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Toronto, ON

What to Do in Toronto Acquaint yourself with Toronto's architecture, history and neighborhoods on a guided or self-guiding city tour. Whether you want just an overview or prefer a themed tour, you'll see the city's blend of beautiful historic buildings and modern architectural design.

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Be courageous and walk on the glass floor of the CN Tower (301 Front St. W.), which peers 342 metres (1,120 ft.) downward. The tamer crowd will be just as happy skipping the see-through floor and heading instead for Sky Pod, an observatory at 447 metres (1,465 ft.). Fans of adventure travel can take urban thrills to new heights at EdgeWalk, a hands-free walk around the circumference of the roof.

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Tour the extensive estate and gardens of Casa Loma (1 Austin Terr., at Spadina and Davenport rds.), a 98-room castle on a hill overlooking Toronto. The owners only lived here a short while, but with such opulent surroundings, their stay was no doubt memorable.

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Browse the produce, deli, gourmet food, clothing and gift stalls at St. Lawrence Market, a former industrial area (Front Street East and Jarvis Street), or at the eclectically ethnic Kensington Market (College, Dundas and Bathurst streets and Spadina Avenue), where you can spend a day without running out of things to do.

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Wander the Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queen's Park at Bloor St. W. and Avenue Rd.), filled with vast historical and cultural collections. Highlights include items from ancient cultures, including China, Egypt and Greece; dinosaur exhibits; Canadian history; and European arms and armor.

See a show. With a theater scene ranking near those in New York, Chicago and London, a Toronto performance will be a highlight of your stay. To save money, visit the T.O. Tix booth at Yonge-Dundas Square and you might be able to get half-price tickets on the day of the performance.

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What's a trip to Canada without some hockey? Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame (30 Yonge St.) to learn the history of the game, get close to the Stanley Cup and see why Canadians have such an affinity for the sport.

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Spend a little while outdoors at City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square (Queen and Bay sts.), where you might catch a concert, farmers market or other special event in summer. This popular gathering spot includes a piece of public art by Henry Moore, the Peace Garden, a reflecting pool and a fountain. In winter, lace up your skates for ice-skating on that same pool that becomes an ice rink during cold weather. Regardless of the season, this square is always lively.

Whether you want to do some heavy-duty shopping or just look for a souvenir, make sure CF Toronto Eaton Centre (220 Yonge St.) is on your itinerary. Purportedly the largest mall in Toronto, more than 200 stores and restaurants under a glass ceiling guarantee an amazing selection in this beautiful setting on Yonge Street.

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Sample some of Toronto's vibrant ethnic neighborhoods brimming with cafés, bakeries, markets, shops, bilingual street signs and international flags. Celebrate the city's multiculturalism in Greektown on the Danforth, one of two Little Italys and three Chinatowns, or in the Indian, Korean, Polish or Portuguese areas.

Toronto Island Park (accessible from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at 9 Queens Quay W., at the foot of Bay St.) is one of the most fun places to go with kids. Ride a ferry to this quaint setting encompassing the islands lying just off the mainland. A children's farm, boardwalk, beaches, wading pools, a lagoon with waterfowl, and Centreville Amusement Park are some of the activities and amenities offered. Motor vehicles aren't allowed here, so this is a splendid place for outdoor enjoyment with all the charm of a previous era.

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Toronto, ON

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Travel Information

City Population

2,615,060

Elevation

172 m/566 ft.

Sales Tax

Ontario's Harmonized Sales Tax is 13 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(416) 808-2222

Temperature

(416) 661-0123

Hospitals

St. Joseph's Health Centre, (416) 530-6000; St. Michael's Hospital–30 Bond St. Site, (416) 360-4000; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre–Bayview Campus, (416) 480-6100; Michael Garron Hospital, (416) 461-8272; Toronto General Hospital, (416) 340-3111; Toronto Western Hospital, (416) 603-2581.

Visitor Information

207 Queen's Quay W., Suite 405 Toronto, ON M5J 1A7. Phone:(416)203-2600

Air Travel

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is in nearby Mississauga and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) is on the Toronto Islands.

Rental Cars

Several major rental car agencies serve the Toronto area. Be advised that in some cases you must be 25 or older to rent a car in Toronto. Car rental arrangements should be made before you depart. Your local AAA or CAA club can provide this assistance or additional information. Hertz, (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.

Rail Service

Amtrak operates daily trains from Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago; phone (800) 872-7245. VIA Rail provides service to Canadian cities as well as to Buffalo, N.Y.; phone (888) 842-7245.

Buses

Daily bus service connects Toronto with all sections of Canada and with many cities in the United States. Buses arrive and depart the Toronto Coach Terminal, 610 Bay St., north of City Hall; phone (416) 393-7275.

Taxis

The initial fare is $3.25, $1.75 for each additional kilometre (.62 mi.), and 25c for every 29 seconds you spend waiting in traffic. Major cab companies are Arrow, (416) 233-1111; Beck, (416) 751-5555; Diamond, (416) 366-6868; and Metro, (416) 504-8294. Limousines often charge a flat rate for sightseeing excursions, more when you're just renting by the hour.

Public Transportation

Transportation is available by subway, Rapid Transit, bus, trolley bus and streetcar.

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