Touching down in Toronto’s city airport is a breathtaking entrance to the city, skimming along the water before landing on the little strip of runway just adjacent to the city’s financial district. After a quick ferry shuttle, you are right in the thick of the skyscrapers. For a first timer, the city is quite hard to navigate, sprawling out away from the water, capturing the widespread suburbs along the way. Here are a few of my highlights from a speed visit to Canada’s largest city.
This is one of the most obvious of the city’s attractions – the hard to miss gaudy concrete tower, with a round pod perched close to the summit. It’s not cheap (entrance totals something like $55), but there is no denying the view is impressive. Be prepared to be forced to navigate the gift shop maze at the bottom.
A very hot walk in 33 degree heat to the west side of town, we headed to Nu Bugel’s for bagels. Said to be the best in town, the bagels are served hot straight from their wood fired oven. Lovely chewy bagels, slightly sweeter than the ones in New York, and with some imaginative fillings like the one I sampled – black bean houmous with brie, avocado and red onion.
The Kensington Market area of town offers plenty of independent cafes, delis and fruit shops. Check out the great selection of cookbooks at Good Egg, and if you are in the market for pickles and other preserves, Thomas Lavers Cannery and Deli should fit the bill.
Hop on a boat to Ward Island (or any other of the spots on the island park that the ferry runs to) for a little rural getaway, just minutes from the city. From glass skyscrapers and grids of streets to little wooden cottages and sandy beaches, the island provides the ideal contrast to the suffocating hot city, and proved to be a delightful place to read your book for an afternoon.