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Top Rated Attractions in Toronto

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Casa Loma

Built over three years beginning in 1911, Casa Loma was born of the lofty ambitions of the Canadian financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. Inspired by the castles of Europe, Pellatt sought to employ the formidable resources at his disposal to build for himself a grand chateau in the heart of Toronto; an abode truly befitting the aspirations of the magnate. Built in the Gothic Revival style, Casa Loma appears to have sprung from the pages of a fairy tale, replete with hidden passages and generously adorned with exquisite art. The castle features 98 lavishly decorated rooms and is surrounded by a beautiful estate complete with its own conservatory, gardens, and stables. The Great Hall's sculptured pillars, the Conservatory's stained glass ceiling, the Library's impressive cache of books, and the subterranean tunnel to the stables outside are just a few of the many treasures that define the estate. Pellatt's triumph was short-lived, however, his businesses buckling in the aftermath of World War I, forcing him to sell his home. Today, Casa Loma is a museum and popular event venue.

Distillery Historic District

Located near the city center in Toronto, the Distillery Historic District is a prominent area of the city where the Gooderham and Worts Distillery used to operate until 1990 CE. The distillery was touted as one of the biggest facilities in the world. After its closure, the Victorian-era buildings of the property became the Distillery District of today. Today, it houses many shops, restaurants and commercial complexes. However, the historic facade of the distillery is still intact and can be seen.

Queen Street West

Just one street over from this trendy strip is the Ontario College of Art and Design, Queen Street West is one of the top shopping streets in the city. When young artists graduated and were desperate for cash, they would bring their treasures here to sell. Soon small shops stuffed with unique items began popping up on Queen Street West. Today, you can still find unusual gifts from cool clothing to antique comics either in the stores or from one of the many friendly street vendors. It's also a hot spot for restaurants and bars such as the Epicure Cafe, the Rivoli and the Queen Mother Cafe.

Spadina Museum

Home to the Austin family for more than a century, Spadina House is now operated as a museum by the City of Toronto Cultural Services. Although some restoration has taken place, the original feel of the 55-room mansion has been wonderfully preserved, giving visitors a glimpse into a time when immigration increased and tabloid journalism had its beginnings (1918-1939). Rooms are also available for hire. The tour guides will make sure that the experience is thoroughly informative and educational while still being fun.

The Cathedral Church of St James

St James Park, with its 19th-century garden and splendid fountain, is the setting for this cathedral, Toronto's first Anglican Church. The Cathedral Church of St James you see today, which opened in 1853, is actually the third on the site - the first two were destroyed by fires in 1839 and 1849 respectively. Designed by architect Fredrich Cumberland, the present church includes the tallest steeple in Canada and an elaborate interior with a solid marble choir stall and stained glass windows.

St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica

With its traditional Neo-Gothic style, exquisite stained glass windows and impressive steeples and spires, St. Michael's Catholic Cathedral resonates as one of Toronto's architectural and spiritual landmarks. St. Michael's Catholic Cathedral is also well-known for its choirs, junior and senior, which perform at various services on Sunday morning. Extremely active in the community, the church has a strong Catholic Women's League and opens its doors for weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

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