Canada’s largest city, Toronto borders Lake Ontario, its gleaming office towers a battlement of steel and glass (the iconic CN Tower is the world’s second-tallest structure). Yet just north of this gleaming lakefront façade are slow-paced, tree-lined neighborhoods, reminders of the distinguished British heritage of “Toronto the Good.” Today’s Toronto is both homey and cosmopolitan, proud of its museums (particularly the Frank Gehry-designed Art Gallery of Ontario), and brimming with old-meets-new energy at the 10-acre Harbourfront Centre (industrial docklands converted to an arts and entertainment emporium) and the renovated Distillery District, a Victorian-era red-brick factory that has been transformed into a pedestrian village.
Many Canadians call Toronto the "centre of the universe," a nod to enthusiastic tourism boosters.
And boast they should. There's an awful lot to be said about Canada's biggest metro area, a hub of business and banking, live entertainment, culture and media. And while many Canadians find it too big, too busy, too crazy -- tourists marvel at its cleanliness and order.
The City of Toronto itself is just a small part of the overall metro area, but it is its character and soul - full of distinctive neighborhoods defined by architecture, location and particularly ethnicity. There is the Danforth, with its endless Greek cafes and a few blocks away, the quaint, yuppified Beaches.
Toronto is also a feast for entertainment and culture, from Broadway-bound live theatre and world-class galleries and museums to improv of Second City and the hip live music that blasts out of the Queen Street windows of MuchMusic, Canada's answer to MTV.