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Suggestions for Toronto?


tooskinneejs
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My family and I are taking a road trip from our hometown in Washington, D.C. to Niagra Falls and then on to Toronto for a couple of days.  I was hoping to get the insights of the many Canadians here on where to stay and what to do in Toronto.  I've never been there and so I don't have any idea about what part of town to stay in (or what part to avoid, if any) or what might be fun for a family with three kids under age 10 (things to do, places to eat, a great hotel to stay at, etc.).

 

Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks.

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The CN tower is a must do.  Also for kids, Center Island has a lot of fun stuff.  You take a ferry from right downtown lakefront over. About 15 min. total.  I like the King Edward hotel.  It s one of those things that s pricey but worth it.  Outstanding service.  or if you really want to save some dough take them on a subway ride east on the bloor line from yonge.  Get in the front car and when you get a few.stops in you go across a high bridge across the don valley.  Fun for the kids!  At least it was when I was a kid.  Center island is probably your best bet with small chldren.  Oh, and thanks for those tourist dollars!

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Gosh, there are so many things to do in Toronto.  A few ideas:

 

-catch a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre...no risk of a rain-out!

-visit the CN Tower if the skies are reasonably clear

-the Hockey Hall of Fame is quite interesting

-Art Gallery of Ontario

-visit the provincial parliament at Queen's Park

-attend a Toronto Argonauts football game (the Canadian football season begins in July!)

-walk through Chinatown -- Toronto's is one of the largest in the eastern half of the continent

-visit Castle Loma

-go to see a play...Toronto has the third largest professional theatre scene in the English speaking world (after NY and London).  Currently the Wizard of Oz is playing in one of the Mirvish theatres.

-take a two-hour cruise on Lake Ontario.

-visit the Toronto zoo

 

 

There's lots of stuff to do!

 

SJ

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Like others have said, Centre Island and the CN Tower are must dos.  There's an aquarium opening at the CN Tower, supposed to be the end of summer or fall.

 

Coming from Washington I would say you have some pretty good sporting events and teams in your back yard so any Toronto teams may not interest your or your family and nobody likes soccer anyway  :P ................Although I wish I got to see Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper play baseball.  :D

 

The Toronto P.A.T.H. is pretty cool also, especially if it's raining out.

http://www.torontopath.com/view/Home.aspx

It's an underground series of shops and restaurants linking offices, hotels etc.  You can get from Union Station to North of the Eaton Centre all underground.  You can also access 6 or 7 subway stations from there too.

 

Harbourfront is a cool spot expecially after dinner.  Although I've spent little time down there so I don't know any specifics.

 

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The Zoo is way out of the city and very very large relative to the National Zoo.  I would not recommend spending a day out there if you are only there for a few days.  I would stick to the downtown core and attractions that are relatively close.  You really can't go wrong in TO, it is a great city! Pack a sweatshirt/sweater for everyone if you are from DC.  You will be amazed how much it cools off in the evening now that it is August.

 

Have a great trip.

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The CN tower is a must do.  Also for kids, Center Island has a lot of fun stuff.  You take a ferry from right downtown lakefront over. About 15 min. total.  I like the King Edward hotel.  It s one of those things that s pricey but worth it. 

Thats what I was going to write.

I would also add in the Distillery District, I know I know the kids but its really just a bunch of nice restaurants that were converted from old distillery buildings.

If  you really want to live on the "edge" once you are up at the CN tower

:P

 

The Lakeshor is great to hang out. Im not sure if the CNE is still open (or if it opened yet for this year)

Toronto is maybe the most multi cultural city so hit up all the different ethnic zones.

There really isnt too many places you wouldnt want to go but just like anywhere in the world you dont want to be walking around with kids at 2am.

 

If you guys are in to history Fort York and other cool stuff here http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/fort-york.htm

 

GREAT GREAT restaurants in TO and not just for the food but the atmosphere. Soak it up.

 

Oh, if you are driving, when you are coming up the QEW from Niagara, take the Plains Rd exit at Burlington and drive along lake shore road for about 10 - 20  min. Nice drive.

