The New York of Canada

Downtown Toronto

Well it was a rather bumpy trip, but here I am in Toronto, the largest city in Canada and the fifth largest in North America after Mexico City, New York, LA and Chicago.

It’s a true international city, with more than 130 languages and dialects spoken here by more than 200 different ethnic groups. Half the population was born outside Canada. There are five Chinatowns, two Little Italies, Little India, Greektown, Koreatown, and many others.

My trip began in Boston this morning at six a.m. when I went to Logan Airport and took a sweaty palms flight to Philadelphia. Just after the plane took off it seemed as if it was grabbed by a giant gorilla and shaken about like a piece of Samsonite luggage. Once we reached our cruising altitude, things went a lot smoother, but when we began our descent the turbulence began again and I wondered if the plane might come apart at the seams.

Fortunately, I was able to land the plane safely by keeping a firm grip on my arm rests. After a three-hour delay we finally flew off to Canada without further difficulty.

Nothing smooths the rough edges off a difficult trip like checking into a luxury hotel, and Toronto’s Delta Chelsea fits the bill admirably. Located right in the bustle of downtown, this place has everything a weary traveler needs.

After checking in and cleaning up and perambulating a bit on the busy streets, I enjoyed a magnificent dinner with Public Relations Manager Tracy Ford at Bb33, one of the restaurants at the hotel..

As I’m sure you know, Toronto was chosen as the number one family travel destination by the prestigious international website, and the Delta Chelsea is an ideal hotel for families. They have a Family Fun Centre on the second floor with a pool, a teen center and an indoor water slide. They even have Camp Chelsea, a kind of year-round summer camp for kids, where they’ll keep your kids entertained while you enjoy the cultural attractions of the city.

Delta has 44 hotels and resort across Canada, and the Delta Chelsea is the flagship.

Tomorrow we’re off on a walking tour of the city followed by lunch at the Carousel Bakery, where I’m going to try something called a pea-meal bacon sandwich. Then it’s off to the Royal Ontario Museum and the CN Tower. Then there’s an all-night arts festival called Nuit Blanche, an idea imported from Paris, France, where the whole city is transformed into a giant art museum.