1994 .

Toronto, Ontario, has become Canada's best-known city. Once saddled with a reputation
stodginess, it has been reborn
and revitalized and now stands as one
of North America's leaders at the arts,
entertainment, and business.
Toronto boats a vast multicultural mix, with
large groups of Italians, Germans,
Portuguese, Ukrainians, Asians,
and West Indians, each
contributing to the city's mosaic. The cosmopolitian blend offers visitors fine dining from a seemingly endless range
of the cultures. Shoppers can
browse through funky boutiques on Queen Street
West, admire the best of designer fashions in the
renovated district of Yorkville, or visit Eaton Centre, a
four-level $25-million retail
complex. For peoplewatching
and plenty of
culinary delights, there's
Kensington Market, which features
fresh produce, fish,
and plenty of friendly
conversation. The city was designed
and, since,
to make the most of its settings on the
store of Lake Ontario. The best view is from the CN Tower, a 553-metre
spire that is considered the world's
tallest free-standing structure.
Nearby is Harbourfron, a lakeside
shopping, dinning and
entertainment area whose restored warehouse
is a centre for flea markets, art studios, and crafts shops. Much
of the appeal of Toronto lies in its sence of history, which dates back
to 1749 when French fur traders from Quebec
established a ford on the
site. The residents have worked
to ensure the survival and revitalization of such areas
as St. Lawrence Market (the place to be on a
Saturday when the farmers bring
in their wares) and a booming Chinatown, chock-full of
restaurants and grocery stores.
is a cultural bastion, with the ultra-modern
O'Keefe Centre, which is
home to the
Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada; the Art Gallry of Ontario, with more than 15,000 works - from Old Masters to
contemporary art - in its permanent collection; and the Royal Ontario Museum with its vast array of art
and artifacts from cultures the world over. business and finance from
another important element of the city,
and Toronto's skyline is dominated by the high-rise towers of
financial institutions. Among the most notable is the Royal Bank Tower, with its distinctive
gold-embedded windowpanels.
CN Tower
553.33 meters the
CN Tower is considered the world's tallest
free-standing structure. Construction took 40 months, cost $57 million,
employed 1,573 workers, and was
completed in June 1976.
A slender column
resembling a giant needle, it weight 132,080 metric tons
- the equivalent of roughly 23,214 large elephants.
Visitors can step inside one of four glass-faced elevators and be
whisked to the
Skypod Observation level
in under a minute. In all, there
are three observation
decks, at 342, 346, and 447
meters aboveground, the
world's highest
public observation galery. Each of
these offers panoramic views of greater
Toronto, Toroto Islands, and, on a
clear day, Niagara Falls
and Buffalo, New york. Spectacular views are also
to be had from Top
Of Toronto, a restaurant at
the 350-metre level that makes
a full revolution once
every 72 minutes, and Sparkles, a nightclub at the 346-metre
level. Those who prefer to dine on
the ground level can
enjoy a snack in
the family-style restaurant.
The tower is a stroll away from the lakefront and a walking tour of
parks and marinas.
As any
famous structure might,
the CN Tower has inspired legions of
would-be record setters. It has
the longest metal staircase in the world (2,570 steps), which is made
available to the public each year for a charity stair climb. Stuntman Dar Robinson has jumped from the top of the tower twice - once
with a parachute for the filming of
the movie HIGHPOINT (1979) and
once using a wire cable for the TV show
"That's Incredible." On
the tower's tenth anniversary, "Spider Man" Goodwin completed two
free-style climbs outside the glass elevator-shaft window.
is the world's greatest entertainment center. It's a home to the Toronto Blue Jays
and Toronto Argonauts as well as host
to wide variety of other
sporting spectaculars, concerts, family shows and consumeers shows.
how big is Toronto,s SkyDome? Well, you could put eight Boeing 747s
on the playing field. Or
all of Eaton Centre. Or a 32-home
subdivision. Or the
Roman Colosseum. Even with
the retractable roof closed, a
31-stoerey buildings could fit inside the structure.
