Museums, Attractions, Landmarks, & More!
Whether you’re visiting Toronto for the long weekend or taking an extended business trip, there’s something fun and exciting for everyone in the GTA. From sightseeing and meandering the urban jungle to taking part in local festivities and nightlife entertainment – the City of Toronto offers a wealth of activities, attractions, and delectable fare to experience.
Which is why we’ve compiled a guide to help you get the most out of your visit to Toronto.
READ PART II: WHAT TO DO IN TORONTO THIS WEEKEND – FROM BRUNCH & DINNER TO NIGHTLIFE, EVENTS & FESTIVALS!
Museums & Attractions
Toronto is home to some of the country’s best museums and attractions, all centrally located, making it easy for anyone to stop in for a quick or extended visit. As far as tourist attractions go, these are definitely a must-see. Here’s our list of the top six:
Art Gallery of Ontario
As one of North America’s largest art museums, the AGO boasts an outstanding 95,000 works from both local and international artists, ranging from avant-garde mediums to the pioneers in art history. Their mission? To bring people together with art to see, experience, and understand the world in new ways.
Royal Ontario Museum
Founded in 1914, the ROM is Canada’s most visited museum. Whether you’re into art, world culture, or natural history, this museum houses it all for the world to see. The museum is home to a world-class collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects, and natural history specimens, featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
As far as tranquillity goes, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is as calming as it is awe-inspiring. See approximately 20,000 animals and 16,000 exotic freshwater and sea specimen from over 450 species across the world. The aquarium is categorized into ten galleries: Canadian Waters, Dangerous Lagoons, Rainbow Reef, Discovery Centre, Planet Jellies, Ray Ban, Swarm: Nature by Numbers, The Gallery, Life Support Systems, and the Shoreline Gallery.
Bonus: Book with SoHo and get 10% off your admission to Ripley’s Aquarium!
Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre is the place to be for those who want to challenge their brain, be innovative, and engage with science of local, national, and global relevance. Their interactive approach makes it a delight to get informed and educated about the marvellous world of science and technology.
Are you a history-junkie? Also known as Old Fort York, this historic site contains Canada’s largest collection of original buildings from the War of 1812 and is also the location of the battle of 1813. Located in the heart of downtown, Fort York is an all-season attraction offering tours, exhibits, seasonal demonstrations, period settings, and educational programs for all ages.
Toronto Botanical Gardens
Coined “the little garden with big ideas,” the Toronto Botanical Gardens is four acres of 17 city-sized gardens each individually themed to speak to your emotions in a captivating way. The gardens opened to the public in 1958 and have since become an integral location for visitors all around the world simply for their enchanting beauty and serene atmosphere.
Day Trips for All
Whether you’re a novice visitor to the GTA or a veteran to the area, there are tons of locally enriching experiences around you. Each pocket of the city offers its own unique discoveries, all you have to do is hop on a bus, bike, metro, or ferry!
Beyond Kensington Market Food Tour
Bordering Toronto’s eclectic neighbourhoods of Little Italy and Chinatown, this food-centric, diverse, and inclusive experience can’t be missed. Serving up plates from decades of immigrant cultures, the Beyond Kensington Market Food Tour is a delightful adventure of culinary works that tickle the taste buds and take you on a journey.
Evergreen Brick Works
Formally a quarry and industrial site, the Evergreen Brick Works is located in the Don River Valley. This location is now home to a future-forward way of life emphasizing sustainability, environmentally conscious living, and a healthy lifestyle. Experience art exhibitions, local food, markets, activities, and other events.
Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit
This human-made, narrow peninsula has 10 km of paved trails for cyclists, rollerbladers, runners, and those who want to stroll the park and take in the beautiful scenery. This environmentally significant area is Toronto’s long-term solution for urban wilderness and the city hopes to restore and protect the natural features of the peninsula while providing recreational opportunities for all.
Comprised of 15 small islands in Lake Ontario, the Toronto Islands offer activities for kids, island ferry rides, tours, beaches, and bicycle trails. Located just offshore from downtown Toronto, these islands make for the perfect little getaway from the nearby urban hustle.
St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence Market is a major public market building lined with merchants and flea markets offering authentic goods like food, retail, crafts, antiques, and so much more. Divided into three sections: The South Market, The North Market, and St. Lawrence Hall, there’s so much to discover in this little corner of Toronto!
Shopping, dining, events, arts, and of course, beer! The Distillery District of Toronto excites and inspires the senses as new ideas, delectable food, and other attractions are all tucked away in an inspirational village. To quote the Toronto Star: “To enter The Distillery is to step back into an era of horse-drawn carts, windmills, and sailing ships.” Experience creativity and joy where old meets new.
SkyPod – Nestled a mere 1,465 feet above the city, the SkyPod is known as one of the highest observation platforms on this planet, giving you a unique perspective on the world around you. Visibility is up to 160 km away, allowing you to see as far as Niagara Falls to New York State.
Glass Floor – Afraid of heights? Test your nerves by setting foot on see-through floors in the CN Tower. These 2 ½” layers of tempered glass are specifically designed for you to have fun, jump around, and examine the city below. Did you know these floors can withstand the weight of not one, not two, but 35 moose?
LookOut Level – Floor-to-ceiling panoramic window walls and glass floors offer an eye-opening experience unique to Toronto. See the city from all angles, take in the breathtaking scenery around you, and fully capture the thrill of being elevated 1,136 feet above ground.
High-Speed Elevator – Transcend space and time with a thrilling ride to the top of the CN Tower. In 58 seconds, you’ll cover 33 floors flying at 22 km per hour and be met with spectacular views of the city when you reach the top.
Whether you’re visiting the city for business or pleasure, there’s something eye-opening, exciting, and entertaining for all ages, no matter how much time you have to spare.
This article only touches the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to do in the tantalizing city of Toronto.