What should I not miss in Toronto?

What should I not miss in Toronto?

Some say Canada is vanilla. But those who think it is certainly haven’t been in Toronto. Arguably the most multicultural city in the world, Toronto is a dynamic metropolis with something for everyone.

From stunning architecture to delicious food to world-class museums, the city is proof that a diverse society is the likeliest to flourish. With the ideal combination of an urban jungle and natural beauty, Toronto is a must-visit for anyone looking for an adventure.

Even though a day of talk isn’t enough to do Toronto justice, we’ll do our best to let you in on all those “can’t miss” spots.

People Love Toronto ON

Latest Reviews

It is absolutely amazing, you can spend a whole day in the museum. It has different sections of historical ages from all over the world. You can see many things from different civilizations. I loved the geology part. You can find brilliant minerals and stones. It is one of the best museum I have ever seen. Highly recommended to visit.

5/5

The best Zoo I’ve ever been to. It took us almost 6 hours to see it all but we really took our time trying to see/read everything. Everything is very clean and you can bring your own food if you choose to. The animals are beautiful and seem to be very well taken care of. A wonderful place to visit for families.

5/5

Great place for anyone visiting Toronto or even staying here. The rotating restaurant is great. Although you may feel dizzy for a few minutes but the experience is at another level. The food here is probably the best in town, tried different dishes and they were all done to the highest of standards. The staff are very knowledgeable and very friendly. This is a great spot for a birthday, anniversary or any special occasion.

5/5

Oh it was an amazing experience. Walking around seeing all the great scenes and items hanging on display. The shot the puck and shootout were fun for the family. The main item was walking up the stairs into the great Hall. The presentation of the trophies and all the hall of fame walls was amazing. The staff members that took my family picture with the cup was great to talk to, as he even knew the Windsor area where we were from. He was talking like he still lives there and how he went to University and watched lots of hockey. It was a great way to experience everything.

5/5

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Top sights in Toronto

The city with the fourth-highest population in the United States is a cosmopolitan destination that offers cuisine, arts, hotels, shopping, and nightlife of the highest caliber. Spend the day visiting the Museum District, go on a trip to Space Center Houston, or simply take a stroll around the historic Heights neighborhood. In the evening, you may get a bite to eat at one of the hundreds of restaurants that have won awards, or you can hang out with the cool kids on Washington Avenue. This city combines the warm warmth of the South with the cool sophistication of the metropolitan landscape. Explore the city that is YOUR Houston!

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Royal Ontario Museum

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or history buff, you’re getting quite the fix once you step inside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. This massive Canadian museum features an array of exhibitions and galleries that are sure to satisfy your interests.

The Royal Ontario Museum is one of the largest museums in North America, and it’s easy to see why on your first visit. The museum is home to over six million items, which span a wide range of topics and disciplines.

You can find everything from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary Canadian art at the ROM.

In addition to its impressive collections, the Royal Ontario Museum is also known for its magnificent architecture. The museum’s iconic crystalline structure is a sight to behold, and it’s just one of the many reasons to visit this Toronto landmark.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the museum is over a century old? Established in 1912, it only took two years for the ROM to open its doors to the public.

The Royal Ontario Museum should never be missed out on your bucket list if you’re an avid follower of anthropology and anything related to it.

The museum owns the largest collection of Burgese Shale specimens, with the current number at a little over 150,000 specimens. That alone is quite the spectacle.

Meanwhile, if you’re more interested in the modern world and how it has come to be, you’ll find the museum’s Dino gallery and Bat Cave quite fascinating. The former features over 80 dinosaurs on display, while the latter is home to realistic wax figures of bats that mimic the habitat of Jamaica’s St. Claire Cave. Other exciting features of the ROM include the World Culture Galleries and the Earth and Space Galleries.

The best part about the Royal Ontario Museum is that it’s always expanding and adding new exhibitions. So, even if you’ve been before, there’s always something new to see on your next visit.

annual toronto christmas market

Downtown Toronto

Your first visit to downtown Toronto could very well be described as chaotic and overwhelming. But like ants outside of their colony, what we see as chaos is actually a well-oiled machine.

The truth is that there is a method to the madness, and with a little bit of planning you can make your first visit run smoothly.

