For visitors making their maiden voyage into the outstretched urban arms of "T-dot", the modern city presents a taxi window silhouette similar to most other North American BIG cities, traffic, tall skyscrapers and a lot of concrete. Toronto is, after all, Canada's largest town (pop. 2.5MM), the country's economic engine (1/6 of all Canadian jobs are within city limits), and its cultural mecca (home to the Toronto Film Festival, 2nd only to Cannes for high profile films etc.). But tourists just driving through or flying over will regrettably miss the heart and soul of this booming metropolis, the people.
Spend some time on the streets, in the shops, at the restaurants and with the locals and you quickly discover that Torontonians are courteous and thoughtful to the core. They spell some words unusually (e.g., centre, neighbourhood, capitalise) and talk a little differently ("oowt", not out), but big city life has not hardened their souls or warped their values. Crime hardly exists here, Toronto has a lower crime rate than any U.S. metropolitan area. And an open-minded and tolerant culture is likely a reflection of the city's diversity, Toronto is arguably the most multicultural city in the world with 43% of the population a visible minority.
So enjoy the city, but be sure to experience the people and the culture. Maybe we Americans can learn a thing or two from our northern neighbours.