Downtown Toronto Hotels

Toronto downtown hotels are easy to find. There is one to suit every traveler’s needs.

The Toronto downtown waterfront, for example, features several hotels where anyone can enjoy a fabulous view of lake Ontario. Yorkville, the chic, sophisticated neighborhood of Toronto, replete with museums, galleries and boutiques, offers some excellent accommodation, too.

Sports enthusiasts should head to the hotel attached to the Skydome stadium, offering many views of the stadium. This Toronto downtown hotel attracts businesspeople, vacationers and sports fans alike.

Just a short walk away from the Hummingbird Center for the Performing Arts and Toronto’s famous St. Lawrence market are some decent and affordable hotel rooms. The kind that would catch the fancy of extravagant holiday-makers is also available.

If you are a business traveler looking for a Toronto downtown hotel in the heart of the financial district, you will find what you need. There are refreshing spaces for people to relax in, surrounded by waterfalls, gardens and terraces.

Toronto downtown hotels are sumptuous and comfortable. Hotels in downtown Toronto feature a wide variety of facilities and services, from spas to golf packages, restaurants, lounges, shops, business centers and fitness centers. The moment you step into a Toronto downtown hotel you enter a superb world of pleasure where commitment to service and personal attention surpass all expectations – so say many reviews of downtown Toronto hotels posted online by travelers. Toronto downtown hotels pamper their guests with conveniences that know no parallel. They make travel easy in Toronto.

Toronto downtown hotels make access to public transportation such as Toronto Transit Commission and the GO Transit easy. When staying at a Toronto downtown hotel, conveniences are only a phone call away. For instance, if you need your laundry done, it is possible. Toronto downtown hotels feature overnight laundry services.

Toronto is one of the largest, most diverse cities in the world. It is also one of the safest cities in the world. In this large metropolis, there is no dearth of hotels in the downtown area. Toronto downtown hotels have also earned a reputation for being among the most exclusive and cost-effective in all of North America. With festivals and events happening round the year, Toronto downtown hotels provide their guests with top-notch accommodation and services.

A Quick Guide to Downtown Los Angeles

Many people pick their vacation spots based on their ability to experience something different. After all, what’s the point of going if you’re just going to see the same old things you see every day? If this need for variety describes you, if you’re one of the people who want new experiences, a vacation in Los Angeles will suit you just fine.

Los Angeles is a very large, cosmopolitan American city. It’s a great place to visit because it offers its tourists an incredibly wide array of things to see and do. One of the city’s highlights for people who crave something different is its delightful melange of diverse ethnic groups and cultures. Although their influences can be seen throughout Los Angeles, several of these different cultures are centered or showcased in or around the Downtown district. But even if the multicultural nature of Los Angeles doesn’t really appeal, plenty of other Downtown attractions are available, and some of them will most certainly draw your attention. Downtown Los Angeles, offering something different in every direction, is definitely worth a visit.

No matter where your hotel is located, Downtown Los Angeles is easy to get to. It’s the central hub for transportation throughout the city, and freeways, commuter trains, subways, light rail and buses can all take you there. Downtown isn’t all that large, so whether you drive or take public transportation, once you get there you can take a DASH shuttle or set out on foot for your ultimate destination.

Historic Olvera Street, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Grand Central Market, the Disney Concert Hall, the Japanese-American National Museum, several different ethnic enclaves and stunning American and international architecture are just a few of Downtown’s tourist highlights. Olvera Street is in the oldest part of Los Angeles and it forms part of the Downtown area’s El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. it’s the perfect place to start if you’re looking for Southern California history or the quaintness of an old-style Mexican marketplace. A living museum lined with 27 historic buildings, Olvera Street also hosts a variety of ethnic celebrations that include Mexican-style music and dancing.

A cultural experience of another type, the permanent collections and exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) provide a remarkably varied glimpse into post-1940 art in all media. It’s an invaluable cultural resource that Downtown is rightfully proud of. Walk through it and you’ll soon see why.

Grand Central Market is located on Broadway in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, within easy walking distance of several other area attractions. Full of brisk and bustling activity, it offers opportunities for people-watching in addition to fresh and already-prepared local and international foods. It’s a great place to take a break from the concrete jungle, and while you’re at it, have a cooling drink or a tasty bite to eat.

The Disney Concert Hall is a striking piece of functional architecture designed by Frank Gehry, an architect acclaimed for his talents throughout the world. The home of the equally-renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic, Disney’s acoustics appropriately are among the best in the world. Beautiful music, beautiful building. Need we say more?

Chronicling 130 years of Japanese-American history and culture, the Japanese-American National Museum provides a fascinating look into the interplay of Asian and American cultures. Its collections include a variety of paintings by Japanese-American artists, but the museum’s perspective on the World War II internment camps is particularly poignant.

Three ethnic districts are located in Downtown Los Angeles: a Mexican enclave, including the already-mentioned Olvera Street; Little Tokyo, home of the Japanese-American National Museum as well as a variety of Japanese shops and restaurants; and Chinatown, primarily centered around North Broadway. Little Tokyo, located near the Los Angeles Civic Center, is one of only three “official” Japantowns in the United States. The cultural focal point for Japanese-Americans in Southern California, this almost unique district is well worth a visit.

