Hello again friends,
You might remember that a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a piece called Skating, Sculptures and Summertime — Enjoy York U’s Campus. Today, I hope you will enjoy this companion piece, focused instead on our beautiful city and some of the great attractions it has to offer.
Much like the earlier post, this one will be beneficial for:
- Community members who live in or near the GTA and want a refresher to better enjoy the city.
- Summer students who want to really appreciate their time in town.
- New postsecondary admits who are excited to get a little more familiar with Toronto before school starts in the fall.
- Visiting Pan Am/Parapan Am athletes or supports such as officials, family members, friends or fans.
Whether you fit neatly into one of these categories or not, I’m sure you will find a memorable activity to enjoy. Before I start, I would like to share some useful websites for those looking for additional ways to create an unforgettable experience in Toronto. To streamline my guide, I will mention only a few activities, but there are countless other ways in which to enjoy this vast and beautiful city, so I encourage you to click and keep reading. Keep an eye out for one of my personal favourite resources, a Toronto-centric blog aptly named blogTO.
- City of Toronto — you can’t go wrong with the City of Toronto’s Visiting Toronto website.
- TorontoCityGuide — as straightforward as it sounds, this handy website is conveniently divided into sections such as accommodations, attractions, nightlife and shopping.
- See Toronto Now — this is the official website for Tourism Toronto, and it contains a useful feature, “Plan Your Stay,” which helps you find accommodations and attractions for the exact dates of your visit.
- blogTO — while the other three websites cater to visitors, blogTO offers much of the same content, but tailored to Torontonians. Visit their “Best of Toronto” page for useful posts like “The Best Farmers Markets in Toronto” or “The Best Event Venues in Toronto.”
Three Must-See Attractions
The Most Canadian — The Hockey Hall of Fame
Hockey is, not surprisingly (given it’s deep connection to Canadian culture), the national winter sport of Canada. Not only does Team Canada regularly kick butt in competitions, but somewhere in Canada is also quite likely the birthplace of hockey, though we all know that most sports and pastimes evolved over centuries and were never invented by one person or have their origins in just one specific place. Nonetheless, Windsor, Nova Scotia, is just one city that has laid claim to being the place where hockey was born. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and Kingston, Ontario, are other frontrunners, alongside Montreal. The Hockey Hall of Fame is the perfect venue to learn more about the history of hockey, as it serves as both a museum and a memorial to famous players.
Fun fact — my great-grandfather, “Lefty” Reid, was the second curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame. One of his greatest achievements was the creation of the world-class library and resource centre!
The Most-Encompassing View — The CN Tower
Not so long ago, the CN Tower was the tallest free-standing structure in the world — a record held for 34 years. Though outdone by the Burj Khalifa in 2010, the CN Tower is still an impressive addition to the Toronto skyline, and a trip to the top offers the most unique perspective of the city. There is even an eatery at the top, 360 Restaurant, which boasts the highest wine cellar in the world.
Do you like to live life on the edge, quite literally speaking? EdgeWalk might be for you! This newer attraction allows you to walk around the edge of the CN Tower’s main pod, just above the 360 Restaurant, at an astounding 356 metres above the ground (116 storeys)! For those who are a little less brave, the glass floor of the CN Tower also offers quite the thrill. I went up the tower for the first time myself only a few years ago. When I finally worked up the courage to stand on the glass floor, I found it exhilarating to see how high up in the air I was — the people down below seemed smaller than ants!
The Finest of Foods — The St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence Market is, in my opinion, one of Toronto’s greatest gems. With a history dating back to 1803, the modern St. Lawrence Market features three main buildings dedicated to food, community and culture. Whether you’d like to enjoy fresh farm produce, specialty products, gourmet experiences or food-truck fixings, the St. Lawrence Market is the place to eat it all. A peameal bacon sandwich at Carousel Bakery is a world-famous pick. Yum!
If you are looking to shop, be sure to visit the lower level, where artisans sell jewellery, clothing and souvenirs.
Which attractions do you want experience? Let’s chat! Comment below or tweet me @yorkustudents to get a conversation started.
Hungrily ambling onwards,