Although Toronto isn’t especially old compared to some other cities in Canada, unless you count York which is located within it, it makes up for it with its huge variety of diverse attractions that will interest any tourist. Whether you’re a shopper, an art enthusiast, an explorer, sports fanatic, or wine connoisseur, Toronto will not disappoint.
A List Of Fun Things To Do In & Around Toronto
Toronto is home to more than one art gallery but is perhaps best known for the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). The AGO is 583, 000 square feet and has over 4, 000 works of art on display. Located in the Grange Park neighbourhood, it isn’t far from the infamous graffiti alley. The group of alleyways beginning at the corner of Rush and Portland is the canvas for many talented artists to legally create beautiful street art on brick and mortar. In addition, the Royal Ontario Museum (also known as The ROM) was established in 1912 and is best known for its ancient Egyptian and Chinese collections.
If live music or comedy shows are more your scene, you should check out what is playing at one of the many easy-to-access venues such as Massey Hall, Meridian Hall, or The Danforth Music Hall. Additionally, the Budweiser Stage holds great outdoor concerts for the summer months and you can sit on the grassy hill and enjoy your favourite musicians.
Toronto also has various spectacular venues such as The Royal Alexandra, The Princess of Wales and The Ed Mirvish Theatre where Broadway and other major shows can be seen. Come From Away is currently playing, but Kinky Boots, Wicked, The Lion King, and Rock of Ages have also made a stop over the years.
If you are in Toronto and love to shop, you must check out Yonge Street and its over six-hundred retail stores. It also happens to be the longest street in the world! The Toronto Eaton Centre is an indoor mall that also happens to be located on this street. If you prefer smaller shops over retail chains, then definitely check out Kensington Market, Chinatown and St Lawrence Market for quirky stores, vintage and retro pieces, and antique markets. The South Market is where you can find upwards of fifty food vendors and the North Market hosts the Farmer’s Market every Sunday.
Although the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup in a long time, it’s still fun to take in a game at the Scotiabank Arena. Just maybe don’t mention their lack of winning to the die-hard fans as it’s a bit of a sore spot. The Hockey Hall of Fame is the ultimate destination for enthusiasts of the sport as it holds all sorts of records and trophies and exhibits different players regularly. Here you can learn all about the history of hockey in Canada and buy some merchandise as well. If you are visiting in the summer, watching the Toronto Blue Jays play a game at the Rogers Centre is always great fun! Close by is Ripley’s Aquarium and the CN Tower and Steamwhistle Brewery, so you can complete your fun-filled day.
If you’re bringing your kids along on the trip to Canada’s largest city, they’ll love visiting the amusement park known as Canada’s Wonderland. Apart from special events like Winterfest and Screamfest, it is not open year-round, so that’s something to keep in mind. The Toronto Zoo is always a hit as well and is the largest zoo in all of Canada, not to mention the theme park Centreville located on one of the Toronto islands which can be reached by taking a short ferry ride across Lake Ontario.
For the Foodies
With Toronto being a popular destination for immigrants to land, the food also happens to be very diverse. Whether you want to do some fine dining, visit a food market, or check out one of the many food festivals that occur throughout the year, you won’t be disappointed by the delicious food the city has to offer. Some particularly notable restaurants are the 416 Snack Bar, the Maple Leaf Tavern, and Richmond Station. For the amazing views of the CN Tower alone, we should mention The Porch, a rooftop patio right in the Entertainment District. It even has rooftop skating in the winter, such a truly Canadian activity.
Looking To Get Out Of Downtown Toronto? Make Your Way To Niagara Falls
Although you could probably spend months and never run out of fun things to do in and around Toronto, you’d be missing out if you didn’t take a day trip south to not of Canada’s top attractions: Niagara Falls. Apart from the waterfalls themselves, there’s plenty of amusements, a wax museum, casinos, and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. You can take a ride on the Maid of the Mist, a tourist boat company that takes guests under the falls on the Niagara River. Or, if you want to stay dry, you can check out the city from the sky on a helicopter ride or view it from the giant Ferris wheel.
But perhaps one of Ontario’s best-kept secrets is wine country. Because of where the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is situated amongst the great lakes, it has a unique climate that is perfect for growing grapes. Over fifty wineries are located in the Niagara Region, making it the perfect place for full-day outings hopping from one winery to another! There are many wine tours running to make this possible and there are rental bikes if you’d rather pedal around at your leisure.
With so many to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Some of the most notable ones are Peller Estates, Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and Distillery (yes, it’s owned by the great one!), Stratus and The Hare Wine Co. The latter is known for their Winter Wonderland Icewine Experience, but private tastings are available all year. Because of their uniquely flat topography, maximum sun exposure results in full-bodied wines. You’re bound to end up taking a few bottles home.
Full of History
Not only is the town itself absolutely beautiful and resembles a postcard, but it is also where you will find the Fort George National Historic Site, Butler’s Barracks and the Laura Secord Homestead. History buffs will be in their element learning about their involvement in the war of 1812 and watching reenactments. Picnic areas are abundant if you want to grab some prepared foods at one of the many cafés and relax.
Making Day Trips Around Toronto Has Never Been Easier
If you haven’t already stopped reading this to book your trip to Toronto, what’s stopping you from doing so now?