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Toronto the Good

One of the most difficult aspects of writing about travel is not being able to travel anywhere for nearly two years. It did, however, give me a chance to reflect on some great destinations I have visited, as well as some wonderful and sometimes humorous experiences I have faced.

I have always wanted to do an in-depth overview of the huge metropolis southeast of us, and decided this was the time to do it. I even pitched the idea of doing a show on Toronto for my PhotosNtravel television show, and the producers loved it. So, camera in hand, help from a few friends, off I went, all the way to Cherry Beach at the Port of Toronto.

A walk along Cherry Beach and the Port of Toronto, where you can almost reach out and touch the Toronto Islands, is a great place to reflect. In fact, just around the corner, at the end of Polson Street, is an amazing place to see the skyline of the city.

One thing North America’s fourth largest city has, is a number of quaint, hidden neighbourhoods and gems. We all know what the CN tower looks like, and many have been to the Rogers Centre and High Park, but how many of you have actually walked past the Wellesley Cottages.

Located in the north end of upscale Cabbagetown, the Wellesley Cottages were built on a small, well-hidden lane in 1886. By the way, the area of Cabbagetown got its name from produce wagons that used to park there on Saturdays and Sundays. They found that cabbage were the biggest sellers, and the name stuck.

Also located in Cabbagetown is the Riverdale Farm, a working farm with a craft market that attracts locals, tourists and schoolchildren. This area was the Toronto Zoo from 1894 until 1974.

Have you ever wondered where Rick Mercer does his rants, when he walks along endless buildings covered in graffiti? The place is called graffiti alley, and is also known as Rush Lane. This area has long attracted the work of graffiti artists. When a group called Style In Progress began hosting its legal 24-hour graffiti sessions along the nearly one-kilometre stretch, the area took on a life of its own.

One of my favourite neighbourhoods is Kensington Market. It is a distinctive, older multicultural neighbourhood in Downtown Toronto, and one of the city's most well-known. In November 2006, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

The area was once known as ‘the Jewish Market’, and most of the shops were owned by Eastern European immigrants. After the Second World War, most of the Jewish population moved to neighbourhoods north, opening the area to immigrants from other countries.

If you head downtown into the financial district, you will come across an underground network of tunnels, known as the path. These 30 kilometres of pedestrian walkways, are all joined and filled with shops and restaurants. For the hockey lovers there is the Hockey Hall of Fame, located in the old Bank of Montreal building at the corner of Yonge and Front Streets (accessible through Brookfield Place).

Many people, who visit Toronto regularly, are familiar with the triangular building where Front Street splits into Front and Wellington Streets. Most people refer to the structure as the Flatiron building, but it is officially known as the Gooderham building. It is an historic Office Building completed in 1892, which served as the home office for the Gooderham