Toronto

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - WEEKEND IN -

With cool restau­rants, gal­leries and bou­tiques, this compact Cana­dian city is ideal for a short break, says Rachel Cran­shaw

As cel­e­bra­tions mark­ing the 150th an­niver­sary of con­fed­er­a­tion draw to a close, Toronto will be get­ting qui­eter. But this is still a city with a thriv­ing restau­rant scene, an aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing sky­line and di­verse neigh­bour­hoods, all set on a man­age­able grid sys­tem and with a compact cen­tre.

Queen Street West and West Queen West are hip­ster cen­tral, where you’ll find in­de­pen­dent bou­tiques, cafés, bars and restau­rants, all on one handy strip. Head to King Street West for in­no­va­tive restau­rants where it’s easy to get a ta­ble. For up­mar­ket shop­ping Bloor-Yorkville is the place. The Kens­ing­ton mar­ket area spills out into Chi­na­town and Lit­tle Italy. Down­town and the en­ter­tain­ment district are home to stel­lar at­trac­tions in­clud­ing the CN Tower.

Air Canada (0371 220 1111; air­canada.com) op­er­ates a four-times-daily ser­vice from Lon­don Heathrow, from £837 re­turn. Air Canada Rouge also runs a sum­mer ser­vice via Gatwick, Manch­ester, Ed­in­burgh and Glas­gow. AirTransat flies from Manch­ester and Glas­gow.

Spe­cial treat Toronto’s Asian in­flu­ences are a real credit to it, and the Shangri-La (1), at 188 Uni­ver­sity Av­enue (001 647 788 8888; shangri-la.com), is no ex­cep­tion. The lobby hosts live music, and it’s next to the renowned Mo­mo­fuku noo­dle bar. Dou­bles from Can$430 (£265), not in­clud­ing break­fast (from Can$22/£13). For a full re­view and to book, visit tele­graph.co.uk/ tt-shangri­la­toronto

Mid-range Drake Ho­tel (2) at 1150 Queen Street West (001 416 531 5042; the­drake.ca) brims with mod­ern art, has a full­time cu­ra­tor, 19 bou­tique rooms and a roof ter­race. Guests get a dis­count at the Drake Gen­eral Store. Dou­ble rooms from Can$219 (£135), not in­clud­ing break­fast (Can$15/£9). For a full re­view and to book, visit tele­graph. co.uk/tt-drake­toronto

Bud­get The Chelsea (3), at 33 Ger­rard Street West (001 416 595 1975; chelseatoronto. com) of­fers ex­cel­lent value and is perfect for fam­i­lies. It’s the largest ho­tel in Canada, with 1,590 rooms, and boasts Toronto’s only in­door wa­ter slide, and a children’s area with rab­bits. Dou­bles from Can$155 (£95), not in­clud­ing break­fast (from Can$15/£9). For a full re­view and to book, visit tele­graph.co.uk/ttchelseatoronto 5pm Blow away the cob­webs after your flight with a wan­der around the city’s wa­ter­front area (4), on the shore of Lake On­tario. The re­gen­er­ated 10-acre site of the Har­bourfront Cen­tre (har­bourfront­cen­tre.com) is home to two for­est-in­spired squares, On­tario and Canada, plus an out­door ex­hi­bi­tion space, and hosts con­certs and other events year-round. You can also take a boat tour of the is­lands just op­po­site, or go out on a ca­noe (pad­dle­toronto.com).

8pm Head to one of King West’s most pop­u­lar restau­rants, Lee by Susur Lee (5) (001 416 504 7867; susur.com; book ahead), for a truly in­ven­tive take on mod­ern Asian cui­sine, in stylish sur­round­ings and with a small ter­race. The sig­na­ture Sin­ga­porean-style slaw (Can$25/£15) con­tains 19 in­gre­di­ents, all of which com­ple­ment each other per­fectly and look charm­ingly colour­ful. The curry roasted chicken is not to be missed. 10am Don’t miss the CN Tower (6) (cn­tower.ca), worth do­ing first thing to beat the queues; it opens at 8.30am and is well worth the Can$48 (£29) en­try fee to en­joy un­par­al­leled views of the city, and some­times as far as Buf­falo in New York State. There’s a glass floor panel you can walk across – which is not for the faint­hearted. Even less so is the EdgeWalk ex­pe­ri­ence,

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