4 Reasons Toronto Is A Must-Visit For Game 5 Of The NBA Finals
By Stephanie Ogbogu
Tonight the Toronto Raptors take on the Golden State Warriors for Game 4 of the NBA Finals in the Bay, however, if you’re considering visiting Toronto for Game 5 of the series, you should know there’s a lot the city has to offer besides a chance opportunity to spot Drake.
The finals being hosted in TO is a huge win for the city which is known primarily for hockey. Not only does the finals bring a huge economic impact to Toronto, but it will also bring with it throngs of celebrities, fans, and long-awaited respect for a destination that’s actually one of most diverse in the world.
If you want to know what makes Toronto such a special place, we’ve come up with a list.
Toronto Has A Strong Sports Tradition
Sure, there’s hockey – tons of it, actually, especially at Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame, but basketball has held its own in Toronto for many years. The Toronto Raptors have been a franchise since 1995 with everyone from Steph Curry’s father, Dell Curry, to Vince Carter playing for the team. Scotiabank Arena – where they play – is Canada’s premier sports and entertainment venue and located on Bay Street in the South Core district of Downtown Toronto.
Celebrities Love Toronto
From Degrassi to Suits (or shall we say Drake to Meghan Markle), Toronto has long held its position as the Hollywood of the North (attractive tax credits from the province of Ontario haven’t hurt). Even Netflix is getting into the action with a recently created production hub in the city. Mark Wahlberg also owns a spot in Greater TO. You can find celebrities posting up at swanky spots like Brassaii, Sotto Sotto, Soho House, or the Cactus Club Cafe.
While there are a plethora of hotels around the city (and easy to get to from the arena), a few that stick out include:
· Fairmont Royal York: For this landmark birthday, the hotel will debut extensive renovations, including a massive makeover of its lobby and restaurant, designed by the Rockwell Group. The design aesthetic will incorporate lacquer finishes and leather and velvet textiles. There will also be noticeable theme of trains, given then property’s historic connection to Toronto’s Union Station. The original ceiling, pillars, and mosaic tile flooring will remain fully intact as these are certified historic elements in the lobby as per Heritage Toronto. The upgrades will debut June 2019.
· Bisha Hotel Toronto: Lenny Kravitz designed a floor here! Rising to 44 stories and designed by award-winning architects, Bisha Hotel & Residences is Toronto’s newest cultural hub and hotspot. At the center of it all yet unabashedly original, this property is situated in the true heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District.
· Hotel X Toronto: Features extraordinary waterfront and city skyline views, a 3-Level Rooftop SkyBar, 90,000 sq. ft. Athletic Centre and more. Hotel X Toronto is divided into three buildings: a 30-story Hotel Tower, 10XTO, the property’s sports and entertainment concept, and the historic Stanley Barracks.
Find additional hotels in Toronto here.
Food Food Food
There’s going to be plenty of people who might not actually have tickets to Game 5 but are still in town for all of the merriment. Check out some of TO’s best sports bars like Hoops Sports Bar & Grill, Rally Sports Bar & Smokehouse, or Drake’s Pick 6ix Sports. Looking for something with less commotion? There are tons of rooftops, food trucks, and brunch spots to pick from as well.
Additional Events in the City
Outside of the finals there will be tons of events going on in town including the Toronto Soul And Funk Festival, which is in its fourth year, the NXNE: North By Northeast Festival, which features gaming, innovation and hundreds of new and established musical artists at over a dozen venues across the city, and Luminato Festival, which transforms theatres, parks and public spaces across the city and creates a home for artists to play, share and create.