Things to do in Toronto

Things to do in  Toronto

The world in one city

Cosmopolitan and culturally diverse, Toronto sits nestled on the banks of Lake Ontario. Visitors come from far and wide to experience its food, buzzing nightlife, and colorful festivals, though things quiet over the winter season—when heavy snows and plummeting temperatures push people to the ski slopes. Within the city limits, top Toronto attractions abound, such as the majestic castle of Casa Loma; CN Tower, the third tallest tower in the world; Dundas Square; Toronto Eaton Centre shopping mall; and the richly multicultural neighborhood of Kensington Market. Visitors will find plenty of shopping and sightseeing options—with guides on hand to shine a light on the region’s rich history. Travelers can take to the air by helicopter, spin through the streets on a bike or hop-on hop-off bus, or cruise the waves of Lake Ontario for fine views of the city skyline. The world-famous Niagara Falls is less than a two-hour drive around the shores of Lake Ontario on the border with the United States, and travelers using Toronto as a base can opt for a day tour with transportation for easy access. For something a little more sedate, delve into the wilderness on an Algonquin Park canoe tour. You can fine native bears, beavers, and moose in their natural habitats; swim in crystal-clear lakes; and discover the best of the Ontario wilderness—all within reach of bustling Toronto.

Top 15 attractions in Toronto

CN Tower

For many visitors to Toronto, this needle-like telecommunications tower—often seen from the airplane window—is their first glimpse of the city. When it was erected in 1976, the CN Tower was the world’s tallest freestanding structure. Though it no longer holds that title, it is still the tallest tower in Canada, and the spectacular views from its observation decks are second to none.More

Harbourfront Centre

Occupying a prime 10-acre (4-hectare) site on the edge of Lake Ontario, the nonprofit Harbourfront Centre offers a jam-packed year-round program of events. The complex comprises more than 30 sights, including parks, outdoor and indoor performance venues, squares, art galleries, a boardwalk, artist studios, restaurants, and retail outlets.More

Distillery Historic District

Once home to the 1832 Gooderham and Worts’ mammoth distilling facility, Toronto’s charming arts and entertainment quarter is now a popular strolling spot for off-duty creatives. The cobblestone streets are lined with Victorian-era industrial buildings, which have been repurposed to serve as contemporary art galleries, third-wave coffee shops, concept boutiques, restaurants, and bars.More

Hockey Hall of Fame

A sacred site for Canadians—for whom ice hockey is a national obsession—the Hockey Hall of Fame holds a treasure trove of memorabilia, including the original Stanley Cup. Housed inside a grand 19th-century Bank of Montreal building, it also features interactive games including a virtual shoot-out where visitors can test their skills.More

St. Lawrence Market

A foodie paradise, the long-running St. Lawrence Market occupies the historic South Market House building, which previously served as Toronto’s city hall and jail. Since 1803, residents and visitors have come here to meet, eat, and shop for food items ranging from Prince Edward Island oysters to peameal bacon to Montreal-style bagels.More

Yonge-Dundas Square

The flashy urban scene of Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square is reminiscent of New York City’s Times Square. More than 56 million people visit this iconic spot every year, making it one of the busiest intersections in Canada. This is where you find glowing billboards, Eaton Centre, Ed Mirvish Theatre, and great spots to people-watch.More

Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario, the 14th-largest lake in the world but the smallest of the five Great Lakes, is divided in half by the U.S.-Canadian border. Its shores are home to two popular Canadian destinations: Toronto and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Known for its islands, beaches, wildlife, and waterfront trails, this beautiful body of water offers something for everyone.More

Rogers Centre

Located in downtown Toronto at the base of the CN Tower, the Rogers Centre is a sports and entertainment complex that is home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. The Rogers Centre is a great place to catch a Major League Baseball (MLB) game or other event held under its fully retractable roof—the first of its kind in the world.More

Toronto City Hall

New City Hall, which replaced Old City Hall in 1965 to accommodate a rapidly growing city, is the current seat of Toronto’s municipal government. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell, winner of the city’s international competition, Toronto City Hall is comprised of two curved towers as well as Nathan Phillips Square, Canada’s largest public square.More

Toronto Islands

Though Toronto’s high-rise skyline is in sight, the Toronto Islands—a chain of islands scattered off the shore of Lake Ontario—feel a world away. The islands, once a narrow peninsula, were cut off from the mainland by violent storms, and now their sandy coastlines and verdant parklands serve as a peaceful escape for the city-weary.More

Entertainment District

Toronto’s Entertainment District lives up to its name with a variety of performing arts venues, clubs, and live sporting events. From symphony to jazz and blues, theater, and baseball games, it’s all happening. Other options for entertainment in the area include Canada’s iconic CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.More

