Toronto is a picturesque city that attracts millions of visitors each year. There’s a lot to explore in this world-class city, from museums, parks, and rooftop bars, so you’ll find no shortage of fun here in Toronto. With so much to do, it was difficult to narrow this list down to just 10 things to do in Toronto.
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Interesting Facts about Toronto
Toronto is the capital city of Ontario. It is the most populated city in Canada and the fourth most populated city in North America.
The population here is extremely diverse with more than half of its residents born outside of Canada. English is the primary language although more than 150 languages are spoken in the city.
Toronto is the third largest tech hub in North America, coming in behind Silicon Valley and New York City. It is home to the CN Tower, which is the tallest free-standing structure outside of Asia.
Best Things to Do in Toronto
#1 CN Tower
The CN Tower is the most iconic skyscraper in the Toronto skyline, and for good measure. Standing at a little over 550 meters tall (just over 1800 feet), the tower is the tallest building in North America and was named one of the seven civil engineering wonders of the world.
CN Tower | Best Things to Do in Toronto
The tower features two observation decks, a revolving 360-degree restaurant, outdoor terrace and glass floor walkway.
The views from the Main Observation Level are fantastic, where you are able to see everything Toronto has to offer. Featured on the same level are a few different food stalls and tables if you’d like to grab a bite and enjoy the views.
The view from the Main Observation Level | Best Things to Do in Toronto
Featured one story higher is 360 The Restaurant, a revolving 360-degree restaurant which is the top spot to eat in Toronto with a view. The food served here is unbelievably good and is highly worth it if you’re willing to splurge on the cost. Restaurant guests also get free access to the Main Observation Level (given they spent at least $75 CAD on their meal). Find out more here.
The Skypod is the higher of the two observation levels, located 33 stories higher than the Main Observation Level. The views are immaculate, and on a clear day you’ll even be able to see as far as Niagara Falls (100 miles away)!
Looking for more of a thrill while in Toronto? The CN Tower also features the Edgewalk, a hands-free walkway for guests to traverse 116 stories above the ground. Guests are secured with nothing more than a cable as they get to experience the views from a more upfront point of view. The Edgewalk has also been recognized by Guinness World Records as the “highest external walk on a building” in the world!
PRO TRAVEL TIP: If you’re planning on braving the Edgewalk, make sure to purchase tickets a few months in advance, as they sell out early! You can find tickets online here.
Hours and Admission Costs
Hours: 10 am – 9 pm
Main Observation Level: Adults ($43 CAD); Youth & Seniors ($30 CAD)
Adding on the Skypod adds an extra $10 CAD (but definitely worth it)
Edgewalk: $199 – $225 CAD, depending on the day
Website: Get updated pricing and hours here.
#2 Hockey Hall of Fame
Hockey fans rejoice! The Hockey Hall of Fame is the world’s largest public collection of hockey memorabilia and home to the Stanley Cup.
Featured are exhibits showcasing relics dating back to the beginning of the sport to modern jerseys and gear. There are also plenty of fun and interactive exhibits that are well worth your time to check out. From the biggest hockey fans to those who know very little about the sport, you’re bound to learn something new and have fun in the process.
Hockey Hall of Fame | Best Things to Do in Toronto
Stanley Cup | Best Things to Do in Toronto
Hours: Open daily from 10:00am – 5:00pm, with extended hours in mid-March; Closed Dec 25th and Jan 1st
Cost: Adult $25CAD, Youth (4-13yr) $15
Website: Get updated hours and pricing on the official website.
#3 Grab a Bite to Eat at St. Lawrence Market
Located in Toronto’s historic old town district, St. Lawrence Market is one of the top foodie destinations in the city. The indoor market consists of a variety of stalls where vendors offer fresh products from the region. You’ll find fresh cuts of meat, delicious seafood, fruits, cheese, and wine. Whatever you’re craving, you’ll find it at St. Lawrence Market.
St. Lawrence Market | Best Things to Do in Toronto
We ate at Buster’s Sea Cove and the food here was incredible. This was one of the few stalls with a line, so we knew the seafood had to be good. You’ll find Buster’s Sea Cove at the opposite end of the market’s main entrance.
Hours: Check here for updated hours.
#4 Wander the Distillery District
The Distillery District is a collection of shops and restaurants on the outskirts of Toronto’s old town district, famed for its Victorian industrial architecture and hub for culture and entertainment. The neighborhood was originally a whiskey distillery in the 19th century and was ultimately transformed into what you see today.
