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What to do in Toronto | 25 places to see

Finding what to do in Toronto can be a daunting task, especially in a city that is filled with vibrant culture and rich history.

Among the top travel destinations, Toronto also marked itself as one of the BEST travel destinations in the world!

Every year, around 43 million visitors come to see this beautiful city, to witness the city’s high dynamic range of attractions, from galleries to museums, from the zoo to parks, from nightlife to breathtaking skyline, this city has got it all.

Visitors will find an endless selection of choices, to jam-pack any fun-filled adventure into memorable moments. 

Suddenly, the question of what to do in Toronto now becomes a resounding statement. what is there NOT something to do in Toronto!

From the outskirts of Toronto till the edge of town, here are 25 places to see in Toronto, that would leave any self –proclaimed travel junkie, salivating.

1. Metro Toronto Zoo

what-to-do-in-toronto

Trying to figure out what to do in Toronto, will not have a more be-fitting beginning, than with the Toronto Metro Zoo. 

Relatively close to 5,000, the Toronto Zoo has an impressive and eclectic collection of animals. 

Some of the favorites include lions, giraffes, pygmy hippos, tigers, penguins, orangutans, and many more.

The zoo is broken down into several sections, each section representing a major region of the globe. 

Some of the other exceptional highlights at the zoo include the Gorilla Rainforest; the Tundra Trek, featuring polar bears; and the Great Barrier Reef.

One of the most attractive areas with families is The Discovery Zone, and during the beautiful months of summer, a splash pad offers fun in the sun.

The Toronto Metro Zoo rests on the Rouge River about 40 kilometers northeast of the city center.

Address: 2000 Meadowvale Rd., Toronto

Site: www.torontozoo.com

2. CN Tower

what-to-do-in-toronto

Regarded as one of the tallest free-standing structure. Toronto’s famous landmark is one of the city’s iconic attractions and also the most impossible to miss. 

Towering above the downtown at 553 meters, the CN Tower can be noticed from almost every direction of the city.

You can begin by a simple appreciation of this colossal structure from the ground or undertake and more intimate approach up to one of the observation areas or restaurants for spectacular views over Lake Ontario and the city of Toronto.

Featuring an elegant dining experience and some of the most breathtaking views from a table anywhere in Toronto, the revolving 360 restaurant is located at 351 meters. 

The 360 restaurant is open to serve lunch and dinner, and guests who dine here also receive complimentary access to the LookOut and Glass Floor levels of the tower.

Address: 301 Front Street West, Toronto

Site: https://www.cntower.ca/intro.html

 

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 3. Ripley’s Aquarium

what-to-do-in-toronto

One of Toronto’s premier attractions is Ripley’s Aquarium located adjacent to the base of the CN Tower. 

This remarkable facility features a wide array of marine life and it has quickly become one of the most frequented destination sites for local Torontonians.

The most notable feature is the magnificent underwater tunnel with a moving sidewalk. 

You can gaze at the ocean world go by all around you as sharks glide past and sawfish linger on the tunnel roof above. 

Truly a delightful experience for all ages.

Accented with creative lighting, another astonishing highlight of the aquarium is the jellyfish exhibit. 

In addition, these touch tanks with small sharks and stingrays allow for a complete hands-on experience. 

Moreover, for the engineering-minded individual, the facility’s open concept also allows for a look at the Life Support System and filtration equipment operating the facility.

Address: 288 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto

Site: https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada/

4. ROM

what-to-do-in-toronto
Getty Images/Oleksiy Maksymenko

Recognized as the ROM, the Royal Ontario Museum, is one of Canada’s foremost museums, with an international reputation for excellence. 

It houses an exceptional collection, which comprises of natural history, art, and culture from a considerable variety of periods from all over the world. 

It is also well-renowned for featuring exhibitions from across the globe.

Address: 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto

Site: https://www.rom.on.ca/en

5. Casa Loma

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Flickr / Dennis Jarvis

Standing in beautiful lush green grounds, Casa Loma is an extraordinary structure somewhat reminiscent of a medieval castle.

 Initially constructed in 1914 for an eccentric Canadian multi-millionaire, Sir Henry Pellatt. 

He was among the first to recognize an opportunity to capitalize on the money-making potential of Niagara Falls.

With nearly 100 rooms, including three dozen bathrooms, the historic house is now a museum.

Patrons can envision a moment in time to a period of European elegance and splendor.

In addition, Canada’s iconic castle is complete with decorated suites, secret passages, towers, stables, an 800-foot tunnel, and five acres of estate gardens.

