25 Awesome Things To Do In And Around Toronto – Part One
Image: Scott Webb via Unsplash
1. Shoot For The Sky At The CN Tower
Instantly iconic and synonymous with Toronto, the CN Tower is the largest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. It stands 553 m (1,815 ft) above Bremner Boulevard with views as far as Niagara Falls on a clear day. In 1995, the CN Tower was even classified as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. You can ride a glass-fronted elevator to the Lookout at 346m, check out the glass floor, enjoy a meal at the revolving 360 Restaurant, or take an adrenaline-firing EdgeWalk around the outer rim. However you choose to experience the CN Tower, it’s sure to be eye-opening!
Image: Eric Aiden via Unsplash
2. Underwater Exploration At Ripley’s Aquarium
This one’s for the whole family! Ripley’s Aquarium is home to 20,000+ aquatic friends with exhibits including Ray Bay, Planet Jellies, and Rainbow Reef. Our favourite exhibit has to be Dangerous Lagoon. This 2.9 million litre attraction features an underwater, moving walkway, which transports you up-close-and-personal with species such as sharks, sawfish, and moray eels. It’s honestly incredible.
Image: Kalen Emsley via Unsplash
3. Feel The Rush At Niagara Falls
A couple hours’ drive from Toronto (but 100% worth the journey), Niagara Falls is a tourist hotspot. Sitting on the border of Canada and the United States, it draws visitors from both countries—all looking to experience the Maid Of The Mist. Don your poncho and experience the rush from the 600,000 gallons of water falling per second!
Image: Viv Lynch via Flickr
4. Lights, Camera Action At TIFF Bell Lightbox
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a major player on the world’s filmmaker circuit. The TIFF Bell Lightbox offers all manner of screenings—from modern-day blockbuster movies to independent short films, throwback features and festival favourites. They also present lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops, events, professional development and opportunities to meet, hear and learn from filmmakers from Canada and around the world. It’s the place for movie buffs. Learn more about their programs via their website, tiff.net.
Image: Tommao Wang via Unsplash
5. Browse The Wares At St. Lawrence Market
There’s so much to see, taste and discover at St. Lawrence Market. It’s origins date back as far as 1803 and today it comprises 3 buildings, which house more than 200 vendors. Specialties include fresh foods and artisanal goods to antiques, gifts, and knick knacks. You can lose hours browsing the stalls and it’s the perfect rainy day activity! If you’re looking for lunch, St. Urbain Bagel is a locals’ favourite. For a sweet treat, Crêpe It Up is a must-try.
Image: Wikipedia Commons
6. Retail Therapy At The CF Toronto Eaton Centre
If you’re looking to indulge in a little retail therapy then make sure that the CF Toronto Eaton Centre is on your itinerary. It’s downtown Toronto’s only urban shopping centre and houses over 230 stores. From familiar names like Nordstrom, Aritzia, and Sephora to boutique brands like Honey (ladies apparel) and Cheese Garden (specialty foods). The CF Toronto Eaton Centre is also a good option for dining.
Image: Reg Natarajan via Flickr
7. Draw Some Inspiration From The Art Gallery Of Ontario
The Art Gallery Of Ontario (AGO) is recognized as one of the largest art museums in North America. It’s home to an impressive 95,000 works from well-known masterpieces to emerging Indigenous Canadian artists. Their mission is to bring people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways. They do this by presenting extraordinary collections, exhibitions and programs such as Picasso: Painting The Blue Period, British Watercolours from J.M.W. Turner to Beatrix Potter, and Photography, 1920s–1940s: Women in Focus II. Learn more about the AGO via their website, ago.ca.
Image: Benson Kua via Flickr
8. Sand Between Your Toes At An Urban Beach
Yes, you read that right. Toronto is home to a number of urban beaches, which are perfect for a sunny day. Favourites include Sugar Beach and Cherry Beach but HTO is probably Toronto’s best-known. It covers just over 4 acres of prime lakefront real estate and has won a number of awards for design, landscaping, and sustainability. At HTO, you’ll find a sandy beach as well as a boardwalk, and amenities such as outdoor showers and stationary beach umbrellas. It’s an urban retreat and a hub for recreation and culture in Toronto.
Image: John Spragge via Wikipedia Commons
9. Walk Or Bike Along The Martin Goodman Trail
This pathway skirts along the shores of Lake Ontario and is part of the much longer Waterfront Trail. It’s great for walking, running and cycling, and you’ll enjoy views of downtown, the lake, and beaches along the way. The Martin Goodman Trail is fully paved, which makes it accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs, too. By deviating ever so slightly from the trail, there’s opportunity for refreshment and restrooms. We find this guide by walkablog.ca to be particularly useful.
Image: Creative Commons
10. Catch A Ferry To The Toronto Islands
Little known fact: Toronto is home to a chain of 15 small islands in Lake Ontario known as Toronto Islands or Toronto Island Park. It’s less than 15 minute travel time by ferry from downtown Toronto but you’ll feel a world away. This is a place for recreation and you’ll find enjoyment in activities such as swimming, kayaking, biking or hiking. There’s even an amusement park called Centreville, which is home to a log ride and a haunted house as well as a number of other child-friendly attractions. Visit torontoisland.com for more information!
Image: Alyssa Black via Flickr
11. Score A Home Run At A Blue Jays Game
The Toronto Blue Jays are currently Canada’s only Major League Baseball team. They play at Rogers Centre in the heart of Toronto. Their incredible stadium sits almost at the base of the CN Tower and features an incredible retractable roof. Get among the action and absorb the thrill of a ball game for yourself. It’s awesome entertainment for the whole family!
Image: Phil King via Flickr
12. Side-Splitting At The Second City Comedy Club
Belly laughs abound at The Second City. This iconic comedy club has a Toronto location as well as venues in Chicago and Hollywood. What makes The Second City unique is its offering of both shows and classes. Watch the pros deliver punchlines at a scheduled performance or try your hand at jest by attending one of their programs. Either way, it’s a ton of fun! Find more information on their website secondcity.com/Toronto.
Continue reading Part 2 of our 25 Awesome Things To Do In And Around Toronto!