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Time Out: Toronto

CN Tower, Jim Richardson

Photo by Jim Richardson

The view from CN Tower.

Toronto stands tall with an internationally recognizable skyline and a reputation echoing its nickname from the 1800s, Toronto the Good. While luxury hotels, skyscrapers and condos continue to spiral upward, it’s on the ground where you’ll find a deeply urban city that ebbs and flows with hundreds of ethnicities. While you can certainly enjoy visitor favorites such as the CN Tower, the Distillery District or Yonge-Dundas Square, it’s Toronto’s diversity of neighborhoods, shops and communities that make it a truly global city. Here’s where to go to explore what Ontario’s capital has to offer.

Wander the city’s eclectic neighborhoods. In Kensington Market, empanada joints and cafés mix with fishmongers and butcher shops. Head to Chinatown for barbecue and foot massages or stroll along Queen Street West for unique boutiques and galleries. Grab a drink at White Squirrel Coffee Shop, then people-watch in Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Sip on avant-garde cocktails, such as a vanilla and hickory-smoked Manhattan at BarChef or a rum-based Chai-Tai at Rush Lane, go for the bourbon-heavy classics at modern saloon Weslodge or enjoy a pint of craft beer at Bar Hop or the postmodern German beer hall WVRST.

Check out one of the largest collections of Canadian art at the Art Gallery of Ontario or go modern at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Take in the delectable sights at St. Lawrence Market, which spills over with food stalls. Watch 16,000 aquatic animals swim and play at the recently opened Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

The Four Seasons Hotel in upscale Yorkville houses two prime choices: superchef Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud and Buca Osteria E Bar, which specializes in coastal Italian fare. To see and be seen, head to the King West neighborhood for Spanish tapas at Patria, a 45-day dry-aged steak at Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse or American comfort food at Montecito from film director Ivan Reitman and chef Jonathan Waxman.

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