People sit on park benches across from the Toronto skyline

Things to do in  Toronto

The world in one city

Canada’s largest city is defined by two seasons. The summer is when the weather’s warm, the streets and markets are bustling with tourists and locals, and the shore of Lake Ontario is an adventure playground. Then there’s the winter, with sub-sub-sub-zero temperatures that see life taken indoors and underground. But the multicultural Toronto region is fun at any time of year, and there are many things to do in Toronto to suit all seasons—whether you head to the Hockey Hall of Fame to see the Stanley Cup, shop for bites and bargains at the St Lawrence Market, or plan a day trip to Niagara Falls on the border between Canada and the United States. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re dressed for the weather.

Top 15 attractions in Toronto

CN Tower

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For many visitors to Toronto, this needle-like telecommunications tower—often seen from the airplane window—is their first glimpse of the city. When completed in 1976, the CN Tower was the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. Though it no longer holds that title, it is still the tallest tower in Canada, and the spectacular views from its observation decks are second to none.More

Distillery Historic District

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Once home to the 1832 Gooderham and Worts’ mammoth distilling facility, Toronto’s charming arts and entertainment quarter is now a popular strolling spot for off-duty creatives. The cobblestone streets are lined with Victorian-era industrial buildings, which have been repurposed to serve as contemporary art galleries, third-wave coffee shops, concept boutiques, restaurants, and bars.More

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

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Established in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is Canada’s largest museum. Housed inside a heritage-meets-modern building, it boasts a 6-million-strong collection, which focuses on objects relating to world culture and natural history. It includes everything from First Nations’ crest poles to Egyptian mummies to T-rex skeletons.More

St. Lawrence Market

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A foodie paradise, the long-running St. Lawrence Market occupies the historic South Market House building, which previously served as Toronto’s city hall and jail. Since 1803, residents and visitors have come here to meet, eat, and shop for food items ranging from Prince Edward Island oysters to peameal bacon to Montreal-style bagels.More

Toronto Harbour

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Toronto Harbour is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, the smallest of North America’s five Great Lakes. Protected from the lake’s tides by the Toronto Islands, the harbor offers smooth conditions for a wide range of water activities, including boat tours, ferry rides, sailing, and kayaking.More

Lake Ontario

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Lake Ontario, the 14th-largest lake in the world but the smallest of the five Great Lakes, is divided in half by the U.S.-Canadian border. Its shores are home to two popular Canadian destinations: Toronto and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Known for its islands, beaches, wildlife, and waterfront trails, this beautiful body of water offers something for everyone.More

Queen's Park

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Perhaps best known as the site of the Ontario Legislative Building, Queen’s Park is a verdant oasis offering respite from the buzz of downtown Toronto. You’ll find monuments and memorials, walking paths and benches, and lawns ideal for lounging.More

Toronto City Hall

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New City Hall, which replaced Old City Hall in 1965 to accommodate a rapidly growing city, is the current seat of Toronto’s municipal government. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell, winner of the city’s international competition, Toronto City Hall is comprised of two curved towers as well as Nathan Phillips Square, Canada’s largest public square.More

Harbourfront Centre

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Occupying a prime 10-acre (4-hectare) site on the edge of Lake Ontario, the nonprofit Harbourfront Centre offers a jam-packed year-round program of events. The complex comprises more than 30 sights, including parks, outdoor and indoor performance venues, squares, art galleries, a boardwalk, artist studios, restaurants, and retail outlets.More

Yonge-Dundas Square

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The flashy urban scene of Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square is reminiscent of New York City’s Times Square. More than 56 million people visit this iconic spot every year, making it one of the busiest intersections in Canada. This is where you find glowing billboards, Eaton Centre, Ed Mirvish Theatre, and great spots to people-watch.More

Toronto Kensington Market

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Eclectic, diverse, and graffiti-slathered, Toronto's Kensington Market neighborhood is one of the city’s most distinctive enclaves. The district is packed with produce vendors, food sellers, vintage clothes shops, bric-a-brac boutiques, buskers, cafés, and restaurants, and attracts a steady stream of bohemian types.More

