Toronto as a travel destination

Travel Forums North America Toronto as a travel destination

1. Posted by JetlagWarriors (Full Member 40 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone

I'm on a pretty long trip now, and staying at a lot of friend's places as I go. Stayed at my friends place in Philipines, and Indonesia, with plans to stay at friend's places in India, Germany, and maybe even England. I'm realizing at least one of them is going to take me up on 'returning the favor.' So, for the first time in my life, I am beginning to think of what it is like to travel my hometown!

So I'm curious if anyone has ever traveled Toronto. What were you excited about before you got here? What surprised you? And what was less than what you expected? I'm open to things in Toronto itself, or things nearby.

I have a few ideas of things we could do. When I think of Toronto, i immediately think of how multicultural it is. So I think walking around town and checking out China town, Korea town, little Italy and Greek town could be cool. The CN Tower is an obvious one but I feel like that place is totally overrated and lame. Especially curious to see if anyone has been to it and see what they think. Depending on the time of year, maybe a street festival like Kensington market or something. Other than that all I can think of is Niagara falls. Which again I think is somewhat overrated.

It's possible I'm being too hard on Toronto and it has more to offer to a tourist. But it really doesn't seem like a great spot to travel to me. Great spot to live, sure! But not necessarily a picturesque place, and maybe not really culturally historic or anything.

I'm also slightly afraid that you guys might mock me and tell me that I'm supposed to be the one giving out information on what is fun to do in Toronto! hahaha that would be a disaster. I'm not trying to be ironic or anything I'm genuinely very curious what a traveler would enjoy when visiting my hometown.


2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1477 posts) 8w 3 Star this if you like it!

As well as looking for the "big sights", I like the small stuff. Browsing in supermarkets to see what's different from home, walks in the park / botantic gardens / by the river. Being shown small but weird or interesting things like odd restaurants or monuments. For instance, a friend took me to a toilet-themed restaurant in Taipei, and in Hamilton NZ I stumbled across the Riff Raff statue on the site of the old cinema Richard O'Brien went to in his youth which helped inspire the Rocky Horror Show.

It doesn't have to be the world-class stuff, it just has to be day-to-day interesting and fun.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5348 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Quoting JetlagWarriors

So I'm curious if anyone has ever traveled Toronto. What were you excited about before you got here?

Snakes & Lattes! Totally lived up to expectations.

I also quite liked ambling down some of the long residential streets between College and Bloor.

Other than that, I had to consult my travel notes to discover that I apparently saw this CN Tower (no memory whatsoever; curiously even photos didn't trigger a memory - only by looking at a map did I dredge up some "oh yeah, we went there" memories of walking around its base), and I distinctly remember being underwhelmed by the waterfront, and actively disliking everything about Niagara Falls that wasn't the pure fact of the waterfall itself.

I think there was a very good art museum smack in the middle of downtown?

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Feb-2019, at 13:42 by Sander ]

4. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 142 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

You are on the road for a year, so here is a bright spot to anticipate upon re-entry back to your hometown:

After that long travelling, you may very well see your own home turf (briefly) through a set of fresh eyes, so say. You may see a subtle attraction to a particular place in Toronto you normally passed over prior to your travels. Anticipate this, recognize these moments, take note of the places you may have once overlooked and share those places with someone who has never experienced them. They will love it.

Quoting JetlagWarriors

I'm genuinely very curious what a traveler would enjoy when visiting my hometown.

A traveler to Toronto would enjoy good food; a museum or two; a park in the middle of the city; a place where only the locals know about; the CN Tower; a Blue Jays game; a day trip away from the city...

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Feb-2019, at 15:36 by road to roam ]

5. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 951 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

I have been to Toronto - it was for a work-related convention in 1999. I did have to attend the seminars at the convention center for work. I was particularly impressed with the underground transportation system and all the tunnels - I would sometimes take one of the trains and stop somewhere for lunch. I went shopping at the Eaton center. I did go up the CN tower and I had dinner there while I saw the scenery go by me. I had a lunch in the Boathouse Bar and Grill where they were filming a movie - Toronto was a big location for movies in those days. I did a cruise in the inner harbor and I walked through Union Station. I didn't have time to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame or the Blue Jay's stadium, and I didn't have a car so I couldn't get to Niagra Falls.

6. Posted by JetlagWarriors (Full Member 40 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

There's some good points in here. Some of my most memorable travel moments are the small things... like checking out the supermarket, walking around town or even riding the bus. Really just people watching! Depending on where the traveler is from, just traversing the city could provide some culture shock. So big ticket events are not always the answer.

I remember my first time travelling to Indonesia... walking through fruit markets seeing dozens of fruits I have never seen before. Tried them all in one day, and then had the worst diarrhea ever. Hah!

O travelling is the best