Downtown Toronto is where you’ll find the city’s most popular attractions, i.e., the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and the Royal Ontario Museum. If you happen to be visiting this city, you won’t dare skip the chance to immerse yourself in the incredible world of Canada’s busiest and most prosperous metropolis.

If you’re staying in the heart of downtown, within the Entertainment District, you’re in for a treat. The best part about this area is that most of the popular attractions are within walking distance of each other. That means more time to enjoy and less time travelling!

Some helpful tips for your first visit to downtown Toronto:

Table of Contents

Getting Around

Downtown Toronto is divided into a series of neighbourhoods, each with its own personality. The best way to get around is on foot, but if you’re planning on doing some serious sightseeing, you may want to consider taking public transit or renting a car.

If you’re taking the TTC (Toronto’s public transit system), be sure to purchase a day pass which will give you unlimited travel on all buses, streetcars, and subways. For more information on fares and routes, visit the TTC website.

If you’re renting a car, be aware that downtown Toronto can be quite congested during rush hour (weekdays from 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm). It’s also important to note that parking can be expensive, so it’s best to use public transit or walk whenever possible.

Where to stay:

enjoy an entire toronto visit

There is no shortage of accommodation options in downtown Toronto. Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel or a more budget-friendly option, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs.

Some popular hotels in downtown Toronto include the Shangri-La Hotel, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Hilton Toronto. For a more budget-friendly option, consider staying at one of the many Airbnb rentals in the area.

What to do:

In addition to these well-known attractions, downtown Toronto is also home to countless restaurants, bars, and cafes. Be sure to explore the different neighbourhoods and find your favourite spot.

And last but not least, don’t forget about the shopping! Downtown Toronto is home to some of the best shopping in the city, including the Eaton Centre, a massive indoor mall that’s perfect for a rainy day.

Art Gallery of Ontario

graffiti alley

Sitting right in the neighbourhood of Grange Park and east of Chinatown is one of Toronto’s pride – The Art Gallery of Ontario or AGO. Covering a little over 40,000 square meters, this behemoth of a museum has been around since 1900 when it was founded by a group of private citizens.

The Gallery houses a collection of more than 120,000 works spanning from the 1st century to the present day.

In terms of both physical space and collection size, the AGO is behind only to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The AGO has an attendance of around 1.5 million people annually, making it the 4th most visited art museum in North America.

What Should You See in AGO?

When in the AGO, there are certain unmissable pieces that you should check out. These include:

The Group of Seven Artworks – The AGO has the world’s largest collection of paintings by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. The Gallery has more than 40 works by these Canadian icons on display at any given time.

The African Art Collection – The AGO’s African art collection is one of the most comprehensive and significant collections of its kind in North America. It includes more than 1,000 works from sub-Saharan Africa, representing over 50 cultures.

Canadian Contemporary Art – The AGO has an extensive collection of contemporary Canadian art, with a particular focus on works by Indigenous Canadian artists.

The Gallery has more than 8,000 works by Canadian artists in its collection, including paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and videos.

CN Tower

rogers centre

To describe the CN Tower as “magnificent” is quite an understatement. If you’re visiting Toronto and decide to skip a tour in this iconic Canadian structure, then it’s the same as saying you’ve never visited the city at all.

From the tower’s base, you can see the whole of Toronto stretching out before you. It’s truly a sight to behold. If you’re not afraid of heights, then take a walk on the glass floor that lets you look down at the city streets below your feet.

For an even more thrilling experience, try the EdgeWalk where you can walk around the outside of the tower’s main deck!

The CN Tower isn’t just a pretty face, it also serves an important function. It’s a communications and observation tower that was built in 1976. At 553.33 metres, it was once the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It’s currently the tallest tower in North America and the 3rd tallest tower in the world.

Fun Fact: Although the tower appears to be nothing but an observation structure, it actually houses quite an array of amenities – from various observation decks to a revolving restaurant and even a floor devoted to entertainment.

The CN Tower is an icon of Canadian culture and a must-see for anyone visiting Toronto. It’s a structure that commands your attention and awe, and it’s sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re in town for business, leisure, or an extended vacation, you will have to find a way to insert a tour of the tower into your schedule.

