Most Canadians know Toronto as T-Dot, T.O. or the 6ix — as Drake likes to call it — but for everyone else, it’s known as Canada’s largest city. With trendy restaurants and shops, sought-after real estate and plenty of sports fans filling the stadiums, Toronto is a city that people love to visit. However, not everyone knows the hidden secrets or best traits of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Here’s where we can help. Here are four fun facts about Toronto you didn’t know that may help you tackle this-must see bucket-list city.
The CN Tower is the perfect personal compass
Don’t worry about looking like a tourist when your eyes turn skyward towards Canada’s largest freestanding structure. The CN Tower acts as a compass for even some of the city’s long-standing residents. It’s especially helpful when you’re right in the thick of downtown, and trying to figure out if you need to head south towards Lake Ontario or north towards Lake Simcoe. East and west divide the city, so it’s helpful to know which side of the tower you’re on to best explore each neighbourhood and find your way through the GTA.
There is much more to the city than its downtown
When people think of Toronto, they often think of a congested and bustling downtown (located somewhere between Bloor and Yonge Streets). Full of exciting nightlife and weekend events, the core isn’t the only place to explore. Toronto’s outer neighbourhoods also tend to have impressive options, weekdays included. Stroll through Chinatown, have a cheap bite to eat in Kensington Market and check out the boutiques in Little Portugal. Or travel even further out to Markham to explore Unionville (the old-fashioned-looking downtown core of Markham) or check out the farmlands north of Pickering and Ajax or check out one of Ontario’s largest shopping complexes in Vaughan, Ontario. Toronto truly sparkles away from the glistening lights of the skyscrapers. Locals might even tell you to spend less time right downtown, and more time exploring its neighbourhoods and the city’s outskirts. (Sorry, a car is probably required!)
You are just steps away from escaping the concrete jungle
If you find yourself complaining about how Toronto feels like too much of a “big city” in front of locals, they’ll be quick to point out that Toronto is a nature lover’s paradise. With the local buzz of Trinity Bellwoods Park (one of the city’s largest urban parks) to the sprawling beauty of High Park (the city’s largest urban park), or the trails of the Evergreen Brickworks and everyone’s favourite ferry ride out to Toronto Island, the options to get out and about are endless. Better still, rent a bike and travel north, south, east and west across the city stopping in at local ice cream and coffee shops. There are plenty of opportunities to sneak away and enjoy some nature and outdoor time.
Everyone always roots for the home team
It’s not just about the Maple Leafs anymore! Hockey might be the most in-demand sporting event in the city but it’s not the only option. Other than hockey, you can experience baseball with the Blue Jays, slam dunks and celebrity sightings with the Raptors or terrace chants with Toronto FC fans. While the city already boasted four major sports teams, they recently added a fifth to the line-up with the Toronto Wolfpack, an intercontinental rugby team. One thing is for sure, Torontonians sure know how to root for the home team.
There’s a lot about this Canadian city to love, and a whole lot more to discover. Ask anyone from the city, and they’re likely to tell you any one of these four fun facts about Toronto, or, if you’re lucky, all four of them at once! One thing is for sure, though, and that is that Toronto prides itself on having something for everyone.