City Spy: Toronto
Boasting a calendar full-to-the-brim with sporting events, arts and cultural festivities and entertainment, Toronto is a happening city. With four vibrant districts, there are more designer boutiques, quirky museums, bespoke galleries and family-friendly activities than you could poke a maple leaf at.
A rival to iconic Cannes, Toronto boasts its own star-studded International Film Festival during September, with public venues and custom screenings designed specifically for children. Adrenalin junkies looking for an experience to test their gumption can get their thrills from Toronto’s tallest structure, EdgeWalk at the CN Tower.
. Hovering 356m above the ground, this hands-free walk around the ledge encircling the Tower’s main pod is not for the queasy or faint of heart – just remember to not look down. A day trip out of the city brings you to the ultimate in watery wonders – Niagara Falls.
Graze food samples and wander leisurely through St Lawrence Market, at 92–95 Front Street East, where bottles of lip-smacking maple syrup mysteriously find their way into the shopping bag. A piece of China in Canada, Toronto has several distinct Chinatowns – the largest on Spadina Avenue – with traditional lion dances and stalls selling aromatic herbs, delicious dim sum and cultural crafts. Eaton Centre on Yonge Street, between Queen and Dundas Street West, is the largest mall in downtown Toronto. You could lose a day here, thanks to the 300 stores and restaurants.
With multicultural cuisines and gourmet offerings to satiate all culinary cravings, Toronto does fine-dining restaurants and relaxed eateries equally well. Amber at 119 Yorkville Avenue has an incredible patio, making it the prime position to sip champagne and watch the fash pack swap air-kisses and gossip. A hop, skip and a jump down the street is the just-as-swanky One Restaurant inside the handsome Hazelton Hotel at 116 Yorkville Avenue. Mark McEwan’s contemporary hotspot is open for breakfast through to dinner (and post-dinner dessert).
Stylish without being stuffy, the Lounge at The Drake resembles a living room, with its blazing fireplace, a roaring tiger mural over the mezzanine and flickering movies playing in gilded frames. Pick at a charcuterie board from your perch at the bar, washing it down with an expertly crafted cocktail – our choice is the Huntress in Celebration: a delicious concoction of scotch, amaretto and brandied cherries. Charlie’s Gallery at 112 Harbord Street has candles flickering intimately on tables and a martini menu so inventive it would knock the socks off Bond.
Humming with life, The Drake is an effortlessly elegant haunt with every entertainment whim and gastronomic requirement at your fingertips. After dark, delve into the Underground, a cutting-edge basement club that has seen the Killers through to MIA perform. Alternatively, ascend the stairs to the Sky Yard for cocktails overlooking Toronto’s lit-up cityscape. To revivify your senses after a night of liquid indulgence, the glassed-in showers in the Crash Pads and Dens are invigorating and the home-baked scones in the adjoining café are something of a local legend, sure to put fuel in the tank for another day of exploration.
If you want to wake up in Smith hotels instead of just reading about them, visit Mr & Mrs Smith’s collection of boutique hotels, or call the expert Travel Team on 1300-89-66-27.