Truth be told, the first thing that your friends will ask you once they know you’ve been to Toronto is whether you’ve been to see the CN Tower. So don’t disappoint them – make sure to add a visit to this Canadian landmark to your itinerary!

special events in Toronto

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Experience the closest thing to a real ocean diving experience when you visit one of Canada’s most exciting excursions. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is every kid’s dream, but it’ll also be a favourite among adults.

One word to remember before you step inside the aquarium: exotic.

Well, that’s because when you go to other public aquariums in many parts of the world, you’ll see common fish that live in your local lakes and rivers. There may be some ocean creatures, but they’re a few far between.

But at Ripley’s, you’ll see unique aquatic animals that you’ve probably never seen before in real life. It is home to over 20,000 exotic aquatic creatures, both from the ocean and freshwater.

And because a day wouldn’t be enough to cover the whole place, come back at night for a special event called “After Dark”, where you can experience the nocturnal world of these animals.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, go on one of their “Behind the Scenes” tours to see how they take care of the aquarium and its residents. You’ll get an up-close look at the inner workings of the facility and learn interesting facts about Ripley’s animals.

Some of the things you can’t afford to miss at Ripley’s Aquarium are:

The Ray Bay Exhibit

The Dangerous Lagoon

The Jellyfish Exhibit

The Discovery Centre

And by the way, don’t ever forget to bring your camera with you. It’s such a shame to brag about your Ripley’s experience to your friends and not have any photos to show for it.

tourist attractions

The Distillery District

Toronto’s Distillery District is teeming with history, character, and charm. This unique neighbourhood was once home to the largest distillery in the British Empire, and today it is a pedestrian-only village filled with art galleries, trendy restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops, and performance venues.

The Distillery District is the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon strolling the cobblestone streets, admiring the architecture, and doing a little people-watching. There are plenty of photo opportunities around every corner, and you’re likely to stumble upon some interesting (and maybe even quirky) public art.

If you get hungry, there are plenty of great places to grab a bite. The Distillery District is home to several restaurants, cafes, and food trucks. And if you’re in the mood for something sweet, there are also several bakeries and ice cream shops.

No visit to the Distillery District would be complete without stopping by one of the many art galleries. You’ll find everything from contemporary art to traditional Canadian.

The Distillery District is also home to several performance venues, including the Young Centre for the Performing Arts and the Toronto Film Festival.

If you’re visiting during the winter months, be sure to check out the Christmas Market, which features over 150 artisanal vendors selling unique holiday gifts.

Like most other neighbourhoods in Toronto, the Distillery District is home to a culturally diverse population. You’ll find people from all walks of life here, and the district is also home to a large number of immigrants.

The Distillery District is one of Toronto’s most unique and charming neighbourhoods. Whether you’re looking to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat, or simply take in the sights, this is definitely the place to be.

top tourist attractions

18+ Unique Things to Do in Toronto

We bet you’ve done enough reading to complete your itinerary. You can’t wait to visit Toronto, yet with all the places you plan to go, you feel like there’s still something missing. What if you always wanted to explore and experience the most unique things in the city? Is that possible even for a short stay? We think it is.

All you need is to list these 18 unique things to do in Toronto so you can finally have the best time of your life.

Let’s get started, shall we?

temporary exhibitions

Visit Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

If you’re an animal lover, then this is a must. As one of the top attractions in the city, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is home to over 16,000 aquatic animals from more than 450 species. With 9 exciting galleries, there’s so much to see and discover. From the stunning jellyfish gallery to the hands-on stingray interaction, this is one experience you won’t want to miss.

Walk through the Distillery District

craft beer

The Distillery District is a historic pedestrian-only village located in the heart of Toronto. Once home to over 30 whisky distilleries, this is now a popular spot for art galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Strolling through the district, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time with its Victorian-era architecture.

Don’t forget to stop by the Mill Street Brewery for a pint of their delicious beer.

So, why spend time in a neighbourhood like the Distillery District, you ask? Well, for starters, it’s incredibly charming. The cobblestone streets, red brick buildings and wrought iron lanterns give off a romantic vibe that is perfect for a date night or a leisurely stroll with a friend.

