Toronto is a fantastic city with a vibrant culture and no shortage of fun daily activities to suit a vast range of interests.
It can be challenging to decide what to dedicate your time to with so many options. So here is a look at the ten best things to do and best places to visit when in Toronto.
1. Take in the Views Atop the CN Tower
There is no better way to take in Toronto than from its most iconic structure.
Standing at over 550 meters (1,800 feet), The CN Tower offers spectacular panoramic views of the city and surrounding area with floor-to-ceiling windows. The bird’s-eye view includes unique vantage points of other city landmarks, Lake Ontario, and even Niagara Falls (on clear days).
There are also some excellent dining options here, including the 360 Restaurant, which will create a memorable dining experience with quality food and unforgettable scenery.
The CN Tower is not only Toronto’s signature landmark; it also ranks among the best things to do in Toronto.
2. Dive Into Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Located right at the base of the CN tower is another notable city landmark. The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is well worth the visit offering guests an impressive array of marine life, fascinating vantage points, and plenty of educational information.
The massive underwater tunnel will captivate visitors, immersing guests with the sharks and jellyfish floating up above. A moving walkway also allows guests to take in different habitats and sea creatures.
Ripley’s is not only one of the best things to do in Toronto for families; its uniqueness and impressive layout make it an excellent activity for everyone.
3. Trek Out to Toronto Island Park
A trip to Toronto Island Park ranks high on this list because it provides a whole slew of fun things to do. You can easily plan an entire day around your trip to the park with appealing activities for all ages.
Notable attractions include Centreville Amusement Park, Franklin Children’s Garden, and Far Enough Farms. Other activities include boat rentals, swimming, and camping. There are also restaurants and B&B’s if visitors want to plan a more extended stay.
When they head out to the island, visitors book a round-trip ferry ticket which provides some exceptional views of the city skyline.
4. Get Your Cultural Fix at Royal Ontario Museum
Toronto is a city with a rich cultural history. There is no better way to experience this than a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), which offers some of Canada’s premier exhibitions.
Collections cover a range of genres, including art and natural history, providing an excellent combination of world-class skill and fascinating history.
While it is an ideal destination for history and art lovers alike, as a world-renowned gallery, it ranks among the best things to do in Toronto for everyone and is a prominent fixture in the city. Even if you don’t have time to tour the exhibitions inside, take a trip to see its unique exterior features.
5. Shop at St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market is situated in Toronto’s historic old town and has stood for several centuries. It housed the city’s social center and City Hall in the past.
Presently it is home to over 100 different local vendors offering an intriguing mixture of delicious foods and handcrafted goods. Every Saturday, it is well worth checking out when it is converted into a large-scale flea market with unique items and bargain shopping.
While many visitors come for the food (St Lawrence ranks among the best food markets in the world), many stay for the shopping and unique experience.
6. Take a Tour of Casa Lomo
Casa Loma is a century-old castle and another excellent destination for history lovers, but the impressive architectural feat and elegant interior design will catch the eye of virtually anyone.
The castle holds nearly 100 rooms, including over 30 bathrooms. A tour of the Museum provides unique insight into the decadent lifestyles of the early 20th century. The glitzy towers, impressive suites, and secret passageways scattered throughout the grounds make for fun exploring.
The beautifully manicured grounds, encompassing approximately five acres, also make for a nice walk. Consider taking a step back in time as one of the best things to do in Toronto.
7. Visit the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo features a diverse range of nearly 5,000 different animals from all over the world. Popular species include lions, tigers, gorillas, polar bears, and giraffes.
The zoo showcases some unique habitats that will enthrall all ages, including the Gorilla Rainforest and Tundra Trek providing guests with plenty of information/resources while helping to raise awareness/funding for wildlife conservation.
With ongoing special events throughout the year and VIP tour options, this zoo is well worth checking out.
8. Check Out the Hockey Hall of Fame
Admittedly, this activity won’t be for everyone, but it is a must for sports lovers. The Hockey Hall of Fame is centrally located in the heart of downtown, providing insight into all-time hockey greats. Historians of the game will love learning about players, teams, and meaningful games over the year.
The Museum showcases some notable hockey memorabilia, including the Stanley Cup. There is also interactive trivia scattered throughout for fans to test their knowledge and learn new interesting facts.
9. Take a Stroll Through the Distillery District
One of the best free things to do in Toronto is taking your own guided walking tour of the city. With a diverse range of compelling neighborhoods and no shortage of art, live music, and fine dining, there are many sights and sounds to take in just by hitting the pavement.
One neighborhood that is a must is the Distillery District, a pedestrian-only area lined with cobblestone that features 19th-century buildings. The district features some of the best restaurants in the city and is home to fantastic art galleries, outdoor sculptures, and street performances.
10. Explore High Park
If you are looking to unplug from the city for a bit, High Park is the largest public park in Toronto and is easily accessible by public transportation or walking.
The park is heavily forested and features gorgeous lakefront seating areas that make for perfect lounging/picnic setups.
Activities include sporting facilities, walking trails, restaurants, and playgrounds for small children; there is also a dog park.
Other Great Toronto Attractions to Check Out
- Head over to Toronto Islands
- Check out the Ontario Science Centre
- Stroll Around Nathan Phillips Square
- Visit Kensington Market or St Lawrence Market
- Check Out the Bata Shoe Museum
- Walk Around Downtown Toronto
- Spend a Day Out at Centre Island
If you’re looking for a great place or two to add to your list of attractions to visit when you’re in Toronto, maybe some of the attractions on this list will provide you with some great options. Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear your thoughts about other great things to do in the GTA!