If I went to Toronto this coming weekend, what would I do?
I have two friends there, neither who I especially want to hangout with more than having a coffee or a beer.
There is nothing to do there.
There is a Chubs @ The Tubs Event at Spa XS Bathhouse on Sunday.
The Bond exhibition that was at the Barbican in London earlier this year is now at the TIFF Lightbox.
Tragically boring, gauche place.
For some reason people go into Toronto expecting it to be at all comparable to a London or NYC.
Of course it isn't. Not even close. It is still a thriving and cool city that has plenty to offer you for a weekend. Also plenty of online resources that can help you find more specifically what you are interested in doing.
Go to the Shoe Museum (assuming it's still there.)
When I went there without any friends for a conference, I ended up taking a Gray Line bus tour and just walking around some of the nicer-looking areas in my spare time. I found some restaurants that weren't half bad, and the ice cream there seemed to be far superior to that of the States. I don't think I would have liked spending more than a couple days there, though.
There seemed to be many weird people there, but it was probably just ethnocentric culture shock on my part.
This is a pretty good resource for what's happening. You might also want to check out TorontoLife for restaurant reviews.
You can request a TAP volunteer (book in advance of coming - see link) who will take you on a walking tour of a part of Toronto that interests you. There are gay TAP volunteers who can show you the gay areas or other areas you might be interested in.
JFC, Toronto's a great city. It's not NYC, but - here's a little secret, guys - NYC isn't NYC anymore. NYC hasn't been NYC since they turned the gay fetish clubs into expensive Eurodouche restaurants.
Good things to do in Toronto:
1) Eat. It has some of the best food in North America. Big strenghts are Indian and Chinese. For Indian, go to Gerrard East (you can take the Dundas/Gerrard streetcar). My favorite place there is Regency - delicious buffet. For Chinese, there are loads of places on Spadina - I like King's Noodle @ Spadina & Dundas.
2) Drink. There are really nice bars/pubs scattered around the city, and if you go up to random people and chat with them, they're usually friendly and responsive (although perhaps a bit reserved at first.) The gay scene on Church is a bit tired, although Woody's is fun and the Firkin pub at Church & Maitland is friendly and has decent food. For less gay-specific but also nice places, Queen West by Dufferin is great, as is the Danforth in east Toronto.
3) Shop. Toronto has some of the coolest stores in North America. Check out Queen West between, say, Spadina and Dufferin. Lots of nice boutiques.
4) Museums. Take a tour of the provincial parliament buildings (Queen's Park). The AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) has a great collection of Canadian painting. If you're not from Canada you've probably never seen any - make sure you check out the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson.
I think you will be bored on your own. It's... it's just a city. There's stuff to do but there's no atmosphere. But if you want to whore it up, there's as many options as anywhere else. Other than that, stay home.
Oh yeah, that reminds me...I did see some cool shopping opportunities while I was there. But I couldn't justify how much more expensive it was than home at the time.
Another thing - Canadian men are way more open and sexually adventurous than American guys.
Straight guys are more likely to play around and explore.
If you're feeling Christmas-y:
The annual "Cavalcade of Lights" tree lighting/concert/fireworks show is happening at Nathan Philip Square on Saturday (Nov. 17th) night. The fireworks are usually pretty impressive, given that they happen in the middle of a city.
The Yorkville area is also hosting its tree lighting and street fair the same night. Free concert by Matt Dusk, as well.
And Sunday is the Santa Claus parade, which is a tradition in the city and which goes through much of the downtown core.
Shopping is not bad but things are way overpriced. When I want a big(ger) ticket item, I go to the States to buy it.
Restaurants are not bad and where Toronto really excels when it comes to the restaurant scene is in the mid-range. As someone above pointed out, the diversity of ethnic eateries is pretty remarkable. Top restaurants (at least, what passes for them) are not comparable to their equivalents in New York, London, and other culinary capitals. They tend to be way overpriced and too sceney, ie the douchebag index dwarfs the quality of actual food.
Culturally... well, you're on your own there, OP.
Spoken like a true Torontonian, r18 - disparaging your city :-)
I don't think the shopping in Toronto is relatively all that expensive (although I live in NYC, so that could skew my perspective a bit.)
The one thing that does put Toronto at a disadvantage is the high sales tax (HST). However, you can still find some good deals - just have to look around. There are lots of quality independent stores, and they often have sales or are amenable to discounts. I got a very nice Penguin sweater for $40 at Body Blue on the Danforth a few months ago :-)
I'd never buy electronics in Canada, though, if I had the option of buying them in the US. That much is true.
Oh - and OP, if you want to go shopping at The Bay (Canada's main department store), ask the clerk for a discount coupon for foreign visitors. You can get 10-15% off or something like that on all your purchases. It's a little discount they have that most visitors don't know about. You'll have to show your passport or driver's license for it.
Canada Goose jackets!
Would I have to leave Rosedale?
Great news, OP! Toronto's famous Albino Squirrel has completed its convalescence and can be viewed at Trinty Bellwoods park!