 

I live outside of Toronto but any questions you may have about the surrounding area PM me.  :)

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Gosh, there are so many things to do in Toronto.  A few ideas:

 

-catch a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre...no risk of a rain-out!

-visit the CN Tower if the skies are reasonably clear

-the Hockey Hall of Fame is quite interesting

-Art Gallery of Ontario

-visit the provincial parliament at Queen's Park

-attend a Toronto Argonauts football game (the Canadian football season begins in July!)

-walk through Chinatown -- Toronto's is one of the largest in the eastern half of the continent

-visit Castle Loma

-go to see a play...Toronto has the third largest professional theatre scene in the English speaking world (after NY and London).  Currently the Wizard of Oz is playing in one of the Mirvish theatres.

-take a two-hour cruise on Lake Ontario.

-visit the Toronto zoo

 

 

There's lots of stuff to do!

 

SJ

 

To add on:

 

- I strongly suggest you visit Snakes & Lattes ! It's so much fun, it's basically a board game shop that's fused with a cafe, you can play board games, drink and eat delicious deli and it's got a really social and lively vibe to it. It's a lot of fun and a good place to visit. It's situated in Korea Town by Christie & Bathurst. I strongly recommend you visit at least once. Every board game you can think of they have it.

 

- the Bell TIFF Box by King & John Street has really cool memorabilia for the whole family and you can also watch independent films and old school classics remastered.

 

- some restaurants you might want to check out that are really good are: Joe Mama's Southern Style Restaurant (if you go at night they have live bands and stuff, it's really like something out of a jazz movie lol), Beer Bistro is cool, Harlem Underground, Ginger (right across the street from the MuchMusic, they make amazing food and the price is right too), Korean Grill is ok, Burger Bar (you can put together your own burger and stuff), Paramount (they make middle eastern cuisine, it's really good), Sarah Schwarma (largely considered to be the best in the city), The WORKS (great burger place, has that 5 guys feel to it but with a Canadian twist - excellent food, a lot of the stuff on their menu is named after famous celebrity visitors) Burrito Boyz, Magic Oven, Amico's Pizza (you haven't had Pizza until you've tried Amico's or The Magic Oven LOL), Mexitaco (best Mexican food in the city) there's so many good restaurants I could go on and on and on....

 

- if you're into extreme sports CQB Paintball has the best paintball facility in the city (and the best prices too)

 

- Canada's Wonderland

 

- Medieval Nights at The Exhibition Place is too much fun

 

- The Exhibition Place and The Ontario Place (it's a carnival much like Canada's Wonderland gorgeous atmosphere)

 

- Jazz Fest

 

- The Bier Market (it's in the Distillery District, it's got a great atmosphere and great beer, sometimes they have a live band playing there)

 

- Kensington Market, they've got sooo many great stores there, whatever you're looking for they have it, if you visit China Town you have to visit Kensington Market

 

 

I think that's it for now lol, there's so much to do out here, it's a great city and you'll love it.

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Since you mention food, I always like to see if I can find old shows from "No Reservations" [now showing on CNN as "Parts Unknown) (Anthony Bourdain); Bizzare Foods (Andrew Zimmern) and Diner's, Drive in's and Dives (Guy Fieri).  All have websites, IIRC, that at least cover the shows visits.

 

Seeing if there is a show at least one of them has done on the city you're going to (and I know one the above, at least, did one on Toronto...think it was Bourdain) is a great way to see some different neighborhoods and a wide variety of food joints and places you might not have heard of.  Obviously, the shows can be old so check whether the places are still hip (or at least open!).

 

Trip Advisor also has some good reviews -- though you have to try to get a feel for whether the person has an axe to grind, doesn't like the type of scene you will, etc..  And, of course, the locals here will know best!! 

:D

Enjoy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to everyone for your recommendations.  We just got home from our trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto.  In Toronto, we spent an afternoon at Centre Island, had dinner in the Distillery District, went to China Town and Kensington Market, spent some time around Dundas Square, and had a very nice dinner at the 360 Restaurant in the CN Tower.  Thanks again for all of the suggestions!

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