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We arrived at Pearson Airport after a seven hours flight for our weeks short break in Toronto. There were plenty of shuttle buses available to ferry passenger to the many city centre hotels. It was in the month of October and the autumn colours could only be described as breathtaking.
Toronto is quoted as being “like New York but run by the Swiss”. Perhaps a bit unfair it is a beautiful city spotlessly clean and feels really safe to wander about at night. It is situated on the shores of Lake Ontario and is a sprawling metropolis of diverse cultures.
Having so little time we wanted to cram as much as possible into our short stay.We found the Hop on Hop off bus a great way to see the city and get our bearings. I am not sure of the price as this was included in our holiday.
Places we visited
Casa Loma This is a 98 room castle built by the millionaire royalist Sir Henry Pellatt, he spent a fortune on it but actually only lived there for about 10 years.I found this a fascinating place to visit and there is a commentary on headset available at the cash desk. My children on the other hand found this to be the most boring part of the trip and headed for the shop. Casa Loma is open 10 till 4 in winter and there is an admission charge. I am not sure what the current charges are.
C N Tower At 1,815 foot (553m) this is the worlds tallest free standing structure. The views from the top are fantastic and on the public observation deck to is possible to see the spray from Niagara Falls 30 miles away. At 1.150ft there is a revolving restaurant giving diners a 360- degree view over the city and lake. There is also a section of glass floor which you can stand on it gives the impression of standing in mid air not for the faint hearted.
Sky Dome The dome is home to the famous Toronto Blue Jays a major league baseball team and also the Argonauts a Canadian Football team. It is absolutely huge and is the venue for all sorts of sporting events and concerts and is famous for its retractable roof. We did the tour round the stadium and this was much more to my sons liking.
Ontario Science Centre This is a great place with lots of hands on displays, there is everything from planes to computers, drive cars or operate a TV camera. It was brilliant and a map given at the entrance helps you find your way about allow at least 4 hours for your visit I know we really had to drag ourselves away. It is situated on the outskirts and we went by cab and it wasn’t too expensive. It is open daily except Christmas there is a cafe and shop.
Boat Trip We took a boat trip round the Toronto Islands and the views of Toronto were stunning from the water and the ideal opportunity to take some holiday pictures.
Eaton Centre For all the shopaholics out there this is heaven. It is a fantastic shopping centre on three levels with beautiful fountains and a flight of Canadian Geese hanging from the roof. It forms part of Torontos underground city. It houses over 1000 shops, restaurants,nightclubs and Cinemas and you can wander around Toronto for miles under ground not caring what the weather is like outside.This is only one of the great shopping areas there is also China town, The Antique Markets and the up market shops on Bloor Street.
Niagara Falls I don’t think any trip to Toronto would be complete without a trip to Niagara Falls. It is 90 miles away round Lake Ontario and is one of the most famous natural wonders of the world. We went on a bus tour and our first stop in Niagara Park was at the floral clock, definitely another photo opportunity. Then it was on to the Falls an awesome display of raw power the noise is incredible and the spray rises high in the air causing a permanent rainbow over the Falls. We donned our blue plastic coats and nervously waited in line to board The Maid of the Mist the boat that takes you very very close to the Falls. It was an incredible feeling of awe at the view while praying that the boat stayed on an even keel and delivered us safely back on dry land though dripping wet.
To sum up I feel I have just scratched the surface of Toronto with this review there is so much more I haven’t mentioned. In October when we were there it was still warm though cold at night and even if it had rained it is possible to walk for miles under ground. I highly recommend this at a holiday destination.