Situated just a couple of minutes walk from the hotel the ROM is the largest museum in Canada, housing a vast, diverse collection of world culture and natural history. Notable amongst these are the museums impressive collection of dinosaur fossils, aboriginal cultural artefacts, minerals and gems and a biodiversity gallery with specimens of a number of endangered and recently extinct species. The entrance to the museum is hard to miss due to its recent (controversial) modern makeover.
The AGO has an extensive collection of art from around the world, spanning multiple centuries and continents. Unique aspects of the gallery include the largest collection of Canadian art in the world, with a particularly impressive assortment of landscape paintings from the famous "Group of Seven", as well as the world's largest collection of Henry Moore sculptures and a whole floor dedicated to model ships. Admission to the permanent collection is free every Wednesday from 6 - 9pm.
Situated in front of the city the Toronto islands provide a picturesque and quiet getaway from the city, as well as providing a beautiful vantage point of the city's skyline (see photo). There is a regular ferry service that runs from the Jack Layton ferry terminal to various parts of the islands.
The CN Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western hemisphere and is an iconic part of the Toronto skyline. It's open year round giving visitors a spectacular view of the city and lake (albeit at a steep price).
Perhaps the best attraction in Toronto is its variety of diverse neighbourhoods. Delocalised across the city these are often marked out by distinct street signs and offer a myriad of different options in terms of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. Toronto's diversity is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that about 50% of residents were born in a country other than Canada! Examples of unique neighbourhoods near the hotel include Yorkville, Chinatown, Koreatown, Greektown, Kensington Market, Church and Wellesley, the Annex and Cabbagetown. Also, if you're interested in shopping, the stretch of the street in front of the hotel, Bloor street, roughly between the hotel and the ROM was named the 7th most expensive shopping street in the world by Forbes in 2008! (maybe not the most suitable option for grad students/post-docs)