Toronto offers unparalleled experiences that’ll make you want to stay – or come back for more! It’s got Canadiana charm, wrapped up in exciting urban vibes.
With over 200 iconic attractions including the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and the Royal Ontario Museum you’ll never run out of fun things to do. Whether a major league game is playing, a festival is taking over the streets, or a renowned performance is bringing a crowd to its feet, Toronto invests a lot in curating top entertainment year-round.
Toronto has over 125 museums, 50 ballet and dance companies, 6 opera companies and 2 symphony orchestras. It’s the 3rd largest English-speaking theatre centre, with over 90 venues and more than 40 productions each month. This is where both local and international creativity thrives. Some of the world’s biggest artists choose Toronto for their touring exhibits, and the city features some of the world’s most renowned festivals: the Toronto International Film Festival, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, Pride, and more. Foreign Policy’s Global Cities Index recently named Toronto as the 4th best city in the world to experience culture.
Bordering Lake Ontario, Toronto is lined with beaches. In fact, no matter where you are in the city, there’s a good chance you’ll have a beach nearby. With abundant waterfront parks that span from the most eastern to western points of the city, you can enjoy large boardwalks, watersports like kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and beach volleyball, waterfront bike trails, and the occasional beach party. The Toronto Islands also have ample beach locations, including a clothing-optional stretch at Hanlan’s Point.
With over 1,000 festivals annually, Toronto celebrates everything from music to art to film year-round. The biggest names come for the Toronto International Film Festival and the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, while thousands flock to the city to enjoy the sights and tastes of the Canadian National Exhibition. Music lovers come from abroad for Drake’s annual OVO Fest and the VELD Music Festival, while food lovers fill up on culinary celebrations like Toronto Ribfest and Taste of the Danforth. Plus, you can’t miss the sights of dazzling art festivals like Luminato, the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, and the Toronto Light Festival. The amount of festivals in the city are extensive and take place all year. Whatever your quirky passion may be whether its comic books, cars, or even architecture, it’ll be celebrated.
Toronto has over 20,000 acres of parklands, ravines, valleys, waterfront beaches, and bluffs. As an easily walkable city, getting around by foot is both pleasant and scenic. If you love biking, there are plenty of paths and trails that cut across the city streets and within the quieter surrounding parks. Toronto’s West Don Lands are a hiker’s dream, with beautifully scenic parks that are also accessible in winter. During the colder months, the city boasts picturesque skating rinks at Nathan Phillips Square and Harbourfront Centre, including park trails that are open for snowshoeing, fat biking, and tobogganing.
From Canada’s Wonderland to Medieval Times to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Toronto is filled with child-friendly attractions and activities. Parents can have their children participate in travel planning thanks to Yo-Toronto , a website launched by Tourism Toronto. Designed to inspire and entertain younger guests, the site features games, activities, videos and fun facts. The colourful map navigation allows children to explore 20 unique Toronto landmarks and attractions that they can pencil into their family trip.
Toronto’s most iconic dish is the peameal bacon sandwich, with a butter tart as dessert. However, because the city is so multicultural, it’s also known for its authentic cuisine within a myriad of ethnic neighbourhoods: Chinatown and Koreatown for Asian, The Danforth for Greek, Little Italy for Italian, Roncesvalles for Polish, Parkdale and Kensington Market for Caribbean, Little Portugal for Portuguese, and more. There’s also the city’s St-Lawrence Market, housing most of Toronto’s tastiest offerings, all under one roof. In fact, National Geographic ranked it as the best food market in the world.
Much of Toronto’s rich culture can be uncovered in historic monuments around the city. Inukshuk Park pays homage to Aboriginal culture while Queens Park is filled with statues that honour the British royal monarchy. Old City Hall is a key piece of Toronto’s history, with a classic European aesthetic, including gargoyles. While on the contemporary side, there’s Canoe Landing Park with its iconic red canoe that overlooks the Gardiner Expressway.
Toronto has 125 museums including the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest museum that showcases art, culture and nature from around the world and across the ages. The Art Gallery of Ontario is another prominent museum that hosts large international exhibits, sometimes during their only Canadian stop. Other museums include The Bata Shoe Museum, dedicated to footwear throughout history, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery dedicated to modern art, the Aga Khan Museum dedicated to Muslim culture, and much more.
With natural parks nearby, it’s easy to get from Toronto to some of Canada’s unique breathtaking wonders. Georgian Bay Islands National Park is located north of the city and features majestic wooded trails and access to Lake Huron’s clear waters bordered by beautiful granite shores. Bruce Peninsula National Park is located northeast of Toronto, nearby Collingwood, where many flock to for a cottage escape. Bruce Peninsula features intricate wooded trails, perfect for seasoned hikers, and majestic cliffs that overlook turquoise waters. Bordering Bruce Peninsula is Fathom Five National Marine Park with ancient dolomite formations that date back to 420 million years. Within the park you’ll find 22 shipwrecks which are now popular dive sites, all located in Lake Huron’s sparkling blue freshwater ecosystem.
As a trendy city, Toronto has lots of hotspots for the fun-loving traveler. Kensington Market is a small enclave where artists thrive and the city’s nightlife roars. During the day, Kensington brims with vintage shops, delicious food and lively patios, while in the evening it stays booming with a nightlife that caters to everything from jazz to hip hop to contemporary sounds. West Queen West is for the trendsetters, as its located right in the city’s Fashion District and features local designer boutiques, with stylish items you won’t find anywhere else. Parkdale is another hip neighbourhood that features trendy bars, good food (lots of vegan options), with a handful of vintage and antique shops. If you crave a night out with lots of bar options within a close proximity to one another, Ossington Street is your spot. Not only is it lively and fun, but it’s diverse in whether you’re seeking someplace casual, upscale or a little bit of both.
Toronto has a dynamic and culturally dynamic culinary scene. Internationally-acclaimed chefs head restaurants like Momofuku (a favourite among celebrities), Lee, Parts & Labour, and more, while high-in-the-sky eateries like 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower, and Canoe, pair mouthwatering meals with amazing views. With over 9,000 restaurants featuring Canada’s widest selection of global cuisine, Toronto offers something (or lots of things) for all tastes.
It’s no surprise that Toronto is a major shopping destination. Stores along Bloor-Yorkville are filled with luxury designer items, while unique vintage finds are located in Kensington and West Queen West’s Fashion District. Home to 10 major shopping malls and designer outlets, Toronto also has international designer stores like Prada and Chanel, plus local favourites like Roots and Hudson’s Bay. And that’s just above ground. Below, in the underground PATH are 1,200 shops and restaurants where choices are endless.
One of North America’s major sports markets, Toronto’s professional sports teams include the Toronto Blue Jays for baseball, the Toronto Maple Leafs for hockey, the Toronto Raptors for basketball, the Toronto Argonauts for football, the Toronto FC for soccer, the Toronto Rock for lacrosse, and Toronto Wolfpack for rugby. The city’s major sporting venues include the Air Canada Centre, the Rogers Centre, and BMO Field. If you want to catch a game but can’t score tickets, the streets are filled with vibrant sports bars like Real Sports Bar and Grill, the Loose Moose, and Wayne Gretzky’s Toronto.