3 days in Toronto
Enjoy the best of Toronto, Canada’s most populated and multicultural city, like a local.
Get lost in a city like no other where you’ll find excitement and energy around every corner.
Explore the unique neighbourhoods that Toronto is famous for, experience the flavours of diverse cultures, visit galleries and museums that ignite your creative spirit and rise to the rooftops for stunning views as you toast a place that fuels your every passion.
Toronto – day 1
Toronto, Canada’s most populated city, is famous for its diversity and regarded as the most multicultural city in the world.
Located along the north shore of Lake Ontario, this bustling city has countless skyscrapers and green spaces. Stroll the scenic harbourfront dotted with beaches, parks and boardwalks and watch boats navigate the harbour while aircraft glide to and from the Toronto Island runway.
In addition, Toronto’s transit system makes it easy to get around, with an extensive streetcar, subway and bus network throughout the city and the suburbs. Vibrant arts and culture, fascinating history, exciting nightlife and a dynamic food scene make Toronto a city to visit again and again.
Things to do
Start your visit with guided tour of the city. History buffs will want to take Toronto historian, Bruce Bell’s tour of Old Town Toronto. The Tour Guys offer free guided tours (just tip your guide). Or explore the city on two wheels with Toronto Bicycle Tours.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Amal, a contemporary Lebanese eatery with a warm, inviting atmosphere overlooking Bloor Street’s Mink Mile. It’s a place to relax, enjoy good company, music and wonderful food. After lunch take in the latest exhibit at one of Toronto’s renowned museums or galleries, including the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) or the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).
To get the most out of your visit consider purchasing a City Pass. The Toronto City Pass is your passport to five top attractions, hand-picked and packaged together at significant savings. Not only can you get discounted entry to the AGO, your ticket also includes Ripleys Aquarium, the CN Tower, the Toronto Zoo and Casa Loma. If you are wondering what Casa Loma is, it is a stunning castle in the city that was built by E.J. Lennox in 1914 for Sir Henry and Lady Mary Pellatt.
As you can imagine Toronto is one of North America’s top theatre towns showcasing the latest hits from Broadway or London’s West End and impressive local independent theatre from up and coming playwrights.
Check out these venues to see what’s on when you are here:
- The Mirvish Theatre
- The Factory Theater
- The Canadian Opera Company
- The Opera Atellier
- The National Ballet
Places to stay
On a budget: Double Tree by Hilton, centrally located just behind Nathan Philips Square and Toronto City Hall.
Mid-range: The Gladstone Hotel, historic landmark on Queen Street West brimming with character; each room is uniquely designed by a local Toronto artist.
High-end: Bisha Hotel, located in the heart of the non-stop Entertainment District, close to theatres, concert and sport venues and endless bars and nightclubs. The chic hotel has a rooftop lap pool and an entire floor designed by musician, artist and designer, Lenny Kravitz.
Places to eat
Amal: An upscale Lebanese restaurant on Bloor Street.
Kōst: Located atop the Bisha Hotel on the 44th floor featuring a sunny roof top lounge with magnificent panoramic views of the city.
Constantine: A popular patio just south of Yonge and Bloor, perfect for people watching.
Planta: A local favourite for sophisticated vegan artistry.
Things to know
- Visit Destination Toronto, the city’s tourism website for more local insight and info.
- Get the most out of your visit with the Toronto City Pass.
- If you’re driving, consider parking your car at one the TTC’s end line stations and taking the train into downtown to avoid traffic or park your car at Pearson Airport and take the UP Express train to downtown.
- Buy a TTC Day Pass to move around the city at your leisure.
- Take advantage of the readily available bike rental stations for an easy and cheap way to avoid city traffic.
Toronto – day 2
Things to do
Visit the historic St. Lawrence Market. The market was the site of the first Toronto City Council and has been recognized as one of the world’s top food markets by National Geographic Traveler. The market features vendors that sell fresh produce, prepared foods and unique nonfood items. The farmers market is located south of St. Lawrence Market and is the place to get farm fresh produce from Ontario farmers. Be sure to visit Carousel Bakery for their famous Peameal Bacon Sandwich.
Walk 15 minutes (1 kilometre/ 0.62 miles) east to the famous Distillery Historic District and step back in time to the early days of Toronto. At its peak, during the 19th century, Gooderham & Worts was the largest distillery in the world. Today the well-preserved Victorian industrial architecture and cobblestone streets make for a charming community filled with art galleries, artist studios, a performance theatre, retail shops, restaurants, bars, a brewery and an abundance of unique outdoor art installations that are sure to dazzle.
Have lunch in the Distillery at El Catrin. The colourful restaurant is a sensory delight reveling in the iconography of Mexico and Latin America. Their patio is one of the most popular patios in the city.
After lunch head to the CN Tower (3 kilometres / 1.86 miles) which will certainly be one of the highlights of your trip, especially if you dare to do the EdgeWalk. Head to the top of the tower, one of tallest structures in North America, where you’ll get harnessed and then take a thrilling, hands-free outdoor walk atop the tower’s main observation deck, a whopping 356 m / 1168 ft or 116 stories above ground.
Tip: Allow at least three hours to complete your EdgeWalk visit.
Show your competitive spirit at BATLGrounds where you can try your hand at axe throwing or hit the bowling alley at the The Ballroom, where you can eat, drink AND play in the heart of the Entertainment District.
Toronto’s vibrant live music scene is second to none. From local and touring acts playing the hundreds of club, theatre and concert stages to summer music festivals that take over the city, you just might discover the world’s next big musical act!
Popular venues include the Underground at the Drake Hotel, El Mocambo, the Cameron House, the Horseshoe Tavern, the Danforth Music Hall, the Opera House, Lee’s Palace and Massey Hall, a local landmark.
Places to eat
El Catrin: A colourful and trendy Mexican restaurant in the Distillery District.
Mill Street Brewery: Got its start at the Distillery Historic District and is now one of Toronto’s most successful microbreweries. The Distillery location has expanded and now includes an onsite brew pub.
Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie: The Distillery Districts’ sumptuous ode to Parisian flare, serving French cuisine.
Bellwoods Brewery: Ossington neighbourhood’s most popular microbrewery with a coveted patio on popular Ossington Street.
Lavelle’s: Every summer the panoramic rooftop dining room is rivaled only by the draw of its outdoor rooftop pool.
Toronto – day 3
Things to do
On your last day in the city, opt for a leisurely late breakfast or brunch. Options abound, including perennial favourite, Bonjour Brioche in Leslieville, which has served a traditional French menu for over twenty years.
Do some last-minute shopping in Bloor-Yorkville or along trendy Queen Street West, noted as one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods by Vogue magazine.
Spend a relaxing afternoon on Toronto Islands. Just a 15-minute ferry ride from the city shore, the islands are a tranquil oasis of parklands and gardens and home to a small amusement park and clothing optional beach, Hanlon’s Point.
Before departing, unwind at a day spa. The city’s top hotels, such as the Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis offer the ultimate luxurious and decadent spa experiences.
Depart for home.
Last updated: August 22, 2023