Many American cities have Chinatowns, but the Chinese community in Los Angeles, with its wide, busy main street, is somewhat different than the usual warren of narrow streets and lanes found in many cities. Yes, this Chinatown features the typical small shops and Chinese restaurants, but it is most interesting for its open-air marketplace where just about everything for sale is open to haggling.

Variety is the rule of thumb with Downtown Los Angeles dining opportunities, too. Restaurants in every price range, from hot dog stands to fine dining, offer cuisine as varied as the city itself. From early breakfasts to get you started through tasty late night snacks to nosh on, if you’re hungry one of Downtown’s caf├ęs, pubs or restaurants can help you. Downtown also offers taverns, lounges and bars galore, and you may want to take advantage, because many of them offer some pretty fine live entertainment. And if you need a place to stay, Downtown hotels range from the hip and trendy to those offering more than a touch of classic elegance. They cater primarily to business travelers, but vacationers can also take advantage of their prime locations in the city center.

Downtown, much like the entire city, has a number of faces. If you’re looking for something different, downtown Los Angeles has it. There’s enough variety to satisfy even the most demanding traveler.

Stepping Up Downtown Revitalization

The Need to Step Up Downtown Revitalization

An old saying goes something like this: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This saying applies to the places we live. While some people may love the South because of their mild winters, others may despise their humid summers. Some people may love to live downtown because of the great night life, while others would prefer a place away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Some qualities, however, remain a constant in finding a place to live. Everyone wants a safe neighborhood, good neighbors, and proximity to schools and stores. Traditionally, all of these could be found in the downtown areas of our American cities. Unfortunately today, many downtowners find themselves living in substandard housing, in areas of the city that are obviously falling apart socially, economically and physically.

Imagine how it would be to wake up every morning to the smell of dog urine, feeling a cold wind coming in from the broken glass of your window. You know that there isn’t much for breakfast, so you decide to stay in bed. Somehow, you think, maybe if you go back to sleep for a while, things will be better when you wake up.

Or, imagine that you awake one morning to the smell of pancakes cooking and coffee brewing in the kitchen. As you get out of bed, your new bedroom carpet greets your feet.

Is it any wonder that one of these scenarios is more likely to produce a person that will do well in school, find a good job, and be a productive citizen?

Studies have shown that the environment in which a person lives can have a positive or negative impact on that person’s behavior. For example, a person living in an area that is well cared for will be more motivated to do his or her part to take care of the area. A person who lives in an area that is falling apart will have less motivation to take care of the area, and could actually contribute to the area’s degradation.

Go into almost any modern suburb, and it won’t be long before you see construction workers with their hard hats and leather gloves, building a new strip mall or Wal-Mart. At the same time, there is another store closing its doors downtown and moving out, creating yet another vacant building in the middle of the city. This sounds crazy, until you stop and look at the bottom line. The stores are going to go where the people are, and the people are also leaving downtown for the suburbs. Why would someone want to live downtown, when it is falling apart and they can have a bigger house with a bigger yard in the suburbs?

Until lately, the government hasn’t stepped in to do anything about this downtown decay. In fact, states often adopt policies that encourage suburban sprawl, disinvestment in downtowns, and disparities. Few regions in the United States have incorporated government organizations for the strategic planning of cities. The government, like the person in the first example above, seems to be pulling the sheets over its head and hoping that all the problems will just go away by themselves.

Can we blame the government for what has happened over the last 40 years to our downtowns? Elected officials only hold their positions for a few years at a time, and investing big money in downtown revitalization may not produce the instant economic gains that are required to earn reelection. As stated by Beth Mattson-Teig in her article, Financing Urban Revitalization,

“Redevelopment is much more costly than building on open suburban acreage. Additional capital is required to assemble land, raze or renovate existing structures, and clean up any environmental contamination. As a result, revitalization projects typically involve multifaceted layering of bank and commercial mortgage financing, public grants or low interest loans, tax abatements, private equity, tax credits, and other forms of subordinated debt.” (Urban Land, March 2002)

Even in a rough economy, some are seeing advantages of returning downtown. Retailers, who during the 90’s were building stores rapidly without much consideration for location, are now becoming selective. The downtown areas are great for retailers, with relatively low rent for space and a good amount of potential buyers. Another idea that is working is that of renovating old warehouses and other buildings, creating multi-use structures. There can be living quarters in the upper levels (apartments and condominiums), and commercial space on the first floor. This idea faces some opposition because many of the current two-dimensional zoning laws are not complex enough to handle multi-use buildings.

Another ray of hope for downtowns comes in the form of its residents, both people and businesses. These businesses have a strong interest in keeping the downtown alive, because they need a quality city in order to attract quality workers. Some civic groups have had a lot of success, assisting in the development of many key downtown projects or investing in the public school systems. Those interested in helping their downtown areas improve should become involved in these organizations or in local government.

Downtowns are precious links to the history of cities, and at one time they were the place to be. Although downtowns have suffered, many cities are rediscovering the benefits of downtown revitalization. With increasing public awareness of the problems affecting downtowns, local and state governments are more likely to invest public money in much needed urban renewal projects. Hopefully, someday, we will be singing the old familiar tune:

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely

You can always go – downtown

When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry

Seems to help, I know – downtown

Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city

Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty

How can you lose?

The lights are much brighter there

You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares

So go downtown, things will be great when you’re

Downtown – no finer place, for sure

Downtown – everything’s waiting for you.

Downtown, by Petula Clark