The best of Toronto
Written by: Anita Lišková & Todd Shaw
Photo by: allphoto images
On the shore of Lake Ontario is a collection of glimmering skyscrapers, calm residential areas, and leafy parks. Initially claimed by the French in the 18th century, Toronto – which means “meeting place” in the Huron Indian tongue – is now the cultural hub of English-speaking Canada.
|Daniel J. Rosický
attorney, Procházka, Randl, Kubr
Favorite hotel: Four Seasons, 21 Avenue Road, tel.: +1 416 964 0411
Favorite restaurant: 44 North, 2537 Yonge Street, tel.: +1 416 487 4897
Favorite night club: Big Bop, 651 Queen Street, tel.: +1 416 504 6699
Favorite attraction: Toronto zoo, 361A Old Finch Avenue, Scarborough, tel.: +1 416 392 5900
Best-kept secret: Centre Island
Favorite shop: YorkDale Shopping Centre, 3401 Dufferin Centre, tel.: +1 416 787 8733.
Advice: Go see a “broadway” show.
|Petr P. Formánek
president, Canadian Chamber of CommerceFavorite hotel: Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre, 525 Bay Street, tel.: +1 416 597 9200
Favorite attraction: SkyDome, 1 Blue Jay Way, tel.: +1 416 341 3034
Definitely go to see a baseball game there.
Best-kept secret: Saint Lawrence market, 95 Front Street East, tel.: +1 416 392 7120
Market in the center of the city.
Favorite shop: The Bay, 176 Yonge Street, tel.: +1 416 861 9111
Advice: The best time to visit Toronto is September and early October, when the weather is warm and pleasant.
general manager, America ToursFavorite hotel: Radisson Plaza Hotel Admiral, 249 Queens Quay W, tel.: +1 416 203 3333
This hotel is outside of the city bustle, but at the same time it’s 10 minutes walk to the center. From most of the windows there is a beautiful view of the lake, where you can rent a boat.
Favorite restaurant: Hometown Buffet, Typical buffet restaurant, where you pay at the entrance and then you can eat and eat. The chain is common in the US and Canada, but this particular location is unusual, because it’s made from different train coaches connected together, featuring historical interiors.
Favorite attraction: Toronto Hippo Tours, 31A Parliament Street, tel.: +1 703 4476, www.torontohippotours.com
Sightseeing in an amphibious bus. At the end of the tour, the bus plunges into the lake and floats.
Best-kept secret: The Helicopter Company, Toronto City Centre Airport, Suite 212, tel.: +0 416 203 3280, www.thehelicoptercompany.com
Fly in a helicopter above Toronto. The bird’s-eye view over the city and the CN Tower is one-of-a-kind (you have to book it in advance).
Advice: Take enough time to discover Toronto – it’s worth it.
Where on the web?
For further information, we suggest the following websites dedicated to Toronto:
www.worldexecutive.com/cityguides/toronto/ – aimed at the executive traveler, this site can help you with everything from flight tickets to accomodation
www.toronto.worldweb.com/ – a clean, easy-to-follow layout on this comprehensive portal page.
www.mytravelguide.com/city-guide/North-America/Canada/Toronto – another good all-around guide to sightseeing and other activities
www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/north_america/toronto/ – the good folks at Lonely Planet offer their take on this popular destination
www.travelcreek.com/Toronto.htm – the opening page here offers visitors several tips for things to do and see.
www.toronto.com/ – this aptly-named URL claims it contains “all you need to know about TO”.
www.dogfriendly.com/server/travel/uscities/guides/us/cities/usonlinecityONToronto.shtml – this site offers listings of venues in the city that welcome dogs.
· Virtually all of Canada’s major companies locate their head offices within the city’s modern skyscrapers, including half the country’s chartered banks. Although the city historically had a strong manufacturing base, the service economy now dominates, accounting for over 70% of jobs, while finance is the city’s defining professional industry.
· The city is Canada’s main center for traditional media and new media companies are also flourishing in Toronto, with many start-ups locating their offices slightly west of the city center – and taking advantage of the city’s 100% fiber-optic telecommunications system.
· The largest manufacturing plants produce airplanes, computers, electronics, and auto parts. Education is also a major employer, as Toronto is home to three universities – University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson University.
· Toronto is the largest convention destination in Canada. One of its many convention facilities is the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, next to the SkyDome, offering over 186,000 m2 of space.
· The city’s largest private-sector employer is the Hudson’s Bay Company, a retail giant with roots in the country’s fur-trading past.
· Torontonians are hardworking, efficient employees. A little chit chat here and there about golf or other sports is welcome, but generally people like getting to the point.
· Men and women wear business suits and rarely drink alcohol at lunch. Business cards are normally exchanged after meals or meetings, not during introductions. The giving of gifts in business situations is unusual and might be treated suspiciously. Superiors and co-workers are usually addressed by first name. Working hours are typically Monday to Friday 0900-1700, although slight variations are not uncommon.
· The best time for one to visit Toronto for business purposes is between September and May, as the summer is the most popular time of year for holidays.