Toronto (like New York) Is Unique, Ethnic, Sophisticated.

December 13, 2006 at 5:19 pm 4 comments

People have told me that Toronto is a lot like New York. Now that I’ve been there, I would dispute that comparison. I’d say instead that Toronto shares New York’s finest qualities — ethnic influences, great food, sophisticated shopping, bargain shopping, the arts and top-drawer entertainment. Plus it offers terrific transportation options for getting around town. It’s definitely a good destination for a girlfriends’ getaway.Queen Street West Streetcar

Planning Your Days. We flew to Toronto on Midwest Airlines in barely more than an hour. Taking an early flight out and a late flight back, you can get in two full days of activities. But I have three recommendations: 1) Plan out where you want to go in the city; 2) Make a transportation plan; and 3) Wear extremely comfortable shoes.

I’ll give you tips on what we liked in Toronto and you can supplement that with info from the links I’ll provide. So it can be relatively easy to plan a getaway. Decide how much walking you want to do and then supplement it with Toronto’s streetcars or subway system — both easy to access. (We did plan out where we wanted to go and how we’d work our way around the city, but made the colossal mistake of setting out on foot and continuing on foot for most of the day! I underestimated the distances. It’s a big city and I think we covered most of it on foot!) Then again, you do get to enjoy the nuances of each neighborhood when you see it on foot.

A Hotel Bargain! As I checked out hotel rates before the trip, I thought about trying out Priceline. Never used it before for hotels as I usually want more control over the selection. But I went for it, specifying a 4-star hotel in downtown Toronto. I put in a bid of $85 — about a third of the going rate around town. And it bounced right back with the Westin Harbour Castle. Wow, couldn’t believe it. We got two nights for less than the normal price for one. And it was truly a splendid hotel. We got a mini-suite for that money, with two walls of windows overlooking Lake Ontario! The hotel had great amenities, including a coffee bar in the lobby and a luxurious open lounge off the lobby where you could enjoy a casual drink or something light to eat. The hotel was a regular stop for the airport bus as well.

NEXT: Kensington Market and Little Italy

TIP: Don’t be put off by pre-conceived notions about Canadian weather. Toronto is on par with the Midwest — it was in the fifties at home and about the same in Toronto.

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Entry filed under: Toronto.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Deborah  |  December 31, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Tish
    Great articles about Toronto. I was there in mid November with my niece who is in the Make A Wish Foundation. We got to stay the week and enjoyed much of what it has to offer. The city is so clean and beautiful. The people were great and the shopping is fabulous. You can check out our trip on my nieces blog I created for her at Erika Rumore

  • 2. Krikri  |  October 20, 2007 at 6:26 am

    I like the tram in the photo. But New York and Toronto will differ – Ny is more chaotic and too many people. Toronto looks more cool.

  • 3. Jess  |  October 1, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    there is no comparison there is noooooooooooooo thing like ny shopping is everywhere in ny .what makes ny new york is one can just go anywhere on the city’s on transit system for 2 dollars and actually do something fun cool artsy . In toronto there is no such life

  • 4. Emily  |  October 28, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Great article.
    I live in toronto and i just went to newyork but only near broadway so i did not see the resemblence, near soho in nyc it is kind of like toronto, but its not a big similarity.
    but i like the article.


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