Address: 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto

Site: http://www.casaloma.org/

6. Ontario Science Centre

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Source: Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites

The Ontario Science Centre is a family-centered attraction with various intriguing exhibits to entertain children.

Designed by the artistically inclined architect Raymond Moriyama, this modern-day structure was built in 1969. 

Visitors to the center are brought one on one with the latest advancement in the field of telecommunications, technology, biology, physics, optics, space travel and meteorology, and much more, all presented in a captivating and a vivid mannerism.

For the movie lover in you, Ontario Science Centre allows the opportunity to discover how thrilling films can be on a giant dome screen.

Yeah…. that’s right it is a DOME!  with a state-of-the-art surround sound system emitting 13,000 watts of wrap-around sound from 44 speakers.

Address: 770 Don Mills Road, Toronto

Site: http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/

7. Eaton Centre

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The larger than life Eaton Centre mall is located at the heart of the Central Business District. 

Connected to its own subway station, this ultra-sleek shopping conglomerate extends over several blocks and is regularly being updated.

In this behemoth of a mall, visitors can easily manage to lose their direction in the bewildering maze of department stores, boutiques, specialty shops, cafeterias, restaurants, and snack bars, which crowd the different levels above and below ground.

The original Eaton department store opened its doors in Toronto of 1869 and eventually grew into one of Canada’s iconic retail business.

Address: 220 Yonge Street, Toronto 

Site: https://www.cfshops.com/toronto-eaton-centre.html

8. Distillery District

what-to-do-in-toronto

A renewed historic area, Toronto’s Distillery District has been transformed into a trendy entertainment and shopping district. 

Charming boutiques, artists’ studios, galleries, and restaurants occupy the old building. 

This is an alluring place to visit during the day or evening at any time of year!

A collage of entertainment events are showcased here, but one of the most notable is the annual Toronto Christmas Market

Wooden stalls all adorned for Christmas market exceptional gifts; a magnificent Christmas tree stands in the middle of an open square. 

Cozy outdoor sections are set up, often with couches and large fire pits to gather around. Restaurants grant outdoor dining despite the wintry cold, with heat lamps and lap blankets. 

A constant flow of hot chocolate is always readily available at this time of year, for the patrons.

Site: http://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/

9. High Park

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Pinterest / Distinctive Advisors

High Park is an enormous field of green space accented with beautiful sunken gardens, hanging basket gardens, nature trails, natural ponds, and streams. 

This 165-acre country property originally was owned by the Howards, but through their generosity, it was later deeded to the City of Toronto in 1873. 

However, this deed came with the contingency that the park was to remain “for the free use, benefit and enjoyment of the citizens of Toronto and it be called High Park.”

Within the park is the High Park Zoo, home to a number of animals, including bison; reindeer; llamas; wallabies; and Toronto’s famous Capybara’s, Bonnie and Clyde, who escaped from their enclosure and instantly shot up to fame, establishing their own social media platforms in 2016.

In addition, areas of interest in the park include wading and swimming pools, picnic areas, playgrounds, and believe it or not, a scenic train tour. 

The grounds also consist of 19th-century recreated gardens, a Coach House, and the Howards’ Tomb.

Yearly, the Canadian Stage Company puts on a performance at the open-air theater of the park during the months of July and August, known as “Shakespeare in High Park.”

Address: 1873 Bloor St W, Toronto,

Site: http://highparktoronto.com/

10. Nathan Philips Square and City Hall

what-to-do-in-toronto
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Nathan Philips Square is an urban plaza in Toronto, Canada. The plaza is beside the City’s hall which is a distinctive landmark and a seat of the municipal government of Canada. 

Both The Nathan Philips Square and city hall are designed by architect” Viljo Revell” and landscape architect “Richard Strong.”

The place opened back in 1965 and features a peaceful garden and a skating rink. 

The square is highly known for concerts, performances, shows, the winter festival of lights, a weekly farmer’s market, demonstrations, and workshops.

Address: 100 Queen Street West, Toronto

Site: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/venues-facilities-bookings/booking-city-facilities/city-squares/nathan-phillips-square/

11. The Art Gallery

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Photo by Sean Driscoll on Unsplash

The highly renowned art gallery of Ontario (AGO) is among the largest museums in North America. 

It consists of more than 95,000 historical pieces including artifacts, arts, European masterpieces, etc. 

It also consists of vast Canadian art collections, such as by “Group of Seven.” 

Temporary exhibitions are held here frequently, allowing its visitors to come for more.