Distillery District | Best Things to Do in Toronto
We recommend spending an afternoon wandering the neighborhood, and you’ll often find live entertainment depending on your time of visit (most common in summer season and in the evening).
If you’re looking for a spot to eat, we recommend El Catrin Destileria. People rave about this restaurant in their reviews and it is notable for its great setting and impressive collection of tequila and mezcal.
#5 Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum is the largest museum for world cultures and natural history in Canada. From dinosaur fossils to historic artifacts and works of art, the ROM has it all. We found that there was no shortage of cool stuff to see here and had a blast spending an afternoon walking between exhibits.
Royal Ontario Museum | Best Things to Do in Toronto
We recommend visitors spend 2 hours here to enjoy all the museum has to offer.
Website: Get updated pricing and hours on the official website.
#6 Visit Nathan Phillips Square
Located right in the center of downtown Toronto, Nathan Phillips Square is the colorful and picturesque heart of the city.
Nathan Phillips Square | Best Things to Do in Toronto
Take a picture with the Toronto sign, with the Toronto City Hall set as a backdrop. The fountain that sits in front of the sign is converted into an ice rink during the winter season, so make sure to strap on some skates while you’re here!
On the edge of the square, you’ll also find the Toronto Old City Hall, another notable landmark with its clocktower.
#7 Toronto Islands
For the best views of the Toronto skyline, look no further than the Toronto Islands Park. This is a hotspot in Toronto during the summer months, where visitors can spend time on the beach, on the water, or out for a picnic. The islands are roughly 3 miles from end to end and connected through a series of pathways and bridges.
It also makes a great spot to watch the sunset (although this was rather chilly during my visit in early January).
View from the ferry ride | Best Things to Do in Toronto
The view from Toronto Islands | Best Things to Do in Toronto
For more information about things to do on the islands, visit the official website. You can also get the ferry schedule here.
For information regarding the ferry, click here.
#8 Tour the Halls of Casa Loma
Casa Loma is one of the only full-sized castles in North America. It was constructed in the early 20th century for Sir Henry Pellatt as a mansion located in midtown Toronto. The house has since become a historical exhibit for the public to enjoy.
At surface level, Casa Loma appears to be an impressively constructed mansion that’s oddly placed directly outside Toronto’s city center. But a full visit here will reveal a lot more than just fancy ballrooms. You’ll find a movie theater, secret tunnels, and even a wax museum! The castle also features three hidden passageways, one of which has never been found. Will you be lucky enough to discover the final one?
Casa Loma | Best Things to Do in Toronto
The view from Casa Loma
BlueBlood Steakhouse | Best Things to Do in Toronto
Casa Loma also features the BlueBlood Steakhouse, and it is recommended for those willing to splurge for arguably the most memorable meal of your trip.
Hours: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, open daily. Last admission at 4:30pm
Cost: Adult $40CAD, get updated hours and pricing here.
#9 Explore Scarborough Bluffs Park
Looking for a peaceful afternoon outside of the city? Spend some time along the beach and breathe in the fresh air, only a 30-minute drive outside of downtown Toronto. While you’re here, grab some photos of the Bluffs themselves which are an impressive nine-mile stretch of cliffs that run along the edge of Lake Ontario. The park is pretty expansive and offers plenty of lookouts and beaches.
Scarborough Bluffs in January
We highly recommend Scarborough Bluffs Park as a great place to visit any time of year. If you’re traveling through Toronto in the summer, don’t forget to pack your towel and swimsuit. If you’re here for the winter, challenge your friends to a snowball fight!
Hours: Open all day, everyday
#10 Art Gallery of Ontario
Another great museum to spend an afternoon at, the Art Gallery of Ontario is Toronto’s largest collection of art and one of the largest museums in North America. For any and all art-lovers out there, this museum is highly recommended.
Hours: Opens 10:30 am, closes between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm depending on day.
Cost: Adult $25CAD, ages 25 and under receive free admission
Website: Get updated pricing and hours here.
Where to Eat & Drink in Toronto
Hemingway’s is a New Zealand inspired rooftop bar and grill, located right by the Royal Ontario Museum. They’ve got a great selection of food and beer, some of which is imported directly from New Zealand.
