It was the best of times, it was the worst of…..wait a minute, what am I saying! It IS the best of times, right now, in 2018! My two favourites, Toronto and New York City, have signed a City-to-City partnership and Air Canada has joined in the mix to make travel easier for Big Smoke-Big Apple lovers like me.
Now, you may have already heard of this inaugural exchange between Toronto and New York City, implemented by Tourism Toronto and NYC & Company, but this is big news for us. Media advertising has been running across both city since October (so you might have seen a flash on the side of a bus). And this first-ever partnership for Toronto is a momentous occasion that we just have to tell you about, along with the special Air Canada fares for travel, available until February 15. 2018.
I’ve been to NYC many times, both for work and for pleasure, and it’s still one of my favourite haunts. I spend that much time in New York that I may need to start thinking about looking for an apartment to rent, just in case my work requires me to stay here for longer stays at a time. With all the traveling that I do, I may need to find one that is close to public transport that will allow me to get to the airport on time for any trips that I need to take. And so after a very convenient train ride from Union Station to Pearson International Airport via the UP (Union Pearson Express), a comfortable and quick Air Canada flight brings you to the City of Dreams in style.
Much like Cabbagetown to Chinatown to Corktown in Toronto, NYC is a city of neighbourhoods, from Harlem to Hell’s Kitchen to Hamilton Heights, which offer a diverse culture with traditions steeped in history. Both cities were founded by immigrants, and their fabric is richly woven into the restaurants, the people, the shopping and the celebrations. Of course we know NYC for some of it’s infamous landmarks – Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty – and Toronto for the CN Tower, Historic Distillery District – (each a must-see). Lesser known treasures include the Tenement Museum, where visitors can learn about new Americans who arrived in NYC after WWII, or the hidden cemetery at St. Michael’s at Yonge and St Clair that dates back to 1855, and where many former Torontonians are buried.
Of course, there are many other reasons why The 6ix and Empire City make obvious partners. For example, both cities boast an international financial and business reputation; both cities are known for amazing music and theatre (many productions move to Broadway from the Toronto Theatre District and back again); both cities are great for celebrity-sightings (the film industry has exploded in Toronto – and yes, Meghan Markle worked here for 8 years); both cities offer incredible shopping (my husband loves Louis Vuitton – go to 5th Avenue or Yorkville); and, of course; amazing sports teams and events (go Blue Jays!). A visit to Chelsea Market, with the fresh meats and produce, reminds of St Lawrence Market, whereas a visit to Greenwich Village will take you back in time to the sixties, like Kensington Market. Oh dear… I could write a novel but Dickens beat me to it!
Now, my first go-to when visiting a city for pleasure or business is the official tourism site, in this case: Tourism Toronto and NYC & Company. Not to be outdone, Air Canada boasts a great resource at enroute.aircanada.com, where one can find information on destinations, restaurants and places to visit all over the world. Of course, they provide up to 21 return flights a day from Toronto to LaGuardia and Newark airports, so it’s not surprising they’re a great resource to check out.
So if you plan to visit The City That Never Sleeps, or want to get to know Hogtown better, this is the time! These sister cities offer any visitor a unique and exciting experience, with diverse and breathtaking (CN Tower Walk; Top of the Rock) encounters. I love NYC. I love Toronto. So many things to do, so little time. I better go… enough writing the tale of these two cities, I’ve got to book my flights!
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