of unique Toronto neighbourhoods.
Popular regions include the Toronto Islands and the Beaches, which carry their own unique cultures.
Staying true to diversity, there are also places in Toronto dedicated to specific cultures. Little Italy is full of Italian shops, bars, and restaurants.
Check out the other Toronto neighborhoods posted on Totally Toronto!
City-wide festivals celebrate each season in Toronto. In the summer, look for the CNE, Caribana and Pride Week.
Fall festivals include the International Film Festival and Word on the Street.
Although it is often cold during the winter, that doesn't stop Torontonians from celebrating Icefest, Winterlicious, and Toronto's Cavalcade of Lights.
Toronto comes alive in spring with festivals like the Spring Fling.
If you are hoping for a dip in Toronto waters, the lakes in northern Ontario are clean and fit for swimming.
The area known as "Cottage Country" to Torontonians has recently expanded over the past few years. Cottages are available for rent during most seasons, and the industry is quite popular.
Toronto Restaurants and Food
The restaurant choices available to someone in Toronto are extensive. Depending on what you are craving, you can have authentic Chinese, Indian, or Sushi cuisine all within a few blocks of each other.
There is also a wide range of entertainment dining such as Medieval Times. Another great example is The Sultan's Tent, where you are served authentic Moroccan cuisine while experiencing professional belly dancers.
You can also dine at home and make your own excellent cuisine after shopping at St. Lawrence Market. This is one of the best farmer's markets in Toronto and carries the freshest produce Ontario has to offer.
Toronto Hotels and Accommodation
If you are looking for accommodation in Toronto, there are a wide range of lodging available to fit your budget and criteria. From AirB&B, luxury to budget hotels, you can find great deals and friendly resting spots throughout the city.
Some of the more expensive hotels can be located in the heart of Downtown Toronto, such as The Fairmount, which is Toronto's oldest hotel.
Toronto Entertainment and Nightlife
No matter what the temperature is in Toronto, its entertainment and nightlife are always active. Like the other diverse sections of the city, the different night scenes can be found throughout the city.
For the majority of nightclubs (including all ages), head down to Richmond Street.
Another excellent area for the younger crowd is University Street and Spadina.
For older groups, the clubbing areas you want to visit include the King Street and John Street bars and pubs, which are highly popular in Toronto.
Toronto Bars and Pubs
Some of the best-known bars and pubs can be found along Front Street, Queen Street, or College Street. In the summer, these establishments open their outdoor patios and can be found on many corners. The Docks are a popular hangout in the summer, as well as the Harbourfront area.
No matter what season or occasion, the city of Toronto has almost everything a person could be looking for. The atmosphere of the city is both vibrant and colorful, and the people of Toronto are welcoming and respectful.
Take a look around Totally Toronto and see what surprises await you, whether visiting or living in this multicultural city.
The general style of Toronto's architecture is hard to pinpoint. You will often see a building built in the 1800's standing next to a modern skyscraper.
Many of Toronto's older buildings have been renovated and restored to preserve them. Most recently being the Royal Ontario Museum.
The best place to see this unique clash of periods and styles is Front Street. Walking past Union Station, with its massive pillars and beautiful stain-glass work, is breathtaking.
Another area that is known for its architecture is the Distillery District. Being a historic site, it is one of the best-preserved Victorian Industrial regions of North America. It houses open art galleries, restaurants, and theatres.
Toronto enjoys a full display of seasons.
Summer arrives around the end of May and brings humid weather ranging between 20C (68F) to 35C (95F).
Mid-September brings a blaze of fall colors, and the temperature starts to get colder.
Wintertime in Toronto carries days of snow and frost, usually bringing a white December or a frigid one. Temperatures can get as low as -13C (8.6F).
Being a relatively short season, spring in Toronto offers mild temperatures with light showers turning the city green as plants and trees spring to life.