Images of Toronto

Toronto is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, offering a remarkable multicultural atmosphere. With a population of nearly 2.5 million people, Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario, the heart of Canada’s legal and business communities, and a thriving cultural and entertainment centre. No matter what you enjoy doing, there is something in Toronto for you.

The Faculty of Law is located at the heart of the city, close to many of its features and attractions. Toronto enjoys a wide variety of diverse, vibrant and multicultural neighbourhoods, notable museums and other attractions, beautiful parks and trails, film, theatre, music, dining and sports for every taste, a remarkable cycle of yearly festivals, and lively and competitive media tracking local, national and international issues. Check the sections below to find out more, or visit the Toronto Convention and Visitors Association, the city's official tourism Web site.

Neighbourhoods

Toronto is often described as a "city of neighbourhoods." There are neighbourhoods and shopping districts for every taste and for the many ethnic communities in the city. Within walking distance of the law school, you can find glitzy Yorkville, colourful Yonge Street, the cozy Annex, the restaurants of Baldwin Village, and the variety of Kensington Market. Chinatown and Koreatown, along with trendy Queen Street West, are just a bit further, and a transit ride can take you to Greektown, Little India, and many places beyond.
 
Check out the BlogTO neighbourhood guide to find out more about Toronto's neighbourhoods.

Attractions

Toronto is home to a wide variety of museums and attractions for every taste. The Royal Ontario Museum is literally next door. Also close by are the Art Gallery of Ontario, the new opera house, the provincial legislatureRogers Centre, and the CN Tower (the Western Hemisphere's tallest free-standing structure). Exploring further from the core, you can also visit the Toronto Zoo and the Ontario Science Centre.

Parks and Recreation

While Toronto may appear to be a busy urban centre, it's surprisingly easy to get away to a green setting. Toronto is intersected by ravines, many of which include recreational trails for cycling, running or walking, along with parks and natural reserves. The picturesque Harbourfront and the Toronto Islands offer lively cultural programming and a relaxed getaway within sight of downtown. The rest of Toronto's waterfront is in the process of being revitalized, to include a string of parks designed by national and international architects. Many other parks of all shapes and types, from the formally designed to the relaxed and wild, are scattered throughout the city, including Queen's Park (directly across from the law school), the extensive High Park in the west, and Rouge Park, the first urban national park, on the eastern edge of the city. 

Music

Toronto is a music city. It has been the incubator of many musicians and groups, and is a major destination on concert tours. A multitude of venues, large and small, host performances of all kinds, and festivals take place throughout the year. 

NOW magazine's live music listings give an idea of the range of music available in modern genres. Several smaller venues are within walking distance of the law school, such as Lee's Palace and El Mocambo. The city hosts the annual NXNE music festival, as well as the Much Music Video Awards and jazz, blues, folk and other festivals. Free concerts take place throughout the summer at Harbourfront, Dundas Square, City Hall and other locations.

In terms of classical music, Toronto is host to Canada's largest opera company (the Canadian Opera Company) and ballet company (the National Ballet of Canada), the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, many world-renowned specialized ensembles such as Tafelmusik, Opera Atelier and the Toronto Consort, and a host of smaller classical ensembles. Koerner Hall, the newly renovated concert hall of the Royal Conservatory of Music, is just steps away along Philosopher's Walk. The University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, which hosts many concerts, is right next door. Discounted student tickets are available for many classical performances.

Sports

For sports fans there is NHL hockey played by the Maple Leafs, Major League Baseball's Blue Jays, basketball's Raptors of the NBA, and football's Argonauts of the CFL, soccer's Toronto Football Club (TFC) of the MLS, and lacrosse's Toronto Rock. Recreational opportunities abound in Toronto's many trails and parks, many of which include playing fields that host various recreational leagues and pick-up games.

Eating

Toronto is a great dining city with over 6,000 restaurants to suit every taste and price range, from fine dining to quick and cheap independent restaurants, take-outs and food trucks. There are restaurants representing an astonishing array of world cuisines, and fusion restaurants that blend these traditions together in innovative ways. There are vegetarian, vegan and raw-food restaurants, seafood restaurants, and others devoted to every aspect of meat. South of the University of Toronto campus, Baldwin Village and Kensington Market are known for their wide array of eating choices, and just beyond them lies the multitude of eateries in Chinatown. Check out the Toronto Life or BlogTO restaurant guides for more information. Every year, the Winterlicious and Summerlicious festivals provide an opportunity to eat at restaurants across the city for a fixed price for two weeks.