$500-million buildings opened on June
3, 1989, after 32 months of
construction. On that day, inclement
weather forced the developers
to prove that the multi-panelled roof could be closed in
just 20 minutes. The roof runs on a series of steel
track and bogies,
weighs 11,000 tons
- the equivalent, roughly, of
3,734 automobiles - and is made up
of steel tresses covered by corrugated steel cladding.
eight-acre stadium offers
sports fans five
levels of seating and the world's
largest video replay screen.
More than 50,000 people at a time can
watch a football or a baseball game,
and there,s also a 350-room hotel built into the north
of facilty, with 70 rooms
offering a view of the playing field.
But the building is much more than a place to wach sporting events under an open
roof. There are 23 fast-food stands, 48 beverage outlets, a
430-seat restaurant for
quick-service dining, a
300-foot-long bar overlooking
the field, the largest McDonald's in
North America, the Hard Rock Cafe, and
a 120-seat movie theatre where tours of
the building begin. The CN Tower is a
stroll away from the stadium.
Royal Ontario Museum
Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum, knows affectionately as the ROM, is Canada's Lagest Public
Museum, made even grander by a recent $55
million renovation and expansion project, covering the
permanent galleries. Founded in 1912
and opened two years later, the ROM today
attracts more than one million visitos a year. Amoung its
impressive holdings, which number more than
six million objects and speciments,
are a Roman galery, housing the
country's most extensive
collection of antiquities; the famous Dinosaur galery,
with a mastadon, stegosaurus, and
prehistoric creatures
"at home" in
jungle settings; a worldclass
textile collection, with
colorfol walhangings, peiod costumes, and richly patterned fabrics on display thoughout the museum;
and the renowned
Chinese colection, with 800 pieces displayed in
traditional room settings
and special gallery areas. Of particular note
are the giant
stone camels and guardian figures of the Ming Tomb, the only Chinese tomb in the Western world. There are also galleries devoted to artifacts of Ontario and Canadiana.
door is the McLaughlin Planetarium where the Theatre of the Stars uses 85
slideand video projectors to
create planets, exploding stars,
and other galactic
phenomena. The Sigmund Samuel Building, a fiew blocks south of the main ROM building,
focuses on Canada's rich cultural
heritage with displays of
antique toys, coocking utensils, oil
paintings, pottery and
sculpture. The George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramc Art, directly across from the main
ROM building, is the only museum specializing in ceramic in
North America.
Niagara Falls
Every year more than 12 million people
flock to Ontario to see the
breathtacking natural phenomenon knows as Niagara Falls. Many are
honeymooners, although no
one is quite sure how that tradition got started. They come to see the
combined cascading power of the
54-metre Canadian Falls - knows as
Horseshoe Falls - and the American Falls, which soars to 56 metres. Together, these thundering cataracts rush over the brink at the rate of
39.1 million
Imperial gallons of water per minute.
Statistic don't do justice to the majesty, the danger, or the romance of
the Falls. They have to be seen in person, and there are a variety of ways
to view the spectacle once your
get there: four Maid-of-Mist boats enter the Horseshoe Basin and pass directly in
front of cataracts; the Niagara Spanish
Aerocar spans mightly whirlpool where
the river takes a 90-degree turn;
the Great Gorge Adventure provides a
close view of the waters from
half a continent plunging through the
gorge at the river's narrowest point;
and three Table
Rock Scenic Tunnels allow visitors to
walk behind the
Falls. To view the sights from above, opt for a 10-minute helicopter ride, rise to the top of the Skylon Tower observation deck via the
external glass-fronted elevators,
or visit the viewing platform at
the Minolta Tower and Marine Aquarium.
the real thing
isn't enough, there's
always IMAX Theatre's
Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic,
shown on a sixstorey screen
in the village of Niagara Falls. While you're in town, you might consider
stopping in at
any of a number of places designed
to entertain, including the Ripley's Belive It Or Not Museum, the Elvis Presley Museum, Louis Tusaud's Museum, or the Daredevils Exhibit.
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