Trip Tips: Toronto, the Great White North's summer surprise

Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:11pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Perhaps most famous for having a mayor who has admitted smoking crack cocaine, Toronto has much more than salacious headlines to offer the intrepid visitor, especially when snow is far from the collective consciousness.

With a winter that can send recent immigrants into shock, Toronto is best visited between May and September, when it is awash with festivals and events, and patios are jammed with locals enjoying a long-awaited outdoor pint.

The city is a hotbed for immigration as is made clear by the array of construction cranes working on new downtown condos designed to appeal to the 100,000 or so newcomers that arrive in Toronto each year.

But stepping past the main streets brings you to the true fruits of decades of international settlement: a network of immigrant enclaves that make the city a virtual United Nations of food, music, and street culture. (Map:

So don't get bogged down by the construction that paralyzes movement around the iconic Union Station and squeezes traffic on the city's byways. Complain like a local, then get on with it.


The neighborhoods of Canada's largest city are best explored by foot, bicycle and public transit, where the ethnic neighborhoods of one of the world's most multicultural cities bleed into one another.   Continued...

The sun rises over the CN tower and the skyline in Toronto, in this July 19, 2013, file photo.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch