Toronto is one of the great cities in North America and one of my favorites. And if you like New York City, but always thought it’s a little too big and too busy, you should visit Toronto. It has just as much to offer as New York, but feels a little warmer, a little more relaxed and a little more accessible for visitors!
If you have read my blog before, you know I fell in love with San Francisco and lived there for years. And I love visiting New York – but it always felt a little too busy to live there. If I had to pick a compromise between New York and San Francisco – it would be Toronto. The great city in the friendly neighbor up North, Canada, has so much to offer – there are theaters and shows, you can even see Shakespeare in the Park – one of my favorite summer events! There is great food, lots of shopping and more events than you can possibly visit.
Toronto has a dramatic skyline, with iconic buildings like CN Tower (that offers pretty scary views – don’t go, if you have a problem with heights)!
But it also has preserved some historic buildings that make you feel like you just woke up in a British park!
And new and old live side by side in harmony – something few city planners manage to accomplish – or even bother to try!
And those carefully maintained old buildings among the shiny, glass skyscrapers, make Toronto a very livable city with great quality of life. On my latest trip, I enjoyed going to the Distillery near the harbourfront – nicely restored buildings that now house art galleries, stores, coffee shops and restaurants that invite to spend a lazy afternoon.
Of, if you don’t want to head over to Toronto island to enjoy a summer day on the beach (because there might be rain sooner than you think), you can head to Sugar Beach. This little man-made “beach” on the harbor front with its pink umbrellas and white chairs couldn’t have a more perfect name.
But the buildings are not all that make Toronto special. While people seem to be running just as hard & fast as in New York to the South, they do seem to take a little more time to enjoy, more often have a friendly word for a visitor or take their time to relax. Toronto has more of a “small town” feel than any city I know with a population of several million, in the best possible way. I could not imagine chairs on Sugar Beach lasting more than a week in most US cities… Even the taxi drivers are less crazy (ok, maybe now I’m pushing it)…
But you get the idea – if you love visiting a big city, but always feel rushed – try Toronto, one of the most livable big cities in North America. Just don’t go in Winter – it’s way too cold for my taste!