Toledo is a hardworking city that would like to outrun its image, and generally brings more to the table than meets the eye. It is a major Great Lakes port, transportation, and industrial center with concentrations in auto parts and glassmaking. While these businesses haven’t fared well recently, Toledo has been spared some of the worst.
The strategic central location among markets and major east-west and north-south routes has made it a favorite crossroads location for transportation providers, including UPS and BAX, and the area is a popular residence for business travelers covering other parts of the East and Midwest. The downtown is unremarkable but improving slowly with some attractive new waterfront developments, but there are some gritty areas (particularly north of town). Good neighborhoods extend mainly south and west along the Anthony Wayne Parkway towards the airport, including the attractive suburbs of Maumee and Perrysville.
Prior industrial endowments have brought some better-than-average museums and cultural amenities. The venerable Toledo Mud Hens minor-league baseball team and a good zoo are part of a healthy entertainment picture. Civic pride among local residents runs strong. Amenities and services missing locally are available in Detroit (60 miles north) or Cleveland (115 miles east). Sandusky (60 miles east) is an excellent recreation destination. The location on Lake Erie’s western shore gives better winters than other parts of northern Ohio, but climate is hardly an attraction.
The city is located at the mouth of the Maumee River. Except for a 30-foot riverbank, the terrain is generally level with only a slight slope toward the river and Lake Erie. Climate is continental with some moderating effects from Lake Erie. Summers are warm and humid while winters are cool and humid with considerable cloudiness. Winter sun shines only 30% of daylight hours, with December and January only clear 16% of the time. Snowfall, on the other hand, is generally light. A combination of flat terrain and occasionally high lake levels can result in flooding. First freeze is mid-October, last is late April.