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CANADA



TORONTO



Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. It is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. It has over 8.1 million residents making up approximately 25% of Canada's population. In recent decades the city has been transformed into one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world. Toronto is now made up of varied and unique neighbourhoods and includes a dense urban core. It is a clean, safe city with a wonderful network of parks, recreational, and cultural facilities.

Toronto's skyline
Photo: Waldenbg

Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum is a museum of world culture and natural history in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It houses thousands of artifacts and specimens are featured in over 20 exhibits; including Dinosaurs, Ancient China, Native Canadians, Canadian Furniture, Medieval Europe, Art Deco, Ancient Egypt, Textiles, Middle East, India, and Pacific Islanders. The world's largest totem pole, which is over 100 years old, is also housed in a place of honour. The museum is located north of Queen's Park and east of Philosopher's Walk in the University of Toronto. It also houses the world's largest collection of fossils from the Burgess Shale with more than 150,000 specimens.

The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal entrance to the Royal Ontario Museum
Photo: Mb1000

Rogers Centre
Rogers Centre, formerly known as SkyDome, is a multi-purpose stadium, situated next to the CN Tower near the shores of Lake Ontario. It is home to the American League's Toronto Blue Jays, the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, the site of the annual International Bowl American college football bowl game, and as of 2008, the National Football League's Buffalo Bills' second playing venue in the Bills Toronto Series. While it is primarily a sports venue, it also hosts other large-scale events such as conventions, trade fairs, concerts, funfairs, and monster truck shows.

CN Tower
The second tallest free standing structure, at over 500 meters tall, in North America. You can ride a glass elevator to the top. There is also a revolving restaurant, which offers spectacular views of the city. It is a signature icon of Toronto's skyline, and a symbol of Canada attracting more than two million international visitors annually. In 1995, the CN Tower was declared one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The CN Tower viewed from the Rogers Centre in Toronto
Photo: MarcusObal

Ontario Science Centre
Ontario Science Centre is a science museum in Ontario located near the Don Valley Parkway. The Centre has several hundred interactive and passive exhibits throughout the buildings. They feature geology, the science of nature (in the west wing), astronomical science, how to play music and technology in the south wing, human anatomy, communication and bias, and some miscellaneous artifacts of science. The astronomical wing features Toronto's only operating planetarium as well as one of the few Mars and Moon rocks on public display in Canada.

Ontario Science Centre
Photo: James Koole

McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Renowned for its devotion to collecting and exhibiting only Canadian art, the McMichael permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Inuit and other artists who have made a contribution to Canada’s artistic heritage. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is the only major public art gallery devoted solely to the collecting and exhibiting of Canadian art. The gallery offers visitors the unique opportunity to enjoy Canadian landscape paintings in the woodland setting that inspired them.

Toronto Eaton Centre
The Toronto Eaton Centre is a large shopping mall and office complex in downtown Toronto. It is located on the West side of Yonge between Queen and Dundas Streets. The Eaton Centre is a Toronto landmark and one of its top tourist attractions, with around one million visitors per week. The centre is generally packed with people, an exciting mix of locals and tourists. The bottom level houses an impressive fountain, which is a nice place to take a rest. One of the most prominent sights in the shopping mall is the group of fibreglass Canada Geese hanging from the ceiling. The mall contains a wide selection of 230 stores, restaurants and two food courts. The mall is served by two subway stations, Queen and Dundas, located at its southernmost and northernmost points respectively.

Toronto Eaton Centre
Photo: Andrew Bardwell

Art Gallery of Ontario
The Art Gallery of Ontario is the largest art gallery in Canada. It is situated in Toronto's Downtown Grange Park district. Its collection includes more than 68,000 works spanning the 1st century to the present-day. The gallery contains the worlds largest collection of Canadian art, which depicts the development of Canada's heritage from pre-Confederation to the present. You will also find the largest collection of Henry Moore sculptures. The museum also has an impressive collection of European art, a significant collection of African art, as well as a contemporary art collection illustrating the evolution of modern artistic movements in Canada.

Art Gallery of Ontario
Photo: Glogger

Toronto City Hall
The City Hall of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the home of the city's municipal government and one of its most distinctive landmarks. It is architecturally stunning and very pleasing to the eye. The current City Hall, located at Nathan Phillips Square, is actually Toronto’s fourth city hall and was built in order to replace the former city hall due to a shortage of space. The two towers are of unequal height as the east tower is taller than the west. The City Hall is nicknamed “The Eye of the Government” because it resembles a large eye in a plan view.

Toronto City Hall at night
Photo: Benson Kua





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National Holidays & Festivals


New Year's Day
January 1 every year

New Year's Day is the first day of the year. It is a public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts.


Vancouver's skyline
Photo: Shaund

Canada Day
July 1

Canada Day is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire. There are usually many outdoor public events, such as parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, fireworks, and free musical concerts.


Canada Day celebrations, Barrie
Photo: DarrenBaker

Victoria Day
Last Monday in May before May 24

Victoria Day is a federal Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday. Several cities will hold a parade on the holiday. Other celebrations include an evening fireworks show, such as that held at Ashbridge's Bay Beach in the east end of Toronto, and at Ontario Place, in the same city. For many across the country Victoria Day serves as the unofficial marker of the end of the winter social season, and thus the beginning of the summer social calendar.


Toronto view from CN tower
Photo: Agunther

Thanksgiving (Canada)
Second Monday in October

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, occurring on the second Monday in October (since 1957), is an annual Canadian holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in most jurisdictions of Canada. While Thanksgiving is usually celebrated with a large family meal, it is also often a time for weekend getaways. Similar to the United States, traditions such as parades and football can be a part of Canadian Thanksgiving.


Quebec's National Holiday, Montreal

National Holiday (Quebec)
June 24th every year

Quebec's National Holiday is celebrated annually on June 24th and since 1978 it is publicly financed and organized by a National Holiday Organizing Committee. It is a paid statutory public holiday and celebrated as a festival of French Canadian culture. Celebrations have included in the past fireworks over the Parliament Building of Quebec, free public concerts and parades.

Toronto International Film Festival
September

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a publicly-attended film festival held each September in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The TIFF is now one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. In 2010, 339 films from 59 countries were screened at 32 screens in downtown Toronto venues. Many Hollywood studios premiere their films at TIFF due to the festival's easy-going non-competitive nature, relatively inexpensive costs (when compared to European festivals), eager film-fluent audiences and convenient timing.


Calgary Stampede rodeo
Photo: Chuck Szmurlo

Calgary Stampede
July

The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is organized by thousands of volunteers and supported by civic leaders. The ten day event attracts over one million visitors per year and features the world's largest rodeo, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions. It is one of Canada's largest festivals and a significant tourist attraction for the city. Calgary's national and international identity is very much tied to the event.

Canadian National Exhibition

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is an annual event that takes place at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during the 18 days leading up to and including Labour Day Monday. With an attendance of approximately 1.3 million visitors each season, it is Canada’s largest fair and the fifth largest in North America. The fair itself consists of a variety of pavilions, exhibits, shows, concerts, a working farm, horse show, casino, and a large carnival midway with rides, games and food.


Canadian National Exhibition
Photo: JenniferHeartsU


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