Toronto is also home to an array of food options for cooking at home, including grocery stores focused on specific world cuisines and an increasing number of weekly farmer's markets in neighbourhoods across the city. Kensington Market - within walking distance of the University of Toronto campus - is famed for its wide variety of food stores. The oldest food market in Toronto, St. Lawrence Market, was recently named one of the best in the world

Film

As well as a multitude of commercial movie theatres, Toronto is host to one of the largest yearly film festivals in the world, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), held every September. Recently, TIFF opened a year-round theatre complex, showing international and artistic films often selected according to specific themes. In addition to TIFF, Toronto is host to a dizzying array of specialized film festivals year-round. There are also several repertory theatres in Toronto. Within walking distance along Bloor Street is the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, which specializes in documentaries and is home base for the annual Hot Docs film festival.

Theatre

Toronto is the third-largest centre for English-speaking theatre in the world (after London and New York). Productions range from big-budget musicals to a range of small independent companies, and from the classics to the avant-garde. There are theatres all over the centre of the city, from the grand venues of the Entertainment District and Yonge Street, to smaller venues tucked away in old warehouses and houses. See the Tourism Toronto's list of theatres and companies, or check out NOW magazine's theatre listings for what's on. What's more, the nearby Stratford Festival (accessible by daily bus service) and Shaw Festival provide the opportunity for theatrical getaways. Almost all theatres offer discounted prices for students.

Festivals

Toronto offers a lively yearly cycle of festivals and special events of all kinds - music, theatre, culture, ethnic, neighbourhood, and more. See the City of Toronto Festivals and Events Calendar for a listing. Here are just a few of the more notable ones:

Media

Toronto has one of the most active media environments in North America. It hosts the headquarters for many of national media companies, and also enjoys a lively independent media scene.

Toronto has four daily newspapers - The Globe and Mail, the National Post (both of which enjoy national distribution), the Toronto Star (Canada's most widely circulated newspaper) and the Toronto Sun.  Two widely distributed free weekly newspapers, The Grid and NOW Magazine, cover local news and culture. A wide variety of weekly newspapers cater to neighbourhoods, non-English languages, and specialized audiences. Magazines focused on Toronto include Toronto Life and Spacing. Websites focused on Toronto news and culture include Torontoist, BlogTO, and Spacing Toronto.

As well as being a major administrative and production centre for the national TV networks (CBC, CTV and Global), Toronto is the base of local television chain CityTV, and all-news local station CP24. Toronto is also host to  public broadcaster TV Ontario, whose current affairs talk show The Agenda with Steve Paikin sometimes includes U of T Law faculty members as panelists. Toronto has a multitude of radio stations for every taste, and faculty members are sometimes guests on the most-listened to morning show, CBC's Metro Morning.

Getting Around

The Faculty of Law is located in the heart of Toronto, with quick access to the City's two main subway lines, within walking and cycling distance of many neighbourhoods and destinations, and near the corner of two of the city's main streets.

Toronto's transit system, the TTC, combines subways, light rail, streetcars and buses in an integrated, single-fare system. The law school is a 10-minute subway ride from the heart of the downtown financial district, and a short ride to many other destinations. Streetcar and bus lines connect with the subway to give access to further central destinations.

The area around the Faculty of Law is often attractive for walking, with wide sidwalks, street trees and interesting shops and restaurants. Many interesting destinations are within a 20-minute walk, and the central financial district is a 30-minute walk away. The law school is adjacent to the east-west bike lanes on Harbord and Wellesley streets, and Toronto's extensive if not always consistent system of bike lanes gives access to destinations further afield.

Central Toronto car traffic is often congested, and parking can be difficult to find and expensive. For times when a car is needed, Toronto has several membership-based car-sharing companies for same-day trips, including Autoshare, Zipcar and Car2Go, as well as the usual car rental companies. Toronto also has a large number of taxis serving the central area.
 
 
Toronto skyline from the north
Looking out over the Royal Ontario Museum towards the law school, the University of Toronto, and downtown Toronto. The Ontario Legislature is visible behind the trees of Queen's Park.