Things to do in Toronto

Toronto guarantees something for every kind of sightseer, boasting striking natural scenery, charming neighbourhoods and even one of the world's tallest buildings. It has a range of fantastic museums, including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Canadian Air and Space Museum, the Ontario Science Centre and the Hockey Hall of Fame. There are also numerous art galleries, such as the OCAD Professional Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art.

Visitors can go for a stroll in the city's many distinct neighbourhoods, such as Toronto's huge Chinatown, which is home to the city's 350,000 Chinese-Canadian residents. There's also Little Italy, the lively Art and Design District, and Leslieville, with its antique and vintage shops. The funky Queen West has boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, while the harbour and Toronto Islands are perfect places to relax without having to travel far from the city.

Travellers can save money on many of Toronto's attractions by buying a Toronto CityPass online. It provides discounted tickets to places such as the Ontario Science Centre, the CN Tower and the Toronto Zoo.

Casa Loma photo

Casa Loma

Casa Loma is the only full-sized castle in North America. Formerly the home of Canadian financier, Sir Henry Pellatt, the massive structure is a wonderland of secret passageways an…

Casa Loma

Casa Loma is the only full-sized castle in North America. Formerly the home of Canadian financier, Sir Henry Pellatt, the massive structure is a wonderland of secret passageways and elaborately decorated rooms. Pallet used his immense personal fortune to build the chateau, though financial troubles meant he could not sustain it. Today, the City of Toronto owns the castle and welcomes a daily influx of guests. Visitors enjoy touring the authentically furnished rooms and splendid gardens, and drinking in the stunning views of Toronto from one of the castle's towers.

Address 1 Austin Terrace

Website casaloma.ca/

Transport

From Dupont station, walk to Spadina Ave and Davenport Rd, then climb the Baldwin Steps to the castle.

Opens Open daily, from 9.30am to 5pm

Admission

C$30 (adults), C$20 (children aged 4 - 13). Other concessions are available.

CN Tower photo

CN Tower

Standing 1,815ft (553m) high, Toronto's CN Tower was the world's tallest building until 2007. Today, it remains a renowned architectural masterpiece and is arguably Canada's most i…

CN Tower

Standing 1,815ft (553m) high, Toronto's CN Tower was the world's tallest building until 2007. Today, it remains a renowned architectural masterpiece and is arguably Canada's most iconic landmark. One of the tower's top attractions is the award-winning revolving 360 Restaurant, which offers guests breathtaking panoramic views of the city, as well as delectable dishes created with the finest Canadian ingredients. Another drawcard is EdgeWalk. At 1,168ft (356m) above ground, it is the world's highest hands-free external walk and a must for thrill seekers.

Address 301 Front Street West

Website www.cntower.ca

Transport

Take the subway to Union Station. Then take a short walk west along Front Street.

Opens Open daily 9am to 10:30pm

Admission

General Admission: C$38 (adults), C$28 (children aged 4 - 12).

Royal Ontario Museum photo

Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum treats visitors to displays of art, culture and nature from around the globe and across the ages. It ranks as one of North America's premier cultural insti…

Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum treats visitors to displays of art, culture and nature from around the globe and across the ages. It ranks as one of North America's premier cultural institutions, and is Canada's largest and most comprehensive museum. Its 40 galleries and exhibition spaces house 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens, including dinosaurs, galleries of Chinese art, a bat cave, a gem and gold room, exhibits on Ancient Egypt and Nubia, and the Samuel European Galleries. Visitors will not be disappointed.

Address 100 Queen's Park

Website www.rom.on.ca

Transport

Museum subway station, or Avenue bus #5 from Eglington station

Opens Open daily, from 10am to 5.30pm

Admission

General Admission: C$20 (adults), C$14 (children aged 4 - 14). Other concessions are available.

Toronto Zoo photo

Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world and has a big focus on conservation, with more than six miles (10km) of walking trails spread over 700 acres. More 5,000 ani…

Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world and has a big focus on conservation, with more than six miles (10km) of walking trails spread over 700 acres. More 5,000 animals and over 450 species call it home. Visitors will enjoy touring the zoo's seven geographic regions and encountering animals that are native to them. Favourites include hippos, lemurs, otters, gorillas, bears, Giant Pandas, snow leopards, lions, penguins and cheetahs. Award-winning exhibits await the entire family, as do many seasonal activities. The zoo's interactive wildlife experience is especially popular with kids.

