Unlike Einstein who famously exclaimed, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious” you don’t need to be a genius to be curious, but curiosity can lead to genius. These words ring true for travelers who choose getaways not just to find pleasure and relaxation but to experience personal growth and to fulfill their curiosity. The Greater Toronto Area is a cultural, artistic and passionate hub that is home to some 6.4 million people, half of which were born abroad.
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”
- Bill Nye
Toronto offers travellers a unique opportunity to meet new people from different backgrounds and learn about the city from their perspective. At the crossroads of Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue lie two neighbourhoods any urban explorer will happily get lost in: Chinatown and Kensington Market. One of the biggest Chinatowns in North America, the multitude of shops, markets and restaurants, paired with the hustle and bustle of the downtown, will stir the senses. Kensington Market (designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2006), offers a dizzying array of bohemian bars, cafes and restaurants, and stores — it’s famous for its vintage shops.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
- Walt Disney
Challenging personal limits and the triumphant sense of accomplishment that results, lingers with you long after your trip. The ubiquitous symbol of Toronto, and a Canadian landmark, the CN Tower stands 1,820 feet tall above the waterfront and features stunning views of the city and lake from its observation deck. As impressive as that sounds, there is another option just above for the boldest of travellers. The Guinness Book of World Records calls Edge Walk the “World’s Highest External Walk on a Building”. Led by a certified guide, you can walk in groups of six in the open air (attached to an overhead safety rail via a trolley-and-harness system). How many people can travel back home and say that, for a brief moment, they were on top of the world?
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
- Charlie Chaplin
Can laughter really make our lives better? Research says yes! In his book The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, David Niven, Ph.D, scientifically proves “the ability to laugh at a good joke is a source of life satisfaction,” and the more we engage in comedy, the more we turn our ho-hum existence into a more joyful one. And trust us, the comedy doesn’t get any better than in Toronto. Toronto is one of only three cities in North America that can call itself home to the world-famous Second City improv comedy troupe. Walk in the footsteps of comedy legends such as John Candy, Gilda Radner and Martin Short, and take in a satirical review of some of society’s most fundamental storylines. Your face will hurt from laughing, and your spirit will be lifted for days afterward.
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”
- WIlliam Morris
In Toronto, you can find the joy in the artist’s labour of love in a simple downtown alley. Graffiti Alley is just one example of this. It is a series of murals in the Queen Street & Spadina Avenue area covering a whole kilometre of metropolitan canvas. Its very existence has been called a watershed moment in Toronto’s relationship with legalized street art. Artists like Elicser are the reason why this artform is thriving in the city, so get ready for a colourful and challenging debate on the merits of urban art with your travel companions. These artists don’t just pick up a can of spray paint for the Instagram cred. There’s a story behind every mural and it’s up to us to read between the lines.
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”
- John Muir
The mark of every great city is the variety it offers travellers. For those moments you want to get caught up in big-ticket excitement, Toronto is home to the 2019 NBA champions, the Raptors, and other major league teams as well as an annual elite-level tennis tournament called the Rogers Cup. But then there are times you just want some peace and quiet. Toronto offers a wealth of greenspaces that deliver a calming balance to the urban excitement. The gem of the city’s urban green space, High Park, offers around 400 acres of room to just breathe. There’s plenty of open space to meditate, do yoga, or just take in the views. Visit in the spring to witness the Japanese cherry trees blossom – and bring home not only stunning pictures, but also stunning memories.
Renew your sense of curiosity in life and try something new with Tourism Toronto.