Toronto is known as the world’s most culturally diverse city. With a population of over 3 million people, you can expect all the amenities that make an urban getaway unforgettable. Major sports teams, restaurants, shopping, museums and galleries just begin to scratch the surface. Toronto has something for everyone and makes the perfect gateway for exploring the province of Ontario.
When to Visit Toronto
Mid April – June: The chances of snow and cold weather are pretty slim once mid-April rolls around. Spring begins to take hold, bringing a lush green colour to the city. Lastly, children are still in school during these months, meaning you won’t have to deal with crowds.
September – October: After Labour Day, children go back to school and the weather begins to cool off. The fall season features some impressive colours before the country becomes a frozen wasteland.
What to do in Toronto
A short ferry ride across to the Toronto Islands boasts some extraordinary views of the city’s skyline. Center Island is the most popular, featuring a theme park and other activities meant for children. Adults will enjoy the sandy beaches, a relaxing day in the sun and a chance to see some beautiful swans.
The CN Tower is Toronto’s most recognizable and iconic landmark. What was once the tallest structure in the world offers incredible views across the city. Recently, the EdgeWalk was introduced, allowing participants to hang off the edge of the CN Tower 116 storeys above the ground!
The Royal Ontario Museum or ROM is Canada’s largest and most popular museum. Split almost 50/50 between natural history and world culture, artifacts span across four large floors. The ROM is a half-day adventure that nurtures the mind and you’re sure to learn something new.
Located just steps away from the Rogers Center and CN Tower, Toronto’s newest attraction is a cool experience for both adults and children. The aquarium features a moving platform that winds itself through a large shark tank. Ripley’s is home to over 16,000 aquatic animals and is divided into nine areas showcasing unique habitats.
Casa Loma is a Gothic Revival style house which subsequently became a museum and one of Toronto’s most famous landmarks. The grounds feature an impressive garden and views over Toronto. Casa Loma’s interior houses 98 rooms complete with some secret passages.
High Park is perfect for a lazy morning or afternoon. You’ll find plenty of space to lay out a blanket and enjoy one of Toronto’s largest green spaces. In addition, the park also features sporting facilities, playgrounds, and zoo for children. During late April or early May, High Park springs to life as cherry blossoms paint the area a faint pink.
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
The Art Gallery of Ontario or AGO is Canada’s largest collection of art. It features sculptures and painting from across the world, the most famous being Ruben’s The Massacre of the Innocents. The building displays some unique architecture resulting from a recent remodelling. If you’re not busy on a Wednesday evening, AGO allows free admission from 6-9pm.
A product of gentrification, the former Gooderham & Worts distillery has been revitalized into a pedestrian-only village. The area has become known for art and entertainment, attracting hipsters from across the city. You’ll also find trendy stores, bakeries, cafes, and the famous Mill St. Brew Pub.
Nathan Phillips is Canada’s largest city square, playing host to concerts, public events and a weekly farmers market. Even in the winter, this area attracts plenty of visitors when the reflecting pool is converted to a skating rink. The 2015 Pan American Games marked the creation of a 3-D Toronto sign. Nathan Phillips Square was supposed to be a temporary location, but due to popular demand, the sign is now a permanent fixture of the square.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Rogers Center is a large multi-purpose stadium located in downtown Toronto. Best known as the home field for the Toronto Blue Jays, summer time is the perfect opportunity to catch a baseball game. Stadium tours are available which take you through various parts of the building that would otherwise be restricted.
With over 5000 animals and 450 species, the Toronto Zoo makes a fun day trip for both adults and children. The zoo is divided into seven geographical areas: Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia, and the Canadian Domain. Best accessed by car, the Toronto Zoo is a 30-minute drive from downtown.
Kensington Market is one of Toronto’s most popular neighborhoods. The area has been recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada and is beginning to feature more upscale cafes. Most importantly, the vibe within Kensington Market is unique from the rest of Toronto.
Hockey Hall of Fame
The Hockey Hall of Fame is a must-see for fans of the sport. It features exhibits about players, teams, records and trophies, most notably the Stanley Cup. The hall of fame is housed within the historic Bank of Montreal building that dates back to the 1800s.
Thanks for reading my article, be sure to check out my Canada Travel Guide.