Kid-Friendly Hotel in the Heart of Downtown Toronto
High-end boutiques, upscale restaurants, and world-class museums line the streets near Eaton Chelsea, located in the heart of downtown Toronto. With the hotel as your home base, you can walk to the Toronto Eaton Centre, a glass-enclosed shopping center with more than 230 retailers, then head over to see the Art Gallery of Ontario, redesigned by Frank Gehry. Flash your hotel keycard to get discounted entrance to the gallery and a number of other local attractions, including The Second City and Casa Loma.
Kids can enjoy the hotel’s indoor pool with a 130-foot corkscrew water slide, plus a teen lounge with video games, computers, and a ping-pong table. There’s even an all-day childcare service for kids aged 5–12 (extra fees) that includes games, activities, and meals. The hotel has a few spots for grownups as well: there’s an adults-only indoor pool area with panoramic views of downtown and an outdoor sun deck that’s perfect for summer days. Located right next door in a historic brick building is Elmwood Spa, where you can get a facial, massage, or detox body wrap, or simply relax in the swimming pool and whirlpool.
Some guest rooms have city views, and all feature pillow-top mattresses, modern furnishings, and free WiFi. In the lobby, four restaurants serve a wide selection of local and international cuisine. Head to Bb33 Bistro & Brasserie for charbroiled Alberta steaks and housemade dungeness crab cakes, or stop by Monarchs Pub for contemporary pub food and live music.
Toronto, Ontario: Scenic Trails, Boutique Shopping, and the Hockey Hall of Fame
Toronto is known as a wonderful walking city, with a sprawling network of eclectic neighborhoods and miles of waterside parkland. Set on the shores of Lake Ontario, the city’s scenic hiking and walking trails wind along the harbor front. From there, a northerly stroll takes you to the Fashion District, where warehouses and old factories that sat empty for years now house upscale restaurants, galleries, and cutting-edge boutiques. A bit farther north lies Kensington Market, a bohemian village rife with vintage shops and organic-food markets.
Toronto may be home to Canada’s best collection of museums. Hockey is a national pastime, so it makes sense that the Hockey Hall of Fame is here. Its interactive Pepsi Shut Out exhibit challenges goaltender wannabes to stop a slap shot against a virtual Wayne Gretzky. The Hall of Fame’s centerpiece is the hallowed Esso Great Hall, home to the Stanley Cup and portraits of all 366 inductees. Science buffs can stop at the Ontario Science Centre, where you can watch an IMAX film, delve into space at the planetarium, or touch a plasma ball at the Science Arcade.
The nearby Art Gallery of Ontario exhibits an astounding collection of work from Canadian artists and European masters in a Frank Gehry–designed building that centers on a circular floating staircase. Toronto is also known as a city of gardens, and you’ll find one of its best, the Toronto Music Garden, stretched out along the waterfront. Designed in part by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Music Garden translates the music of Bach through beautiful landscaped installations, including a winding river and giant grass steps.
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