Among our different travel destinations, I have a few favorites. A family vacation when I was 7 years old left me with fond memories of Anaheim. A few years later, we visited Niagara Falls, which was incredible. I had a great time on a college trip to Reno. And I’ve spent a lot of time in Montreal, where my wife was born (and her parents still live).
But the city that tops my list – the one that I’ll be returning to next year – is Toronto. It’s a city that has so much to offer, with activities for every member of the family. Some of the things I highly recommend doing while you’re there:
- Theater – After New York and London, Toronto has the largest theater district in the world. Often, plays and musicals appear there before heading to Broadway, and you can find an amazing assortment of shows running at any given time. I caught “Mamma Mia” months before it transferred to New York, and was simply blown away by “Miss Saigon” at the Princess of Wales Theatre. It was actually built specifically to house that show, so they could land a helicopter on the stage!
- Sports – Depending on the time of year you visit “Hogtown,” you can catch one of the local pro teams: the Blue Jays (baseball), the Raptors (basketball) or the Maple Leafs (hockey). There’s also the Argonauts, who play in the Canadian Football League. As a baseball fan, I went to a number of Jays games at Sky Dome (which has since been renamed as Rogers Centre), and I can tell you, it’s a great place to see a game. The concession stands offer a more diverse selection of snacks than you typically find at an American ballpark.
- Science Centre – Even if you’re not traveling with children, the Ontario Science Centre is a fun place to explore. The award-winning museum features a number of permanent and changing exhibits, along with IMAX films. It was on a visit there that I first tried a rock-climbing wall, and discovered that I could never be a major league pitcher (my fastball topped out at 47 mph).
- The Ex – If you happen to be in Toronto in late August or early September, be sure to stop by the Canadian National Exhibition (“the Ex”). It’s like a giant fair with rides, food, exhibits, crafts, music, a stunt show, a casino and much more. It was at the Ex where I had my first corn dog.
Some of the things I plan on checking out on my next trip (or two) include the St. Lawrence Market, the Toronto Zoo, the Steam Whistle Brewery and the Royal Ontario Museum.
Even with all the wonderful things to do and see, Toronto will always hold a special place in my heart for a completely different reason. It was on a trip there in 2001 that my wife and I had the initial conversation that led to us adopting our son. It is a special place that we will always be thrilled to return to.