Toronto Things to Do Tips by CdnJane Top 5 Page for this destination
Toronto Things to Do: 1,314 reviews and 2,203 photos
CN Tower at night
Unfortunately my shots didn't really show it well, but there are new lighting on the CN Tower. I was downtown with my cousins and just happened to see it lit up last night.
Address: 301 Front St. W.
Directions: In the heart of Downtown Toronto, right in between the SkyDome and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Front Street, just north of Bremner Blvd.
Midway at Night
The traditional signal that summer is ending has nothing to do with the weather... it is the start of the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) or the EX. This year (2006) is started August 18th and goes to September 4th (Monday of the Labour Day weekend). This is the longest running fair in Canada, being something like 128 years old., and is the 5th largest fair in North America. To quote from their website: "Founded in 1879 on a community need to encourage the development of agriculture, manufacturing, industry and commerce and the arts, the CNE has very long and very rich history."
My mother recalls the excitement, when she was young, for the women to enter homebaking, jams, jellies, canned specialties, or handicrafts, or for gardeners to show off their produce, and of course, for farmers to bring down their cattle, horses, or other livestock. It truly was one of the times when the city met the country. Now, there is still the Horse Show, the Cat Show, but the real agriculture show (as far as livestock) is in early November with the Royal Winter Fair held down here on the Exhibition grounds.
The "Better Living Centre" used to be where new items came out - the place where you could make a good deal on getting new appliances, or furniture. Now, I think it is the Arts & Crafts and Hobbies building. The Automotive Building used to be where you could see some of the new model cars. This year it is used for the Farm, Food and Fun exhibition.
But, for many, the main reasons to go was for the Midway - the rides, the games, and the excitement there, and for the Food Building (initially the Pure Food Building) an opportunity to eat, eat and eat. There are 90 vendors within the building. Do you want pizza, chinese, indian, fish & chips, crepes, greek, or of course, Tiny Tom donuts?? The Midway has lost some of its popularity to the fact of Canada's Wonderland and the longer time to enjoy the rides there. But it is still a great place to go with friends, family and of course, on dates.
OK Everyone... Let's Go to the EX.
Address: Exhibition Grounds by the lake
Directions: The bottom of Dufferin Street, by Ontario Place. Take a streetcar from Union Station, Bathurst, Dufferin, or Dundas St. West.
St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence Market is located in one of the oldest sections of Toronto. At one point the first police station and city hall of York was here. Now, it is a great place where the locals love to get fresh food, and the tourists are amazed to discover.
There are 2 buildings - the North building which on Saturday morning is a farmer's market with tables and rows of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and flowers, and other wonderful things. Sunday there is antiques/books. The South building is where the permanent stalls are, with more produce, near the doors, and butchers, bakers, cheesemakers, and even, I think downstairs candlestick makers! Get a back bacon on a bun there, or some other goodie.
I did discover on touring with the VT Meeting group, that one of the producers of maple syrup at the farmer's market was selling it for far less than anyplace in the South building. The lesson learned was to look before you buy, or perhaps find a regular SLM shopper who can direct you to the "best of" stalls.
Address: Front Street at Jarvis
Directions: Front Street east of Yonge.
Osgoode Hall, and the 2 Toronto City Halls
Toronto is a mixture of old and new, as are most places I suppose, and yes, I am aware that our old is new compared to so many other parts of the world, when it comes to architecture and history.
When you put a camera in hand and start to look around you can capture many different architectural styles.
What I have in this picture is Osgoode Hall in the foreground - the Law Courts - and then to the left behind is the "New" Toronto City at Nathan Philips Square, and to the right in the trees is the tower of the "Old" City Hall. There are some office towers of the Eatons Centre.
Directions: Taken from University and Queen Street
University Ave looking north from Queen St
When you cross (walking) University Avenue. Stop in the middle on the median. Look up or down at the different architecture of the buildings, and the wide street. It was initially designed for marching troops, so needed to be wide to allow them to march properly.
Right in front of me is a memorial for the Canadians who fought in the Boer War, and then you can look up to see the Provincial Parliament buildings at Queens Park.
Directions: University Avenue at Queen Street.
2 Views of Ontario Science Centre
I've been driving past the Science Centre for the past couple of weeks and realised that I needed a picture or two of it, and a tip to suggest that this is a great place to take kids of all ages.
Its been a few years since I was there last, and was without children, but I think I was missing part of the fun of it all. However, I must admit when the volume gets too loud and my head starts pounding, I head for the patch of serenity and silence - a little "tunnel" which is absence of sound. BLISS!
My pictures were taken from the bus as I went by.
Address: Don Mills Rd just south of Eglinton
Directions: One block south of Eglinton on Don Mills Road. If going by transit - can get off at the corner of Don Mills & Eglinton on any of the Eglinton buses, or #25 bus which runs from the Pape Subway station to Steeles Ave (including the Don Mills subway station)
CBC Building Front St Toronto
If that title makes you think back to "One little chair for one of you, and a bigger chair for two to curl up in, and for someone who likes to rock, a rocking chair in the middle."... then you need to visit the CBC Museum in, not surprisingly, the CBC building. There is, of course, more than just the Friendly Giant to look at - lots of memories of CBC Radio and TV of days gone by.
Address: 250 Front St. West
Directions: Right across the road from the Toronto convention centre between John and Simcoe Streets. (West of University Ave)
"New" City Hall and the architectural curves
One place that is always fun to show off, are the Twin buildings of "New City Hall" at Nathan Phillips Square. It is actually not really the city hall anymore as there is Metro Hall down on King Street at John Street. However, because of the older city hall with the more classical architecture of the 1800s across Bay Street from Nathan Phillips Square, known as "Old" City Hall - we still tend to refer to it as "New" City Hall.
I didn't really take a picture of the curved towers, or of Old City Hall - just took a picture of some of the architectural features.
Address: Queen St between Bay St. & University Ave
Gibson House with the present encroaching on it!
Gibson House is one of the Historical Homes of Toronto. It dates back to the 1850s and was built by David Gibson, a land surveyer, who came to Canada from Scotland. He had been involved in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, and had to escape to the US. The house was built on his return to Canada (Upper Canada). The Gibson property once reached from Yonge Street to Bathurst Street, which is quite extensive.
All the details you need on hours, entrance fees and upcoming events is on the website.
Address: 5172 Yonge Street, at Park Home Avenue
Phone: Phone: 416-395-7432
Lean down, way down and you can reach the grass
One of the things I enjoy at the Toronto Zoo is the room the animals have, and the fact that they are not just in little concrete enclosures. You have to look carefully here to see that there is a railing and a large trench that separate the people from the giraffe area. It might not be the Serengetti Plain, but it sure isn't downtown Toronto either!
Address: Meadowvale Road, Scarborough
Directions: Highway 401 exit at Meadowvale Road, and drive north, follow the signs to the Zoo. You will be exiting to the right off Meadowvale.
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