As I was writing this, I was thinking “O Canada…“, swiftly followed by the realisation that I don’t know any of the rest of the words to this national anthem… but with a place as beautiful as this, none of that really matter now, does it? 😉

With Canada, most people’s thoughts tend to go for the more natural attracted (case in point – this beauty) with relatively little consideration going to its cities yet Canada is home to some of the most exciting and vibrant cities in all the land…and they certainly don’t come more exciting than Toronto! (Though I have to admit, I have a huge soft spot for Vancouver and its amazing sights!)

Ontario’s capital city, Toronto, is undoubtedly a fantastic place to visit in Canada! Located right on Lake Ontario, the city is a multicultural hub, with lots to see and do. If you’re heading over to Toronto soon, here are 10 things you have to do when you’re in this incredible city.

1.) Brave the glass floor in the CN Tower

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Since the CN Tower is probably going to be the first thing you notice upon arriving in Toronto, it might as well be the first thing to actually go visit! The views from this communications tower will not disappoint! Standing 1,815 feet (553 m) tall, visitors are able to see Toronto and the entire surrounding area from the LookOut Level of the tower.

There is also a Glass Floor for visitors to brave walk upon, and for the tallest viewing point, head to the SkyPod, which offers views from a height of 1,465 feet (447 m). Feeling a little dizzy yet?

2.) Admire the Hockey Hall of Fame

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Since hockey is the national sport of Canada, you better believe that anything related to the sport in Toronto is going to be impressive.

Situated in Old Toronto, the Hockey Hall of Fame is great for all things hockey. It houses a large collection of hockey memorabilia, and visitors can even play one-on-one against life sized, animated versions of some of the greatest professional players in the sport. If hockey is your game, then the Hall of Fame is for you.

3.) See the Royal Ontario Museum

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For something a little (ok…a lot!) less rough than ice hockey, head to the Royal Ontario Museum. Perfect for lovers of world culture, as well as natural history, the Museum offers the largest collection of pieces and artefacts in Canada. The museum is open daily from 10AM-5:30PM, with a late closing on Fridays at 8:30PM.

4.) Visit Casa Loma

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A castle…in Toronto? It’s true! Built between 1911-1914, the city’s Casa Loma was originally a massive residence for a financier named Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. Today, this Gothic Revival style castle is home to a museum, as well as a garden and stables area. 98 rooms, secret passageways, and a few towers await the visitors of Toronto’s Casa Loma.

5.) Wander through the Eaton Centre

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Shopaholics, rejoice! Toronto has a stunning mall for you to peruse, complete with a stunning glass ceiling. Eaton Centre, located right between downtown and Old Toronto, is a massive, multi-level shopping centre, with both high street brands, as well as more local shops.

Be sure to check out the St. Lawrence Market that is situated approximately 15 minutes walk from the Eaton Centre for the best, fresh produce and some gorgeous antiques.

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Check out some of the best places to stay in the centre of Toronto here (a perfect mix of price and convenience).

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6.) Dive into Kensington Market

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For even more shopping, head to one of the best-known neighbourhoods in the city. Distinctly multicultural, Kensington Market is perfect for vintage shopping, viewing some street art, and finding über-cool hipster coffee shops in the city.

A unique mix of styles and cultures, Kensington Market has recently become recognised as a National Historic Site of Canada. (A good enough excuse reason to visit really…;-) )

7.) Scream in Canada’s Wonderland

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Any place called ‘Wonderland’ is definitely worth checking out, especially if that place has roller coasters! Canada’s Wonderland is arguably the best amusement park in the country. Located about 25 miles (40 km) north of downtown, Wonderland is actually in Vaughn but is close enough to Toronto’s city centre (and soooooooo much fun!) that you need to pop in when you visit Toronto.

The amusement park is perfect for visitors in the summer time (understandably) but if you happen to visit Toronto around Halloween, though, Canada’s Wonderland Halloween Haunt is absolutely the place you need to go to.

8.) Explore the Distillery District

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What was once the Gooderham & Worts Distillery was later left to be an abandoned area of Victorian industrial buildings. That is, until a few developers came up with the idea to turn the old distillery into a super stunning shopping and dining area!

With what seems like the love-child of European’s charming yet quaint streets and the more modern trendy atmosphere of New York City’s SoHo neighbourhood, the Distillery District is the perfect place to peruse over 80 different shops and boutiques, as well as try a multitude of different restaurants – effectively, its one of the best spots to begin your night out on the town and it has quickly become one of the most popular places to visit in Toronto!