Secondly, the district is home to some of Toronto’s best restaurants and cafes. You’ll find everything from casual eateries to fine dining establishments.

And last but not least, the district is home to a number of art galleries and unique shops, making it the perfect place to do some exploring and find that perfect souvenir.

If you’re looking for a fun-filled day in Toronto, be sure to add the Distillery District to your list!

Take a ride on the Toronto Island Ferry

food market

Taking the ferry to the Toronto Islands is one of the best ways to see the city skyline. The islands are a popular spot for picnics, swimming, and biking.

With over 50% of the island park being made up of gardens, it’s the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning views.

Also, don’t forget to pack a lunch or snacks to enjoy while you’re exploring the islands. There are plenty of food options available on the ferry ride over and on the island, so you won’t go hungry. It’s a special treat for the entire family, so be sure to take advantage of it the next time you’re in town.

Shop at the St. Lawrence Market

north york

St. Lawrence Market is one of the largest markets in Toronto, and it’s definitely a foodie paradise. With over 120 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to gourmet cheese, you’ll find anything and everything you need.

The market is also home to the world-famous peameal bacon sandwich from Carousel Bakery. Make sure to try one – it’s delicious!

Some of the things you can’t afford to miss at St. Lawrence Market include the fresh produce, artisanal cheese, and of course, the peameal bacon sandwich. A market is also a great place to people-watch and soak up the unique atmosphere.

When you’re done exploring St. Lawrence Market, make sure to check out some of the other great markets in Toronto. Some of our favourites include the Kensington Market, the Toronto Chinatown Night Market, and the Leslieville Farmers Market.

Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario

lovely green space

The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest art museums in North America. With an extensive collection of works of art, you could spend hours exploring the galleries. From paintings and sculptures to textiles and photography, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Don’t forget to check out AGO’s famous collection of Canadian art.

Moreover, the Art Gallery of Ontario offers a variety of programs and events that are perfect for families and children. On weekends, the AGO hosts Family Sundays where kids can participate in art activities and explore the galleries.

There are also holiday-themed events such as the popular Halloween Haunt. The Art Gallery of Ontario is a great place to learn about art and culture while spending time with loved ones.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the Art Gallery of Ontario is definitely worth a visit.6. Stroll through High Park

At over 161 hectares, High Park is the largest public park in Toronto. With its beautifully landscaped gardens, meandering trails, and scenic views of the city skyline, it’s no wonder why this is a popular spot for both locals and visitors.

Be sure to visit during cherry blossom season – the park is an absolute wonder!

university avenue

Explore the Kensington Market

The Kensington Market is one of the most vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto. From its independent shops and cafes to its colourful murals, there’s so much to see and do. The market is also home to a variety of events throughout the year, including the popular Pedestrian Sundays.

Visit the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum is one of the largest museums in North America. With over 6 million specimens, the museum has something for everyone. From dinosaurs and mummies to coins and minerals, you’ll be sure to find something that interests you.

The museum is also home to the iconic Crystal Gallery, which is definitely worth a visit.

See a Show at the Second City

city's east end

The Second City is a world-renowned comedy club that has launched the careers of some of the biggest names in comedy, including Tina Fey, Mike Myers, and Jim Carrey. If you’re looking for a good laugh, be sure to check out one of their shows. You won’t be disappointed!

Go for a hike in the Scarborough Bluffs

The Scarborough Bluffs are a series of cliffs that stretch along the shoreline of Toronto. With its beautiful views of Lake Ontario, the bluffs are a popular spot for hiking and picnicking. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning views.

Visit the Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world and home to over 5,000 animals. With its diverse range of exhibits, the zoo is a great place to learn about different species from all over the world.

Shop on Queen Street West

canada's largest city

Queen Street West is one of the most popular shopping areas in Toronto. With its independent shops and boutiques, you’re sure to find something unique. The street is also home to a variety of art galleries, cafes, and restaurants.

See a Show at the Royal Alexandra Theatre

The Royal Alexandra Theatre is one of the most iconic theatre venues in Toronto. With its beautiful Beaux-Arts architecture, the theatre is a must-see for any theatre lover.

