Ontario's capital, Toronto is known for its multiculturalism, history and food. Located conveniently near tourist areas such as Niagara Falls, this thriving city is filled with must-do experiences. City slickers shop, drink and sight-see in Downtown Toronto and artsy hipsters sip coffee in Kensington Market. Beneath Toronto’s beautiful skyline lies a wide range of food options such as St. Lawrence Market, several acclaimed museums and galleries such as the Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario, and the constant hum of a thriving live music scene. Lake Ontario gives Toronto the warmth of a coastal city, but precludes the sleepiness of a beach town as it blooms with independent shops, local artists and bold architecture.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Toronto, scroll down or visit the city's official tourism website.
Where is Toronto?
The city of Toronto is located along the western side of Lake Ontario, across the lake from Niagara Falls, in southern Ontario. With several Toronto suburbs surrounding the city, the region is easily accessible by car, bus, train or flight.
Things to Do in Toronto
Visitors don’t need to wander around Toronto for very long to find something incredible — foodies, music-lovers, and art aficionados will find Toronto to be a haven of culture. Walk around neighbourhoods like Kensington Market to find talented musicians busking outdoors and second hand shops.
Those looking for a more refined taste of Toronto can explore historic sites like the Casa Loma, a striking Gothic castle set right in the city, or one of the many world-renowned art museums, like the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario or the historic Royal Ontario Museum. The Distillery District boasts some of the country’s most famous historical locations and offers plenty of cosmopolitan shopping.
On a sunny day, Toronto’s many parks offer visitors comfortable, spacious places to have a picnic, play a game of frisbee or go for a walking tour. From grassy, shaded areas like High Park to sunny spots to swim along the shoreline, finding ways to spend time outside is no problem in Toronto.
Foodies will never get bored in Toronto, the home of unmatched multicultural cuisines. Find delectable dim sum and noodle soups in Chinatown or sample an array of dishes at St. Lawrence Market.
For the best view of the iconic Canadian city, climb — as in, take the elevator — to the top of the CN Tower located in Old City. This 147-floor building reaches high above the Toronto skyline, providing a breathtaking view of the city, the surrounding area, and the beautiful Lake Ontario.
Toronto Neighbourhoods & Districts
The greater Toronto area comprises over 20 unique districts and neighbourhoods. True to Toronto’s style, each neighbourhood offers its own unique cultural experience, including foreign foods, world-renowned art, gorgeous public spaces and outdoor experiences. Here are some of Toronto’s must-see neighbourhoods.
Possibly the most iconic neighbourhood in Toronto, this funky, upbeat neighbourhood is home to countless Asian food restaurants and markets, colorful street art and graffiti and quintessential Toronto row homes.
Old Town/Distillery District
Featuring everything from historic sites like the Flatiron Building to modern eateries like St. Lawrence Market, the pedestrian-only Old Town and Distillery District are Toronto’s go-to neighbourhoods for a city stroll.
It is what it sounds like — the best place to catch a film, watch a play or concert at the theatre, see one of the city’s sports team score a win or go for a swanky night on the town.
Charming old-school architecture, high end shopping and art galleries make Yorkville and the Annex the perfect jaunt to spark daydreams about living the infamously high-end Toronto lifestyle.
One of Toronto’s many cultural hot spots, Queen West is worth exploring every nook and cranny, from vibrant artwork like Graffiti Alley to countless boutiques and restaurants to poke around in.
These waterfront neighbourhoods back up to both Lake Ontario and the Humber River and are filled with inspiring architecture, independent bookstores and restaurants and a thriving art scene.
Forget the city for a day in the Beaches, including four Lake Ontario beaches to relax on and a quaint neighbourhood filled with independent shops to explore. Also known as ‘The Beach’.
Things to Know About Visiting Toronto
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Toronto, you'll appreciate what the locals recommend around the city.
Where to find great street art
"This is Paradise" Wall Mural (Cameron House, Queen Street West and Cameron Street) is one of the many examples of the great street art in Toronto. Head a block south to Rush Lane to find the city's famed Graffiti Alley.
Where to snap a great Instagram pic
The Distillery District (Parliament Street and Mill Street) dates back to the 1830s. The former Gooderham & Worts distillery is now a national historic site that attracts locals and visitors to its charming boutiques, galleries and restaurants.
Great place to see the fall colours
Where to get great city views
The SkyPod observation deck at the CN Tower offers 360-degree views from a thrilling 447 metres (1,465 feet) above the city.
Don’t forget to pack
A cell phone with data connection and extra layers of clothing. Why? A cell phone with data is perfect for taking pictures, getting transit directions and recommendations on the go and showcasing your experience in Toronto on social media. If you are not accustomed to Canadian weather, you may want to dress in layers. Especially in the spring and fall, daytime and nighttime temperatures can vary dramatically, so wearing layers will allow you to be comfortable outdoors for the whole day.
Last updated: July 20, 2021
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