Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is a cosmopolitan place to live and visit. Whether you enjoy sampling varied cuisines, shopping for artisan crafts, or watching hockey, Toronto has something for you. Toronto is a bustling city full of history and modern amenities: spend an afternoon wandering around the industrial Victorian architecture of the artsy Distillery Historic District, or, for a bird’s eye view of the city, dine atop the impressive CN Tower. Nightlife, art, sports and architecture await you in this eclectic, contemporary and distinctively Canadian city.
To make it easier for you to narrow down your list of essential things to do in Toronto, we’ve compiled the list below of the city’s must-see attractions. Have you visited Toronto? If so, please share your suggestions and ideas in the comment section!
Location: 301 Front St W Toronto, ON M5V 2T6, Canada
Phone: +1 416 – 868 – 6937
The iconic CN Tower features sweeping views of Toronto’s skyline and is a must-visit for any visitor to the Toronto area. Tourists, photographers, architecture enthusiasts and daredevils alike all enjoy this high-altitude destination: looming over 500 meters in the sky, CN Tower features a glass-floored skydeck you can walk across … if you dare. Postcard-perfect photo opportunities and a skydeck are just the beginning: the CN Tower is also home to three eateries, including a revolving restaurant that rotates 360 degrees over the course of your meal. If hanging out 500 meters high in the sky isn’t exciting enough for you, CN Tower offers kids of all ages an unforgettable motion theater ride for some extra thrill-factor…
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Location: 1 Austin Terrace Toronto, ON M5R 1X8, Canada
Phone: +1 416 – 923 – 1171
Casa Loma, a shining example of gothic revival architecture right in Toronto, will most definitely take your breath away. Sir Henry Pellatt, a Canadian financier, originally built Casa Loma as a childhood dream he brought to reality. With a cost of over $3.5 million to build, Sir Pellatt’s dream house took a span of three years to be completely finished. For the tourist today, experiencing Casa Loma is like time travelling to another century: as you stroll through its romantic gardens and elegant spaces and it’s hard to believe modern Toronto is just outside the gates. Regular tours and lively performances that are held inside the castle today bring Sir Pellatt’s vision to life and keep his memory alive. Without a doubt, this palace is a magical escape from the usual tourist circuit and is sure to make any visitor feel like a member of royalty for the day!
Ontario Science Centre
Location: 770 Don Mills Rd Toronto, ON M3C 1T3, Canada
Phone: +1 416 – 696 – 1000
Opened in 1969, Ontario Science Centre not only attracts students but learners of all ages. When you first set foot inside the museum’s walls, be ready to use your imagination as the exhibits here all but require it. The centre’s youngest visitors, and those youngest at heart, could spend days marveling at the museum’s many interactive exhibits. From science to art, the Ontario Science Centre has it all. Just one day isn’t quite enough to fully appreciate all of the creative exhibits here, so if you have more than one day, be sure to come back! What makes the OSC really popular is the interactive nature of the exhibits: the interaction makes the kids more interested with learning and it really gets their attention. You walk inside Ontario Science Centre curious, and you walk out of full of smiles and perhaps, some more smarts: all that for a reasonably priced admission fee!
Royal Ontario Museum
Location: 100 Queens Park Toronto, ON M5S 2C6, Canada
Phone: +1 416 – 586 – 8000
Since it first opened in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum has been one of most popular tourist attraction in Canada. Housing several exhibitions, exploring this museum is both an educational and cultural experience. The diversity of its eclectic content ranges from the sciences to archaeology and the fine arts. The museum’s grand architecture just lends the Royal Ontario Museum an even greater wow-factor. Kids and adults alike will definitely have a fun and worthwhile experience interacting with the ROM’s many collections and exhibits. Very affordable and informative, Royal Ontario Museum is an ideal stop on a tourist’s itinerary, regardless of one’s age or interests. This magical museum truly has something for everyone to enjoy!
Location: 2000 Meadowvale Rd Toronto, ON M1B 5K7, Canada
Phone: +1 416 – 392 – 5929
The Toronto Zoo, known as one of the largest zoos in the world, is conveniently located in Rouge Valley. It holds a variety of exciting attractions that are sure to make its visitors better appreciate wildlife and educates both kids and adults alike. The zoo’s key attractions include the Discovery Zone – which features the Kids Zoo, rides, and some must-see animals. A newly opened attraction for this year is the already popular Panda Bear exhibit! The Toronto Zoo This attraction has over 10 km of walking trails and over 5,000 animals to oggle: it’s the perfect day trip for animal enthusiasts and adventurers of all ages. This zoo is accessible via public transit or car, making it a convenient, fun and educational destination for family and friends to explore.
