The latest craze on the web is aerial photography. Satellite photos on the Internet provide that fascinating bird’s-eye view of almost any place on the planet. Unfortunately, squinting at still, grainy images taken from outer space gets old pretty quick.
When it comes to seeing Toronto from above, why not leave the mouse behind and grab a set of headphones for a dramatic and exhilarating helicopter tour of the city? Zooming around Toronto in a chopper affords you an incredible view that even most of its residents have never seen before. During a flight, you can gain unique perspectives on many of the city’s tourist spots, like Casa Loma, City Hall, The Royal Ontario Museum, Rogers Centre, the towering skyscrapers of the Financial District and the CN Tower.The Helicopter Company (416-203-3280) offers helicopter rides over downtown from Toronto City Centre Airport on the Toronto Islands, a scant two-minute ferry ride from the foot of Bathurst Street. Up to four people at a time can take off. City Tour 1 ($85 per person) takes you on a breathtaking six-to eight-minute trip 600 meters above the downtown core. City Tour 2 ($160 per person) is a wider 35-kilometre journey that lasts 12 to 14 minutes. This option is for longer-term visitors: flights should be booked a week in advance. National Helicopters (905-893-2727) offers flights that lift off from Ontario Place. The Discover Toronto Adventure ($60 for adults, $53 for children age 12 and under) gives you an eight- to 10-minute close-up view of the city from a mere 300 metres above the ground. No reservations are required.—Andrew Wheeler