Toronto is the capital of Ontario, the largest city in Canada, and one of the most diverse. It is home to a dynamic mix of tourist attractions, from museums and galleries to the world-famous CN Tower and, offshore, the islands of Toronto. Niagara Falls is just a short drive away.
Toronto is a vibrant, multicultural metropolis with no shortage of things to see and do. The city’s events and festivals attract people from all over the world, and its timeless attractions are sure to be on the list of the most popular attractions for travelers.
Photo by Jochem Raat
Between film festivals, culinary events, major sporting events, live music, and theatre, it will be hard to decide what to see and do during your stay in the city.
Before you start planning what to do in Toronto, you should apply for a working holiday visa to Canada so that you can enter the country.
Here are some of the routes offered, no matter how much time you have to spend.
CN Tower & EdgeWalk
Toronto’s most famous attraction is the CN Tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the western hemisphere. It now includes EdgeWalk, a spectacular hands-free walk on the outer cornice of the tower.
Standing at 1815 feet and designated as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, this engineering tower is not only a first-class dining and entertainment venue but also a Canadian icon and timeless symbol of Toronto.
Address: 290 Bremner Boulevard
Hours: Operates daily from 8:30 am to 11:00 pm.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the CN Tower ticket office or through the CN Tower website.
LookOut at 1136 feet offers unrivaled city views with floor-to-ceiling panoramic window walls, while the Glass Floor allows you to enjoy a stunning view right down below!
Where To Eat Nearby
CN Tower’s 360-seat restaurant is best in Canadian cuisine, paired with stunning, rotating views of Toronto, which is the perfect place for a special evening!
Ripley’s Aquarium Of Canada
Situated at the bottom of the CN Tower (the heart of the entertainment district), Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada welcomes nearly 16,000 tourists to Toronto.
It is the largest indoor aquarium in the country, measuring 135,000 square feet and featuring interactive, underwater exhibits, is home to stunning jellyfish, ancient giant lobsters, sharks, stingrays, and all kinds of colorful fish imaginable.
You can admire water creatures from fresh and saltwater from all over the world, watch them float above their heads in an acrylic viewing tunnel, then climb up closer and in-person to the Touch Tank Gallery.
Address: 288 Bremner Boulevard
Hours: Operates seven days a week from 9:00 to 23:00, occasionally closing early.
Tickets can be purchased in person or at Ripley’s Aquarium website.
Don’t miss the spectacular Planet Jellies exhibition and witness the hypnotic dance of Pacific nettle jelly – it’s truly magical!
Where To Eat Nearby
Have a snack at Ripley’s Café or enjoy world cuisine at the nearby SOCO Kitchen + Bar.
Photo by Eric Aiden
Art Gallery Of Ontario (AGO)
The Art Gallery of Ontario is rated one of the most outstanding art museums in North America.
From the vast number of “Group of Seven” and branded Canadian works to the African Art Gallery. It also has the latest contemporary works and masterpieces of European art. AGO offers an incredible experience every time you visit.
During 2008, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry led to one of the most critical architectural achievements in the world.
Address: 317 Dundas Street West
Opening hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30 to 17:00; Wednesday and Friday from 10:30 to 9:00; Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 to 17:30.
Tickets and membership can be purchased in person and online on the AGO website.
Don’t miss AGO’s collection of Canadian artwork conveys the spirit of our vast, great nation through the stunning landscapes of the Group of Seven. For example, the majestic Lake and Mountains created by the fabulous Lauren Harris.
Where To Eat
The best place to eat gourmet food at an AGO bistro is nothing more than an AGO bistro. Designed by Frank Gehry himself, the creative and seasonal menu of the bistro, which consists of fresh local ingredients, allows art lovers to stay full long after incorporating their latest work of art.
Photo by Sean Driscoll
Toronto Islands & Centreville
Guests who wish to be closer to the ground can take a short, scenic ferry ride to the islands of Toronto, which offers a beautiful view (and the opportunity to take a few pictures!) of the city’s skyline.
The many islands have beaches, picnic areas, sports facilities, canoe and kayak hire, and much more.
Once you have discovered the islands on foot or by bike, you can bring your children to the Centreville Theme Park, where you can have fun during the day enjoying the attractions and delicious food and drinks.
Address: 21 Avenue Islands (Centerville Theme Park).
Toronto Islands ferry tickets can be purchased in person or online. No general admission is required for Centreville, but to enjoy the trips and sights. You can buy a day pass or travel tickets online on the Centreville website.
Visiting the islands offers photography at every turn, so be sure to soak up this famous panoramic line of Toronto’s skyline from several central points, including Ward Island, Hanlan Point, and Center Island.
Where To Eat Nearby
You can grab a bite to eat and enjoy stunning views at Island Café, right across the Ward’s Island ferry link.
