Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Toronto

Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:25am EST
 
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto, which is also known as Hollywood North - likes to stand in for its more famous U.S. neighbor New York, but Canada's largest metropolis is a star all its own, which is often overlooked and under-hyped.

Toronto is North America's fifth biggest city and Canada's financial and artistic powerhouse. Its thriving and livable downtown is an eclectic mix of skyscrapers, historic buildings, charming parks and some avant-garde architecture that is either loved or loathed.

A relatively young city, Toronto makes up for its lack of beauty by being one of the world's most diverse, with over 140 languages and dialects, and culture and restaurants to match.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge offer a sample for a whirlwind winter stay.

FRIDAY

6 p.m. - Start in the financial district at King and Bay Streets at the Toronto-Dominion Center, a cluster of skyscrapers designed by Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van de Rohe. Look for the TD Bank Tower (66 Wellington St W) and ride up to the 54th floor for a swank dinner at Canoe (here) for seasonal and imaginative Canadian cuisine. Enjoy the view of the brightly lit CN Tower, still the world's tallest freestanding tower from the warmth of the restaurant's dining room and bar.

8 p.m. - King Street is entertainment central. Home to the Royal Alexandra and Princess of Wales theaters, you'll also find headquarters of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Toronto International Film Festival. More theaters, a ballet and opera house and Second City comedy club are also steps away. Discounted same-day show tickets can be found online (www.totix.ca) or at the touristy Yonge and Dundas square.

11 p.m. - Go for a drink on Mercer Street to Ame (www.amecuisine.com), a stylish Japanese supper club for DJ beats and fanciful cocktails . Also check out the luxury boutique Hotel Le Germain and the Maison Mercer for party seekers.   Continued...

 
A boy runs in front of the skyline after a rain storm in Toronto May 23, 2011.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch