15 FANTASTIC THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO, CANADA
Recognized as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, Toronto is home to more than 2.8 million people. Its fascinating museums, artistic culture and abundance of eateries are just a few of the things that make this city so special.
Toronto is like a second home to me, so I always end up back here at least once a year to visit my family and my heart bursts with nostalgia every time!
Among the popular tourist attractions and must-do's that have made their way onto your bucket list, what you'll find here is a list that includes unique destinations you should absolutely try to squeeze into your trip to get a real taste of what Toronto has to offer. Before you know it, you too will find yourself helplessly falling in love with the city, just as I did. This vibrant place has a little something for everyone.
To see some of my favorite spots to grab a bite, check out this Weekend Foodie Guide to Toronto.
And for a list of the best places to get your caffeine fix, check out Where to Coffee in Toronto.
15 FANTASTIC THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO, CANADA
1. Allan Gardens Conservatory
One of the oldest parks in Toronto, Allan Gardens has six greenhouses showcasing a diverse collection of plants from around the world. Covering 16,000 square feet, the gardens contain a variety of plants from cacti to palm trees. A botanical gem in the heart of the city, its historic cast-iron and glass dome was built over 100 years ago! Allan Gardens is open every day of the year and admission is free.
2. Aga Khan Museum
One of the most architecturally stunning museums I have laid eyes on, the Aga Khan Museum houses a lovely collection of Islamic art. It is located a bit outside of the city, in Don Mills, and offers visitors an insight into the artistic, intellectual and scientific heritage of Muslim civilizations across centuries. The Aga Khan Museum seeks to promote tolerance and build mutual understanding among people from all faiths and backgrounds.
3. Canada's Wonderland
Growing up, I was the proud owner of a Canada's Wonderland season pass and I made my visit to the park more times than I can count on my fingers and toes. Some of my favorite roller coasters and water slides in the world are located within this amusement park!
4. CN Tower
Perhaps the most iconic (not to mention, dominating) piece of Toronto's skyline is the CN Tower. You can purchase tickets to go up to the top of the tower and obtain a breathtaking view of the city below through the glass floor of the observation deck.
5. Distillery District
Cobblestone streets and historic architecture combined with adorable storefronts and coffee shops make the Distillery District one of my favorite places in Toronto. With a fusion of old and new, the pedestrian-only streets of this little village are brimming with one-of-a-kind galleries, restaurants and cafes housed within Victorian-style brick buildings. Kick off your night out here with dinner or drinks!
6. Eaton Centre
Located in the heart of downtown, Toronto's Eaton Centre is a historic shopping complex that is known for its wide selection of stores to tug at any shopaholic's heart strings. With a stunning glass ceiling and 250+ stores to cover every budget, this massive mall is a major tourist attraction.
7. Graffiti Alley
One of Toronto's best kept secrets is Graffiti Alley. This hidden gem has some of the most unique murals and street art I ever did see! It certainly makes a fun backdrop for photos during your travels to the city!
8. Kensington Market
Lined with vintage boutiques, cozy cafes and eclectic craft shops you won't find anywhere else in the city. Kensington Market is one of the most artsy neighborhoods in Toronto. And if none of that tickles your fancy, maybe the cute homes and pretty murals will do the trick for you! They definitely kept me entertained!
9. Nathan Phillips Square
Nathan Phillips Square is a famous plaza and event hotspot that hosts concerts and festivals during the (very short-lived) summer months. By winter, the square holds my favorite ice skating rink in the entire city! Whether you bring your skates or rent a pair -- this quintessential Toronto experience is one you don't want to miss. PS: This is also where you can snag a photo with the ever-so-popular 'TORONTO' sign.
10. Niagara Falls
One of the world's most breathtaking waterfalls exists just outside of Toronto. A short drive will get you from the center of Toronto to Niagara Falls, Ontario in under 2 hours. There are numerous ways to experience the fun and beauty of the falls. I wrote an entire post here about where and how to get up close to this natural wonder. You must see it in person to experience the magic for yourself!
11. Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
If you're traveling with kids or if the underwater world fascinates you, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada may be of interest to you. Featuring over 16,000 aquatic animals, the aquarium showcases multiple galleries of freshwater and saltwater environments from around the world. Tons of activities and entertaining exhibits will keep you busy for hours.
12. Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum (aka The ROM) is home to a diverse collection of world culture and natural history. Known to be the largest museum in Canada, it houses the world's largest collection of fossils! Their collection of over 6 million items is quite impressive.
13. St. Lawrence Market
Over 100+ vendors, bakers and artisans gather in the spacious St. Lawrence Market. The largest indoor market in the city, it was voted as one of the top food markets by National Geographic. Bring your appetite and your stretchy pants, and don't forget to stop by the Farmers Market on Saturdays beginning at 5:00am.
14. Toronto Islands & Ferries
One of my absolute favorite things to do in Toronto is escape the city and hop on a ferry to the Toronto Islands. Located just minutes from the downtown core, the ferry docks provide round trip rides to Toronto's Sugar Beach (hello pastel pink umbrellas!) and Centreville Theme Park. For just $7.50, you can get the most magical view of the Toronto skyline from Lake Ontario! You can purchase your tickets directly at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and check for the most up-to-date ferry schedule here.
15. Yonge-Dundas Square
Bringing life and energy to the city of Toronto, Dundas Square is located in downtown Toronto directly across from the Eaton Centre. Locals and tourists alike gather for celebrations, events, concerts and more. My favorite time to visit is during the summer months, when the square hosts free weeknight concerts, movie screenings and summer festivals.