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Canada had a ‘good’ financial crisis - and its economic powerhouse, Toronto, is benefitting with a succession luxury hotel openings and an ambitious downtown building programme. But it’s not all hard work and long hours. Tag a day or two onto that business trio and encounter the cities varied neighbourhoods and proudly multicultural food scene.
Wind down from your busy work schedule by sampling some of Toronto’s local beers at a microbrewery. Bellwoods is set inside an old garage and has a beer pairing menu, while Indie Ale House is a hip bar with a small store to the front. Their pulled pork pancakes are a highlight.
Arty-types should head to Ossington’s gallery strip. With over 30 to visit, covering everything from contemporary photography to Canadian art (search out The Angell Gallery for local pieces), make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Entry is generally free.
Toronto and brunch go hand in hand. From their Crepe Croque Monsieur to the AM Poutine dish of baked hashbrowns, cheese and miso gravy, Leslieville’s Lady Marmalade has it all. There’s always a queue at the weekend, so arrive early to ensure you get a seat in this quaint east end hotspot.
Saturday is market day in Toronto. Head to Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market on select Saturdays and for $5 you can take part in a two-hour cooking experience including tastings. Register via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
An hour and a half drive from Toronto is Ontario’s wine country in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Call in at family-run organic winery Frogpond Farm, where all the grapes are organically grown so the after-effects of too much sampling are kept to a minimum.
Escape Toronto’s downtown city traffic with Pedestrian Sundays in the Kensington Market neighbourhood where you can shop without having to dodge the cars. If vintage shopping is your thing, Courage My Love is a fashion haven.
Toronto is new to the food truck scene and they’re going down a storm. Download the Toronto Food Trucks app and you’ll be in the loop on exactly where to find the best ones.
While the beach may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Toronto, the city does have its fair share. Sugar Beach, which used to operate as a parking lot, offers stunning views, while Hanlan’s Point, where clothing is optional, will suit the more daring visitor.
Toronto is hockey-obsessed. If you’re in the city between October and April, catch a game at The Air Canada Centre and join the madness. If you can’t get your hands on tickets, watch the game at the Real Sports Bar & Grill.