Toronto. While the city lacks the charm of Montreal and Vancouver, it’s still an incredible city to visit with tons of markets, ethnic food, wonderful art museums, funky bars and speakeasies, and delicious Asian food (so much great Asian food). Although Toronto has a higher cost of living than most other Canadian cities, there are many free and low-cost activities that can make this an affordable place to visit. It’s also one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The more I visit the more I love it. It’s perfect for 3-4 days!
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Toronto
1. Visit the CN Tower
2. The Art Gallery of Ontario
3. Royal Ontario Museum
4. Spend the day at the beach
5. Toronto Island Park
Other Things to See and Do
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1. The Harborfront Center
This area is a great spot to visit during the warm summer months. There is often free admission to Toronto festivals and music concerts.
2. Bike the Don Valley
These trails are perfect for any outdoorsy travelers. They aren’t far from the city, and trails range from easy to very hard.
3. Go ax throwing
If you’re looking for a unique way to spend an afternoon, this is it. You’ll compete against your friends in an axe-throwing tournament that will make a game of darts seem like child’s play. They even have an axe-throwing league! Don’t worry – you don’t need to bring your own ax (but you can!).
4. Kensington Market
This bohemian hub offers an eclectic mix of alternative restaurants and shops. It gets quite bustling in the summer, and they often have free concerts too. It’s one of my favorite places to wander around.
5. Hockey Hall of Fame
Canadians take two things seriously: hockey and hockey. Hockey is life. Dedicated to the history of their favorite sport, it is both a museum and a hall of fame.
6. St. Lawrence Market and Gallery
This market has endless rows of local treats to taste and buy. Go inside the building to take a look at the gallery. They always have a good collection of art. Admission to both is free.
7. Eat Chinese food
Chinatown in Toronto is gigantic and still retains a lot of the authenticity that’s missing in many other Chinatowns around the world. Definitely visit here and eat a few meals—they are delicious and super cheap. This is also the best place to get Asian fruit that is not normally found in local supermarkets.
8. Ontario Science Center
Lots of hands-on science exhibits, including a rainforest, a tornado machine, sound proof tunnel, balance testing machines, and more. It also contains Ontario’s only Omnimax movie theater.
9. Steam Whistle Brewery
Starting at 10 CAD you can take a tour of the brewery, which includes a sample of their famous pilsner. Tours operate on a first-come, first-served basis on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
10. Casa Loma
This is the former estate of Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, an entrepreneur and romantic. Touring this real life ‘medieval’ castle is awesome. There are four levels to check out through a self-guided multimedia tour.
11. Canada’s Wonderland
Filled with rides, coasters, food, games, shops, theaters, a water park, and live shows, this summer attraction is loads of fun. Tickets start at 42 CAD for a 1-day pass, and you can save money by buying online in advance. Be sure to arrive early as the park fills up quickly in the summer!
12. Catch a ball game
Toronto’s major league baseball team, the Blue Jays, have been doing quite well in recent years and their fan base has exploded. Nose-bleed seats at the Skydome (officially known as Rogers Centre) can be found for quite cheap, making this a great activity for sports fans.
13. Word on the Street
Every September, usually around the 24th, Queen’s Park is host to Canada’s largest annual, outdoor book and magazine festival. You can browse through hundreds of books, magazines, and literacy exhibitor booths.
14. Toronto International Film Festival
Toronto plays host to the stars every September, so if you’re in town be sure to grab tickets—there’s a good chance you’ll see some great films, and you might just bump into a star, too!
Every year during Toronto’s WinterCity festival, several restaurants offer special menus of high-end meals at a majorly reduced price. This event is great because it allows many the opportunity to try gourmet foods that are usually expensive. Plates range from 10-40 CAD, and are typically multi-course dinners. There is also now a summer version, aptly titled Summerlicious!