Toronto’s transformation

This article was excerpted from The Wall Street Journal’s Insider’s Guide to Toronto.

In the last few years, some of Toronto’s important cultural institutions were transformed by renowned architects. Luxury hotel chains, a thriving arts scene and fine dining options now define this vibrant metropolis that boast the second-most high rises in North America. Pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods fill Toronto’s burgeoning downtown and the Queen Street West district has become a hub of art galleries and bars, and home to the hipster Drake Hotel.

Summer is a divine time to visit, with events such as Luminato, the city’s several-year-old arts festival, NXNE—Canada’s answer to Austin’s SXSW, The Toronto Jazz Festival and the Toronto Film Festival.

By Diego Silvestre from Sao Paulo, Brazil (Queen Street Uploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC-BY-2.0 (

Thompson Toronto. The hotel’s rooftop patio includes an infinity pool against a backdrop of stunning views.

La Merceria. An Argentine cafe and shop with amazing dulce de leche, empanadas and hot chocolate made with bars of chocolate. 506 Adelaide St. W.,

Pizzeria Libretto. This restaurant serves delicious, authentic Neapolitan pies. 221 Ossington Ave. and 550 Danforth Ave.,

Le Sélect Bistro. It’s got a classic European vibe, delicious French food and a great wine selection. 432 Wellington St. W.,

The Horseshoe Tavern. Established in 1947, this renowned dive bar brings in big musical names as well as local and traveling bands. 370 Queen St. W.,

Canoe. On the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower, this restaurant has views that are to die for. 66 Wellington St. W.,


Daniel Faria Gallery. This gallery offers a mix of art and photography. 188 St. Helens Ave.,

Royal Ontario Museum. Located right in the right in the heart of the city, this kid-friendly museum has dinosaurs, a bat cave and a touch-and-feel area. 100 Queen’s Park,

Art Gallery of Ontario. Redesigned by Frank Gehry. 317 Dundas St. W.,

The CN Tower’s EdgeWalk. Thrill-seekers can walk around the outside of the roof of this iconic tower.



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