by Editor Miro Susta
I invite you to visit the Canadian metropolis Toronto, with a short side-jump to Rocky Mountains, Vancouver and Montreal.
The city is known as the most multicultural city in the world - and believe me it is very proud of it. Walking through Toronto means travelling half the world.
When the weather is fine, Toronto is a blast: a vibrant, big-time city abuzz with activity. Some of the world's finest restaurants are found here, alongside happening bars and clubs and eclectic festivals.
Yes, winter in Toronto can be a real burden. On the congested highways and outdated on ground public transportation, it gets messy.
But the inhabitants of Toronto have patience, they can wait for the gloriously temperate spring, warm summer and colourful autumn days, and can surely enjoy a great time during all seasons.
It's all right, Toronto is a big city with many skyscrapers, economic & business centre and busy highways - it's not easy to become a longing destination, especially not in a country like Canada, where you compete with the overwhelming nature of the Rocky Mountains with wilderness, bears, lakes and some other city rivals like the Francophile, art-loving Montreal and the functional jacket-wearer paradise of Vancouver.
But the reputation that the Toronto is somehow just a big city is completely unjustified. That the city is not so easy to label and promote is only because Toronto is too diverse.
Toronto is a patchwork of architectural styles, nationalities, languages and cultures so diverse that a long quarter-to-quarter walk gives the feeling of travelling from one country to another and from continent to continent: from Japan, Korea, China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Eritrea, Portugal, Italy to Poland.
About half of the 3 million inhabitants were not born in Canada, more than 140 languages and dialects are spoken in Toronto.
And even those who have been around for a generation or two like to cultivate their roots. A proud Italian and at the same time a proud Canadian - in the country that so cultivates its immigration culture, this is not seen as a lack of integration, but as enrichment.
When it comes to comparing this diverse city, New York is the best place. However, everything is a few numbers smaller and more relaxed - like a cleaner and friendlier miniature version.
The tourists are quickly freed from the classic sights and attractions: one can admire the view from the 553 meter high CN tower, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, the famous Hockey Hall of Fame, visit the Casa Loma Villa.
Or take a walk through the historic Black Creek Village or enjoy a sandwich with Peameal Bacon in the historic St. Lawrence Market Hall.
But to get really close to Toronto, don't go through the highlights of the guide, just stroll.
At Toronto Explorations it is advisable to try the excellent underground network by moving from place to place, it's not only cheap, but also very reliable and fast.
On Queen Street West, one can walk six kilometres directly west from the office towers in the city centre, passing several large shopping malls, the street leads into the heart of the hipster scene, past the long queues in front of an ice cream parlour selling black ice cream dyed with coal.
One can find here many small shops with designer clothing, vintage furniture and stationery, the trendy Drake Hotel, Tibetan restaurants and rock'n'roll bars.
Magazine Vogue called West Queen West the "third best quarter in the world" in 2014 after Shimokitazawa in Tokyo and Södermalm in Stockholm.
At the end of Queen Street West, on Roncesvalles Avenue, the Polish quarter begins, enriched by green smoothie’s drinkers and young families moving into the pretty terraced houses with their front gardens.
A few blocks further north, Bloor Street West leads past rather depressing strip clubs to the east, first into the colourful Korean city, then along the British university campus to the shop windows of luxury fashion chains.
Walk through Chinatown on Spadina Avenue, next door at Kensington Market one can still feel the spirit of the old marijuana-scented hippie neighbourhood.
In Little Portugal, every day in summer a few older men with sliding caps and suspenders sit next to each other on a small wall, watching passers-by and chatting in their mother tongue.
What it is like to live internationally in Toronto - mumbled as "Turonno" by its inhabitants - is also evident in such encounters: While Italian customer is waiting in a Chinese laundromat in Koreatown for the jeans that he has stained with Vietnamese Pho while eating to get the washed, he meet another customer fellow, an Indian.
And although both of them speak English with a clear accent in their respective home countries, the typical small talk question of where you actually come from only falls after five to ten minutes of chatting.
After all, it's much more interesting to be here than where you were. That's Toronto.
Veni, vidi, vici, the most multicultural city in the world.
including shipping and taxes