Great picnic dishes and edible souvenirs can be found at The St. Lawrence Market, which, according to National Geographic, is the best food market in the world.
Situated in the Old Town of Toronto, browse its famous grocery and food shops, restaurants, art exhibitions, and culinary workshops.
Address: 93 Front Street East
Opening hours: North/Farm Market: Saturday 5:00 to 15:00; South Market: Tuesday to Thursday 8:00 to 18:00, Friday 8:00 to 19:00, Saturday 17:00 to 17:00.
Delicious food every step of the way!
Where To Eat
St. Lawrence’s Market itself is swarming with delicious dishes such as the famous peach bacon sandwich at Carousel Bakery, recently named a Toronto specialty.
Photo by Jeff Smith
Hockey Hall Of Fame
There is something for everyone in the Hockey Hall of Fame with the most sophisticated collection of hockey memorabilia and equipment from around the world, interactive games, multimedia stations, and exhibits on the game’s biggest players.
You should visit one of the most coveted prizes in professional sports – the Stanley Cup. Get selfish with Stanley!
Address: 30 Yonge Street
Summer opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 am.
Tickets can be purchased in person or on the Hockey Hall of Fame website.
Browse the world’s most extensive collection of hockey memorabilia and go one-on-one against the life-size, animated great hockey players like Sidney Crosby. You can also get up close and personal with the Stanley Cup.
Where To Eat Nearby
A few steps from the HHoF is The Bottom Line, a sports bar owned and operated by the former NHLer Wayne Cowley, where you can have a bite to eat in the pub while enjoying the fun from wall to wall.
Toronto Eaton Centre
Located in downtown Toronto, Eaton Center is one of the most popular attractions in the city. With over 250 fashion, furniture, and electronics retailers, Toronto has an unrivaled choice.
High-end boutiques blend in with everyday life, and Toronto’s main shopping mall has something to suit every style and taste.
When you want a break from shopping, recharge and treat yourself and your taste buds at one of The Eaton Centre’s seven restaurants or snack at Urban Eatery.
Address: 220 Yonge Street
It is open Monday: 11:00 to 19:00, Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 to 9:30, Saturday: 9:30 to 9:30, Sunday: 10:00 to 7:00.
For a truly luxurious shopping experience, head to Nordstrom and check out their excellent selection of clothes and accessories before relaxing at the Bar Verde. It is Nordstrom’s full-service restaurant and bar on the 3rd floor.
Where To Eat
After a long day of retail therapy, sit back and pamper yourself with luxurious daily food at the JOEY Eaton Centre, where eclectic Canadian food and wines are sure to help you relax.
The Distillery Historic District
Recognized as a national historical monument, the Distillery Historic District is one of Toronto’s most picturesque places, with its cobbled lanes and Victorian buildings.
Toronto’s first distillery produced nearly half of Ontario’s total distillery production in 1871 and now houses high-end boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants.
While in the Old Toronto area, you can take a tour (at Segway!), walk through the alleyways and patios, and immerse yourself in Toronto’s history and heritage.
Address: 9 Trinity Street
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday from 10:00 to 19:00, Thursday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00, Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00.
If you visit Toronto during the holidays, be sure to visit Toronto Christmas Market as the charming distillery district becomes a true winter wonderland!
Where To Eat Nearby
Taste authentic Mexican cuisine amidst the eclectic, stylish decor of El Catrin. You can enjoy the sun on their spacious and comfortable patio.
The Casa Loma
It was built as a private home by Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellat in 1914. This majestic castle in the city has elegant rooms, secret passages, wide stairs, stables, and lush gardens.
With its Spanish name “Hill House,” Casa Loma attracts visitors from all over the world to explore the territory and buildings or to participate in special events such as escape games and concerts in the garden.
Address: 1 Austin Terrace.
They operate daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Tickets can be purchased online at the Casa Loma website.
Photo by Francisco De Legarreta C.
Visiting Casa Loma, do not just look around the castle, with authentic Edwardian decor and thoughtful furniture and antiques, almost 98 rooms of Casa Loma are mandatory.
Where To Eat Nearby
For a royal meal like the castle where it is located, go to the BlueBlood Steakhouse inside Casa Loma itself. They serve decadent steak and seafood in a luxurious, sophisticated setting. It is the perfect way to end a day spent in Toronto Castle.
Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre has over 500 interactive events held in eight exhibition halls. It also has Ontario’s only IMAX Dome Theatre, an ultra-modern planetarium, authentic rainforests, and a discovery area for children ages eight and below.
You can explore special exhibits on a variety of topics, make movies bigger than life, travel to the farthest reaches of space, and enjoy a live science show. The Science Center offers a variety of activities – whether you’re into science or prefer to immerse yourself in depth.
Address: 770 Don Mills Road
Opening hours: Sunday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:00, Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00.
