What you can’t miss in Toronto, Canada
Take your pick from some of the most popular things to do in Toronto, Canada!
The underrated Canadian metropolis was always described as “New York minus the personnality” and while it was largely true up until quite recently, I’ll be the first one to admit that it isn’t quite true anymore. Why don’t you discover for yourself?
This is definitely one of the top things to do in Toronto and is just an amazing place to visit. It’s located just south of downtown and is a great place to go for a walk or do some shopping.
You’ll find historical buildings from the 19th century that have been converted into shops, restaurants, cafes and galleries. The district also has many public artworks on display including sculptures, murals and stained glass windows.
The Distillery District is also home to many festivals and events throughout the year. You can go see live music, dance or take in some comedy at Comedy Nest or check out the Toronto Jazz Festival which takes place every June.
There’s even a spooky Spirits of the Distillery District Ghost tour you can go on!
The best day trips from Toronto
You can visit Niagara Falls, which is just an hour away and has plenty of things to do including taking the Maid of the Mist boat ride into the falls themselves. You can also take a scenic drive along the Niagara Parkway which offers beautiful views of Lake Ontario.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous day trip, head over to the Niagara Adventure Centre which offers white water rafting and kayaking. You can also take a hike through the gorge with an experienced guide from Stoney Creek Adventures or rent some bikes and cycle around the city.
Go to the largest waterfall in Southern Ontario (aside from Niagara Falls, of course!), Webster’s Falls. The area also has several other waterfalls, including Chedoke Falls and Albion Falls. There are several hiking trails in Hamilton that wind through forests and over bridges that offer amazing views of this beautiful natural wonders.
Moreover, Hamilton is home to Spencer Gorge Conservation Area which is another popular hiking spot, and it’s the only conservation area within a city. The trails here are well marked and easy to follow, so you can enjoy yourself without worrying about getting lost. It’s also a great location for bird watching because of its proximity to Lake Erie.
If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip, head over to the Bruce Peninsula and visit one of the many beautiful beaches. You can also take a boat tour from Tobermory which takes you past Fathom Five National Marine Park where you’ll see some cool shipwrecks.
This is a great place to go hiking, cycling or swimming. It’s also home to Bruce Trail which is Canada’s oldest and longest footpath.
There are a number of great natural Niagara wines, including Frogpond Farm Organic Winery, Southbrook Vineyards and Tawse Winery. These are just a few of the many wineries in Niagara on the Lake, so be sure to check out all of them while you’re there!
Niagara on the Lake
This is an adorable town that’s located about an hour outside of Toronto on the shore of Lake Ontario. If you’re looking for a day trip from Toronto, it’s worth the drive out. The old town is known for its quaint shops, elegant old-timey inns, gorgeous lakeside scenery and historic Fort George.
This area is also known for its beautiful trailed parks, so be sure to stop in at one of these as well during your trip!
St Lawrence Market
At St. Lawrence Market, you can see more than 100 vendors in a place with more than two centuries of history. There’s also an art gallery to explore and Sunday antiquing events. In addition, there’s an art gallery to explore and antique fairs held on Sundays.
The CN Tower
This is the iconic landmark of Toronto, and it’s a must-see for any visitor. The CN Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in North America at 1,815 feet and offers an amazing view of Lake Ontario, the islands and the city.
There are several different ways to experience the tower. If you want to go up, you can do so by elevator or by walking through a glass floor which is open from April to October.
You can also take in all of Toronto from above with one of their adrenaline-inducing experiences including EdgeWalk or LedgeWalk where you’ll be secured into an exoskeleton while walking around outside at 346 metres above ground level!
The Toronto Islands are located just off of the city’s shore, and they’re home to some truly magical scenery! It’s easy to get out there via ferry or water taxi; if you’re looking for a romantic date idea, I highly recommend getting tickets for an evening sail. The sunset views from this vantage point are incredible!
There’s plenty of room on the islands for walking or, if you’re looking for a more adventurous date idea, renting bikes and riding around the island! A few quirky installations have even been added to the islands over the years, including Tommy Thompson Park Floating Bridge.
Centre Island, more specifically, is home to several attractions including a beautiful lagoon and amusement park. The beach views over at Gibraltar Point Beach are downright reminiscent of the Caribbean, if the sunlight hits just right.
If you’re looking for a hasslefree afternoon stroll away from the bustle of downtown Toronto, this is it.
West Queen West
WQW is an area that has set new standards of coolness in Toronto. Every city needs its hipster district, am I right? This is a great place to just wander around and truly feel the pulse of this underrated city.
There are many independent shops that sell designer clothing, bespoke art, home decor, and more. Coincidentally, third-wave cafés (like Woolshed Coffee, Cafe Neon and White Squirrel Coffee Shop) and natural wine bars (such as Midfield, Archive and Paris Paris) have been popping up closeby over the past couple of years.
This is also where you’ll find the Drake Hotel and Gladstone House with their trendy, loved-by-celebrities bars. Indeed, West Queen West is a great area for people watching and seeing how Toronto’s fashion scene has evolved over time.
Canadian metropolis doesn’t exactly scream “beach destination”, but you’d be surprised at just how GOOD the urban beaches of Toronto are.
Head over to Cherry Beach or Ashbridges Bay Park. The former is located on Lake Ontario and offers great views of the city;
Toronto beaches are great places to spend the day, whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon or an active weekend. The beaches are made of stunning fine sand and offer plenty of amenities like volleyball nets, watersports rentals as well as picnic tables. For a nice view of Lake Ontario, head over to Cherry Beach, which is closest to downtown Toronto, or to Woodbine Park Beach to take advantage of the massive, beachfront Kew Gardens dog park. You’re welcome.
Royal Ontario Museum
If you want something indoorsy, head over to the Royal Ontario Museum in downtown Toronto. It’s one of Canada’s most famous museums! The temporary exhibits are always changing so there’s always something new to see.
The museum’s permanent collection holds 13 million items, including dinosaurs, Egyptian artifacts and cutting-edge art from around the world. The bold diamond-shaped building was designed by famed architect Daniel Libeskind.
The ROM is a great way to spend an afternoon if you’re looking for something cultural but not too strenuous.
Kensington Market is one of Toronto’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. There are many shops, restaurants and cafes to explore here. You’ll find that this area, which is full of character, has retained much of its original architecture unlike other areas in the city.
The neighbourhood has been around since the late 1800s when immigrants first arrived in Canada. Nowadays, Kensington Market is a microcosm of Toronto’s diversity both ethnically and culturally.
One of my favourite wine bars in Toronto, Grey Gardens, is right up the corner, too.
Textile Museum of Canada
Their current exhibit is named Double Vision. It features the groundbreaking works of a mother-and-daughters trio of artists from Nunavut linked by an art form called nivinngajuliaat, which was developed out of largely matriarchal craft in the Arctic back in the 1960s.
Casa Loma is a castle that was built in 1911 by Sir Henry Pellat.
It’s one of Toronto’s most famous landmarks! As such, it’s been used as a setting for many different films, including the X-Men franchise. The castle was also used by the British army during World War II. Today, visitors can tour the grounds and take in all of its beauty.
If you’re looking for something fun to do with your kids, this is definitely it!