Halfway through the world's largest photography festival, CONTACT Toronto (May 1-31), seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the diversity of one of Canada's most appealing cities - with the buzz of New York, the diversity of London and a cultural life to rival Rome, there's never been a better time to visit.

Over the past year, the city's luxury hotel offering has boomed too and Toronto now offers accommodation options to suit every budget, from down-and-out digs to opulent luxury in the 53-storey Ritz Carlton.

Last year, both Thompson Hotels and Le Germain opened new properties in the city and before long Trump will open a spectacular new tower, although its launch has already been overshadowed by anger over The Donald's political ambitions.

But leaving politics aside is an easy thing to do in this city, which is mad about the arts, sports and shopping - a selection of some of the finest ways to spend a break in the big T.O., named as one of Fodor's 'places we're going in 2011.'

See a show. Toronto offers some of the best theater in North America, and that's before the annual Fringe festivals in July and January.

Watch a film. Toronto is movie mad and never more so than when the International Film Festival comes to town in September. The city is something of a star itself - thanks to a similar cityscape, it's regularly used as a movie double for New York.

Learn about hockey. It's a game that has come to define Canada and the Hockey Hall of Fame makes for a great day out for the uninitiated - try your hand at shooting and goalkeeping, learn about the hockey greats and get hands-on access to the Stanley Cup.

Eat. Toronto is characterized by a great breadth of cuisine and over 7,000 restaurants - from the stunning views of the 51st floor 180 Panoroma to the delicious specialities of Chinatown and Little Jamaica.

Shop. Countless markets, boutiques and malls make Toronto an easy place to spend money - some of the best can be found inside Square One, the largest shopping mall in the province of Ontario.

Visit the castle. Casa Loma would seem more at home in France than Canada, but here it is, rising above the city in all its gothic splendidness. Visitors can tour the castle or enjoy the spectacular gardens.