Address Meadowvale Road, Scarborough

Website www.torontozoo.com

Transport

Rouge Hill GO Train station, #86A Scarborough bus route or #85 Sheppard East bus route

Opens Open daily, from 9.30am to 4.30pm

Admission

May to October: C$29 (adults), C$19 (kids aged 3 - 12). November to April: C$23 (adults), C$14 (kids aged 3 - 12). Other concessions are available

Niagara Falls photo

Niagara Falls

Straddling the Canadian-United States border between Ontario and New York, the awesome Niagara Falls attracts millions of tourists every year. The visit makes for a spectacular day…

Niagara Falls

Straddling the Canadian-United States border between Ontario and New York, the awesome Niagara Falls attracts millions of tourists every year. The visit makes for a spectacular day trip from Toronto with plenty of action and activities on the Niagara Peninsula. Apart from marvelling at one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, perhaps from a spray-filled boat tour or from a magnificent perch along the cliffs, visitors can enjoy wine tasting, spectacular helicopter flips above the thundering falls, and even skydiving.

Website www.niagaraparks.com

Opens Different attractions have different opening hours and seasons. Check website for details

Admission

Admission tickets vary depending on which attractions are visited. See website for details

Distillery Historic District photo

Distillery Historic District

The Distillery Historic District is a much-loved centre for arts, culture, food and entertainment in Toronto. Said to contain the finest collection of Victorian-era industrial arch…

Distillery Historic District

The Distillery Historic District is a much-loved centre for arts, culture, food and entertainment in Toronto. Said to contain the finest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America, it is indeed a worthy national historic site, and certainly worth a visit.

The district had its beginnings in 1832 and eventually became the largest distillery in the British Empire. It assumed its current role as an arts and culture centre during the 1990s, doubling as one of Canada's most popular film locations. As of 2003, it has been a pedestrian-only village dedicated to the arts. Anyone visiting Toronto should explore the district's many art galleries, artisan boutiques and restaurants, and make sure they book tickets for one of the many festivals and special events held here.

Website www.thedistillerydistrict.com

Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada photo

Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada

The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) aims to exhibit, research, collect and promote innovative art by Canadian and international artists whose works tackle the most…

Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada

The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) aims to exhibit, research, collect and promote innovative art by Canadian and international artists whose works tackle the most relevant issues of our times. Formerly the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the institution has been praised for its incisive, artist-centric approach to its programmes, and its friendly visitor experience. The MOCA is very much a hub for creative exchange and is definitely worth a visit.

Address 158 Sterling Rd

Website museumofcontemporaryart.ca/

Opens Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10am-5pm. Open Friday from 10am-9pm. Closed on Tuesdays.

Admission

Adults, C$10. Under 18, free.

Toronto Islands photo

Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands are only a short ferry ride from the mainland, and provide a peaceful green refuge from the hubbub of the city. Visitors can enjoy a world of tree-filled picnic…

Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands are only a short ferry ride from the mainland, and provide a peaceful green refuge from the hubbub of the city. Visitors can enjoy a world of tree-filled picnic spots, pedestrian streets, quaint old cottages and beachfront attractions. Paths, bridges and boardwalks connect Toronto Island's three major islands: Centre, Ward's and Algonquin. Short walks or bike rides separate visitors from four sandy beaches named Centre Island Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan's Point Beach and Ward's Island Beach. Centre Island is usually a hit with kids, who relish its huge picnic areas, bike paths and maze. It even has an amusement park, a petting zoo and picturesque swan boats for younger children.

Address Toronto Island Ferry Docks, foot of Bay Street and Queens Quay

Website www.toronto.ca/parks/island/

Transport

The Toronto Island Ferry operates daily from 9am to 10pm, and leaves every 30 minutes. It travels to Hanlan's Point, Centre Island and Ward's Island

Gardiner Museum of Ceramics photo

Gardiner Museum of Ceramics

Housed in an award-winning piece of architecture, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics showcases a craft that has existed for centuries. With earthenware of all different shapes and siz…

Gardiner Museum of Ceramics

Housed in an award-winning piece of architecture, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics showcases a craft that has existed for centuries. With earthenware of all different shapes and sizes from the ancient Americas, China, Japan, the Italian Renaissance and more, a tour through the museum will shape visitors' understanding of the ceramic process and its place in world history. The museum hosts classes for both kids and adults, and the accompanying Clay restaurant provides the finest of seasonal produce to complete a busy day browsing the museum.

Address 111 Queen's Park

Website www.gardinermuseum.on.ca

Opens Monday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm; Friday from 10am to 9pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm

Admission

C$15 (adults); free for children under 18 years. Other concessions available.

Kensington Market photo

Kensington Market

Kensington Market embodies Toronto's multicultural society. Since the 1960s, immigrants from Eastern Europe, China and the Caribbean have injected their customs into the market, cr…

Kensington Market

Kensington Market embodies Toronto's multicultural society. Since the 1960s, immigrants from Eastern Europe, China and the Caribbean have injected their customs into the market, creating an area that is a model of open-mindedness. Today, this national historic site remains one of Toronto's oldest, most diverse and liveliest neighbourhoods, containing an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants, vintage stores, bars and speciality food shops where nobody is really foreign.

