Where to stay
The Drake Hotel
Widely regarded as one of the city’s hippest spots, you’ll either entirely love or wholeheartedly despise The Drake Hotel.
There’s an artsy atmosphere to the lobby (a slow-motion skateboarding
video played upon our arrival), but that doesn’t detract from memorable
rooms and excellent service in a prime location. The Drake’s casual
restaurant, Drake Commissary, is also worth a visit. Doubles from £138.
1150 Queen Street West, 00 1 416 531 5042
Fairmont Royal York
If you prefer your hotel lobbies a little more
palatial than party hub, then Fairmont Royal York should be where you
rest your high-end head. The hotel is so grand it’s considered one of
the city’s landmarks. Inside there are all the amenities you’d expect from
a premium hotel with some quirky additions you wouldn’t, including a
toy train running through the York Station bar. Doubles from £275. 100 Front Street West, 00 1 416 368 2511
SoHo Metropolitan Hotel
There’s a multitude of reasons to love this
hotel, starting with the arresting Dale Chihuly piece out front and ending
with its restaurant Luckee. Rather than a bolt-on, run-of-the-mill hotel
restaurant, this is a culinary destination in its own right, and considered
by many to be the best Chinese restaurant in Toronto. Doubles from
£220. 318 Wellington Street, 00 1 416 599 8800
You’d miss the Templar Hotel if you didn’t know it was
there. It’s a diminutive boutique famed for both interior design (you’ll feel
like you’ve walked into the home of an architect-artist power couple)
and being featured in the photography to accompany Toronto pop star
Drake’s album Views. Come for the aesthetics, but stay for the
Japanese-inspired platform beds and natural linens. Doubles from £110.
348 Adelaide Street West, 00 1 416 479 0847
With all the trappings of sleek, urban modernity,
the Thompson boasts some memorable features. The late-night diner is surprisingly good. The lobby cocktail bar
will comfortably lull you into evening reverie.
But quite literally above all else is the panoramic
view from the rooftop bar and pool. You’ll rarely
find such a jaw-dropping backdrop to a night
out. Doubles from £193. 550 Wellington
Street West, 00 1 416 640 7778,
Toronto is the capital of Ontario, Canada, and sits
on the north-west of Lake Ontario. Flights from
the UK take around 8 hours. Time is four hours
behind GMT. Currency is the Canadian dollar
(CAD). The average high temperature in June is 25C; the average low is 13C.
Air Canada flies daily to Toronto Pearson
International direct from London Heathrow,
from £430 return.
British Airways also has daily flights from
Heathrow to Toronto and three flights per week
from Gatwick, from £478 return.
Tourism Toronto is the official tourist board,
which has a useful website.
Girls Fall Down by Maggie Helwig (Coach
House Books, £12) is a gripping novel set in the subway tunnels of Toronto. It tells the eerie
story of a group of young girls who contract
a mysterious disease and attempt to capture
their vision through film.
To offset your carbon emissions when travelling
by air to Toronto, visit and
make a donation. Return flights from London
produce 1.56 tonnes of CO2 meaning a cost to offset of £11. 71.