Toronto is home to a strong art, music, theatre, film and dance scene, as well as many of Canada’s most famous attractions. Toronto is perhaps best known for the CN Tower, situated in the heart of downtown, as it is the tallest freestanding tower in the Western Hemisphere.
ocated immediately west of the CN Tower is the Roger’s Centre, which is home to one of Toronto’s professional sports teams, the Toronto Blue Jays (baseball). Two of Toronto’s other professional sports teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs (hockey) and the Toronto Raptors (basketball), are housed just a few blocks east of the CN tower in the Air Canada Centre.Finally, the professional teams, Toronto FC (soccer) and the Toronto Argonauts (Canadian football), play at BMO field, just west of downtown Toronto.
There are a number of dance companies, orchestras, theatre troops and opera companies that are based in the city. Those of note include the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Stage Company. These performances can take place at one of the many large-scale venues scattered throughout the downtown core, including the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Roy Thomson Hall, the Princess of Wales Theatre, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Massey Hall, the Toronto Centre for the Arts, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres and the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. In the summer, the open-air Molson Amphitheatre is a popular venue for music concerts. The city also features an outdoor Shakespeare production each summer in High Park, called “Dream in High Park”.
Toronto is home to a major domestic and foreign film industry. It is currently ranked as the third largest film and television production centre, after Los Angeles and New York. The city also plays host to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the most prestigious annual film festivals in the world. One of the largest events in Toronto is the annual Pride Festival, which takes place over the course of a week in June. It is one of the largest LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and two-spirited) festivals in the world. Other major festivals in the city include the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, formerly known as Caribana, which takes place every summer from mid-July to early August, as well as the “Taste of the Danforth” festival in Greektown, which attracts more than 1 million people in only two-and-a-half days.
The city is also home to numerous museums and galleries. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), which celebrates world culture and natural history, is among the most popular. The Art Gallery of Ontario has a broad collection of artwork from Canada, Europe and Africa, and attracts exhibitions from museums all over the world. The Ontario Science Centre is one of the premier science and technology museums in Canada, with many interactive exhibits. Other museums of note include the Gardiner Museum, the Bata Shoe Museum, the Museum of Inuit Art, TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Institute for Contemporary Culture, Hart House, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Casa Loma, a museum and historic landmark.
The Canadian National Exhibition is the oldest annual fair in the world. It is held at Exhibition Place from the end of August to early September. The Toronto Zoo is another popular destination in the summer. It is home to over 5,000 animals, which represent more than 460 species. The Eaton Centre is the city’s most popular shopping centre, although there are several other noteworthy shopping areas throughout the city, including the Yorkville neighbourhood, the Entertainment District, the Financial District, Queen West, Harbourfront and the St. Lawrence Market. Other neighbourhoods and attractions of note include the Beaches, the Toronto Islands, Kensington Market, Canada’s Wonderland and Fort York.
Points of interest outside Toronto include the cities of Kingston, Ottawa, Montréal, Niagara on the Lake and Niagara Falls. Tourists are also attracted to cottage country, a region of lakes and waterways north and northeast of the city that includes Muskoka and the Kawarthas.
There are many opportunities for hiking and skiing in the Toronto region, especially Algonquin Park, Blue Mountain, Hockley Valley Provincial Park, the Bruce Trail, Calabogie Peaks, Glen Eden, Horseshoe Resort, as well as Holiday Valley and Kissing Bridge in New York State. There are also several lakes and beaches in Toronto, including Hanlan’s Point, Bluffer’s Park, Ward Island, and Woodbine Beach. Just outside of the city, you can find Kelso Conservation Area, Christie Lake, Coborg Beach, Fifty Point Beach, Wasaga Beach and Grand Bend.