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Five best attractions of Toronto – besides mayor Rob Ford

It quickly became the most bizarre news of the year: Toronto's mayor Rob Ford admitting he has smoked crack, but only after a video of the event had been uncovered by the police. Erik Bergin on 5 must-see attractions of Canada's largest and proudest city, besides it mayor.

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TORONTO — Ask anybody before November 2013 who Rob Ford was, and no one outside Canada would know. Ask now, and everybody would nail it instantly: The crack-smoking mayor of Toronto, Canada’s largest city. And arguably its proudest, too.

“We take great pride in the government of this city,” says Toronto’s Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. Since mid-November, when the city council voted to strip Ford of his mayoral powers, Kelly has taken over most of the mayor’s duties. “We had the feeling that if we didn’t act, the state [Ontario] would,” explains Kelly sitting in his office next to Ford’s.


Curiously, despite having admitted that he has smoked crack and dodging a flow of allegations about connections with criminal elements in the city, Rob Ford still enjoys the support of some of the voters who put him in power in 2010. But many ofter citizens of Toronto disagree. They think the mayor has developed himself into a disgrace for the city, unfit to carry the responsibilities and handling Toronto’s public relations.

But if there is any truth to the saying that any PR is good PR, then Toronto may have hit a jackpot: at least now, many people know something about the city that they didn’t before the news of its crack-smoking mayor spread over the world during November.

So what has Toronto to offer visitors? The Traveling Reporter has compiled this must-see list of Canada’s largest city:


1. Toronto’s TV-tower

Toronto\’s CN Tower.kevbo1983 / / CC BY-NC-ND

The CN Tower, built by railway company Canadian National, CN, is 553 meters (1,815 ft) high and held the record as the world’s highest tower in 34 years after it was completed in 1976. Needless to say, you have stunning view from up there. If your budget admits, have lunch or dinner in the restaurant, or limit yourself to a drink while snapping some photos. Tickets can be purchased in advance online.


2. Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
Toronto Symphony Orchestra.ooburai / / CC BY-NC-SA

Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has been voted the #1 attraction in Toronto by TripAdvisor’s users. The orchestra is describes as “one of Canada’s leading cultural institutions”, spreading its music from its headquarters at Roy Thomson Hall, visited by tens of thousands each year.


3. The beaches

Sugar Beach 5
One of Toronto\’s beaches.Sean_Marshall / / CC BY-NC

With its location at the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto features several beach parks, open through the year. Have a swim in the summer or go there and enjoy a cozy picnic during the long dark months.


4. The Air & Space Museum and the Hockey Hall of Fame

Stick Save Varlamov
Hockey is big in Canada.clydeorama / / CC BY-NC

Two of the city’s museums stand out from the rest, at least to sports and space fans. Toronto’s Air & Space Museum holds, among many other things, a large collection of full-scale flying machines, enjoyable regardless of age. The Hockey Hall of Fame speaks pretty much for itself. One of many attractions here is the Time Machine, which can bring you back to the United States’ Olympic Hockey Gold medal of 1960.


5. The Niagara Falls

Horseshoe Falls at Sunset
The Horseshoe Falls at sunset.Scallop Holden / / CC BY-NC-SA

Though not exactly within the city limits, the Niagara Falls is only 90 minutes away from Toronto. Here you can watch and listen to the sound of 750,000 gallons of water per second slide of a cliff right in front of you.


Find more to do in Toronto at TimeOut Toronto.

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.