Top Five Offbeat Things To Do In Toronto, Canada
Toronto, with a population of approximately 2.5 million people is Canada's largest city. As one would expect the thriving metropolis offers visitors plenty of things to see and do.
Guidebooks will tell you to go see mainstream attractions, all of which are worth a visit, such as the CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Casa Loma and the Royal Ontario Museum. They'll have you dining at some of the city's best restaurants and taking in a musical at a local theatre.
Are you looking for something different? A little off the beaten path? How about some tips from a local? Someone who can let you in on some of Toronto's best kept secrets.
Leave it to me, Cheryl Howard to tell you about the Top 5 Offbeat Things To Do In Toronto, Canada.
Skip the likes of Tim Hortons and Starbucks and sip a superior coffee at an independent shop where your java is made with tender loving care. Try Balzacs Coffee, Darkhorse Expresso Bar, Lit Expresso Bar and Sense Appeal Coffee Roasters.
Photo courtesy of blogto.com-"Sense Appeal Coffee Roasters in Toronto"
Sense Appeal, a new comer to Toronto's coffee house scene built up a loyal following in the their opening week by handing out free drinks. Quality coffee, roasted locally, is served by experienced barristas who will go out of their way to ensure you have a unique and enjoyable tasting experience.
Watch A Movie
A delight for visiting film buffs, the Bell Lightbox is home to Toronto's International Film Festival (TIFF), an event which brings Hollywood north each September for 10 days. Here you can watch scores of movies from classics to independent flicks in one the five movie theatres. The Lightbox contains two Oliver + Bonacini restaurants O & B Canteen and Luma, a learning centre for budding industry professionals and a gift shop. It also plays hosts to exhibits such as the recent Tim Burton one.
Other theatres that specialize in independent cinema are the Bloor Cinema, The Carlton, and Royal Theatre.
Stay At A Boutique Hotel
Stay at The Drake Hotel or The Gladstone Hotel located along Toronto's trendy bohemian Queen Street West.
Photo courtesy of themalcolm.com - "The Drake Hotel in Toronto"
The Drake's 19 rooms are chic and luxurious filled with hardwood floors, furniture and art designed by local artists, exposed brick, flat-screen TV's and large queen sized beds. Their restaurant which serves only local and organic food is a popular brunch hotspot for locals on the weekends. There's also an indie music venue,a general store, cafe, urban vegetable garden and even a year round roof-top patio.
The Gladstone Hotel offers 37 rooms, each of which are uniquely designed by local Canadian artists. It offers similar amenities to the Gladstone and also contains a cafe and bar.
Shop At A Farmer's Market
Sample fresh produce straight from local farmers at the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers' Market. Held every Saturday all year round, the summer brings the market outside. You can buy everything from fish, meat and cheese to fresh flowers, hand crafted jewellery and pottery. Sites tours are given each Saturday and Sunday where you can learn about the history of the site and how it has been transformed into an environmental centre.
Other must see markets are the St Lawrence Market and Kensington Market.
Relax In a Park
Check out one of Toronto's many parks like High Park and Trinity Bellwoods Park.
High Park offers hiking trails, a zoo, green houses and tasty eateries. Bring your friends and family, grab a blanket and make yourself comfortable. From June 25 - September 5, you can watch an outdoor performance of a Shakespeare play through the Dream in High Park program. This year is the classic and ever romantic Romeo and Juliet. Visitors from near and far come to the park each spring to enjoy the many cherry blossoms in bloom.
Photo by thru_the_night - Cherry Blossom's in Toronto's High Park -
Trinity Bellwoods Park is an urban oasis in the middle of the city. During the summer people come to park to congregate, enjoy the sun, have a picnic and play board games with their friends. During the winter, it's a popular place for tobogganing.