Hockey Hall of Fame

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A sacred site for Canadians—for whom ice hockey is a national obsession—the Hockey Hall of Fame holds a treasure trove of memorabilia, including the original Stanley Cup. Housed inside a grand 19th-century Bank of Montreal building, it also features interactive games including a virtual shoot-out where visitors can test their skills.More

Casa Loma

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Looking more at home in Europe than it does in Ontario, Canada, this faux medieval castle was a filming location forChicago andX-Men. Built for an eccentric businessman between 1911 and 1914, Casa Loma (literally House on a Hill) features a pastiche of old-world styles that include turrets, Tudor-style chimneys, underground tunnels, and secret passages.More

Rogers Centre

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Located in downtown Toronto at the base of the CN Tower, the Rogers Centre is a sports and entertainment complex that is home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. The Rogers Centre is a great place to catch a Major League Baseball (MLB) game or other event held under its fully retractable roof—the first of its kind in the world.More

Entertainment District

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Toronto’s Entertainment District lives up to its name with a variety of performing arts venues, clubs, and live sporting events. From symphony to jazz and blues, theater, and baseball games, it’s all happening. Other options for entertainment in the area include Canada’s iconic CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Toronto

7-Minute Helicopter Tour over Toronto
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Best of Toronto Small Group Tour with CN Tower and Harbour Cruise
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From Toronto: Niagara Falls Day Tour with Optional Boat Cruise
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14-Minute Helicopter Tour Over Toronto
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All about Toronto

When to visit

This cosmopolitan city is always dynamic and exciting, but it’s definitely at its liveliest in sunny summertime, when temperatures hit an average high of 80°F (27°C). That warm weather draws crowds to the city’s beaches, urban retreats like the Toronto Islands, and hip cafes in the trendy Distillery District. For a different perspective, visit in the autumn shoulder season: One of the best things to do in Toronto is discover its leaf-peeping season, and regional destinations like Algonquin Park make for an ideal way to get out in nature.

Getting around

The city’s extensive public transportation networks make it easy to explore. The city has a subway system and a network of nine streetcar routes and is served by multiple bus lines. Ferry and water taxi services also connect the city to the Toronto Islands, which themselves are best explored on foot or by bike. Much of the city center is walkable, and taxi services offer another way to get around.

Traveler tips

Canada’s largest city, Toronto is also its most diverse and dynamic—45 percent of residents speak a language other than English or French, and it’s often called the most multicultural city in the world. One of the best things to do in Toronto is to seek out new culinary encounters—from Ethiopian to Korean, Pakistani to Polish, Argentine to Burmese. Its eclectic restaurants represent the global population of Toronto.

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People Also Ask

What is Toronto famous for?

Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, is famous for its setting on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. It’s also known for the CN Tower, its cosmopolitan restaurants and nightlife, historical landmarks like Fort York, and its very cold winters. And it’s a popular jumping-off point for day trips to nearby Niagara Falls, on the other side of Lake Ontario.

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What is the most visited place in Toronto?

The most popular tourist attractions in Toronto include the needle-like CN Tower, with its sweeping views. Then there’s the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario; Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada; and Casa Loma, formerly owned by Sir Henry Pellatt. All are in the central city area.

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What activities are available in Toronto?

Toronto offers a range of cultural, shopping, dining, and outdoor activities, particularly in the warmer months. In winter, options are limited to indoor activities. Popular activities include taking in the view from the CN Tower, shopping at Kensington Market, touring the Steam Whistle Brewery, and heading to Centreville Amusement Park.

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How can I spend 2 days in Toronto?

With two days in Toronto you can enjoy a range of cultural and outdoor activities (season dependent). Spend day one at the Royal Ontario Museum and/or the Ontario Science Centre, browsing the nearby shops and restaurants in between. On day two, take a trip around Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls, or relax on a harbor cruise.

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What can couples do in Toronto?

Toronto is a big city that caters to a range of interests. Head up the CN Tower for a romantic dinner at the revolving restaurant, smell the roses (and other flowers) at the Botanical Garden, or take a day trip to popular honeymoon spot Niagara Falls.

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Is Toronto very expensive?

Yes, this city can be expensive to visit. Accommodation, food, and attractions are in-line with other big-city prices. However, because it’s a large and diverse city, you can choose accommodation, food, and activities to suit your budget, whether that’s on the lower or upper end of the scale.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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