Great restaurants. The Hockey Hall of Fame. The Toronto Blue Jays. An eminently TV- and movie-friendly skyline (who knew Detroit Rock City and Good Will Hunting and Police Academy 1 – 4 were all filmed here?!). Toronto is Ontario‘s capital and the largest city in Canada; so please, let’s show the city some respect. It’s diverse, culturally enlightened, and easy to reach. Its downtown is also manageably small (in a good way) with numerous quirky neighborhoods and ethnic enclaves keeping the city from getting stale and predictable.
So in honor of Toronto, and the love we have for this fine city, we’ve created our Top 4 Things to Do in Toronto list.
Harbourfront, at the foot of York and Yonge Streets, is the redeveloped waterfront of Lake Ontario. It used to be a real down-at-the-heels part of town; nowadays it’s the #1 spot in the city to hang out, eat, drink, and enjoy a sunny afternoon. Ferries leave from Harbourfront to the Toronto Islands. You can also take a Toronto Inner Harbour cruise for a view of the waterfront. (If you want to take an extended cruise, consider a day trip to Midland with a cruise back to Toronto via the 30,000 islands.) And be sure to check out the Harbourfront Centre for performing art shows and other fun activities, especially if you have kids.
2. Explore the city
Get your bearings in downtown Toronto on a hop on hop off bus,then circle back to some of the city’s most interesting sites. Among them are Old York, the Distillery District, downtown’s Financial District, Clubland (two blocks of King St between John and Simcoe Streets filled with clubs and bars), the Royal Ontario Museum, and the iconic Canadian National Tower (better known as the CN Tower). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can see ALL of the above from a Toronto helicopter tour. Either way, grab lunch at the St Lawrence Market in downtown’s Baldwin Village.
3. Niagara Falls Day Trip
What, you’ve never visited the mighty Niagara Falls? Shame on you. Day trips to the Falls are easily arranged from Toronto. You can go on a guided Niagara Falls day trip that includes all the trimmings (lunch, guide, etc) or chose an independent Falls day trip (you’re dropped off at the falls and you can make your own way to the sites). Both include a boat ride to the base of the thundering Horseshoe Falls on the famous Maid of the Mist boat (in winter, an alternate boat trip is offered). In summer, another great option is the Evening Lights tour, which is a similar day trip but includes the evening light show from atop the falls.
4. Eat & Drink
Some of our top picks for food and drink in Toronto include the superb restaurants Bymark, Canoe, and the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. You can’t go wrong at any of these famous Toronto dining spots, trust us. Another good option is Toronto’s Chinatown, along Spadina Avenue between College and Queen Streets. There are plenty of authentic, low-cost options here. Ditto Kensington Market – you could eat here for a month and never get bored. When it comes to clubbing and bar hopping, Old York is a good starting point. Then head over to Queen Street West for live music.