Toronto is not the capital, but it is the largest city in Canada. With the Greater Toronto Area population (GTA) of more than 6 million and around 50 percent of its residents born outside Canada, this cosmopolitan city in the southern Ontario prides itself on the bustling and diverse culture, a welcoming atmosphere, buzzing nightlife, lively and hip art scene, and exceptional international cuisine.
A list of places to go to in Toronto is nearly endless. However, these are 7 places definitely not to be missed while in Ontario’s capital.
- Toronto’s Beaches
Situated by Ontario Lake, Toronto is full of sandy shores and secluded rocky beaches. Visit The Beaches, a neighborhood in eastern Toronto – it is a top summer destination in the city and one of the most popular places to go to in Toronto. Its sandy beaches, charming boardwalk, bakeries, bistros, restaurants, and street festivals are a magnet for both tourists and Torontonians.
Take a Ferry boat ride to Toronto Islands and spend the day exploring their secluded coves and lush green areas. The three islands, Centre, Ward’s and Algonquin are all connected and provide a great escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, at the same time offering splendid views of Toronto skyline.
Or simply spend a lazy summer day on the Sugar Beach, an urban beach park that you’ll recognize by its pink sun umbrellas.
- High Park Cherry Blossom
If you happen to be in Toronto during the first few weeks of May, don’t miss the blossom of stunning Sakura Cherry trees in High Park, it is simply a breathtaking experience. Cherry blossom attracts a great number of visitors each year, so make sure to come early or you’ll spend hours looking for parking!
Located on Bloor Street in Etobicoke, High Park is a genuine oasis in the city center. Spanning on over 160 hectares, the park is crossed with countless walking trails and bike lanes, picnic areas, children playgrounds, and an off-leash dog park. You can take pictures by the charming Grenadier Pond and spend a lazy afternoon feeding adorable chipmunks and friendly squirrels who will eat from your hand.
- Baseball, Hockey, Basketball: Watch a Game
If you are a sports fan, don’t miss going on a game while in Toronto. Whether it is Blue Jays, Toronto Maple Leafs or Raptors, you will definitely love the atmosphere!
- Toronto Aquarium
On rainy and cold days, the Ripley’s Aquarium next to the CN Tower is one the best places to go in Toronto, especially if you’re visiting with the kids. Go underwater and enjoy the unearthly peace in one of Canada’s largest indoor aquariums. However, the Ripley’s can get a bit crowded on weekends and Statutory holidays, so make sure to book your admission time online.
- The Royal Ontario Museum
Situated on the northern outskirts of the University of Toronto campus, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a must-do if you are a history enthusiast. With more than six million artifacts, ROM is the largest Canadian museum of natural history and world cultures. From the exhibit of Canada’s First Peoples to ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, there is so much to see that you’ll most likely want to pay another visit. Your entry to ROM is covered if you purchased the CityPASS.
- The Distillery District
This waterfront neighborhood in Toronto dates back to the early 1800s when it was home to the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, Canada’s largest distilling company. Today, this charming borough is turned into pawed pedestrian-only area bustling with restaurants, cafes, breweries, and art galleries. If you’re visiting Toronto around Christmas, the Distillery is a place to go. The Distillery District Christmas Market is a true winter gem with its dreamy Christmas ambiance, tasty food, and some warmed wine.
- Day Trip to Niagara Falls
Located 113 km (70 miles) southwest of the city, Niagara Falls is easily accessible from Toronto. If you’re driving, it won’t take you longer than an hour and a half on the QEW (The Queen Elizabeth Way, the major route from Toronto) to get there – without traffic delays, of course. Alternatively, you can use GO Train or Bus (the commuter rail and bus service for the GTA), VIA Rail (Canada’s national passenger rail service), Tour buses, Coach Canada, and shuttle buses from Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Once you get to the city of Niagara Falls, naturally, the first thing you’ll want to see are the famous waterfalls of the same name. The Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side is the largest of the three waterfalls on the Niagara River and it is simply breathtaking.
To feel the true power of the spectacular falls from a close distance, buy tickets for ‘Behind the Falls’ experience or book one of Niagara boat tours – you’ll almost be able to touch the waterfalls. Oh yes, you’ll definitely be soaked wet. But it’s worth it! In addition, you can keep your red raincoat as a souvenir.
However, if you are looking for thrill-packed adventures in Niagara Falls, check out the zip line to the Falls, Niagara Falls helicopter tours or enjoy a breathtaking view of Niagara Falls from Marineland’s Sky Screamer – one of the World’s tallest freefall towers. If you dare.