Best Things To Do In Toronto: The Perfect Vacation Destination!
Updated On: September 13, 2023
Multicultural – that’s probably the best word to describe Toronto. Chinatown, Greektown, Koreatown, Little Portugal, Little India, and Little Italy are just a few of the numerous foreign communities that have made their home in this city. Best of all, there’s no shortage of exquisite sights to explore – whether alone, with friends, or with family.
Toronto is Canada‘s largest city, and it is beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Ontario. Varied life, culture, parks, museums, and much more invite you to the lively city with many green spaces making Toronto a dream destination for many.
Toronto is a major modern metropolis, a bustling port on Lake Ontario, and an important industrial center in Canada. The city has genetic diversity of desperate seekers of a better life: subjects of the British crown, Irish, Italians, Jews, Chinese, and Russians. Even in the 20th and 21st centuries, the city maintained its status as a leading immigration center.
Helping you plan your perfect vacation in Toronto, here are the best things to do in Toronto and the best places to visit.
CN Tower: The Bes View in the City!
One of the first things to do in Toronto is to climb the CN Tower. The landmark of Toronto, CN Tower, the Canadian National Tower (French La Tour CN), is one of the tallest buildings in the world. The tower serves as a television tower and as a magnet for tourists, and from up there, you will have a breathtaking view of the entire city.
The television tower, which stands in the south of the city near Lake Ontario, was the tallest of its kind from 1975 to 2009 with its 553 meters. At the same time, it was the tallest free-standing and un-rigged structure in the world from 1975 until 2007.
When you let your eyes wander all around through the vast windows of the observation deck, you will have a better understanding of how the metropolitan area is laid out: from the financial district to the islands, across the vibrant, low-rise neighborhood of Kensington Market as well as the districts in the eastern part of the city.
A visit to the CN Tower attraction is definitely worthwhile. The viewing platforms offer an impressive 360° view of Toronto, Lake Ontario, and the Toronto Islands. Every year, up to two million visitors conquer the various levels, the viewing platforms, and the revolving restaurant. Visiting the CN Tower is an excellent way to start your stay in Toronto.
Visit Rogers Centre
Standing next to the CN Tower, the multifunctional Rogers Centre sports arena is a cityscape landmark. Until 2005, the domed structure with its automatic, fully opening roof was called the SkyDome.
The Rogers Centre is home to the Toronto Blue Jays (baseball) and the Toronto Argonauts (football). In addition, various sporting events, trade shows, rock and pop concerts, and other events are held at the Rogers Centre.
The artworks inside and outside are also famous at the Rogers Centre. Here, at the northeast and northwest entrances, you’ll find a gold-colored series of sculptures depicting larger-than-life fans in celebration and cheering poses. Visiting Roger Centre is one of the fun things to do in Toronto.
Enjoy Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario is connected with Lake Erie by the Niagara River, and it is drained by the mighty St. Lawrence River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
The lake takes its name from the First Nation of the Wyandot; in their language, Ontario means “Great Lake.” The border to the USA runs through the lake; the larger part of the lake with 9969 square kilometers is in Canada, the lake part of the USA is 9042 square kilometers.
The lake, which is often frozen over extensively in winter, is a heat reservoir for fruit and wine-growing in the Niagara Region in summer.
Lake Ontario is significant for the city of Toronto. Its water is used for drinking water supply and in summer for cooling office buildings. And, of course, the lake with its boardwalks and beaches is a unique attraction for Toronto residents and the many tourists who visit Canada’s largest city every year. A visit to the lake is a must for nature lovers!
Tour the Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum, known to most people simply as ROM, is one of the largest museums in North America and has been a special eye-catcher in Toronto for years.
The world-class museum, built in a cave, is an ideal tourist attraction and a must-visit on a trip to Toronto. The unique architecture and fossil remains in the museum make it an attractive beauty. The museum has an important ethnological collection on cultures from all continents that extends far beyond Canada.
Located next to Queen’s Park and the University of Toronto, the original building was constructed in 1912, and the museum was inaugurated in 1914. The structure’s exterior resembles an orderly jumble of geometric shapes or a massive crystal with irregular facets. The walls of the museum shine with the cold sheen of gray metal and glass.
The Royal Museum houses more than 6 million items: dinosaur bones, art, weapons, clothing, everyday objects, and more. It highlights Canada’s history, culture, and biodiversity from early times to the present in a family-friendly way.
Children can play the role of geologists in the museum’s rooms, and the other natural history departments also offer a lot for children, conveying museum content in a way that is suitable for children. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions on a wide variety of topics. A visit to Toronto won’t be completer without a day at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada: Fun for the Whole Family
Education, conservation, and research, under this motto, the Ripleys Aquarium of Canada presents a multi-faceted underwater world with more than 20,000 aquatic animals. The Ripleys Aquarium of Canada is a mix of fun, entertainment, and a call to protect, respect, and preserve the underwater world.
