5 Very Canadian Traits of Toronto

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It’s been called the “Center of the Universe” – a bustling economic powerhouse that’s as much suit and tie as it is late night show stopper. But while its larger-than-life feel might tempt you to lump Toronto in with some of the other metropolises of America, the city still beats with a truly Canadian heart. Here are just a few of the ways that Toronto remains true to its roots.

It’s All About The Great Outdoors

You might think Toronto would be a concrete jungle, but you’d be wrong. Whether it’s the cascading greenery of High Park or the outdoor playground of Toronto Beach, locals love their walking trails, beaches, kayaks and bike rides. Stroll through the picturesque Edwards Gardens, walk the waterfront of Lake Ontario or hop a boat to Toronto Island Park to get away from the buzz of the city.

Diverse Arts & Culture, Eh?

Toronto is a hub of ethnic diversity, a true melting pot of cultures like its Canadian counterparts. The city celebrates this interwoven identity through an ongoing array of live performances, festivals and events. Find yourself awestruck at the Art Gallery of Ontario, kick back and laugh it up at a local comedy club or be inspired by the world-class Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Get a feel for Canada’s pioneer history at the Black Pioneer Creek Village, catch a show at the Molson Amphitheatre or clink glasses over some local tunes at a downtown pub. In Toronto, there’s always something to do!

Canadians Love a Good Deal

While shoppers seeking the upscale won’t be disappointed, Toronto’s got no shortage of unique shopping opportunities. For the price-conscious, the city’s many outlet malls (try Toronto Eaton Centre) and hole-in-the-wall boutiques (think Queen Street) engage the thrill of the hunt. The Kensington Market is a refuge from the oft-generic commercial offerings, and if you find yourself hungry, the St. Lawrence Market is the best spot to snag some fresh meat and seafood.

A Mind for the Future With an Eye on the Past

Toronto is a mix of old and new, pressing on toward the future while acknowledging its Canadian past. Scale the CN Tower (still the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere) and take in the view over the Historic Distillery District – Victorian buildings that now houses galleries, theatres and boutiques. The columns and arched ceilings of Union Station are well worth a photo or two before hopping on the extremely efficient transit system. A scenic walk through the University of Toronto marries ancient architecture with new, modern flourishes. The Spadina Historic House and Gardens pays homage to early residents with period furnishings and décor, while Fort York tells the story of how the city got i’s start.

Hockey, Beer… And A Healthy Dose of Fun

You didn’t think you’d escape a “Canadian” list without mentioning hockey, did you? Toronto loves their Maple Leafs and pints of Steamwhistle – a local pilsner with a brewery that’s worth a visit. Spend an afternoon at the Hockey Hall of Fame, score tickets to a game at Maple Leaf Gardens or hunker down in a pub and cheer on the home team. If hockey isn’t your thing, Toronto’s residents love a great party as much as any Canadian – if not more – so you’ll be in great company at any of the city’s electric nightclubs on Yorkville, King or Richmond Street. .
When your travels bring you to the “Centre of the Universe”, make the most of your stay with one of our affordable Toronto Hotels. With so much to do and see in this big, Canadian city, you’ll be well located to hit all of the highlights without fighting off traffic.

Photo credit: Paul Bica

Shannon Skinner is an avid traveler who enjoys adventuring and exploring new cultures while always finding hotels that are comfortable and affordable. She enjoys traveling particularly to meet new and interesting people. You can follow her on Twitter @shanventures.

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