Welcome to Toronto ©Solange Hando
With a population 4½ times larger than Ottawa's, Ontario's capital almost feels like a dream, a true cosmopolitan city where all 'new Canadians' are welcome, regardless of origin, religion or culture.
It's Canada at its best, open, tolerant and caring under the guidance of its young liberal PM Justin Trudeau. The New Toronto City Hall (above) reflects success.
CN Tower and Harbourfront ©Solange Hando
Rising to 553 metres above lake Ontario, the communication tower has been the city's icon for over 40 years. In less than a minute, elevators whizz you up to the main observation deck (346 metres) with a glass floor section, outdoor terrace and indoor refreshments.
If you really love heights, take the next lift and enjoy an even more dizzying panorama from 447 metres above the city and the white dome of the Roger's stadium. In season, adrenaline seekers can try the 'hanging over the edge' experience.
Toronto Islands on Lake Ontario ©Solange Hando
The CN tower also guarantees one of the best bird eye's views of the Toronto islands, 15 altogether interconnected by bridges or pathways across 5 km.
Just 13 minutes from downtown, it's a lovely escape from the bustling streets with nature trails and leisure activities, including boating and swimming. Spend a whole day if you can or book a tour from the harbourfront, worth it for views of the city's skyline on one side and the vast expanse of lake on the other.
Toronto from the CN Tower ©Solange Hando
On the north bank of Lake Ontario, Canada's largest city is hemmed in by ravines on the land side and an urban forest of 10 million trees. The economy is booming and developments are ongoing.
This is a modern provincial capital with vibrant universities, thriving businesses and myriad tourist attractions from stunning museums and its world famous aquarium to vast shopping malls or the alleyways of China town and markets brimming with local produce.
Quaint and Stylish in Toronto ©Solange Hando
Wander around and you may well come across an old building or two tucked among the tower blocks or a quiet tree-lined district and brightly-coloured houses which seem to belong to another age.
Look out for Cabbage Town, originally an Irish working class settlement, now an attractive place with restored houses, or the Kensington area with colourful ethnic lanes and gentrified houses just steps away. Set on a grid pattern, the city is easy to explore, pick up a map and you can't get lost.
Cherry Blossom in Toronto ©Solange Hando
Toronto may have extremes of temperatures but it is nevertheless on the same latitude as the French Riviera and from spring blossom and tulips through to autumn, the many parks and gardens are simply delightful.