Toronto, Canada

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Spawned out of post-glacial alluvial deposits and bluffs, the area was populated at different times by Iroquois and later Wyandot (Huron) peoples. The settlement by Europeans started with the French building a seldom occupied fort near today’s Exhibition grounds in the mid-1700s, then grew out of a backwoods English trading post established as York in 1793. Later in the 19th century, it grew to become the cultural and economic focus of Canada. Toronto has, in recent decades, been transformed into one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world. More than 80 ethnic communities are represented, and over half of the city’s residents were born outside Canada.

Toronto Honeymoons

Climate

Toronto’s climate on the whole is on the cool side and variable conditions can be expected. Downtown temperatures average -3.8°C (25°F) in January, but the extreme cold experienced further north typically lasts less than a week at a time. Despite this, come prepared. Winters are still cold and mostly cloudy, at some times snowy and uncomfortably windy and at other times, damp. At times, severe storms can impact flights into and out of the city, as well as slow down transportation and activities in the city for a day or two.

The best times to visit for the weather are late spring/early summer or early fall, with comfortably cool nights and less crowds. Mid-summer is the peak tourist season, but visitors will find that Toronto’s vibrancy extends throughout the winter with outdoor ice rinks and bundled up clubgoers. Air conditioning and heating are standard in Toronto’s public buildings.

Visitor information

Ontario Travel Information Centre, 20 Dundas St W (at Yonge inside the Atrium on Bay; Subway: Dundas), (ontariotravel.toronto@ontario.ca). M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM.

Sports Teams

Toronto has several major league sports teams:

  • Toronto Argonauts – Canadian Football League, play at Rogers Centre.
  • Toronto Blue Jays – Major League Baseball, play at Rogers Centre.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs – National Hockey League, play at the Air Canada Centre.
  • Toronto Raptors – National Basketball Association, play at the Air Canada Centre.
  • Toronto Rock – National Lacrosse League, play at the Air Canada Centre.
  • Toronto FC – Major League Soccer, play at BMO Field on Exhibition Place grounds.
  • Toronto Marlies – American Hockey League (Toronto Maple Leafs farm team). Play at the Ricoh Coliseum.
  • Ontario Blues – Canadian Rugby Championship. Play at Fletcher’s Fields.

Get around

Toronto is huge, and most roads run for very long distances. Streetcar rail, subway rail, and intercity rail services are clean and efficient but overcrowded, and it’s entirely possible to get around Toronto without a car, especially downtown. You may find it quicker and easier to drive, but be aware that traffic congestion is severe at almost any time of day, especially during rush hour. Toronto has plentiful parking garages downtown, most of which can be identified by the prominent green P signs, but they are very expensive, particularly on weekdays.

Source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Toronto

Chicago, USA

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Chicago is the third largest city in the United States with a population approaching 3 million. Chicago is a huge vibrant city and a metropolitan area that sprawls over 10,874km². It’s well known for blues, jazz, comedy, shopping, and dining.

When to Go

As the hub of the Midwest, Chicago is easy to find —its picturesque skyline calls across the waters of huge Lake Michigan, a first impression that soon reveals world-class museums of art and science, miles of sandy beaches, huge parks and public art, and perhaps the finest downtown collection of architecture in the world.

What to See

With a wealth of iconic sights and neighborhoods to explore, there’s enough to fill a visit of weeks or even months without ever seeing the end. Prepare to cover a lot of ground: the meaning of Chicago is only found in movement, through its subways and archaic elevated tracks, and eyes raised to the sky.

Things to Do

The most visited part of Chicago is its large central area, which contains neighborhoods such as Downtown, River North, Streeterville, Old Town, the Gold Coast, Central Station, the South Loop, Printer’s Row, and Greek Town among others. Collectively, these neighborhoods contain many skyscrapers, attractions, and highly ranked institutions. But there are also many attractions to be found in the city’s other districts. Chicago consists of Downtown, the North Side, the South Side, and the West Side – each Side named according to its direction from Downtown. The Loop is the financial and cultural area located within Downtown. The North, South, and West Sides each contains numerous and varied neighborhoods. Chicagoans tend to identify strongly with their neighborhood, reflecting a real place of home and culture.

Source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Chicago

New York City, USA

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New York City is one of the global hubs of international finance, politics, communications, film, music, fashion, and culture. Alongside London it’s one of only two universally acknowledged to be “World Cities” – the most important and influential cities on Earth. It’s home to many world-class museums, art galleries, and theaters. Many of the world’s largest corporations have their headquarters here. The headquarters of the United Nations is in New York and most countries have a consulate here. This city’s influence on the globe, and all its inhabitants, is hard to overstate, as decisions made within its boundaries often have impacts and ramifications across the world.

Orientation

New York City, NY
New York City, NY

At the center and western edge of New York City is the borough of Manhattan, a long, narrow island nestled in a natural harbor. It is separated from The Bronx on the north east by the Harlem River (actually a tidal strait); from Queens and Brooklyn to the east and south by the East River (also a tidal strait); and from the State of New Jersey to the west and north by the Hudson River. Staten Island lies to the south west, across Upper New York Bay.

The term “the city” may refer either to New York City as a whole, or to the borough of Manhattan alone, depending on the context. The other boroughs, which are Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens, are sometimes referred to as “the outer boroughs.” The term “upstate” generally refers to any part of the State of New York north of the city limits of the Bronx, but not neighboring New Jersey or Connecticut.

Climate

New York City has a humid continental climate and experiences all four seasons, with hot and humid summers (Jun-Sep), cool and dry autumns (Sep-Dec), cold winters (Dec-Mar), and wet springs (Mar-Jun). New York can be prone to snowstorms and nor’easters (large storms similar to a tropical storm), which can dump as much as 2 feet (60cm) of snow in 24-48 hours. However, snow rarely lies more than a few days. Tropical storms can also hit New York City in the summer and early fall.

People

The diverse population runs the gamut from some of America’s wealthiest celebrities and socialites to homeless people. There are millions of immigrants living in the city. New York’s population has been diverse since the city’s founding by the Dutch. Successive waves of immigration from virtually every nation in the world make New York a giant social experiment in cross-cultural harmony.

Economy

New York City is home to 46 Fortune 500 companies. Its 2009 gross metropolitan product of $1.265 trillion was the largest of any American city and represented approximately 9% of the American economy. If it were a nation, the city would have the 16th-highest GDP in the world. New York’s constantly expanding economy is the main reason why millions have immigrated to the city, from all over the world and all over the country over the past 2 centuries of the city’s growth.

Source: http://wikitravel.org/en/New_York2

San Francisco, USA

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San Francisco Sky Line
San Francisco Sky Line

Although huge in terms of offerings, San Francisco is physically quite compact. It is located on a seven-by-seven mile (11 x 11km) square of land at the tip of a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific coast. It has a population of 812,000 which represents a small fraction of the entire Bay Area population of 7.1 million.

With a mild climate including cool, wet winters and dry summers, for the most part you can expect the high’s in the upper 50s, 60s or low 70s. It’s almost never warmer than 73, never colder than 50. The nights are chilly so carry a light jacket.