If You’re Traveling From the Midwest
Foodies and architecture buffs flock to Toronto for its diverse selection of cuisine (from Azerbaijani to Laotian) and eye-popping buildings (Frank Gehry’s Art Gallery of Ontario, Will Alsop’s Sharp Centre for Design, and Daniel Libeskind’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal wing of the Royal Ontario Museum).
Canada’s new low-cost carrier Porter Airlines has direct daily flights from Chicago for around $400, including complimentary snacks, wine, and beer (you read that right—free booze on a flight!). The Novotel Toronto Centre is a grand property and a great value in downtown, with rates starting at around $150 per night. For something a bit trendier, check into the Drake Hotel in the artist-filled Queen West neighborhood. This 19-room property has performance art installations in the lobby and a crush of partiers waiting to get into its unspeakably cool bar on the weekends. Rooms here start at about $200 per night.
Even if you are one of the hip kids staying at the Drake, you must try a poutine in Toronto. Although it sounds harmless (charming, even), don’t be fooled. Poutine is a street snack made of french fries, gravy, and cheese curd. Heart valves beware!