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10 Best Things to Do in Toronto, Canada

From the natural beauty of the Toronto Islands to the awe-inspiring engineering at the CN Tower, Toronto is a must-visit destination in Ontario. More than just its towering skyscrapers and dazzling skyline, Toronto is a culturally diverse city with an abundance of captivating family-friendly attractions.

Mixing independent galleries and an adventurous food scene with pleasant tree-lined streets and warm locals, Toronto attracts travelers from around the world who want to experience its unique balance between big city vibes and friendly hospitality. A vibrant culture with an international buzz, read on to discover the top things to do in Toronto.

Reach New Heights at CN Tower CN Tower
Credit: CN Tower by bigstock.com

Reach New Heights at CN Tower

What Is It? The epicenter of Toronto’s downtown skyline, the CN Tower is the city’s best-known landmark and the tallest free-standing structure in the western hemisphere.

Why Do It? Towering over Toronto at 1,815 feet, the Tower is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Here visitors will find glass elevators whisking visitors to the top for breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

Good to Know: Other attractions include the EdgeWalk, a hand’s free ledge outside of the tower, the LookOut, a glass floor observation deck, and 360 The Restaurant, an impressive rotating restaurant.

Journey to the Toronto Islands Toronto Islands
Credit: Toronto Islands by bigstock.com

Journey to the Toronto Islands

What Is It? Only a short and picturesque ferry ride away from the city center, the Toronto Islands provides visitors with an alternative view of Toronto’s famous skyline and a tranquil escape from the bustle of the big city.

Why Do It? While there, visitors will find a handful of islands to explore with an abundance of attractions that include beaches, water activities, picnic areas, and much more. Offering green spaces, quaint cottages and English-style gardens, nature lovers will enjoy soaking in the natural scenery.

Good to Know: Families with kids will enjoy the Centreville Amusement Park that boasts thrilling rides and a petting zoo for a day filled with fun.

Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame Hockey Hall of Fame
Credit: Hockey Hall of Fame by Rodrigo Paoletti via Flickr

Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame

What Is It? Considered a religion in Canada, no trip to Toronto is complete without a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Why Do It? An expansive 65,000 square feet of space, this museum holds the most elaborate collection of hockey memorabilia and gear in the world. Exhibits cover some of the greatest players, artifacts such as the original Stanley Cup, and a reproduction of the Montreal Canadian’s locker room.

Good to Know: Hockey fans will also love the Puck Wall where more than 1,000 pucks are displayed from around the world, and the multimedia station where visitors can try and stop a virtual shot from Wayne Gretzky.

Stroll the Distillery Historic District Distillery Historic District in Toronto
Credit: Distillery Historic District in Toronto by thedistillerydistrict.com

Stroll the Distillery Historic District

What Is It? A National Historic Site, the Distillery Historic District is where visitors will find a bustling neighborhood with top restaurants, high-end boutiques, and art galleries.

Why Do It? Charming cobblestone roads are nestled against Victorian-era buildings in this picturesque area and are the former home of the largest distillery in the world.

Good to Know: A great place to wander around and window shop, this historic waterfront neighborhood is appealing at any time of year.

Shop 'til you Drop at St. Lawrence Market St. Lawrence Market
Credit: St. Lawrence Market by bigstock.com

Shop 'til you Drop at St. Lawrence Market

What Is It? Considered one of the world’s best food markets for gourmet items, St. Lawrence Market is in the heart of Toronto’s historic Old Town.

Why Do It? Dating back to the 17th century, visitors can browse through fresh produce, artisan wares, and handcrafted treasures. Divided into three buildings, the market boasts energetic vendors hawking their fare to hungry locals.

Good to Know: Cooking classes and demonstrations are a real treat in addition to its plethora of edible souvenirs available such as the city’s signature peameal bacon sandwich sold at the famous Carousel Bakery.

Adventure to Ripley's Aquarium of Canada Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
Credit: Ripley's Aquarium of Canada by bigstock.com

Adventure to Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

What Is It? Situated at the base of the gargantuan CN Tower is Toronto’s popular Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

Why Do It? Visitors can immerse themselves in the diverse underwater marine life and learn about all the unique creatures that live in Canada’s lake and sea waters.

Good to Know: The open aquarium has captivating galleries, with exhibits on jellyfish, giant lobsters, sharks, and a wealth of vibrant colored fish that float above a unique viewing tunnel.

Step Back in Time at Royal Ontario Museum Royal Ontario Museum
Credit: Royal Ontario Museum by bigstock.com

Step Back in Time at Royal Ontario Museum

What Is It? Located on the edge of the University of Toronto Campus, the Royal Ontario Museum is a real treat for history aficionados.

Why Do It? Open since 1912, it is Canada’s largest museum of world cultures and natural history, featuring an impressive six million artifacts. Exhibits cover a range of topics that include dinosaur bones, Chinese temple art, and Canada’s First Peoples.

Good to Know: Children will be entertained at the hands-on and interactive gallery where they can get up close and personal with the jaws of a shark and visit a fox’s den.

Marvel at the Beauty of Casa Loma Casa Loma
Credit: Casa Loma by bigstock.com

Marvel at the Beauty of Casa Loma

What Is It? North America’s only castle, Casa Loma is one of Toronto’s hidden gem attractions.

Why Do It? A Gothic Revival style grand home with marble floors and lavish decor, it is a masterpiece that dates back to 1914. Comprising of 98 elegant rooms, visitors will feel like royalty as they explore historic towers, horse stables, secret passageways, and an impressive wine cellar.

Good to Know: Outside of the castle is a 5-acre slice of peaceful tranquility with lush gardens peppered with romantic fountains and grand sculptures.

Observe Wildlife at Toronto Zoo Toronto Zoo
Credit: Toronto Zoo by bigstock.com

Observe Wildlife at Toronto Zoo

What Is It? The largest zoo in Canada, the Toronto Zoo is a family-friendly attraction perfect for animal lovers.

Why Do It? Popular with kids and adults alike, visitors are spoiled for choice with 6 miles of walking trails and 450 different species that live across 700 acres.

Good to Know: Separated into various geographic regions, highlights include the largest indoor gorilla exhibit in North America, the Gorilla Rainforest.

Day Trip to Niagara Falls Niagara Falls
Credit: Niagara Falls by bigstock.com

Day Trip to Niagara Falls

What Is It? At only 90 minutes away from Toronto, Niagara Falls is a fantastic day trip from the city.

Why Do It? Visitors are sure to be mesmerized by the 750,000 gallons of water that tumble down the steep cliffs at the falls. Stand right on the edge of the falls at Horseshoe Falls, climb to the top for panoramic views at Table Rock, or splurge for an adventurous helicopter tour.

Good to Know: You can snap stunning photos of this iconic landmark on the Canadian-United States border for memories that will last a lifetime.

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