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The 7 Wonders of Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / March 4, 2016

cn towerToronto has often been mentioned in the conversation about Wonders of the World thanks to the CN Tower, but what about in a local context? Beyond our most famous landmark, this city boasts numerous other natural and technological wonders, from feats of engineering to ancient glacial shorelines.

These are my picks for the 7 Wonders of Toronto.

CN Tower
The CN Tower has been voted one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World, so it's little surprise that it makes a Toronto-specific list. It's the tallest free-standing structure in the Western hemisphere and the third tallest in the world. The city is also unrecognizable without it.

Scarborough BluffsScarborough Bluffs
Part of the glacial Lake Iroquois shoreline, the Scarborough bluffs extend 90 metres at their highest point across a 15 kilometre span. Few people know this, but the current day Toronto Islands were formed by sediment eroding from the Bluffs that formed a peninsula that was eventually flooded into an island.

Prince Edward ViaductPrince Edward Viaduct
Surely the most beautiful bridge in Toronto, the Bloor Viaduct was a feat of engineering in the early 20th century when it was built to link the east and west sides of the city together. The forward-thinking design meant that Toronto was ready for a subway in 1918, even if it didn't arrive at the bridge until 1966.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan MandirBAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Built out of thousands of pieces of hand-carved Italian carrara marble in addition to Turkish limestone and Indian pink stone, the Toronto BAPS temple is a stunning example of traditional Hindu architectural principles. It's the type of building that inspires wonder and awe.

Leslie Street SpitLeslie Street Spit
I suspect that people who haven't live in Toronto for very long tend to forget that the Leslie Street spit was built out of various forms of landfill in the 1970s. For a place that started out as a glorified garbage dump, it is now one of the city's most alluring natural environments, complete with over 300 different bird species.

Casa LomaCasa Loma
It's impossible to wander by the Gothic Revival castle hovering above Davenport Road without wondering about how and why it was built. One of architect E.J. Lennox's masterpieces in Toronto (along with Old City Hall), Casa Loma is only slightly older than a century, but it seems like something out of a fairytale. Alas, the ending wasn't happy for Sir Henry Pellatt.

SkyDomeSkyDome (Rogers Centre)
When the SkyDome was unveiled in June of 1989, it was hailed as the "8th Wonder of the World" -- and for good reason. No sports stadium came close to the technological sophistication of a place with a moving roof, a hotel overlooking the field, and a JumboTron screen that was three times bigger than any other at the time. Take a look at the roof opening or closing and pretend you're not impressed.

What makes your list of Toronto wonders? Let us know in the comments.

Photos (in order) by Tom Ryaboi, syncros in the blogTO Flickr pool, Gary Baker, Steve Chui, Aida DaSilva, Waterfront Toronto, and Heather G.

Other Cities: Montreal