Tickets and membership can be purchased in person or through the Ontario Science Centre website.
When visiting Toronto’s only public planetarium, be sure to take a fantastic trip through space with a variety of presentations and shows.
Where To Eat Nearby
There are five different restaurants in the Science Centre, such as the Valley’s grilled burgers. However, if you feel a little adventurous, the nearby Pasha Restaurant offers traditional Turkish cuisine served in an elegant atmosphere, from Kebab to Pahlavi.
Toronto Zoo has over 5000 animals, including gorillas, giraffes, and kangaroos. Toronto Zoo, with its award-winning exhibits of over 460 species, will surely delight the imagination.
From the African savannah to the jungle of gorillas and more, you can see fluffy and feathered friends from all over the world.
Address: 2000 Meadowvale Road
Opening Hours: The zoo is open daily from 9:00 to 19:00. See the Toronto Zoo website for a few hours.
Tickets can be purchased in person and online on the Zoo website.
If you have never met a polar bear in real life, the Toronto Zoo will give you a chance! You should visit the 10-acre Tundra Trek and its 5-acre polar bear habitat, complete with an underwater viewing platform.
Where To Eat Nearby
The zoo has plenty of food options with favorites such as hamburgers and beaver tails, as well as a choice of nearby restaurants.
Canada’s Wonderland is an amusement park near Toronto, where you can ride 70 rides and a 20-acre Splash Works water park.
There are legendary attractions such as the Hippopotamus, Whirlwind, and Leviathan (Canada’s longest wooden stand), and there’s no shortage of flying adventure in Canada’s main amusement park. Hold on tight!
Address: 1 Canadian Wonder Drive
Check out the wonderland website for its opening hours.
Tickets and passes can be purchased in person or online.
In 2019, The Yukon Stryker arrived in Wonderland. It is the fastest, longest, and tallest diving coaster in the world!
Where You Can Eat Nearby
Wonderland itself is full of delicious dishes. From fair favorites like hamburgers, hot dogs and funnel cake, to Mexican cuisine, gourmet macaroni and cheese, beaver’s tail, and much more.
Where To Stay In Toronto For Sightseeing
For sightseeing and entertainment, Toronto’s best place to be is in the heart of the city. All of the hotels listed below are highly regarded and located in good locations in downtown Toronto. They are also within walking distance of many of Toronto’s major attractions.
At the top of the luxury category is The Ritz-Carlton, with a convenient, central location near the entertainment and commercial areas.
Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto, which opened in 2014, have an excellent location near CN Tower, Ripley Aquarium, and Rogers Center, as well as marvelous views of Lake Ontario.
Next to the Eaton Center and Toronto’s famous City Hall and the winter ice-skating rink are Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel and the Hilton Toronto, both luxury hotels with beautiful indoor/outdoor pools.
At the top of the middle range is Radisson Admiral Toronto Harbourfront on the waterfront. It is a great location, especially during the summer months, close to many lakefront restaurants and the extensive pedestrian promenade area. It is also within walking distance of the CN Tower and other attractions.
Another great choice is the Novotel Toronto Centre, located on Esplanade, next to St. Lawrence Market and trendy restaurants where you can dine al fresco in summer.
North of Esplanade and within walking distance of the financial district and many sightseeing attractions, the Holiday Inn Express is another quality middle-class hotel. Just a bit north of the popular Yonge and Dundas Square districts is The Saint James Hotel, which has always been highly regarded.
An excellent location in Chinatown, in the eastern part of the city center, is the affordable Super 8 hotel.
Downtown Home Inn is a B&B with a suitable location in the city center, close to a major subway station.
Tours And Tips: How To Make The Most Of Your Visit To Toronto
When it comes to Toronto’s sights, you cannot beat Toronto CityPASS for its value. It is a nine-day pass that starts on your first day of use and offers entrance savings to some of Toronto’s major attractions, including CN Tower, Ontario Royal Museum, Toronto Zoo, Casa Loma, and Ontario Science Center.
To get to the sights or just for general sightseeing, a Toronto City Hop-on Hop-off Tour is the best option. It is a three-day pass that allows you to explore the city at your own pace without getting off the comfortable double-decker bus.
If you have purchased a CityPASS, you can stop and inspect all the places listed on your pass.
Photo by Sandro Schuh
A day trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls is a must if you want to see Niagara Falls during your stay. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Canada, and it is less than an hour and a half drive away.
This tour includes meeting and disembarking the hotel, transport to Niagara Falls, a boat ride at the base of the falls, a buffet lunch, a visit to the Whirlpool Rapids observation deck, and a stop in the beautiful city of Niagara on Lake.
To Sum Up
It will be difficult for you to decide what to see and do during your stay in Toronto between film festivals, culinary events, major sporting events, live music, and theater.
However, we hope some of the places that have been recommended will help you when you are planning your trip to Toronto.