Address Area bordered by Spadina Avenue, Dundas Street, Bathurst Street and College Street

Website www.kensington-market.ca

Transport

The market is served by streetcar stops College, Spadina and Dundas

Opens Open seven days a week. Most opening hours are from 11am to 7pm, although fresh produce stalls usually open earlier, and restaurants usually close later

Harbourfront Centre photo

Harbourfront Centre

The Harbourfront Centre remains at the heart of what's current and creative in Toronto. The innovative non-profit cultural organisation has been around for more than 40 years, and …

Harbourfront Centre

The Harbourfront Centre remains at the heart of what's current and creative in Toronto. The innovative non-profit cultural organisation has been around for more than 40 years, and specialises in creating events and activities that charm and entertain a diverse public. Locals gather at the centre's distinctive waterfront venues for some weekend gallery hopping, biking and concerts. Visitors also enjoy strolling along the promenade, indulging in theatrical performances and browsing craft boutiques, or they head to Queen's Quay Centre for some superb retail therapy. Year-round features at this urban playground include film, dance, theatre, music, kids shows and marine events.

Address 235 Queen's Way

Website www.harbourfrontcentre.com

Hockey Hall of Fame photo

Hockey Hall of Fame

Avid ice hockey fans should make a point of it to visit Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame. Within this shrine to Canada's favourite pastime, visitors can learn about the history of the…

Hockey Hall of Fame

Avid ice hockey fans should make a point of it to visit Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame. Within this shrine to Canada's favourite pastime, visitors can learn about the history of the game through memorabilia from every era, hockey artefacts from around the world, themed exhibits, multimedia stations and images of great moments in hockey history. Iconic players' gear, skates and sticks are also on display. Visitors usually relish having hands-on access to the Stanley Cup, and trying out state-of-the-art games that challenge shooting and goalkeeping skills.

Address 30 Yonge Street, Brookfield Place

Website www.hhof.com

Opens Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm. Saturday, 9.30am-6pm. Sunday, 10.30am-5pm.

Admission

C$18 (adults), C$12 (youths aged 4 - 13), free for children under 3. Other concessions are available.

Canada's Wonderland photo

Canada's Wonderland

Boasting more than 200 attractions, including Splash Works and a huge variety of roller coasters, Canada's Wonderland is deservedly the country's favourite theme park. Its inviting…

Canada's Wonderland

Boasting more than 200 attractions, including Splash Works and a huge variety of roller coasters, Canada's Wonderland is deservedly the country's favourite theme park. Its inviting array of rides includes carousels, train rides and the Time Warp ­â€' Canada's only flying roller coaster. The park also has lots of shopping and dining options. The sheer variety of rides and amusements here ensure that everyone will have a good time regardless of age, making it a must for the entire family.

Address 9580 Jane Street, Vaughan

Website www.canadaswonderland.com

Opens Opening times vary according to season - check the official website for details.

High Park photo

High Park

Besides being Toronto's largest public park, High Park is also one of the city's most important natural areas. Visitors will encounter woodland, wetlands, a beautiful lakefront, pr…

High Park

Besides being Toronto's largest public park, High Park is also one of the city's most important natural areas. Visitors will encounter woodland, wetlands, a beautiful lakefront, prairie habitats and a preserved slice of the black-oak savanna ecosystem that once covered most of southern Ontario. It all makes for an idyllic setting in which to enjoy the park's playgrounds, zoo, dog park, hiking trails, greenhouses, picnic areas, eateries and sporting facilities. Parking is convenient and public-transport access is easy. All said, High Park makes for a fun family day out.

Address 1873 Bloor Street West

Website www.highparktoronto.com

Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park photo

Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park

Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park is one of Ontario's most popular tourist attractions. Just 45 minutes east of Toronto, the park is home to a diverse collection of mammals, such as w…

Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park

Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park is one of Ontario's most popular tourist attractions. Just 45 minutes east of Toronto, the park is home to a diverse collection of mammals, such as wolves, skunks, lemurs and chimpanzees. That said, its collection of big cats is what makes the park truly special. When it opened in 1985, the park's purpose was primarily recreational. These days, it has taken on a more pronounced environmental-education role. Its chief enterprises include housing rare and endangered cats, and running a variety of fun, kid-friendly programmes. The goal is to educate visitors about the dire need to protect snow leopards, Siberian tigers and the other magnificent animals that sanctuary here.

Address 3667 Concession Road 6, Orono

Website www.junglecatworld.com

Opens Open daily, from 10am-5pm

Admission

October to April, C$17 (adults), C$12 (teens and seniors), C$8.50 (children). May to October, C$20 (adults), C$15 (teens and seniors), C$10 (children)

Send a link to this travel guide