Toronto (also known as “T.O.,” “Hogtown,” and the Live Music Capital of Canada) is one of the best places to live, which also makes it one of the best places to visit.
With over 8,000 restaurants, 1,000 festivals and events, 90 venues and theatres, 125 museums, 6 major sports teams, 35,000 hotel rooms, 8,000 acres (18.1% of total area) of parklands, 8 islands and 200 monuments, why would you want to go anywhere else?
Although Toronto seems big at 5,900 km2, the fifth largest metropolis in North America, we’re actually a city of neighbourhoods. From the Lakeside Beaches to the boho Annex to ritzy Rosedale, Little India, Little Italy, Little Portugal, Greektown, Cabbagetown, Koreatown, Chinatown – you’ll never be lost for something to do or discover. Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world, with its 6 million residents speaking up to 128 languages. With all this diversity, there’s no better way to explore the city than by eating your way around the globe.
Officially, we became a city as of 1834 but we really hit our stride in the 1970’s and have quickly grown to become a leader in business, festivals, greenness, sports, arts, culture & entertainment, and technology.
The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) is North America’s third largest, seventh in the world; and Toronto is the third largest financial sector in North America employing 205,000.
We have more than 76,000 businesses based in Toronto and the city accounts for 11 % of Canada’s GDP, roughly $120 billion annually.
Toronto is home to over 40 film festivals, including the world’s largest film festival, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). We host the biggest Caribbean festival outside of Jamaica and one of the top three Pride festivals in the world. NXNE is the largest of many music festivals that take over the city with music throughout the summer, and there are dozens of festivals that celebrate our myriad of vibrant neighbourhoods.
Torontonians are die-hard Maple Leafs fans, supporting their hockey team through the occasional good moments and more-often-than-not bad times (we’re looking at you, NHL strike of 2012,) but we’ll also spill our beers and the occasional tear over the Blue Jays (baseball), Raptors (basketball), Argos (Canadian football), Toronto Football Club (soccer) and the Rock (lacrosse).
It’s no wonder Toronto is a hub of arts, culture and entertainment, with more art schools than any other city in North America, over 50 ballet and dance companies, six opera companies and two symphony orchestras. We are also home to hundreds of galleries, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, recently re-vamped by architect Frank Gehry, whom we also claim as a Torontonian.
At any given day there are up to 40 productions filming in Toronto, employing up to 28,000 individuals. That’s not surprising, considering Toronto’s the third largest in T.V. and film production and second largest in programming exports in North America and is termed by industry folk as Hollywood North.
We have the second largest public transit system after New York, with users taking over 1.5 million trips a day and 7,100 km of sidewalks trafficked by friendly Torontonians willing to give you directions and let you know where to get the best street eats, especially now that we’ve allowed more than just hot dogs.
Torontonians are definitely proud. We love to talk about our city and neighbourhoods. We’ll give you the scoop on our favourite eats, streets, pubs, shops and parks, but we’ll also give the low-down on where not to go. We’re not shy nor are we modest, but we’re fun, eclectic, multicultural, and nice. (We had to add that last one or Canada would kick us out.)