REASON TO VISIT TORONTO #11:
Our Restaurants are Better Than Ever
Over the past year, Toronto foodies have toasted the opening of a huge number of very good—and very diverse—restaurants, including Colette Grand Café (high-style French fare), DaiLo (modern Asian), Patois (Caribbean-Chinese soul food), Los Colibris (upmarket Mexican), and Montecito (California cuisine from superstar chef Jonathan Waxman). Start preparing your palate to experience these and other eclectic flavours on your next trip to the city. By the time you make it back, there are likely to be even more great new options: Jamie Oliver, for example, is scheduled to open his first Canadian outpost in the spring, and we hear that Bar Isabel wunderkind Grant van Gameren has a new offering in the works, too.
REASON TO VISIT TORONTO #12:
The Pan American Games
A trip to Toronto in the summer of 2015 offers the unique opportunity to give a boost to top amateur athletes during one of the most important competitions of their lives. From July 10 to 26, the city will host the Pan Am Games, the world’s third largest international multi-sport event and a crucial test prior to the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The opening ceremony at the Rogers Centre is sure to be among the biggest draws (it’s being produced by Cirque du Soleil); after that there’s everything from archery and baseball to tennis and wrestling. This edition of the games is a truly inclusive affair: a number of sports will actually be contested at venues outside of Toronto—in Hamilton, Milton, St. Catharines and elsewhere.
REASON TO VISIT TORONTO #13:
Our Waterfront Has New Life
A corollary of the city’s long-term Pan Am Games preparations has been a greater push to renew the downtown waterfront. Over the years the section of Queens Quay, between, say, Sherbourne and Bathurst streets, has developed in fits and starts—a new condo here, an “urban beach” there. But it’s expected that the area will be fully renewed by the summer of 2015, with improved walking and recreational trails, and easier access to attractions like Harbourfront Centre and Lake Ontario itself.
REASON TO VISIT TORONTO #14:
The Blue Jays Might Finally Contend Again
We know. You heard this same refrain back in 2013, when Toronto’s Major League Baseball team seemed to stack the deck by acquiring the big-name likes of R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Melky Cabrera and Jose Reyes. Of course that squad failed mightily to live up to its promise; a stronger start last season was ultimately squandered, too. But as of this writing, a quality free agent signing and an absolute steal of a deal have provided a glimmer of hope: reliable Toronto-born catcher Russell Martin was brought on in late November to be the Blue Jays’ primary backstop, while Josh Donaldson, arguably the American League’s best third baseman, will take over the hot corner. (The team also signed outfielder Michael Saunders, assuming Cabrera’s departure.) Given a few more acquisitions are made to shore up a shaky bullpen and there may indeed be reason to be guardedly optimistic about the Jays’ chances in 2015.
REASON TO VISIT TORONTO #15:
Everything Else You Love About the City is Still Here
That’s right! From the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium to the Distillery District, St. Lawrence Market and the Evergreen Brick Works—Toronto has more to see and do than you could possibly cram into a single trip. All the more reason to come back as often as you can in 2015 and beyond!