Toronto launched my trip to explore a winter adventure in Ontario. The city is bursting at the seams with development around the 2015 Pan American Games (Runs July 10-26, 2015). The 2015 Pan American Games are the world’s third largest international sporting event this year, as Toronto sets a precedent in sustainable development around the games.
A rusted over industrial Canary District is being renovated as the main hub for the games. Afterwards, it will become a center point for community with a transit system and pedestrian promenade lined with boutiques, restaurants, public art displays and green gardens. The YMCA, where athletes work out during the games, features an indoor track, lap pool and weight room. Post games, the facility will welcome members and guests. Housing built for athletes will be sold as condos or used as student housing to avoid wasted construction around temporary structures.
Pan American Games aside, the city stays relevant with newer concepts like Carbon Bar, a former TV set turned electric restaurant. Here, a cocktail called the Borealis sour I intended to be sipped was guzzled. It’s made with Pike Creek Rye, Sortilege maple whiskey, baking spices, banana and egg. I debated calling for another, but was enticed by the Cheddar Ice Cream Sandwich- served with a thin slice of cheese on vanilla ice cream, covered with Quebec maple syrup and sprinkled with a mild and finely shredded cheese in top.
Other tourist attractions include the CN Tower, the second tallest structure in the world and the highest in Canada. Catch views of Lake Ontario, towering skyscrapers and even Niagara Falls on a clear day.
Next door, you will find Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada where you can spot sharks and even sea turtles from and underwater viewing tunnel. Make sure to also stop at Ray Bay where stingrays glide through the water and right up against the glass. At Canadian Waters, you will spot sea life found in the waters of the Great Lakes and Canada’s surrounding seas.
Then, head on to the historic 200-year-old St. Lawrence Market where you will find all sorts of fresh baked treats like iconic butter tarts or even a pea mill bacon sandwich for one of the most iconic Canadian Meals. You will also find more than 100 longstanding vendors selling everything from fresh produce and even antiques and crafts inside the red brick walls.
The Distillery District is another must see spot. This area was once the largest whiskey producer in the world and has since been restored to an area filled with unique restaurants, a brewery, sake distillery, boutiques and art galleries.
Finally, wind down your sight seeing at Art Gallery of Ontario, where art meets astounding architecture designed by Toronto Born Frank Gehry. Find more than 80,000 works of art and incredible pieces from prominent Canadian artists.
Where to Stay
The Delta is one of the newest and also the tallest hotel in Toronto. Natural light and electric colors make this a refreshing spot anchoring the South Core (or SOCO) neighborhood. Reserve a south facing room and catch sights of the CN Tower where elevators flashing a bright blue and red and look like futuristic time capsule shoot to the top of the 135-story building. Rooms come with fully wired smart desks and are decorated with art from Canadian artists inspired by the countries culture, energy, geography and of course, hockey. The full service fitness center and indoor lap pool are other key amenities. The hotel is located across the street from the CN Tower, Roger’s Centre and Ripley’s Aquarium and directly connects to world’s longest pedestrian tunnel which link to a shopping complex and restaurants.
ModeRoom – rates starting at $ 209 CAD / night
ModeDeluxe – rates starting at $ 239 CAD / night
ModeClub – rates starting at $ 309 CAD / night