TToronto, Canada’s largest and most multicultural urban centre, is also probably the most nicknamed, including Queen City, Toronto the Good, Hogtown, T.O., T Dot, The Big Smoke, Hollywood North and the 6ix.
Lively festivals, major league sports and renowned art and theatre make Toronto a globally recognized destination. But its neighbourly neighbourhoods, culturally diverse population and exceptionally exciting foodie culture make it a city worth rediscovering.
Where is Greater Toronto Area?
The city of Toronto lies on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. It’s the amalgamation of six local boroughs – Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York, East York and Toronto. Beyond these borders the Greater Toronto Area includes the cities of Mississauga and Brampton.
Toronto International Pearson Airport (IATA: YYZ, ICAO: CYYZ) is the largest and busiest in the country. The city is also accessed by several major highways, VIA Rail and AMTRAK or the super convenient Billy Bishop City Airport (IATA: YTZ, ICAO: CYTZ) centrally located on Toronto Islands.
Things to Do in Greater Toronto Area
Toronto’s countless attractions, events, landmarks, heritage sites, parks, markets and shopping spots guarantee you’ll never run out of things to do. Even locals find themselves discovering new adventures in their own backyard.
Come face to face with lions, tigers and bears at the Toronto Zoo, the largest zoo in Canada. Zoom up 140 stories of the iconic CN Tower for the best views in the city, and step out for an Edgewalk around the top, if you dare. It’s the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. Learn how the world works at the Ontario Science Centre, an interactive science museum. Get lost in the halls, tunnels and rooms of Casa Loma, a grand 18th-century castle overlooking downtown Toronto. Walk in the shoes of history-makers and heroes at the Bata Shoe Museum. Get your art on at the Art Gallery of Ontario or MOCA. Cheer on NBA champions on the court or hockey heroes on the ice.
Over 180 languages and dialects are spoken in Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, and half of the city’s population was born outside of Canada. This multi-cultural mosaic is reflected in a myriad of culinary offerings. This is a foodie’s paradise, with a flourishing craft brew culture to match. Globetrot from Little Italy to Little India, Chinatown to Greektown and more culturally diverse neighbourhoods with eclectic shops, cafes, restaurants and food trucks serving everything from tacos to thalis.
For a wild family day, spend the day at a theme park. Head to Brampton’s Wet’n’Wild water park and entertainment zone with waterslides and a lazy river, as well as mini golf and zip line. Just west of Toronto and north of Mississauga, you’ll find inspiring works of art by local artists throughout the city showcasing Brampton’s growing cultural scene.
Places to Visit in Greater Toronto Area
The key cities in the GTA are Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton.
One of the things locals love about their city are its markets. Browse produce stalls, cafes and restaurants, arts and crafts and one-of-a-kind vintage shops in bohemian Kensington Market, the postcard pretty Distillery Historic District, St. Lawrence Market or at the Evergreen Brick Works.
Home to Ontario’s largest shopping mall, Mississauga also boasts vibrant neighbourhoods like the community of Streetsville, dubbed ‘The Village in the City’ for its quaint old world charm.