Top Things To Do In Toronto

Save 37% on admission to the top 5 Toronto attractions with CityPASS.

Movie producers might turn to Toronto for its visual similarities to New York City, but locals and visitors realize that Canada’s largest metropolis has a style and flavor all its own. With more than 100 cultures represented in its people – not to mention three Chinatowns and two Little Italys – Toronto lives up to its Fortune magazine billing as "the world’s newest great city." And Toronto’s top attractions are pretty nifty too. Take a peek.

CN Tower

Once classified one of the Wonders of the Modern World, CN Tower was originally built to broadcast signals for the Canadian National railway company. Today, CN Tower is Canada's most celebrated architectural triumph and is a must-see entertainment and dining destination.

Things to Do
In a mere 58 seconds, elevators whisk visitors to one of two observation levels. EdgeWalk, a new feature for thrill-seeking travelers, lets the brave traverse a five-foot-wide (1.5-meter) exterior ledge 1,168 feet (356 meters) above the ground. It's no wonder that visiting the CN Tower is one of the top things to do in Toronto.

What to See
Take a look down from the world-famous Glass Floor with it's view 1,122 feet (342 meters) straight down. From one floor up you can get more amazing views from LookOut. If you can, head up to SkyPod (another 33 stories up) for the best views. On a clear day you can see all the way to Niagara Falls.

>> Learn more about the CN Tower.

Toronto Zoo

With a refurbished and expanded polar bear habitat, a new endangered African penguin exhibit, and more than six miles (10 km) of walking trails, there’s plenty to do and see at Toronto Zoo.

Things to Do
Be sure to visit the park’s littlest gorilla, Nassir, just one of the many babies born thanks to the Zoo’s successful endangered animal breeding program. Take the kids over to Kids Zoo, where the young ones will get to meet and interact with animals like goats, alpacas, rabbits, and more. Toronto Zoo also has daily Meet the Keeper talks and feedings at various places throughout the zoo.

What to See
Check out the new Great Barrier Reef exhibit, home to moon jellies, seahorses, and a wide variety of fish native to the barrier reefs of Australasia. Head over to see the giraffes in one of the largest indoor giraffe houses in Canada. With over 5,000 animals there is so much to see at the Toronto Zoo.

>> Learn more about the Toronto Zoo.

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada is home to 16,000 animals, 100 interactive displays and three touch exhibits featuring sharks, stingrays, and horseshoe crabs. The Aquarium is also home to North America's longest underwater viewing tunnel!

Things to Do
Ride a moving walkway through the underwater tunnel in Dangerous Lagoon. Visit Planet Jellies and see five species of jellies in a color-changing display. You'll feel like you're on a different planet!

What to See
Catch a Daily Dive Show, featuring divers who communicate with aquarium educators and the audience. This is a great way to see the animals and learn about their habitats.

>> Learn more about Ripley's Aquarium of Canada.

Royal Ontario Museum

With exhibits and displays covering dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, Canadian history and more there's something for everyone at Canada's largest museum of natural history and world cultures.

Things to Do
Discover Earth’s biodiversity through 30 extinct mammal fossil skeletons, as well as 166 non-mammalian fossil specimens from the Cenozoic Era. ROM is also home to Gordo the Brontosaurus, the largest dinosaur on display anywhere in Canada. If you dare, head into the Bat Cave and learn the real story behind these creepy critters of the night.

What to See
Unveiled in 2007, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal – an expansion composed of five interlocking prismatic structures that house eight new galleries – has landed the museum on Travel+Leisure magazine’s list of "the world’s most beautiful museums." ROM is frequently introducing new and traveling exhibitions so be on the lookout for what they have going on when you're in town.

>> Learn more about the Royal Ontario Museum.

Ontario Science Centre

Ontario Science Centre was perhaps the first interactive science museum when it opened in 1969. Today the Science Centre features over 500 exhibits, live demonstrations, a public planetarium and IMAX® films in a domed theater.

Things to Do
Visitors can engage through a wide variety of hands-on experiences, all designed to lead to new insights and discoveries. Visit AstraZeneca Human Edge to learn more about what your body can do and see stories of athletes, extreme sports enthusiasts, and suvivalists who have changed what we used to think was humanly possible.

What to See
Visitors traveling with children can see the wildly popular KidSpark, a space designed especially for junior scientists. KidSpark was completed in 2007 thanks to a $47.5-million transformation of the museum. Watch a film from the IMAX® Dome theater on a screen that is 4,500 times larger than the average TV screen. Most films are about an hour long, plenty of time to rest your legs.

>> Learn more about the Ontario Science Centre.

Casa Loma

The romantic grandeur of this magnificent estate situated on a bluff overlooking Toronto is not to be missed. Built in the early 20th century by Canadian financier and industrialist Sir Henry Pellatt, the re-creation of a medieval castle features Norman, Gothic and Romanesque elements and has 98 rooms.

