Toronto: Things to See and Do

For the Public,

Canada’s largest city is home to the headquarters of many businesses, a hub for music and TV/film production, and the third-largest tech hub in North America. It’s one of the safest cities in the world. The majority of Torontonians speak English, but over 180 languages are spoken in the city. Situated on the western end of Lake Ontario, the site served as the entrance to one of the oldest routes to the northwest.

Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square is just five blocks from our hotel. Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Food: Toronto had more than 7,500 restaurants as of 2023. With its multicultural population, you’re sure to find something to please every palate. There are at least a dozen fine-dining and casual restaurants within a few blocks of our conference hotel—including Canadian, South American, Italian, Thai and other types of food. You might even find a beaver tail—a fried pastry that’s shaped like a beaver’s tail and decorated with icing or other toppings.

St. Lawrence Market has food and other goods from local farmers and artisans

St. Lawrence Market has food and other goods from local farmers and artisans

Nightlife: Within walking distance of our hotel, you’ll find a variety of sports bars, cocktail bars, and pubs.

Sports: The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team plays a few dates at home around the time of our Summit, but tickets may be difficult to come by. Even though the team hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, tickets are almost always sold out. The home for the Leafs, Scotiabank Arena, is just a few blocks from our hotel. The team’s former home, Maple Leafs Gardens, is a National Historic Site of Canada (and located within 6 blocks of our hotel); when it was built in 1931, it was the largest arena in the country, hosting a wide range of cultural icons from the Beatles to Winston Churchill to the Muhammad Ali-George Chuvalo fight. The Toronto Raptors basketball team will be in season during our stay, also playing in Scotiabank Arena. The Hockey Hall of Fame—home of the Stanley Cup—is only two blocks away from the hotel.

Maple Leafs Gardens

Maple Leafs Gardens is also affectionately known as Taj-Ma Hockey; it remains in use today as a venue for collegiate sporting events and other cultural activities. Photo by Nil Bertinge

Parks: There are more than 1,600 named parks in Toronto. Several smaller parks are located within a few blocks of our hotel; the city’s largest public park (High Park) is less than a 15-minute drive under normal traffic conditions. The Toronto Islands offer scenic views of the skyline and Lake Ontario; it takes about 30 minutes to get there from our hotel because a ferry ride is involved.

One of Toronto's many parks

Other Experiences: Visit CN Tower, getting incredible views of the city and surrounding area (you can even experience EdgeWalk, a full-circle, hands-free journey around the exterior of the Tower’s main pod). Feel the past come to life at Fort York, an important battle site in the War of 1812. Several indoor shopping centers are also mere blocks away from our headquarters, including CF Toronto Eaton Centre, First Canadian Place and Merry Hill Shopping Mall. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has exhibits on art, culture, and nature. The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is less than two hours away by car, even in rush hour traffic.

CN Center

CN Tower offers fantastic views of Toronto and the surrounding area. Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel

Eaton Centre shopping and dining

CF Toronto Eaton Centre has a range of shops and restaurants, with connections to PATH and Metrolinx. Photo by Zachary DeBottis

Fun Facts about Toronto:

  • Toronto is further south than many major U.S. cities—including Boston, most of Chicago’s metro area, Portland (Oregon and Maine), Seattle, and Minneapolis.
  • The exchange rate for U.S. dollars is usually quite favorable; over the past 5 years, the range has gone from $1.20 to about $1.40 CAD (as of June 4, the exchange rate was $1.37 CAD to $1 USD).
  • Toronto is the largest city in Canada, and the fourth largest city in North America. It has one of the fastest-growing populations in North America.
  • There are more than 10 million trees in Toronto, and recent statistics show that more than 25% of the city has forest coverage.
  • The PATH is the largest underground shopping complex in the world. The collection of tunnels and walkways connects around 70 buildings in downtown Toronto—and you can enter PATH from inside our hotel!