Toronto, City of Neighborhoods. Travel notes and Photos

Toronto skyline

Long before the city of Toronto was founded, there were native settlements on the same territory. The name "Toronto" is likely came from one of the First Nation languages. The city of Toronto website suggests that the original name may have been "Tkaranto" meaning "where there are trees in water."

Toronto city street

Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the capital of the province of Ontario. As the city grew, the spaces between Toronto and surrounding towns have been swallowed by urbanization. As a result, Toronto today is the heart of a huge Megapolis commonly known as the Greater Toronto Area or GTA with the population over 6 million people. Built on the northern shore of the Lake Ontario, Toronto is known for hot humid summer days and cold winters. The spring is short and windy, the fall is warm and colorful. Of course, many Torontonians will tell you that there are only two seasons here, Winter and Construction.

Toronto Winter

The Danforth, also known as the Greektown

Toronto is a beautiful city of neighborhoods. You can find yourself in a Greek Town in the East, China town in the South or Little Italy in the West. Little Portugal borders the Roncesvalles Village, which is the centre of the Polish community. A short walk along the Bloor street can lead you from Koreatown to Bloor West Village known for its Ukrainian heritage.
There are posh areas with mansions and depressing narrow streets that left unchanged from the 50s. Shiny glass-walled condominium towers that seem to pop up everywhere are surrounded by monotone Victorian-style red brick buildings. This site offers some reading about Toronto neighborhoods.

Toronto city hall

Contrasts follow this city everywhere. Toronto is rated as one of the most liveable cities in the world, yet it is not very popular in many places in Canada. The city planners did an excellent job preserving and maintaining beautiful parks, Toronto Islands, lake shore and other recreation venues, yet the highway and the subway networks are severely under-developed. The number of Toronto journalists covering hockey is probably the highest in the world, yet the Toronto famous blue-and-white team, which is happen to be the most valuable NHL franchise, has yet to find a way to succeed. Local news channels are filled with "breaking news" and crime scene reports, yet Toronto is often rated among top 10 safest cities in the world.

Yonge and Dundas Square

Toronto Islands is a popular family destination for many residents during the summer. The Islands can be accessed by several ferries. Toronto Islands offer several beaches, picnic areas and amusement park. The islands is a popular destination for photographs to take picture of Toronto skyline.

Night Toronto Skyline. Photo taken from Toronto Ward's Island

High Park

The city's largest green space is the very popular High Park, located in the west end. It has a lovely garden, small zoo and a beautiful pond. In the spring, it's the most popular destination for photographers from near and far. The famous cherry blossoms last for about a week in late April or early May, offering spectacular views. Fall is another colorful season in High Park.

High Park's Cherry blossom

Fall in High Park

The CN Tower is a must-see attraction if you are in Toronto. The iconic tower offers two observation terraces with spectacular views and a revolving restaurant. It's one of the highest free-standing structures in the world. At night the CN Tower is highlighted with changing color lights.

Night view from the CN Tower

The old Gooderham and Worts Distillery located in the east side of the downtown was converted into famous Distillery District with many shops, cafes and restaurants housed in historic buildings. The Royal Ontario Museum is another well-known Toronto attraction. It features famous Crystal added in 2007 and many interesting galleries and exhibits. Casa Loma, Hockey Hall of Fame, Art Gallery of Ontario and Eaton Centre shopping mall are other must visit places in Toronto. Scroll down to see more photos.

Toronto photos

Roy Thomson Hall

The famous "flatiron" building at Wellington st and Front st East

Distillery District

Old City Hall

Royal Ontario Museum Crystal

Eaton Center

Hockey Hall of Fame

Famous Sam the Record Man sign on Younge street in 2008

Casa Loma

Union Station

Exhibition Place