Hockey Hall of Fame
Location: 30 Yonge St Toronto, ON M5E 1X8, Canada
Phone: +1 416 – 360 – 7765
For a country that loves hockey as much as the Canadians do, it’s only fitting that Canada is home to a hockey museum that showcases both the game and the country’s enthusiasm for it. The Hockey Hall of Fame is a reasonably priced and educational museum: sports fans won’t want to miss this one! Though this museum may be slanted more toward the sports and hockey fanatics in your group, everyone will still enjoy its numerous exhibits. With over 60,000 sq. ft. of space, the HHOF is home to hockey artifacts from all levels of play and from all over the world. Come see the NHL’s merit trophy alongside a vast collection of hall of fame paraphernalia! The Hockey Hall of Fame not only wows its visitors but also stands as a testament to just how much the Canadian people value hockey as a sport.
The Distillery Historic District
Location: 9 Trinity Street, Suite 200, Toronto, ON M5A 3R6, Canada
Phone:+1 416 364 1177
History, art and culture all meet in Toronto’s Distillery District. Throughout the 1800’s, this 13 acre area just east of downtown functioned as both the British Empire’s largest distillery (where alcohol is made) and as a central manufacturing district for Toronto. Though spirits and whiskey ceased being produced in the district back in 1990, the district today now functions as an important artery in the city for art, shopping, theatre and dining. Whether you enjoy shopping at boutiques, admiring fine art, sophisticated dining or architecture, the Distillery Historic District has something that’s sure to raise your spirits.
St. Lawrence Market
Location: 92 Front St E Toronto, ON M5E 1C3, Canada
The famous St. Lawrence Market is thriving with culture and development. Considered to be one of the world’s greatest open markets, it affords opportunities to Toronto entrepreneurs to start their business or to expand upon it. Rich in history, the St. Lawrence Market started as long ago as the early 1800s and by the late 1990s the market greatly expanded its area, offering more and more opportunities for local businesses and artisans to sell their wares and delicacies. The market consists of numerous shopping areas and food stalls. The large open areas serve as venue for festival celebrations and other events. For larger events, the iconic St. Lawrence Hall opens its doors. The community of the St. Lawrence Market actively strives to keep this place a friendly and desirable tourist stop. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir, a bite to eat or a taste of Toronto culture, a stop by the St. Lawrence Market will definitely help you to better appreciate Canada’s culture and diversity.
The AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario
Location: 317 Dundas St W Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada
Phone: +1-416 – 979 – 6648
The Art Gallery of Ontario, commonly referred to as the AGO, hosts a large variety of more than 5,000 pieces in its 110 galleries. The enormous AGO building itself is an architectural feat: the recent 97,000 sq. ft. expansion of the gallery makes it able to hold even more important pieces and collections. The Art Gallery of Ontario is home to a vast collection of important Canadian, European, African and Oceanic arts, with pieces ranging from the Renaissance and Baroque eras to contemporary photography, prints and drawing collections. The museum is also home to popular sculptures that represent a variety of artistic diversity and movements. The AGO also offers dining options, as, after a day of appreciating art, visitors will also appreciate the AGO’s excellent dining experiences from Restaurant Frank and Café AGO.
Toronto Island Park
Location: 92 Front St E Toronto, ON M5E 1C3, Canada
Phone: +1-416 – 392 – 7120
Toronto Island Park is a wonderful place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life: with the beauty of Lake Ontario and the city surrounding this island, it’s a perfect combination of relaxation and convenience. The whole family is sure to have an excellent time sunbathing in the beach, playing in Franklin Children’s Garden and at the Centreville Amusement Park, sightseeing in Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, visiting animals at the Far Enough Farm, engaging in outdoor activities like sports, boating and biking, and just relaxing by the restaurants and cafes. Running out of things to do is something that just can’t happen in Toronto Island Park! Conveniently accessible via ferry, Toronto Island Park is indeed a quick escape from city life.
Location: 9580 Jane St Vaughan, ON L6A 1S6, Canada
Phone: +1 905 – 832 – 8131
Considered to be Canada’s largest theme park, Wonderland is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Boasting over 200 attractions, 68 rides and a 20 acre water park, it’s no secret that family and friends will have a great time in this place. With continuous additions to the theme park’s rides like Leviathan – considered as one of the world’s biggest and fastest roller coaster, Wonderland aims to constantly attract new and returning visitors while giving them the experience of a lifetime. There are many attractions here to tickle one’s imagination or to push your fears to the limit! As long as visitors keep coming, Wonderland provides more and more attractions and wonder for visitors to keep coming back for.
Photos by Jamie McCaffrey, The City of Toronto, Mamonello, ChristophLacroix, Andrzej Wrotek, fabfotophotography, Michael Francis McCarthy, NormanMaddeaux, derekp, roland, Prasad Pillai, Linda N., vlitvinov, BoogaFrito, AJ Batac