Visit the Distillery District

The Distillery District is a historic neighbourhood that’s home to over 40 restaurants and cafes, as well as art galleries, shops, and studios. The district is also home to the Toronto Distillery Company, which offers tours and tastings of its small-batch spirits.

Explore the Chinatown neighbourhood

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Chinatown is one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto. With its colourful shops and restaurants, you’ll feel like you’re in another world.

The neighbourhood is also home to a variety of events throughout the year, including the popular Chinese New Year celebration.

See the Hockey Hall of Fame

You may feel like there’s no time to insert a visit to the Hockey of Fame, but if you love the sport, it’s worth an hour or so of your itinerary. The museum does a great job of celebrating the game and its history, and even if you’re not a hockey fan, it’s still a fun place to explore.

Plus, if you time your visit right, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of the Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Visit the CN Tower

The CN Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in Toronto. At over 553 metres tall, it offers stunning views of the city. Be sure to take the glass-fronted elevator to the top for an even better view.

Visit the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

high park zoo

The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is one of the largest aquariums in North America. With over 16,000 animals, the aquarium is a great place to learn about different species of fish, reptiles, and amphibians.

City Hall & Nathan Philips Square

Toronto City Hall is an engineering marvel with its two curved towers connected at the base by a series of walkways and bridges. The distinctive building is set against a large public plaza known as Nathan Phillips Square, which plays host to numerous public events throughout the year.

The City Hall complex also includes an underground parking garage, two public squares, and a number of sculptures and fountains. The site is also home to the Toronto municipal government offices.

Nathan Phillips Square is named after the city’s longest-serving mayor, who was in office from 1955 to 1962. The square was originally conceived as a pedestrian plaza but was later redesigned to accommodate vehicular traffic.

Wander through St. Lawrence Market

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If you’re up for a different kind of market experience, add St. Lawrence Market to your list of things to do in Toronto. The market is made up of two buildings: the South Market, which houses farmers and food vendors, and the North Market, a public market with artisans and craftspeople.

The South Market is open year-round, while the North Market is only open on Saturdays. Both are worth a visit, but if you can only make it to one, the South Market is the better choice.

There’s something for everyone at St. Lawrence Market. Browse through stalls selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. Or stop by one of the many food vendors for a quick bite.

Stroll through Kensington Market

A stroll through Kensington Market is a great way to spend an afternoon in Toronto. This vibrant and historic neighbourhood is home to a variety of shops, restaurants and cafés, as well as a number of interesting historical sites.

Start your exploration at Augusta Avenue, where you’ll find many of the market’s most popular shops and eateries. From there, wander through the streets and alleyways, taking in the colourful sights and sounds of this unique neighbourhood.

Be sure to check out some of the historic sites, such as St. Andrew’s Church and the Kensington Market War Memorial. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, there are plenty of great options to choose from, including fresh seafood, international

Shop at Eaton Centre

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Once you’re in Toronto, you can’t miss the chance to shop at the Eaton Centre. This mall is enormous, and it has something for everyone. You can find high-end stores, as well as more affordable options.

And even if you don’t want to spend any money, it’s still fun to walk around and people-watch.

Catch a show or dine in the entertainment district

With its prime location in the heart of downtown Toronto, the entertainment district is the perfect place to catch a show or enjoy a meal. Whether you’re looking for a night of live music or want to try some of the best restaurants in the city, this is the place to be.

There are plenty of great places to eat in the entertainment district, so you’ll never go hungry. For some of the best views of the city, head to one of the rooftop restaurants or bars.

Or, if you’re looking for something a little more casual, there are plenty of great pubs and cafes to choose from.

 

Take a trip to Toronto Islands

Nothing is more exciting than spending a day at the Toronto Islands! Just a short ferry ride from the downtown core, the islands offer stunning views of Lake Ontario and the city skyline.

With plenty of green space to explore, picnic spots, beaches, and even an amusement park, there is something for everyone on Toronto Islands.

Be sure to bring your camera – you won’t want to miss out on capturing the incredible views! Some of the best vantage points can be found at Hanlan’s Point, Centre Island, and Ward’s Island.

If you’re looking to beat the heat, take a dip in one of the island’s pools – the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at windsurfing or kitesurfing – both of which can be done at Bluffer’s Park Beach.

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