10 Things Every Tourist Should Do in Toronto
Toronto is a major Canadian city and a favourite amongst tourists and travellers! Situated along Lake Ontario’s north west shore, it’s the capital of Ontario and everything you could want from a city. From a thriving skyline of skyscrapers and architecture, to plentiful green spaces, and a melting pot of lively nightlife, restaurants and events. There’s something for everyone and it might seem difficult to pinpoint what you shouldn’t miss!
Here’s our list of some of the top ten highlights this vibrant city has to offer:
1. Visit the top of the CN Tower
The CN Tower is one of the most iconic structures on the Toronto skyline. You can’t take a photo in this city without finding this 553-metre tower in the background. While it’s impressive to behold from the ground, tourists should definitely take advantage of the view from the top. You can visit the SkyPod on the top floor for fantastic panoramic views out over the picturesque city – day or night! For the really brave, you can also try the Edgewalk – a harnessed walk around the circumference of the building!
Check their website for details and bookings here.
2. Stroll down King Street West
The King West Village is to Toronto what SoHo is to New York. It’s renowned for it’s trendy arts scene and culture, as well as its industrial, re-purposed architecture. If you’re looking for great food, a spot of bar hopping and lively entertainment, this is the place for you! During the day the place is filled with shopping boutiques, trendy cafes and a huge foodie scene. By night, art and music studios open their doors as well as top-rated restaurants and bars where you can try local craft beers and cocktails.
Find out more and pick a spot here.
3. Get lost in the Kensington Market
Venture to the outskirts of Chinatown and you’ll find the Kensington Market – a beautiful, vibrant, multicultural neighbourhood with colourful Victorian homes. During the day these homes serve as a lively outdoor street market. You won’t find any big brand names down these streets, but you will find a fantastic mix of arts, gifts and second-hand trinkets. The ethnic street-food scene is also not to be missed! You can fill your hunger boots with anything from Jamaican pasta to Venezuelan arepas
Find out more and plan your visit here.
4. See Niagara Falls
It’s a common misconception that Niagara Falls is in the US, but it actually sits on the border with Canada and is just a short, one-hour drive from Toronto. If you’ve got access to a car, it’s well worth taking a trip out to see this wonder of the world. Not only that, but Niagara (the surrounding town) is well known for it’s fantastic wine and wineries. Make a day of it exploring this lesser known part of Canada.
Check out some available tours here.
5. Visit the Distillery District
If King Street West seems a bit too full-on for you, how about a visit to the Distillery District instead? Downtown East, this area is still a bustling neighbourhood of arts and culture, but with a little more relaxed vibe. The strip is pedestrian and cyclist only so you can take your time strolling through the mix of art galleries, boutiques, cafés, restaurants and bars. The neighbourhood comes to life at night with side street tables and conversation a plenty.
Read up about this historical part of the city here.
6. Tuck into a Bucket of Poutine!
Poutine is somewhat of a national dish in Canada and if you haven’t tried it it’s about time you did! Originating from Quebec, located in eastern Canada, this dish comprises a mound of fries completely smothered in gravy and topped with cheese curds. It’s been a fast food favourite for some time but with the trend for all things gourmet on the rise, more creative versions are cropping up on menus all over Canada – Toronto is no exception!
We recommend you try the staple favourite before getting too complex. Poutini’s House of Poutine offers a great treat.
7. Venture to Toronto Island
Escape the city and head over to the Toronto Islands for a change of pace. Hop on a ferry and head over to this small chain of islands, just across the water from the city itself. The islands are equipped with beautiful scenic walking and biking trails and the views are highly recommended. A great place to relax and get back to nature for a day.
Find out more about these unique islands here.
8. Check out a game (or a concert)
Canada is famous for its hockey, but we’re a nation of sports lovers all round! Depending on the season you could catch the Toronto Maple Leafs (Toronto’s Hockey team) in one of their Winter games. In Spring, you can catch the Blue Jays (Toronto’s baseball team) pitching a game in the open air Rogers Centre. If sports really isn’t your thing, don’t worry. The venues double as concert venues and being such a heralded city, you can definitely find a gig or two that will take your fancy.
9. Head over to the Hockey Hall of Fame
As we mentioned, Hockey is the nation’s most loved sport. It’s a stereotype of the country for a reason and it’s worth getting fully involved in this part of the city’s culture by visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame. Housed in one of Toronto’s most historic buildings (the former Bank of Montreal) it’s filled with just about every piece of hockey memorabilia you can think of. Dip into Toronto’s hockey culture here.
10. Don’t miss the Late-Night Street Scene
Food, food and more food? Toronto has you covered. The city is well known for it’s foodie scene and over an evening the streets become lined with hot dog carts, and street food delights. It’s a rite of passage after a few drinks to dine out at one of these carts and the food comes highly recommended by locals!
What do you think? Are there any Toronto bucket list items we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!