Consistently ranked high on lists of the world’s most desirable places to live and work, Toronto has an enviable position on the shores of Lake Ontario, close to the border between Canada and the United States. As the most multiculturally diverse city in the world, visitors and expatriates from across the world are certain to receive a warm welcome – often in their own mother tongue.
Divided into 140 distinct neighbourhoods, the city’s clean, safe streets and flat landscape make it easy to explore on foot, by bike, or using its interconnected system of buses, streetcars and subways. Toronto’s lakeside location results in milder weather than much of Canada, although winters are still snowy. The city capitalises on these colder, icy months by setting up over 50 atmospheric outdoor skating rinks, including the spectacular transformation of the reflecting pool at Nathan Phillips Square.
Summer days are spent sunbathing and swimming at one of the many sandy lakeside beaches, or enjoying lazy picnics in the popular High Park or leafy Ward’s Island, a short ferry ride from the city centre. It goes without saying that the Niagara Falls are an unmissable sight, regardless of the season, and they’re just an hour and a half’s drive from Toronto.
The Royal Ontario Museum celebrated its centenary in 2014, and is home to the largest natural history collection in Canada as well as elaborate examples of Chinese architecture, international costume and art. Children will particularly love the immersive bat cave, which allows visitors to explore a cave full of over 800 model bats. Despite the museum’s memorable ‘crystal’ exterior, Toronto’s most distinctive landmark has to be the CN Tower. Built in the 1970s as a telecommunications centre, thrill seekers can take part in an ‘EdgeWalk’ along the roof of the Tower’s restaurant – 1,168 feet above the ground.
The award winning revolving 360 Restaurant offers spectacular views and classic Canadian dishes, such as seared Atlantic salmom, and pumpkin cheesecake with maple custard. For food lovers, the St. Lawrence speciality food market is also well worth a visit. It’s widely considered one of the world’s best markets, selling delicacies like aged Canadian cheddars, fresh coffee beans and aromatic cinnamon buns.
The annual Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival gives visitors the chance to see cutting edge theatre performed by established and emerging talent, while the September Toronto International Film Festival showcases the very best Canadian and international films, drawing a crowd of global superstars each year. A screening programme runs throughout the year, alongside lectures and workshops. The highly regarded National Ballet of Canada is also based in the city and performs The Nutcracker every year alongside a changing programme of contemporary and traditional ballet, including a vibrant rendition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
With a steadily growing housing market and a stable political and economic environment, it’s easy to see Toronto’s appeal. Thanks to its conservative mortgage lending practice, the city largely avoided the international housing crisis, making Toronto real estate a secure investment. For reliable advice and expert local knowledge, contact Engel & Völkers.