Hemingway’s | Best Things to Do in Toronto
Bar Hop Brewco was our favorite bar that we visited. Located right in the heart of Toronto, this bar has a laid-back atmosphere and a fantastic staff. Definitely swing by while in Toronto!
Valerie is an indoor rooftop bar that’s a bit more on the pricey end. However, what you get are some incredible drinks, a high-class setting and an impeccable view of the city skyline.
Valerie | Best Things to Do in Toronto
Baro is a latin-themed restaurant and rooftop bar placed a little ways outside the main city center.
Gusto 101 is an Italian restaurant and rooftop bar with a great selection of food & drink. Gusto 101 is located right by Baro.
Maple Leaf Tavern is a 15-minute drive outside of Toronto’s city center, and everyone raves about this spot in their reviews.
Maple Leaf Tavern
The Goodman Pub and Kitchen is located right on Toronto’s harbor and only a 5 minute walk from the CN Tower. It has a great location and even better reviews, we highly recommend stopping by.
The Goodman Pub and Kitchen
With More Time in Toronto
Here are four additional things to do on your visit to Toronto.
1. Visit the Toronto harbor.
2. The Aga Khan Museum hosts a wide range of Muslim and Islamic culture and art and is only a 25 minute drive from the city center.
3. Try Icewine! This beverage, which is made from grapes harvested in the winter season, is quite popular throughout Toronto. Most restaurants and bars in Toronto will have Icewine on their menus.
4. Rouge National Urban Park is a 30 minute drive from downtown Toronto, and a great place to visit to escape from the bustling city. The park offers free admission and is a great spot to explore in the summer months.
Aga Khan Museum | Best Things to Do in Toronto
Best Things to Do in Toronto: On a Map
How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (places to go, restaurants and hotels). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.
Best Time to Visit Toronto
The best time to visit Toronto is May into June and September into October, when the weather is mild.
Winters are very cold in Toronto, with the average high being below freezing. The winter months also get the most precipitation and this generally falls as snow.
Summers are relatively mild but during a heat wave, it is possible for the temperature to break the 100 degree mark (over 40°C). Summer tends to be the driest time of the year.
Our visit was in early January. During the week that we spent here, we had freezing temperatures, warmer than average temperatures, and a little bit of rain and snow.
How Much Time Do You Need in Toronto?
Toronto makes a great weekend destination. It takes about two days to visit the main sites and this also gives you time to watch the sunset from the Toronto Islands, have dinner, and stroll through the historic areas.
Learn how to plan your visit with our 2 Days in Toronto Itinerary.
Where to Stay in Toronto
LUXURY: The St. Regis Toronto. With a spa, indoor pool, gym, and bar and restaurant on the 31st floor of the hotel, this is one of the top hotels in the city. Some rooms have spectacular views of the Toronto skyline.
UPSCALE: The Omni King Edward Hotel. Located in the city center, this hotel features massive rooms and suites that are beautifully decorated. It is within walking distance of the CN Tower, St. Lawrence Market, and some of Toronto’s best restaurants.
MID-RANGE: Sonder at the Liberty. This hotel has an excellent location in the city center. Rooms are modernly decorated and come with a kitchenette. Room types range from deluxe suites to one, two, and three-bedroom suites.
MID-RANGE: Stylish Downtown Toronto Residential Hotel. This is also located in the city center, a little farther away from the CN Tower and harbor than Sonder at the Liberty. This boutique property gets exceptional reviews. Rooms are spacious studio suites that come with a kitchen and washing machine.
BUDGET: The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar. With an excellent location, it’s possible to stay in the city center and not spend a lot of money. Rooms are basic and can accommodate between one and four people.
If you have any questions about the best things to do in Toronto, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Toronto
NIAGARA FALLS: Niagara Falls is just a short drive from Toronto. Learn how to spend 48 hours in Niagara Falls.
NEW YORK CITY: Let us take the guesswork out of planning a trip to New York City with our 5 Days in New York City Itinerary. We also have a New York City Hotel Guide and an article that covers the top sights in New York City.
BOSTON: For information about Boston, read our article Best Things to Do in Boston. We also have a detailed guide on how to day trip to Plymouth, Lexington, and Concord from Boston.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE: Check out our Acadia National Park Travel Guide for important travel information, sample itineraries, and how to plan your visit. For a list of must-have experiences, read our article Best Things to Do in Acadia National Park.
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