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  • Cityscape Lakeside skyscrapers
  • City life Shopping, showtime and sporting superstars

Officially recognised as having four distinct districts, Canada’s largest city is bubbling with vibrant new quarters.

As well as a sporting and entertainment calendar to rival most international capitals, the best thing is that everyone here is just so darned friendly. Get sophisticated shopping kicks in Hazelton Lanes, then steal a dose of culture from Midtown’s many world-class art museums. For more cutting-edge discoveries head west to the burgeoning Art & Design District, or swerve east and stroll the cobbled Distillery District for bygone-era charm. For fresh-air and a taste of outdoor living, head south and hit the shores of the lake. Then to put this mighty town in perspective hit the top of the CN Tower for an altitude-defying bird’s eye view of a place Peter Ustinov once described as 'New York, run by the Swiss.'

Do go/Don’t go

This is a country with four seasons, so choose your favourite and you can be pretty sure its most stereotyped characteristics will apply: snow in winter, sun in summer and pretty autumn colours in October. Peak tourist season starts on Victoria Day (Monday before 25 May) and ends on Labour Day (first Monday in September).

Getting thereView map

  • Planes Toronto Pearson International Airport is just west of the city. www.gtaa.com; towncar pick-ups can be arranged through the hotel | or else the bus and subway are possible. Toronto City Centre airport is central | as to be expected.
  • Boats Catch a ferry to the Toronto Isalnds at the bottom of Bay Street behind the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. Catch a bus tour the harbour from Queen’s quay docks. Or drop your own anchor here; Toronto Port Authority 416-863-2000.
  • Trains Toronto is served by the VIA Rail System, with connections to the Amtrak system via Niagara Falls. Or jump on the subway or a streetcar. For more info go to Toronto Transit Commission website: www3.ttc.ca
  • Automobiles The city’s grid pattern is pretty easy to negotiate; most downtown streets have meters. If you don’t want to take charge of any wheels yourself | there are easy-to-access bus and streetcar routes.
  • Taxis Taxis are abundant and easy to flag down. You can pay by credit card.