Toronto is packed with fun activities in many different neighbourhoods. These are some of the coolest things to do in Toronto in different areas of the city that will leave a lasting impression, whether you live in the city or are visiting.
Tourist attractions in Toronto
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and is located on the northwestern shores of Lake Ontario. Toronto is a city of high-rises, with over 2,000 skyscrapers and has many cultural, entertainment and recreational opportunities for visitors. There are so many cool things to do in Toronto, let’s have a look at 9 of them!
1. Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is Free on a Wednesday Night
The AGO is a massive, stunning art gallery, with more than 73,000 works spanning from 100 A.D. to the present including European masterpieces, renowned Canadian pieces and an eclectic contemporary collection.
General admission for adults is normally $30 (anyone 25 years and under can enjoy free admission), but every Wednesday night the fee is waived from 6 to 9 pm. Browse one of the largest art museums in North America with over half a million square feet of fine art and impressive architectural design- absolutely free. Please take note that free General Admission tickets must be booked in advance, online. Every Monday, a limited number of free timed-entry tickets will be released for the following Wednesday night.
2. Kensington Market and Shop for Vintage Stuff
Kensington Market is one of the tourist attractions in Toronto that you must go to! This funky downtown neighbourhood is dotted with fresh grocers, unique shops and trendy little cafes and restaurants. The narrow streets are best explored on foot and it is a great area to dig for second-hand clothing, jewelry or other little treasures. Walk along Kensington Avenue and check out popular second-hand shops Courage My Love and Exile Vintage, which are loaded with retro finds. For tasty authentic Central American fare, stop at Jumbo Empanada or try a homemade margarita at El Trompo, both on Augusta Avenue.
3. Skating at Harbourfront Centre’s Free Outdoor Rink
During the winter months, you can skate at the Harbourfront Centre.Don’t have skates? You can rent them for $7 at the Natrel Rink, Toronto’s biggest outdoor skating rink on the shores of Lake Ontario. This beautiful rink is located within the Harbourfront Centre grounds, a popular destination for festivals and concerts in the heart of the city’s downtown waterfront. The Natrel rink hosts skate nights with celebrity DJs as well as several family programs, and is open seven days a week weather permitting.
4. St. Lawrence Market
There are so many cool things to do in Toronto and visiting the St. Lawrence Market is one of them! St. Lawrence Market is located in the heart of historic Old Town Toronto. The North Market is home to the 200-year old Farmer’s Market, held every Saturday, as well as Sunday’s Antique Market. More than 50 gourmet-food vendors and a dozen lunch counters are located in the South Market. On a guided tour, you’ll visit the market, the jail in the basement, where in the 1800s prisoners were chained to the wall, and other nearby buildings, including Toronto’s first post office and St. Lawrence Hall.
Buy filet mignons or pick up some homemade stuffed sausage, Guinea fowl, free-range poultry or elk meat a the St. Lawrence Market. The butchers in this bustling market offer an incredible selection of fine quality meats often at prices lower than the local supermarket. There are also dozens of cheese merchants including Olympic Cheese which offers more than 400 varieties from around the globe, as well as fresh fish markets and dozens of organic and gourmet goodies such as pates, dips, and olive oils. The famous peameal back bacon on a bun is available at every turn- try the one at Carousel Bakery, which has been in the market for over 40 years.
5. CF Toronto Eaton Centre and Find the Little Church in the Square
There is lots of great shopping in the city, from the posh boutiques in the Bloor and Yorkville area to the antique shops in Queen West. But the city’s most sought-out shopping destination is the CF Toronto Eaton Centre, which attracts millions of visitors each year. For an immediate oasis of calm in a frenzy of shoppers, find the side exit from the mall which leads to a quiet courtyard. There you will find the Church of the Holy Trinity, a yellow brick 19th century church that the developers built around when the mall was constructed in the late 70s.
6. SOMA Chocolate Maker in the Distillery District
This area once was the site of the largest production of whiskey and spirits in the British empire. Now this heritage district houses a collection of upscale shops, galleries and gourmet restaurants in the restored distillery buildings. Walk the charming cobblestone streets to Building 48, where the artisan chocolate shop SOMA is situated. Their spicy dark hot chocolate is a must-try for chocolate lovers with its infusion of Madagascar vanilla and Chili peppers.
7. CN Tower
Another one of the coolest things to do in Toronto is to visit the famous CN Tower! The CN Tower is the signature icon of Toronto’s skyline and the World’s tallest tower. Its elevator will take you up 1,136 feet in 58 seconds, where you can walk the glass floor and admire the breathtaking views. For those wishing to go higher, you can access the Sky Pod and find yourself 1,456 feet above the ground. From here, visibility is more than 100 miles in all directions. The CN Tower is home to 360 The Restaurant, which slowly revolves for a 360-degree view of Toronto.
8. Hockey Hall of Fame
Home of the Stanley Cup, the Hockey Hall of Fame boasts the largest collection of hockey memorabilia in the world. Statues of Ken Dryden and Cyclone Taylor stand at the entrance to the NHL Legends zone, which features displays related to Hockey Hall of Fame members, The NHL Milestones exhibit highlights existing NHL records, including Sittler’s ten-point game and Gretzky’s all-time goal-scoring and point totals. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to stop the shots of Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Alexander Ovechkin, call the play-by-play of hockey’s greatest goals, and take shots at real-time goalies, featuring Carey Price, Frederik Andersen and Henrik Lundqvist.
9. Canada’s Wonderland
This tourist attraction near Toronto is definitely worth the 1 hour drive to Vaughan. Located just north of Toronto, Canada’s Wonderland is an amusement park with 65 rides, and Splash Works, a 20-acre water park. Thrill seekers can ride Behemoth, Canada’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, or Flight Deck, Canada’s first inverted coaster. Kidzville welcomes younger children with Snoopy’s Racing Railway, Swan Lake, a carousel and other kid-friendly rides and attractions.
Visiting the Ripley’s Aquarium or seeing a Blue Jay game at the Rogers Centre is also lots of fun for the family! These top tourist attractions in Toronto mentioned above will provide a great taste of the city for visitors on vacation and natives alike!