Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. Located on the shores of Lake Ontario , having a European heritage and being blessed with closeness to major natural attractions, Toronto has grown to be one of the most culturally and ethically diverse cities in the world.
Toronto’s climate is quite moderate for Canada. The city has a humid continental climate. The summers are humid and warm while the winters are cold. Toronto experiences four seasons. Snow storms are possible during winter and snow can fall anytime from November to mid-April. Summer is usually the wettest season. Late spring and early fall are generally the best times to visit Toronto , unless you plan to swim or ski.
Some sample temperatures:
Coldest month: January avg high -2C / avg low -9C / avg precipitation 40 mm
Hottest month: July avg high 26C / avg low 15C / avg precipitation 70 mm
How to get to Toronto
Toronto is served by three airports:
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) , which is the busiest airport in Canada and is located about 30-50 min by car from the city center. It is hub for Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Transat, CanJet, FedEx Express, Sunwing Airlines and WestJet. It handles both domestic and international traffic.
- Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre Airport (YTZ), which is the 3rd busiest airport in the province and handles domestic flights and flights to the USA.
- Hamilton International Airport (YHM) is located about 80 km from downtown Toronto. CanJet and WestJet operate only seasonal flights to/from Mexico and the USA.
Many budget travelers would rather fly into Buffalo-Niagara International Airport (BUF) in the USA because flights are significantly cheaper than flying directly to Toronto. From Buffalo, there are cheap buses available to get to Toronto.
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The main bus terminal in the city, the Toronto Coach Terminal, offers connections to other cities in the province, as well as to the rest of Canada and to the USA. Greyhound, Coach Canada and Megabus are just some of the companies operating bus routes to/from Toronto.
Many major highways connect Toronto to the rest of the country. The sign posting is well done so there aren’t many chances to get lost. Of course, a GAP, or the good old map are excellent tools when planning to drive to/from Toronto.
Toronto is served by Union Station, one of the most impressive train stations in North America. Most intercity links are offered by VIA Rail Canada. Toronto is their main hub so it’s possible to travel by train to a lot of places in Canada and the USA. Maple Leaf runs between Toronto and New York and The Canadian connects Toronto to Vancouver.
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Things to do
There are definitely a lot of things to do in Toronto , regardless of when you plan to visit the city. Niagara Falls is about 90 min away by car, so a visit to this superb natural wonder is a must.
>>read more about getting from Toronto to New York
In the city, don’t miss seeing Toronto from above. You can do this from CN Tower’s two viewing platforms (at 346 m and 447 m). Also, you can rent a bike and enjoy the scenery along the Martin Goodman Trail.
Toronto is one of the best cities in the world to shop. So, hit the malls and the markets. When you get tired, eat your way around the world. You can choose among Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown or Little India (to name just a few of them). In the evening hit the bars and try the local beer or head to one of the clubs.
During the winter, the outdoor rinks are open Harbourfront, Nathan Phillips Square and Scarborough. So put on the skates and enjoy the winter days.
The summer is also filled with festivals. In late June, there is Pride Toronto, one of the city’s signature events. Then there’s the Wine and Spirit Festival, followed by the Festival of Fire (pyrotechnic night show). Or you can try new dishes at the International Food and Culture Festival or at the Taste of Little Italy.