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Toronto Holidays Guide

Initially founded as a trading post in the late 1700's, Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and is situated on the shores of Lake Ontario. A bustling. diverse city with over 80 international cultural and ethnic groups within the total population of more than 2.5 million residents. The jam packed Toronto Festivals Calendar is a must for visitors.

Covering more than 600 square kilometres, the city has four main districts, namely Central Toronto, East Toronto, West Toronto and North Toronto. Toronto Transport operates a super efficient network that gets visitors and locals alike to their destinations.

Central Toronto offers a host of tourist attractions including the popular Lawrence Market, the theatre district, the opera house, the huge nightlife district, the large shopping precincts with their variety of shops and popular trendy boutiques, major sporting venues and the financial district.

It is also the academic heart of the city and the University of Toronto is located here. The area is also extremely popular for the variety of restaurants, bars, lounges, bookstores, eclectic markets and Chinatown. In addition it is home to the city's best hospitals and medical research community, art galleries and museums. The city centre has a wide range of quality accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.

East Toronto is divided into two distinct sections. As a largely residental area, East Downtown houses the city's oldest neighbourhoods. With a large transient population you will often discover muiltimillion dollar homes located near to new constructions for housing projects, rooming houses and homeless shelters. With real estate prices increasing dramatically in recent years and suburbs such as Cabbagetown, with its tree-lined streets and imposing Victorian houses, are now becoming much sought after, and a variety of restaurants, bars, and retail stores have sprung up.

East End, located across the Don Valley, is popular for its residential tree lined streets and quality houses featuring a variety of architectural styles. It is home to a large Greek community offering a variety of Greek businesses, eateries, restaurants, bars and retail stores. Further east, the boardwalk by the lake attracts thousands of visitors during the summer months. Chinatown and the Little India neighbourhood are two other areas very popular for the variety of entertainment on offer, unique boutiques, eateries, restaurants and jewellery stores.

The large area of West Toronto has a very diverse ethnic population. In the numerous individual neighbourhoods, a variety of attractions are offered. Portuguese and Italian neighburhoods offer a variety of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, delis and retail shops. Queen Street offers retail outlets for youthful shoppers in the form of trendy boutiques.

Antique stores, art galleries, jazz bars, trendy restaurants and stately Victorian homes can be found in the modernized area of Parkdale. The vibrant College Street is popular for nightlife, trendy bars, lounges and galleries, Young artists and musicians have found homes in converted lofts in Liberty Village and many historic and fine Victorian era residential properties can be found around Queen Street.

North Toronto is a residential, office and shopping area which includes the wealthy neighbourhood of Rosedale. Numerous high rise apartment buildings, and condo structures have been erected recently, adding a greater population density to the area.

Toronto Highlights

Toronto Islands: Located just offshore from Toronto in Lake Ontario. Housing only a small residential community, it is great for a family outing. The area has wonderful views, bike trails, picnic grounds and an amusement park.

Art Gallery of Ontario: Exhibits in this, the largest art gallery in Canada, include a large collection of sculptures by Henry Moore, and Ruben's The Massacre of the Innocents. as well as a great assembly of Canadian paintings.

Royal Ontario Museum: Place of honour in the museum goes to the 100 year old and the world's largest totem pole. Exhibits of specimens and artifacts from many countries are on display including a variety of dinosaurs, Canadian furniture, textiles covering world cultures and natural history.

Ontario Science Centre: A great place for all the family with thought-provoking experiences in science and technology, a full wrap around Omnimax movie theatre, a rainforest and more.

CN Tower: Standing over 500 meters tall, glass fronted elevators and glass floors provide a breath-taking view of the city and an amazing experience. A revolving restaurant, located at 351 metres, offers incredible views and a worthwhile dining experience.

Black Creek Pioneer Village: This village replicates the lifestyle of Ontario in the 19th century, actors portray villagers, buildings are decorated with period furnishings and the village features horses, ducks, sheep and other animals.

Ontario Place:  An internationally acclaimed leisure and entertainment centre located along the Lake Ontario waterfront and featuring an Imax theatre, a marina with waterpark, a children's village and restaurants. A great place to take the kids in summer.

Toronto City Hall: Completed in 1965, the two semi circle buildings overlook Nathan Phillips Square - a popular ice skating rink in the winter. Visit the Hall of Memory which has a book of remembrance and which displays artifacts from the 1960's

Toronto Zoo: One of the largest zoos in the world, the 710 acres has over 5000 animals and over 10 km of walking trails. The Toronto zoo inspires adults and children to love, respect and protect wildlife and spaces.

Toronto Aerospace Museum: An historical tribute to the early days of aircraft and flying in Canada, it is also pays tribute to the dawn of the space age and Canada's first satellite launched in 1962.

Rogers Centre: Although this multi-purpose stadium is primarily a sports venue, it also hosts many other festivals, concerts and conventions.

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