The AGO is an extraordinary looking building, with a mixture of historical and contemporary architecture, located on the west side of the city center. 

Coincidentally, next to the AGO is the Ontario College of Art and Design, standing high above the street on stilts designed to look like pencils.

Address: 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto

Site: http://www.ago.net/

12. The Graffiti Alley

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

The Graffiti Alley is known for its colorful street art as it contains amazing artistic designs, done by street artists. 

The place has been used for shooting purposes many times and is a wonderful place to take Instagram photos, selfies and make memories.

Graffiti Alley stretches between and runs alongside too, Queen Street West and Richmond street west, from Spadina Avenue to Portland street.

 

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13. The Hockey Hall of Fame

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Flickr / Nathan Forget

If you are a fan of hockey, then you’re going to love this place. 

The hockey hall of fame is a platform, honoring the all-time hockey great players, teams and games. 

It consists of an interactive display to test your hockey skills, memorabilia and a chance to see the Max Bentley’s stick, Terry Sawchuk’s goalie gear, and the Stanley Cup. 

There is also a puck wall where you can see a great collection of pucks, collected from tournaments from all over the world.

Address: Brookfield Place, 30 Yonge Street, Toronto

Site: https://www.hhof.com/

14. St.Lawrence Market

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Flickr / Kiril Strax

The historical, St. Lawrence Market is a shopping hub that is a home for a collection of vendors, offering an assortment of products including food, spices, flowers, specialty items. 

The market was first known as a public meeting place and venue for concerts. It was built back in 1850 however later restored in 1967. 

This historic building provides an eclectic atmosphere for the market and is also periodically used for film and television shoots. 

Address: 92 Front Street East, Toronto

Site: http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/

15. Kensington Market

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Flickr / David J

The Kensington Market is a historically traditional market place, built around the 1920s.  

It sells a great variety of items in an affordable range from Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world. 

The Kensington Market is brimming with shops, restaurants and street food.

Site: http://www.kensington-market.ca

16. Fort York

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Flickr / City of Toronto

Fort York is one of the well recognized historical sites in Toronto since the 18th century. 

The most astonishing aspect of this place is that it survived World War II and to this date remains well preserved.

The place was established back in 1793 and also a place where Toronto was established as “Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.” 

Here, you’ll get a glimpse of the soldiers’ lives of the past, the military fortifications, and an amazing example of British army military architecture.

Address: 250 Fort York Blvd, Toronto

Site: https://www.fortyork.ca/

17. Entertainment District

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Flickr / John Vetterli

If there is an answer to New York’s Broadway, it would be Toronto’s Entertainment District.

This vibrant and cultured neighborhood comes to life in the evening hours.

This is the place to visit and see major theater productions with contemporary shows and musicals, concerts, and other performing arts. 

You will also find a complete range of dining experiences and places for socializing, as well as hotels.

The primary center of activity in the Entertainment District is along King Street.

Site: http://torontoed.com

18. Roger Centre

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Photo by Zoran Zonde Stojanovski on Unsplash

Christened as the SkyDome, now most notably known as The Rogers Center is a multi-billion dollar sports arena and the official home of the baseball team “Toronto Blue Jays”.

The centre was officially opened in 1989 and has hosted games like “Toronto Argonauts” of the Canadian football league (CFL), Toronto Raptors of National Basketball Association (NBA), Buffalo bills of National Football League (NFL) and much more.

In addition to sports events, the Roger Centre has also been hosting concerts, performances, conventions, and trade fairs.

One of the primary reasons for Rogers Center being so famous is its retractable roof, opening in favorable weather and closing during bad weather.

Address: 1 Blue Jays Way, Toronto

Site: https://www.mlb.com/bluejays/ballpark

19. Toronto Islands and Centreville

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Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

A Ferry trip to the Toronto Islands is one of a kind outdoor experience, which begins at the Queen’s Quay Terminal.  

It is a beautiful place, providing opportunities for scenic walks on the islands, and an assortment of fun-filled activities including; rowing, swimming, sailing, surfing.

Also, it offers open-air events, however only in the summer when the weather is favorable enough for the events to turn out well. 

There, you can also get a fantastic skyline view, and bask in the warm weather conditions.

The Centreville Amusement Park is located right on Centre Island

Boasting with over 30 rides and attractions, Centreville is one of Toronto’s popular summer destination for families with young children.

Site: http://www.centreisland.ca/

20. Black Creek Pioneer Village

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Photo by Tobias on Unsplash

Experience what it feels to live in 1867, take a step back and witness a time of Canada’s Confederation. 