Toronto Kensington Market

Eclectic, diverse, and graffiti-slathered, Toronto's Kensington Market neighborhood is one of the city’s most distinctive enclaves. The district is packed with produce vendors, food sellers, vintage clothes shops, bric-a-brac boutiques, buskers, cafés, and restaurants, and attracts a steady stream of bohemian types.More

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

In downtown Toronto, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada houses approximately 16,000 water-bound species from across the world. The displays are arranged by region, and visitors can explore the tropical Rainbow Reef, check out the Dangerous Lagoon shark tank, and learn more about the marine life found in the waters around Canada.More

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Established in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is Canada’s largest museum. Housed inside a heritage-meets-modern building, it boasts a 6-million-strong collection, which focuses on objects relating to world culture and natural history. It includes everything from First Nations’ crest poles to Egyptian mummies to T-rex skeletons.More

Queen's Park

Perhaps best known as the site of the Ontario Legislative Building, Queen’s Park is a verdant oasis offering respite from the buzz of downtown Toronto. You’ll find monuments and memorials, walking paths and benches, and lawns ideal for lounging.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Toronto

Niagara Falls Day Tour from Toronto with Boat, Lunch& Winery Stop
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7-Minute Helicopter Tour over Toronto
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7-Minute Helicopter Tour over Toronto

Niagara Falls Luxury Day Tour From Toronto with Niagara Cruise
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Niagara Falls Luxury Day Tour From Toronto with Niagara Cruise

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Best of Toronto Small Group Tour with CN Tower and Harbour Cruise
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Niagara Falls Day Tour from Toronto with Boat Ride & Winery Stop
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Toronto Tall Ship Boat Cruise

Toronto Tall Ship Boat Cruise

From Toronto: Niagara Falls Day Tour with Optional Boat Cruise
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All about Toronto

When to visit

Toronto is always dynamic and exciting, but the city is definitely at its liveliest in sunny summertime, when temperatures hit an average high of 80°F (27°C). That warm weather draws crowds to the city’s beaches, urban retreats like the Toronto Islands, and open-air cafés and restaurants. For a different perspective, visit in the autumn shoulder season, when the leaf-peeping is at its best and regional destinations like Algonquin Park make for an ideal way to get out in nature.

Getting around

Toronto’s extensive public transportation networks make it easy to explore. The city has a subway system and a network of nine streetcar routes and is served by multiple bus lines. Ferry and water taxi services also connect the city to the Toronto Islands, which themselves are best explored on foot or by bike. Much of central Toronto is walkable, and taxi services offer another way to get around.

Traveler tips

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and it’s also its most diverse and dynamic—45 percent of residents speak a language other than English or French, and it’s often called the most multicultural city in the world. This is a place where you can seek out new culinary encounters—from Ethiopian to Korean, Pakistani to Polish, Argentine to Burmese. The city’s eclectic restaurants represent its global sensibility.


People Also Ask

What is Toronto famous for?

Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, is famous for its setting on Lake Ontario, the CN Tower, its cosmopolitan restaurants and nightlife, and its very cold winters. It’s also a popular jumping-off point for day trips to nearby Niagara Falls, on the other side of Lake Ontario.

What is the most visited place in Toronto?

The most popular tourist attractions in Toronto include the needle-like CN Tower with its sweeping views, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and the Gothic Revival mansion and gardens of Casa Loma. All are in the central city area.

What activities are available in Toronto?

Toronto offers a range of cultural, shopping, dining, and outdoor activities, particularly in the warmer months. In winter, options are limited to indoor activities. Popular activities include taking in the view from the CN Tower, shopping at Kensington Market, tours of the Steam Whistle Brewery, and Toronto Harbour boat cruises.

How can I spend 2 days in Toronto?

With two days in Toronto you can enjoy a range of cultural and outdoor activities (season dependent). Spend day one at the Royal Ontario Museum and/or the Art Gallery of Ontario, browsing the nearby shops and restaurants in between. On day two, take a trip around Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls, or relax on a Toronto Harbour cruise.

What can couples do in Toronto?

Toronto is a big city that caters to a range of interests. Head up the CN Tower for a romantic dinner at the revolving restaurant, smell the roses (and other flowers) at the Toronto Botanical Garden, or take a day trip to popular Honeymoon spot Niagara Falls.

Is Toronto very expensive?

Yes, Toronto can be expensive to visit. Accommodation, food, and attractions are in-line with other big-city prices. However, because it’s a large and diverse city you can choose accommodation, food, and activities to suit your budget, whether that’s on the lower or upper end of the scale.

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