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toronto or chicago in october

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toronto or chicago in october


i have three days holidays left at the beginning of oct and can't make up my mind weather to go to chicago or toronto. i like jazz, nice food, nice architecture, water, theatre, my husband likes galleries and of course shopping. has anyone been to both and which do you prefer

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1. Re: toronto or chicago in october

Wow, that's a tough one, Angels. So subjective!

I'd say that Toronto is a "hipper" town, with more areas to walk around and see cool shops, restaurants and bars. There is a very lively local music scene - - - there's a multitude of choices seven days a week. Chicago has a reputation for music as well, but in my experience the music bars are relatively few and far between and require taxi rides to stand-alone venues (but maybe I was missing something when I've visited). And unless you are crazed for deep dish pizza, I wouldn't say the restaurants compare, broadly speaking, to what's on offer in Toronto.

Chicago has much more impressive architecture - - - it is justifiably famous for that. All in all, it is probably a more visually arresting city. There is a river architecture tour you can do that is fantastic (not sure how late into the season it runs). Chicago also has the legendary "Magnificent Mile", which is a lengthy downtown shopping strip. Nothing really like that in Toronto, although there are obviously areas to shop.

Both cities are on the water. They've exploited that in different ways. To me, Toronto's Beach neighbourhood and the Toronto Islands are nifty spots that maybe don't have counterparts in Chicago.

As for art, Toronto's "Art Gallery of Ontario" recently went through a much-praised major renovation. Still, the collection itself is B level at best, although the museum often hosts excellent travelling exhibits. Generally, I've always thought that for a city its size, Toronto is poorly served in the museum department. I'm not too familiar with the Chicago museum scene, but I'd have to guess that it has more oomph than Toronto's. Most large cities do.

I'm sure many others will weigh in on this. For my tastes, I think Toronto would be the better overall experience (and I promise I'm not saying that only because I'm a local!). But both places are terrific, and you won't go wrong with either.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: toronto or chicago in october

On the subject of art galleries/museums ...

Chicago's Art Institute is one of the best in the world. I'm hoping to find time to return there myself this summer.

Toronto's AGO -- yeah, it's a B-level venue - but the recently added Ken Thompson collection is incredible.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: toronto or chicago in october

Hi Angelsrule,

Although not on your list... I can think of two possibilities that the Toronto area has to offer at the beginning of October (that Chicago cannot offer).

1 - Oktoberfest... Kitchener-Waterloo (about 1 Hour West of Toronto) is home the largest Oktoberfest Celebration outside of Germany... the festivities run about 10 days in early October, ending with a HUGE Oktoberfest Parade on Thanksgiving Weekend (2nd Weekend in October).

2 - Leaf Peeping - Early October is PRIME season to see the leaves change in Ontario. Even just a short drive outside the city will reveal an assortment of colours (Kitchener-Waterloo region again is ideal).



Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: toronto or chicago in october

50 years ago there'd have been no contest... Chicago was a major city while Toronto was still a more of a provincial backwater. And I think that has a lot to do with why Toronto's museums don't always have the same depth as ones you'll see elsewhere. With three days, though, I'm sure both cities can keep you perfectly busy and satisfied.

On a practical note: since it looks like you're combining this with a trip to Florida, you may find it much more expensive to fly across the border than to get a domestic flight to Chicago. One cheaper option might be to fly into Buffalo instead of Toronto, which would put you close to Niagara Falls. But three days is a little long for the Niagara area, while it's a little short to fit in both Niagara and Toronto.

Caledon, Canada
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5. Re: toronto or chicago in october

I would say Chicago if you're a fan of nice architecture and art, Both Toronto and Chicago are massive cities it would be hard to see and do everything in just 3 days.

Toronto, Ontario
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6. Re: toronto or chicago in october

I say send the hubby to Chicago, and you come here; best of both worlds...

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7. Re: toronto or chicago in october

I agree with Kilph. Chicago is great for architecture and is a beautiful city. The only thing I found with Chicago was that it did not seem very cosmopolitan to me. I mean that in the way the city "feels", not in the museums etc. It is more of a large midwestern American city. Toronto has more of an international flavor, but the architecture is not as great.

8. Re: toronto or chicago in october

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