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Toronto ranks high in metropolitan delights


Last updated 3/29/2009 at Noon

A visit to Toronto is like a trip to springtime, even when the temperature is minus 10 degrees Celsius and the wind is howling worse than wintertime in Chicago.

The reason: Toronto offers the best of a big metropolitan area, such as off-Broadway shows and fabulous international cuisine, without the grime and the crime of most major cities. More than 5.2 million people live in the Toronto metropolitan area.

Not only does the downtown area sprawled along the shore of Lake Ontario offer a beehive of indoor walkways, underground shopping arcades and restaurants as well as skywalks and passages sheltered from the cold, it provides convenient and comfortable access to the city's major business attractions such as Metro Toronto Convention Centre, major financial institutions and Union Station.

Among downtown Toronto's best-kept secrets are a handful of modern hotels that have quietly opened for business within a couple of blocks of the major meeting facilities. These include Marriott's 250-room Residence Inn at 255 Wellington St., a recipient of the international lodging chain's Gold Award. Opened in 2007, this Residence Inn with its quiet, clean suites and pet- and children-friendly policies, is rated No. 1 by Trip Advisor. Not only does the hotel offer guests complimentary full breakfasts daily, it also provides light evening buffets Mondays-Wednesdays.

One of the best sightseeing bargains to be had in Toronto is the CityPass. Just as it offers discounts on admission to major tourist attractions in many of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, the CityPass grants admission over a nine-day period to some of the best sights that Toronto has to offer. This includes the CN Tower, the world's tallest building; the Royal Ontario Museum, where meteorites and rocks from the Moon and Mars rank tops among the display; the Hockey Hall of Fame, where hockey fans can view the Stanley Cup up close and personal; Casa Loma and the Toronto Zoo.


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