A weekend in Toronto can vary depending on what you like to do. Being Canada’s largest metropolis, there’s no end to the ways you can burn up three days. Whether its sports and fashion or museums and culture, Toronto a great place to escape for 72 hours. Toronto is a sprawling behemoth, a labyrinth so densely packed with buildings and skyscrapers that you wonder if there’s any end to it at all. Despite the towers of metal, stone and glass, Toronto remains airy, clean and entirely welcoming. Bookended by a set of eclectic neighbourhoods, Toronto’s density is made up of fantastic restaurants, perfectly designed clothing shops, terrific nightlife spots, cafes, bars and more fun distractions that we can count. Here’s a quick look at a few not-to-miss attractions we have hand picked to help you manage your weekend away.
Luma – Located on the second floor of the Bell TIFF Lightbox building, Luma (pictured above) is a great spot to grab an afternoon lunch. With a delightful menu featuring locally sourced salads, delicious cheeseburgers, juicy meats and fresh fish, Luma is a great place for people who are looking for a little variety in an expertly designed yet casual restaurant. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St West, oliverbonacini.com/luma.aspx
The Carbon Bar – Every restaurant has its history but Carbon’s history is written on the wall. A piece of every restaurant that has existed in the space that now houses Carbon is retained as part of the current decor. A large neon sign spelling out the word “Electric” remains from the 90s when MuchMusic’s Electric Circus was broadcast across Canada every Friday night. The food at Carbon is great for those looking for a little southern comfort. The ribs are excellent, the sweet corn is a must. 99 Queen St West, thecarbonbar.com
Victor – The cocktails here are out of this world. You can try any of their house cocktails and be impressed but its their Old Fashioned that really knocked it out of the park. Located in the newly renovated Le Germain Mercer, Victor is an exquisite restaurant that offers a little something for everyone. 30 Mercer Street, victorrestaurant.com
Bloor/Queen West – There’s no shortage of shopping in Toronto. From vintage to very chic, from Bloor to Queen Street West, there’s something for every taste. High end shopping starts with major boutiques like Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel all represented with their standalone spaces while more diverse luxury is available at Holt Renfrew, Holts for Men and Harry Rosen (pictured above). Queen Street West offers an excellent collection of independent boutiques including Frank and Oak, the very popular Sydney’s and Nomad to name a few. Peppered along the street are vintage shops like Cabaret and stores filled with unique housewares.
Le Germain Maple Leaf Square – This new hotel on Bremner is perfectly located in Toronto and is steps away from the CN Tower, the Rogers Centre (renamed in 2005 but is still colloquially referred to as The Skydome) and the Air Canada Centre. Also only steps from Union Station and Billy Bishop Airport, getting to the hotel from major transport is quick and easy. The hotel has 8 floors including 167 rooms which feature a superb modern decor with wide angle windows that look out onto the constantly grown city skyline. The rooms are uniquely decorated and because of the hotel’s vicinity to all the major sporting and entertainment centres, the meeting rooms are sports themed and even the hotel’s gym equipment is supplied by the same provider as those of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 75 Bremner Blvd, germainmapleleafsquare.com
The Ritz Spa – Rest, relax and reboot at My Blend by Clarins. There’s always a good reason to spend a little time at the spa. Whether you’ve been on your feet all day walking around the city or you just want a little pampering, the spa at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto is a luxurious retreat from the all the urban distractions that take us away from our centre. For the guys looking for a little TLC, there’s a special gentleman’s power hour that you can try. Ranging from facials to massages, its well worth your lunch break. 181 Wellington St, ritzcarlton.com
Edge Walk – Not for the faint of the heart, the edge walk is the highest, hands free outdoor walk in the world. Lasting 30 minutes with various stops facing the four corners of the city, you watch below as planes take off from the city centre airport while leaning off the tower towards the city, or with your back to it. The walk is highly exhilarating, surreal and a must try! 301 Front St West, www.cntower.ca
Steam Whistle Brewery – A tour through the ins and outs of the Steam Whistle Brewery lasts about 30 minutes; the perfect length to leave you wanting more. Learn about the process taken to make one of Canada’s finest beers, a little history about its roundhouse location, the last of its kind in Canada and afterwards stay and grab a pint or two.
Spin – An excellent trend in bars combines a little sporting action with everyone’s other favourite pastime, hanging out with a great cocktail or a pint. Spin is both a ping-pong night club and a place during the day to come and blow off a little steam with your friends. Memberships are available for those obsessed with the sport. 461 King St West, Lower Level, toronto.wearespin.com
Professional Sports – Toronto is the only city in Canada to host three major sports teams, the Blue Jays, The Raptors and The Maple Leafs. The city’s passion for sports is evident by the massive crowds huddled around the Rogers Centre or the Air Canada centre on game day. rogercentre.com, aircanadacentre.com
I would like to extend a very special thanks to the team at Tourism Toronto and Le Germain Maple Leaf Square for the warm hospitality. For more on Tourism Toronto, please visit their website.