What to do and where to eat, spa and stay in the popular Canadian destination

Consistently over the past few months, data from travel sites like Expedia and Kayak have indicated that Toronto continues to be a popular destination for Canadian travellers.

According to flight search data from Kayak, interest in flights to Toronto, by Canadian travelers, for the week of August 28 increased by 38% compared to 2019 before the pandemic.

Expedia data revealed that for the summer travel season, specifically for travel between June 21 and September 22, Toronto is the top domestic travel destination, according to flight searches.

While Toronto is the economic center of Canada, there is still plenty to do for a leisure vacation. For a city so full of unique features, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite things to do, see, eat and experience in Toronto.

Casa Madera in Toronto

Where to eat in Toronto

There is certainly no shortage of dining options in Toronto. Essentially, whatever type of cuisine you like or want to try, Toronto has it, but Mexican cuisine, in particular, has seen a significant resurgence in the city.

Olivier Le Calvez has a reputation for bringing some of its best Mexican food to Toronto and now that he’s the Executive Chef of Casa Madera restaurant (conveniently located in the center of town) it’s a must for a Mexican dining experience. unique and high.

“Mexican food has evolved a lot in the city since I arrived, but there are still plenty of opportunities for Mexican food in Toronto,” Le Calvez said. Yahoo Canada. “It’s important for consumers to know that Mexican food goes way beyond tacos (although I know we all love tacos!).”

“It all starts with four key factors – salt, fat, acid and, of course, heat…I hope to educate consumers about other cuisines, such as Spanish, French and Middle Eastern which influence Mexican gastronomy. You will see these influences in our wide range of dishes on the Casa Madera menu.”

Chile Pulpo at Casa Madera restaurant in Toronto

Chile Pulpo at Casa Madera restaurant in Toronto

When you go to Casa Madera, Le Calvez recommends ordering the Chile Pulpo and the A La Roca, which is wagyu beef served on a hot stone.

“There are so many amazing cocktails to choose from, but my favorite is the Casa Madera Old Fashioned with tequila,” added Le Calvez.

For the executive chef of Casa Madera, one of his go-to cuisines in Toronto is Lebanese cuisine and one of his favorite restaurants to visit with his wife and children is Tabulé on Queen Street. It was founded in 2012 and the restaurant is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine for locals.

“I love that Toronto has such an array of cuisines at your fingertips,” said Le Calvez. “I have an endless list of new restaurants I want to try!”

Other great dining options in Toronto include Tea-N-Bannock for First Nations cuisine, the always delicious Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen, the ever-popular Pai for Thai cuisine, Oroshi Fish Co. for amazing sushi, Fresh for plant-based foods, Casamiento for pupusas, Barberian’s Steak House if you’re looking for a classic steak dinner in Toronto, and Futura Granita for the most authentic Italian-style ice cream and granita you’ll ever have. in the city.

Hammam Spa by Céla at Bayview Village

Hammam Spa by Céla at Bayview Village

Where to Spa in Toronto

While a hotel spa is incredibly tempting on vacation, if you really want a spa experience in Toronto, Hammam Spa by Céla is the place to go, with two locations, one downtown on St. King and another at the Bayview Village mall.

“We [offer] spaces and treatments that are less common elsewhere in the city,” said Céline Tadrissi, founder of Céla skincare and Hammam Spa by Céla. Yahoo Canada. “Our shower rooms, Turkish baths and Oxygeneo Facial are just a few outstanding examples.”

“Notably, we offer wet treatments on traditional marble slabs, which provides an elevated and luxurious experience compared to more standard stone setups. Traditionally, spas in North America were considered a rare pleasure. When creating Hammam Spa, I wanted to develop a space that served as an oasis to encourage regular visits to celebrate the world’s best spa rituals – and I think we succeeded!

Hammam Spa by Céla at Bayview Village

Hammam Spa by Céla at Bayview Village

If you’re visiting the spa for the first time, Tadrissi stresses that you want to take “an immersive approach” to its offerings.

“Starting with the steam ritual is the perfect way to kick off the relaxation process – the refreshing scent of eucalyptus and the beautifully tiled room will place you in plenty of mental and physical space for your treatment,” Tadrissi says. “Each of our signature treatments and massages has its benefits, but the Hammam Turkish Bath is perfect for beginners looking for a unique experience.”

“My favorite service at the Hammam Spa is the Céla Seed to Skin ritual. It’s both nourishing and revitalizing, and I can feel my spirits lift every time I receive this treatment.

The Céla Seed to Skin ritual is particularly fantastic, a unique experience where your body is enveloped in a cloud of mandarin and jasmine bubbles, in addition to a technician working with the pressure points on your head, neck and shoulders .

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If you’re looking for a souvenir to take home, Céla skincare products are a great choice to bring home a bit of Hammam spa.

While the website has a tool that helps you determine your personalized “daily spa ritual”, some popular products are the Seed to Skin Scrub with Oil of Abyssinia, Shea Butter and Shea Seeds. finely ground Amazonian cupuaçu. There’s also the Essential Balm that can be used to soothe everything from split ends to bug bites or sunburn, the Deep Cleansing Glacier Clay Mask and the Crème Violette Body Butter in the scent of lavender.

Toronto, Canada - June 16: Famous landmark Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto facing Lake Ontario harbor

Toronto, Canada – June 16: Famous landmark Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto facing Lake Ontario harbor

Where to stay in Toronto

Accommodations in Toronto range from historic or modern hotels, boutique properties and major hotel brands to unique vacation rental options.

If hotels are faster and you’re a history buff, the Fairmont Royal York is a great option. It opened in 1929 and has hosted famous guests like Queen Elizabeth II (in the hotel’s Royal Suite), Tina Turner, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more. It’s also the location of one of the coolest bars in town, Clockwork, and has bee hives on the roof.

If you’re looking for something with more of a boutique feel, The Drake hotel in the city’s Queen West neighborhood, home to some of the city’s trendiest shops, restaurants, and bars, is a popular choice. The Annex Hotel is another great option in one of Toronto’s most iconic neighborhoods and it’s easy to take the subway around the city from its location, with a burger joint and wine bar a short walk downstairs. street level.

If you’re coming to Toronto and hoping to see a popular celebrity, the Hazelton Hotel is where you want to be, but it comes at a steep price.

Panoramic view of Toronto skyline and CN Tower and ferry at sunset, Ontario, Canada

Panoramic view of Toronto skyline and CN Tower and ferry at sunset, Ontario, Canada

What to see in Toronto

If you are traveling to Toronto soon, there is no bigger event in the city than the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and with 2022 marking the return of a significant number of in-person screenings, red carpets and events, this is our number one choice for a possible September trip to the city.

If you’re looking to see some of Toronto’s biggest sights, check out the CityPass, which saves you 38% on admission to five of Toronto’s most notable attractions: the CN Tower, the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo or Ontario Science Centre.

Toronto is also a great place to catch a live theater performance, ranging from major Mirvish productions like Let’s sing in the rain, mean girlsWhere hamilton in 2023, or smaller productions at the Tarragon Theater or Factory Theater.