It was one of the first things I asked when I arrived in Toronto: what is the origin of the name ‘Toronto’? A quick Google search revealed that the name Toronto, a derivative of the word ‘tkaronto’, was first used by the Iroquois (a tribe that used to inhabit the area before the first Westerners arrived) and roughly means ‘forest in the water’. In the following days, as I walked around the streets of downtown Toronto, I couldn’t help but think of that meaning and how it applies to modern-day Toronto. Gone are the forests in the water. In its place, a new forest had risen – a forest of glass and steel! The Toronto skyscrapers are certainly impressive and I had a great time admiring them on a stroll around downtown Toronto.

luxury experiences in toronto
Toronto skyline

Architecture stroll in downtown Toronto

A stroll around downtown Toronto, with its shiny skyscrapers, is a dizzying experience. I found myself straining my neck on many occasions just to catch a glimpse of the tops of these massive buildings that seemed to touch the clouds. I’m a big fan of architecture so it was a great joy for me to wander aimlessly around the downtown area and admire the huge glassy surfaces, interspersed with monumental buildings. The fact that the tallest buildings are all concentrated within a relatively small area reinforced the image of a forest in my mind. I knew I’d reached the edges of the downtown area as soon as the skyscrapers stopped! Join me on a little architecture tour around downtown Toronto!

The reflections in the glass surfaces – like the clouds in this building – were the first things I noticed
And I kept finding more stunning reflections!

The Bank of Montreal building at First Canada Place – Toronto’s tallest building
Toronto’s iconic CN Tower looms over the city like a mighty beacon
Shiny new skyscrapers stand side by side with their older brothers
The grand dame in Toronto – the Flatiron Building – with its modern-day guards!
Close-up of the Flatiron Building.
The rear of the Flatiron Building is as intriguing as its front

As the sun set, the lights came on and I knew I had to go to one place for a phenomenal view of this forest of glass and steel…
CN Tower at night.

… and I wasn’t disappointed! The night views of Toronto from atop the CN Tower were truly phenomenal!

Toronto’s bright lights seen from the top of the CN Tower

Note: My trip to Toronto was a collaboration between iambassador, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Tourism Toronto and Shangri-La Hotel Toronto.

12 Responses

  • […] Needless to say, I truly enjoyed my stay at the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto and I was sad to leave when the time came. As I stepped into the car, I looked back at the cheery faces and smiled. I realised that I’d found my ‘Shangri-La’….. in the heart of downtown Toronto. […]

  • Awesome pics! I love shiny the glass buildings and the back of the flat iron building is pretty cool too. Can’t wait to get there and see it all for myself now! Thanks 🙂

  • lovely article… the idea of ‘the forest of glass’ .and the beautiful pics!

  • Wow, thank you Lesley for the extra info on the Roy Thomson Hall! I heard that the main screenings of the TIFF takes place there. When I was there, they’d just lit the Christmas Tree in the square fronting the Hall. Loved the idea of getting everyone to dance or jump around to generate the power to light the tree. Very cool!
    Truly impressed by the buildings in Toronto and it was fun walking around looking for cool reflections. 🙂


  • Super photography! I’m so glad to see one of my favorite buildings appear in #5 in front of the CN Tower. The sloping basket-like building is Roy Thomson Hall (1982), designed by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson. Inspired by visits to Japan and by North American native cultures, Erickson designed the concert venue as a basket-like container.

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