Things to Do
Tour the grounds and enjoy the stables, carriage room, and gardens. The Estate Gardens cover 5 acres surrounding Casa Loma and feature sculptures, fountains, and formal perennial borders. Explore the decorated suites, towers, and even the secret passages in this modern day castle.

What to See
Find the 800 foot tunnel that runs below the Austin Terrace to the stables. On the lower level you can see Hollywood film posters from films shot at Casa Loma, and in the stables you can see antique cars.

>> Learn more about Casa Loma.

Niagara Falls

Formed by a retreating glacier 12,000 years ago, the three cataracts that comprise Niagara Falls are awe-inspiring. Located just 75 miles from south-southeast of Toronto, Niagara Falls is a relatively short drive and something you should definitely consider adding to your trip to Toronto.

Things to Do
Board the famed Maid of the Mist boat for a close-up experience of the falls. Get up close and personal with the falls by taking the Cave of the Winds Tour. From that close the falls create tropical storm-like conditions, so hold on to your hat!

What to See
The water roaring over Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil and American Falls generates electricity, but most visitors’ chills come just from looking, whether they be in Queen Victoria Park or flying high in a helicopter. There are several observation towers in the area on both the Canadian and United States sides of the Niagara River, so you have plenty of views to choose from.

>> Learn more about Niagara Falls.

St. Lawrence Market

National Geographic named St. Lawrence market the world's best food market in April 2012. The Market really consists of two buildings. The North Market hosts weekly farmer's markets and antique markets. The South Market hosts restaurants and a variety of areas to shop for food.

Things to Do
Perhaps the best known, the Tuesday-Saturday South Market boasts more than 120 vendors offering fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. The Market frequently hosts events ranging from cooking classes to classes that will teach you how to improve your cutting skills.

What to See
Farmers with seasonal wares and antique dealers with items ranging from classic to kitsch at the North Market on the weekends. Inside the Market you'll find vendors of all types. From artisans that sell clothing and jewelry to pastries and meats, you'll never run out of things to check out at St. Lawrence Market.

>> Learn more about St. Lawrence Market.

Toronto Islands

An 1858 storm separated a sandspit from the mainland, forming a peninsula and a cluster of islands that now sport a myriad recreational activities for all ages.

Things to Do
Following a short ferry ride, visitors can enjoy a modern amusement park, fishing, disc golf or even a clothing-optional beach. The islands are great for bike riding, picnics, or paddling a canoe or kayak around the canals and waterways separating the different islands.

What to See
Get a local’s view of town with boat and bike rentals or tram tours. See great views of the Toronto Skyline just a short distance away.

>> Learn more about the Toronto Islands.

Distillery District

In Toronto’s Distillery District, there is no such thing as out with the old and in with the new. A seamless blend of historical Victorian industrial architecture and a contemporary shopping experience make the Distillery District one of Canada’s premiere attractions.

Things to Do
Shop your way around the Distillery District and you’ll leave with something truly one-of-a-kind. No matter the season, the Distillery District has both summer and winter markets where vendors supply fresh local produce and valuable, handcrafted commodities. Sip on warm, rich Mayan hot chocolate from Soma Chocolate and check out the historic architecture while you’re there.

What to See
Check out the 40-foot tall spider! Sure, it sounds scary, but it’s truly harmless. The Spider is a sculpture made of thousands of pounds of steel, and isn’t going anywhere. Take a picture of the spider known as IT—make sure to get close; he won’t bite.

>> Learn more about the Distillery District.

Rogers Centre

Canada’s involvement in sports goes far beyond hockey. Formerly known as the Sky Dome, the Rogers Centre is hard to miss as it’s located in the middle of downtown Toronto. Be sure to take in a Blue Jay’s game during baseball season for the full experience.

Things to Do
Make sure your wings are decked in appropriate Blue Jay wear by getting your gear at the Jays Shop. Or, get the true Blue experience with a Rogers Center Tour. Learn more about the Toronto baseball team and the history of the stadium. This one-hour, guided tour will take you behind the scenes to give you a first-hand look at the ins and outs of the stadium and the beloved Blue Jays.

What to See
As part of the Blue Jay’s audience, you should check out…The Audience! It may sound confusing but The Audience is a unique group of sculptures designed by Canadian artist Michael Snow. These animated people capture the sense of fandom that comes with every baseball game. Depending on where you are, the statue’s characters give off a different story — one woman takes a photograph while another man points at an opposing team’s fan in mockery. This humorous piece is definitely worth a picture or two.

>> Learn more about the Rogers Centre.

Air Canada Centre

Join the ranks of Leafs Nation, where the Toronto Maple Leafs have easily become one of the most iconic teams in the history of hockey. Playing alongside the Leafs are the NBA Raptors, Toronto’s only NBA basketball team.