Located right next to the CN Tower, the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is one of the largest aquariums in all of North America, with its water volume of 5.7 million liters. In addition, the underwater observation tunnel offers more than 100 interactive opportunities to learn about horseshoe crabs, sharks, cleaner shrimp, stingrays, and other aquatic animals.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to witness the feeding of rays or watch veterinarians perform dives to treat underwater creatures. Try to visit the place early in the morning by 9 a.m. to avoid the long lines and love the session. This place is always conducive to a good learning experience for children.
A visit to this Aquarium should definitely be included in any Toronto sightseeing program. The kids will love it!
Get Mesmerized By The Ancient Charms Of the Distillery Historic District
From shopping, restaurants to all sorts of cultural events, a tour of the Distillery Historic District is one of the top attractions in Toronto. Located just east of downtown, this entire village has been curated to present you with rustic buildings from the 1800s era.
Here you’ll find the most extensive collection of Victorian-era industrial buildings in all of North America. The Distillery District was built in 1832 by Gooderham and Worts, and in 2003, the small district became an entertainment and cultural center.
The former Victorian-era industrial buildings are now home to modern art galleries, restaurants, and concerts. Even though the district is touristy, no one can escape the distillery’s liveliness, look, and feel are sensational. You can walk, shop, dine and have fun activities there.
While in the area, make sure to stop by the restored Gooderham and Worts Distillery, which was once the world’s largest whiskey producer, and take a walking or beer tour.
Take a Look at the Cascading Delights at Niagara Falls
Follow the trail to the abyss of magnificent waterfalls in Canada’s Ontario region. Niagara Falls is a 51-meter cascading delight located 130 km from Toronto, which means that a 90-minute drive will take you to one of the most important landmarks in North America, located on the US-Canada border.
The Rainbow Bridge connects the waterfalls to the United States, making it affordable for people in both countries to visit this creation of nature.
Plan a day trip there and take your time to marvel at the scenery as 3 million gallons of water cascade down the cliffs with incredible force. The cascading water comes from four of the five Great Lakes: Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Lake Superior. Also, we recommend taking the Maid of the Mist cruise; this one takes you right among the waterfalls, so don’t miss this treat!
Other top things not to miss at Niagara Falls attractions include Niagara Park, Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory, Old Fort Niagara, Cave of the Winds, White Water Walk, Inniskillin Winery, and Skylon Tower.
Live a Real Thrill in Canada’s Wonderland
Located in the heart of Ontario, about 40 km north of downtown, the massive theme park Canada’s Wonderland is the perfect place for families. From an exciting park to thrilling activities, there’s plenty to do with family and friends.
Canada’s Wonderland is a 1.3-square-kilometer amusement park located in Vaughan, about 30 kilometers north of Toronto. Opened in May 1981, the park has more than 200 attractions and 48 rides, including several giga-coasters, roller coasters over 91 meters high.
Canada’s Wonderland is home to “Leviathan,” a 1672-meter-long, 93-meter-high ride built by Bolliger & Mabillard that opened in 2012. The roller coaster is the highest and fastest in Canada, with dimensions and a speed of 148 kilometers per hour. Make sure to try this one; it is soooo much fun!
There are several other attractions to try at Canada’s Wonderland, like the water park, wave pool, amusement park, funnel cake, and Cedar Point. Spending a day at Canada’s Wonderland is one of the top things to do in Toronto.
The year was 1911 when Sir Henry Pellatt, who had a reputation as a “visionary,” commissioned architect E.J. Lennox to build an Edwardian-style castle on the top of a hill overlooking the city of Toronto. Three years later, the dream became a reality…. Casa Loma.
Once completed, Casa Loma served as the Pellatt family’s residence for nearly a decade, that is, until drastic tax increases and the effects of World War I forced them to abandon their “castle.”
In the meantime, Casa Loma, which is one of the most important architectural monuments in the capital of Ontario, has been converted into a museum. So make sure to visit it and take a walk through the orangery, the library, the drawing-room, and the incredible chambers of Sir Pellatt and – above all – Lady Pellatt! To top it all off, climb the two castle towers. See for yourself – you won’t regret it!
It is worth mentioning that Casa Loma has served as a filming location for feature films and television movies several times, like X-Men, Chigaco, The Tuxedo, and The Babynator, among others.
Walk through the Black Creek Pioneer Village and Enjoy a Visit in Time
Black Creek Pioneer Village has been there since the 1800s and beautifully showcases historic buildings, artifacts, and excellent costumed guides. The village features a brilliantly recreated 1860s Ontario provincial village. It mostly consists of 40 restored homes, stores, and outbuildings. You can also see many artisans and performers dressed in attractive period dresses.
The historic Black Creek Brewery gives you the chance to taste beer as it was in the 1860s. No surprise here, but this is one of the best things to do in Toronto!