The Black Creek Pioneer Village is a recreation of life that once used to be back in 1867.

Extending over 30 acres of immaculate country landscapes, the historical Village consists of 40 heritage structures from communities throughout south-central Ontario. 

This historical community is completely furnished from a collection of over 50,000 historical artifacts.

Visitors can explore the building of heritage and gardens, enjoy outdoor activities and discovery stations, be part in a musical performance.

Address1000 Murray Ross Pkwy, North York

Site: https://blackcreek.ca/

21. Ontario Place

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Photo by Frank Castro on Unsplash

The Ontario Place is nestled on 155 acres of breathtaking waterfront property in Toronto. 

The iconic location is a venue for activities, theater, live music, festivals, events and more. 

Re-opened as a charming public space, the park honours the landscape of Ontario and brings individuals of all ages and communities together.

Ontario place most prominent attraction is the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre

The IMAX  theater is able to show IMAX 70 mm films, in addition to IMAX Laser presentations.

Address955 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto

Site: http://ontarioplace.com/en/

22. Medieval Times

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Photo by Medieval Times

Recreate an era when royalty gathered for tournaments and feasted while watching knights compete on horseback at Medieval Times. 

The dinner theater takes the visitor and guests out of the contemporary world and back to 11 century Spain where they are treated like royalty.

As royal guests, you will enjoy dining on a four-course meal, served by serfs and wenches, all the while watching a two-hour live show which consists of jousting, sword fighting, falconry, and equestrian dressage

All of this is set within a story of bravery and chivalry.

Address: 10 Dufferin St, Toronto

Site: https://www.medievaltimes.com/

 

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23. Bata Shoe Museum

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Flickr / Tamara Dunn

The Bata Shoe Museum is one of the most unique gallery, with a rich history to be ever unveiled in Toronto. 

The Museum’s history originates back to 1894, about the same time when the Bata Shoe Company was registered in Czechoslovakia.

Designed by architect Raymond Moriyama, the museum building is shaped like an open shoebox, and is meant to reflect the notion of a museum as a “container.” 

Indeed, the museum consists of well over 12,500 pairs of shoes that span  a history of 4,500 years, making it the world’s largest collection of shoes and footwear-related objects.

Some of these shoes belonged to celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Terry Fox, Madonna, Justin Beiber and many more. 

Address: 327 Bloor St W, Toronto

Site: http://batashoemuseum.ca/

24. Museum Of Illusion

what-to-do-in-toronto
Photo Courtesy of: Museum of Illusion Canada

Where nothing appears to be what it seems, and where reality is merely an illusion. 

The Museum of illusion blends entertainment and fun with an opportunity to learn and be educated. 

Whether you are aspiring to enlighten your knowledge and perspective, or out seeking for an adventure, the Museum has something to please everyone.

Showcasing well over 80 holograms, illusions, and exhibits. The Museum of Illusions caters to rare and very personalized experiences for all individuals and groups. 

Whether you are a child, a student, an educator, or a family,  the Museum offers a captivating visual and sensory experience.

Demonstrate your sense of balance while navigating on the Vortex tunnel. 

Bring your inner Einstein, to life while solving Dilemma games. 

Witness the laws of gravity and size ratio through Ames and Tilted rooms. 

All of the illusions, holograms, installations, and exhibits provide an intimate experience that is sure to amaze you time and time again.

Address: 32 Front St E, Toronto

Site: https://museumofillusions.ca/

25. Rec Room

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Photo by RecRoom

Located at Roundhouse Park in the heart of downtown Toronto, just moments away from the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and the Air Canada Centre.

The Rec Room reinvents what fun is all about. With over 40,000 sq. feet of awesome games, mouth-watering dishes, and amazing entertainment, all under one roof!

The Rec Room is the place to be free, be lively and experience something fresh and exciting.

With Canadian-inspired cuisine, video and redemption games, virtual reality, live entertainment, and more. 

A perfect place to unwind in this ultimate social playground.

Address: 255 Bremner Blvd., Toronto

Site: https://www.therecroom.com/

Final Thoughts

Toronto is one of the most fascinating destinations to travel to. It is overflowing with an innumerate selection of attractions within the city. 

From vibrant culture to one of the finest dining experiences.

From rich history to bewildering structures. From the electric nightlife to the hospitable warmth of the fellow citizens of Toronto. 

Toronto truly is one destination place that will leave any traveler, with memorable moments to last a lifetime.

 

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