Things to Do
The Fan Zone is where you need to be to get your game face on. The Fan Zone features interactive basketball and hockey games where fans can shoot an NBA foul shot, or even play some air hockey. The options are endless! If you get to the game early enough, you’ll have enough time to dribble around.

What to See
While you may get up close and personal at games inside the Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square is a large public area showcasing the games on a huge screen so fans can come together and watch for free. The Raptors mascot is an entertaining character to watch, too. He might be as old as a dinosaur, but he sure doesn’t act like it!

>> Learn more about the Air Canada Centre.

High Park

Get a taste of flavorful nature at Canada’s gorgeous and varied High Park. The 399 acres of land offer visitors a unique experience only nature could provide. Trails, ponds, animals, and tennis are only a handful of the activities that await you in High Park.

Things to Do
The High Park Zoo is home to many species of glossy-eyed creatures including llamas, reindeer, emus, sheep, bison and many more. A heart-warming experience for children and adults, the animals really bring the park to life.

What to See
If you can plan your trip to Toronto in the spring, you won’t want to miss seeing the cherry blossoms in full bloom at High Park. The beautiful pink petals paint the sky like cotton candy, but the flowers only last a couple of weeks. Around the entire park beautiful, scenic trails are brimming with many species of trees and plants. So if you miss the cherry blossoms, there’s plenty more beauty to be seen at High Park.

>> Learn more about High Park.

Toronto Waterfront

Canada never fails to leave a visitor stunned and amazed. The green and clean city of Toronto is basically a giant park with a city inside. Scenic views from left to right are just a part of Toronto life, but the Toronto waterfront is where city and nature fuse together to form one of the longest waterfronts in the world. From Rouge River to Etobicoke Creek and back, there’s never a dull moment along the edge of Lake Ontario.

Things to Do
With a stretch of 46-kilometres to explore, there’s more than enough to do. Drench yourself in warm weather at sandy Sugar beach, canoe across Lake Ontario waters, or take a stroll along the winding boardwalk or scenic trails. All that moving around will give you a good reason to grab some savory food at one of the many lakeside patios—great food with a great view!

What to See
The Scarborough Bluff are 15-kilometres of breathtaking shoreline that give visitors a cliff-side view of the world below. The trail is peaceful and quiet, and is a nice little escape from the urban boardwalk. Check out the flora and the Music Garden, which is the plant translation of Bach’s "Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello." The garden is its own symphony (but also holds free summer concerts).

>> Learn more about the Toronto Waterfront.

Edwards Gardens

Edwards Gardens is really many gardens in one. Whether your interest lies in big, beautiful blooms, herbs you can grow yourself, native plants, or perfectly manicured lawns, Edwards Gardens is a treat for the eyes. Relaxing walks and incredible scenery make Edwards Gardens a must-see attraction.

Things to Do
Walk across the wooden arch bridges, and take frequent breaks to rest on one of the many benches throughout the garden. The waterfall is tranquil and soothing to the urban ear. You’ll want to bring your camera for this trip—there will be plenty of outstanding snapshots you’ll want to show off later on.

What to See
Around the garden are colorful perennials, roses, rhododendrons, and wildflowers, and plenty of lush green trees and foliage. The rockery in the valley of Edwards Gardens is perfectly integrated with the water and is a popular resting spot for visitors looking for a place to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Take a tour to go through the teaching garden, where kids can touch and learn about all the plants and flowers.

>> Learn more about the Edwards Gardens.

Old City Hall

Old City Hall is over a century old, and was threatened with demolition before a group of activists came along and saved the day. Now Old City Hall is a National Historic Site of Canada and can be seen by any one who wants to check out the magnificent design of the building and learn some Toronto history along the way.

Things to Do
As the building still functions as a courthouse, it would be best to try and schedule a tour ahead of time so you could see the marvelous design inside and out. On the exterior, a 300-foot clock tower climbs through the sky, and the sandstone and brownstone combine to create a Romanesque Revival feel.

What to See
Old City Hall is an architectural masterpiece preserved to showcase one of Toronto’s oldest still-standing buildings. See if you can spot the gargoyles atop the clock tower — the two bronze beasts were restored from the original statues that adorned the building many decades ago. Look for the carved faces of City Councilors form the 1890’s in the triple-arch entrance.

>> Learn more about the Old City Hall.

To visit the best attractions in Toronto, use Toronto CityPASS and save nearly half off combined admission. Plus, CityPASS holders avoid some ticket and entry lines, which means less time waiting and more time doing. Toronto CityPASS includes admission to CN Tower, Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, and your choice between Toronto Zoo or Ontario Science Centre. Some special exhibits are not included with the CityPASS and may require an extra fee.

CityPASS can be purchased online or at any of our participating Toronto attractions. Use Toronto CityPASS and discover these top places to visit and things to do in Toronto.

St Lawrence Market Photo Credit
Distillery District Photo Credit
Rogers Center Photo Credit
Air Canada Centre Photo Credit
High Park Photo Credit
Edwards Gardens Photo Credit

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