While the rest of the country may have resentment towards us Torontonians from time to time, we have nothing but pride for our city. Our music, arts & culture, fashion, compassion and world-class innovation are just a few of the things that make our city special.
Although this is a numbered list, it is not intended to be a definitive ranking. It was designed to provide entertainment and elicit some spirited debate, so read up and let us know your thoughts! (Full list here)
20. Our World-Class Film Festivals
Toronto has played a major role in the film universe for years. Having long served as a stand-in for cities like New York and Chicago, the Big Smoke now boasts a lineup of film festivals to rank among the best in the world. There’s the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Toronto After Dark, Inside Out Film Festival, the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Reel World, Reel Asian, ImagineNative and more that have made this city a major stop on the festival circuit.
19. Our Bike Trails
While biking may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a huge thing to do to get around in this city. But for some biking is not only a main method of transportation, but a leisurely activity that brings joy into the heart, while taking in the sights and sounds of this beautiful city.
18. Penny Oleksiak
Penny Oleksiak became a household name thanks to her performance in the pool at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The 16-year-old Toronto native captured four medals at the games with gold in the 100 metre freestyle, a silver in the 100 metre butterfly, and two bronzes in the women’s freestyle relay races. When the city’s swimming pools were rumoured to be on the table for funding cuts, Oleksiak used her voice to keep them afloat.
17. Billy Bishop Airport
Convenience is king, and air travel doesn’t get much more convenient for the downtown set than the luxury of the Island airport. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, located on Toronto Island, is accessible via public transit and now features an underground tunnel in addition to the traditional short ferry ride.
16. Food Trucks
After years of battling strict regulations, Toronto’s food truck scene is red hot. From the unique “from farm to truck” philosophy of trucks like Heirloom, to the best in tacos, churros, soups, coffee, and BBQ the city has to offer are making the move to wheels.
15. Farmer’s Markets
Eat fresh and local with Toronto’s incredible lineup of farmer’s markets. Hit the seasonal markets in the city’s parks or shop year-round at several markets like Sorauren Farmer’s Market, Wychwood Barns, St. Lawrence Market, and Leslieville Flea Market.
14. Fashion Thrives Here
Although Toronto Fashion Week is on the fritz this year, our city is home to unique style. The Toronto Fashion Incubator, Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, up and coming designers and more will be sure to feed your fashion fix this upcoming season.
13. Our Sports Teams are Competitive Again
It had been a long time since Toronto’s teams in the major North American professional leagues tasted success. The Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto FC, and the Raptors made significant playoff runs in recent years, and the Maple Leafs are finally in position to compete once again.
12. Our Bizarre and Beautiful Art Installations
Over the past few years the half-frozen shorelines of Toronto’s beaches were home to some magnificent art installations. If you missed them, no worries! There are always many cool indie additions to the art scene. Creative contemporary pieces can be found at The Power Plant, Art Metropole, Scrap Metal Gallery and more!
11. Our Slate of Music Festivals
Try to name a summer weekend in Toronto where there ISN’T some sort of music festival happening – I dare you. With a vibrant music scene like ours, you can catch everything from Jazz to EDM, Canadian Music Week, and some of the best alternative the city has to offer. Last year, Luminato celebrated its 10-year anniversary, NXNE now calls The Portlands home, Field Trip and TURF both rocked Fort York, and Bestival exploded at Woodbine Park. Wayhome Music Festival, held annually in Oro-Medonte, is easy to reach from Toronto as well.