Some of the popular attractions at Black Creek Pioneer Village that you should try are the historic Black Creek Brewery, unique stores and restaurants from ancient times, a van ride, maple syrup, and a haunted walk
Take a Boat to the Toronto Islands
The Toronto Islands are another popular attraction located just outside the city of Toronto. Also known as Toronto Island Park, this fun place is just a 13-minute ferry ride from downtown Toronto. The ferry to the island departs from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, located at the foot of Queen’s Quay.
Toronto Island is a group of 15 islands connected by bridges and roads, stretching nearly 5 km from Ward’s Island to Cape Hanlan, which you can explore on foot.
There are so many things you can do on the Toronto Islands; in the center of Toronto Islands, there is Centreville, an amusement park for children. Highlights include a children’s train and other rides, as well as restaurants. During the summer months, the park is open daily.
There are several beaches for relaxing, the most famous being Centre Island Beach, Manitou Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach, and Ward’s Island Beach.
Toronto Islands has four yacht clubs, the Harbour City Yacht Club, the Island Yacht Club, the Queen City Yacht Club, and the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. Several other clubs, including the Toronto Islands Sailing Club, are also based there. Toronto Islands is the site of the annual Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival.
With an area of 287 hectares, crisscrossed by ten kilometers of walkways and 16,000 animals, the Toronto Zoo is one of the largest zoological gardens in the world. About 1.5 million people visit the zoo on the Rouge River each year.
Originally opened in 1888, the Toronto Zoo was a dismal curiosity show, anything but great for the animals. Gradually, the zoological garden was expanded to its current size, adding rare animals such as snow leopards, gaur, African elephants, Indian rhinos, and a pair of pandas. In addition to blunt-nosed monkeys, koalas and white lions followed.
The city zoo is divided into thematic zones, each of which has its own microclimate. Among the interesting pavilions are the “Mayan Ruins,” “African Savannah,” the Australian and American pavilions.
Visiting the zoo is one of the most fun things to do with children in Toronto.
Discover the Best Shopping in Toronto
Toronto devotes itself to travelers of all kinds. So if you’re a shopaholic, there are plenty of things to consume you in Toronto, Canada. There are many Toronto outlets to explore for their richness. From Toronto Eaton Centre, which makes the city’s most popular malls, to Bloor-Yorkville, a place known for its upscale stores, there is plenty for every traveler whose first love is shopping.
Moving on, we have Vaughan Mills mall from Wonderland Canada, which again adds a variety of big brands in one place. There are also places like the Thrill of the Find, Gadabout, Penny Arcade, and Three Fates Shop, which are all about vintage shopping. Cover these places, and your Toronto shopping experience is complete!
Toronto’s best shopping spots also include St. Lawrence Market – street food, seafood, bakery, maple syrup, lots of food and stores, Square One – the largest mall in Ontario, with over 360 stores and above 1. 6 million square feet, Sherway Gardens, Dixie Outlet Mall for designer clothing and Toronto Premium Outlets – towards the edge of town.
The Eaton Centre is one of the city’s main tourist attractions, with one million visitors a week! The Eaton Centre is conveniently located and easily accessible on Yonge Street. The Eaton Centre offers a massive selection of different stores, clothing stores, and restaurants in a historic shopping center with a light-flooded glass roof.
Here, the city shoppers will find everything their hearts desire. From Roots Canada to Abercrombie, from Zara to Victoria’s Secret, you’ll find everything of distinction. The Eaton Centre invites you to a day trip because of its expanse and its multitude of stores.
Connected to the Eaton Centre is the Marriot Hotel. In the center, you can find Canada’s largest department store, the main store of Hudson’s Bay. It is absolutely worth visiting the Eaton Centre, one of the most important shopping centers in North America.
Live the Great Nightlife of Toronto’s Entertainment District
Toronto’s nightlife is embodied in numerous pubs and cafes, and there are plenty of them to give you one of the best experiences in Canada. From Queen Street West on the northern edge to Lakeshore on the south, Toronto’s downtown entertainment district is beautifully lit and inviting.
As it gets dark, upscale stores, pubs, and discos become popular destinations for all partygoers. As beautiful and exciting as it is by day, the city becomes equally enticing by night. And if you thought these places were specifically for the younger crowd, you’d be wrong; you can easily spot people of different age groups, excited and having fun everywhere.
Toronto is full of nice bars like Bar 244, Bar Hop, Real Sports Bar, Penny Arcade, The Rex Hotel Jazz, and Blues Bar, to name a few. There are also great nightclubs such as Cube, Nest, Coda, Lost & Found, Uniun, and Mansion Mercer, among others.
Toronto is a colorful and livable city on the shores of Lake Ontario with many must-see sights. If you’re looking for a trip full of fun and adventure, look no further! Toronto is the place in North America where you can plan an unforgettable vacation!