9.) Walk the Toronto Waterfront

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To take in some of the most beautiful sights in the city, head for the waterfront. Stretching from the Rouge River in the east to the Etobicoke Creek in the west, the waterfront allows for 28 miles (46 km) of walking along Lake Ontario.

Don’t expect to just walk aimlessly forever, though; there’s quite a bit to see and do on the waterfront! Between June – October, stop by the Waterfront Artisan Market for delicious food and specialty crafts. Or maybe you’d prefer to take a beach break on one of the many beaches along the way. Whatever your interests are, you’re sure to have a grand time along the waterfront.

10.) Take a trip to Niagara Falls

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Technically, Niagara Falls is not right in the city of Toronto. If you’ve come all the way to Toronto though, you might as well make a side trip to one of the greatest natural wonders in the world. Just 90 minutes driving from Toronto will bring you to the Falls, where you can easily spend the day taking in the sights as well as exploring the surrounding area.

Here you can take a walking tour behind the falls, where you can get close enough to them to even get soaked by them (don’t worry, you’ll be handed a poncho prior to avoid you getting properly soaked) or hop aboard a boat ride to get a very different a very powerful perspective of the waterfall! Be sure to stay until it gets dark, when the Falls are lit up in beautiful colours every night of the year.

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  • Love the look of the distillery district! A lot of current friends are from Toronto, I think I’ll end up there sometime in few months 🔮🙏

    http://www.patientexplorers.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s a brilliant city isn’t it 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

  • The Ginger Passports

    The Hockey Hall of Fame certainly made me laugh — you don’t get more Canadian than that! Gosh the Royal Ontario Museum boasts some epic architecture. And how is Casa Loma a real castle?! It honestly looks like a painting! Another fantastic post 🙂

    http://www.thegingerpassports.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much! It’s so beautiful isn’t it… and Casa Loma is just ❤️

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Hey guys –

    I am from Toronto and was eager to read this! But …

    St. Lawrence Market is NOT in the Eaton Centre. The market is located over 1 kilometer away and spans two different buildings! Please correct this.

    Both Canada’s Wonderland and Niagara Falls are NOT in Toronto, but other cities. Perhaps they could be highlighted as daytrip options instead, as otherwise the article is misleading.

    Hope you guys enjoyed my hometown!

    Cheryl

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Hey Cheryl,

      Thanks so much for your comment on the Eaton Centre… yup, we meant to actually pop in that it’s a short walk to it (not inside) haha!

      We did already mention that Niagara Falls is about 90 minutes away. We always like to include something out of a city to show the diversity of things that are also within easy reach (and we just couldn’t miss out those gorgeous falls). Just to make it more clear we added into the title about it being a trip… we certainly don’t want any confusion on that. 🙂

      Thanks so much for your feedback too, we really appreciate it!

      Big hugs,
      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Having lived in Toronto for over 10 years and blogged about the shopping scene too there are some misses on this list. If you are mentioning the waterfront you might as well mention Center Island or even Tommy Thompson Park. Did you know that there is a working farm right in the city? Yes there is it is just east of the DVP called Riverdale Farm. What about the AGO? No need to add things that are not in Toronto to the list. Also I second Cheryl please update the bit about St. Lawrence Market being in the Eaton Center. It isn’t – totally different neighbourhood.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much for the feedback – we really wanted to showcase some of the main places that spring to mind for a first time visitor… naturally, we wanted to add about 50 more experiences and places but we thought it best to expand upon those in future posts.

      Yup, we actually meant to write ‘walk’ not ‘in’ the Eaton Centre… Our bad – that teaches us for writing posts around midnight. Haha!

      Ah, the reason we added a few places outside the city is that we wanted to showcase some of the great sights that can be visited whilst in Toronto. For us Londoners, visiting Toronto is a pretty big trip, so we want to see as much as we can, this is why we included Niagara Falls… We just couldn’t resist their beauty! 🙂

      Thanks so much for the message too, we really appreciate it.

      Biggest hugs,
      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Totally understand I have been there done that with a blog post I thought made sense and when I read it the next morning wondered what I was writing! It is a great post and glad you fixed up the bit about St. Lawrence Market. – Jane

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Thanks so much, Jane 🙂

          Have a lovely weekend!

          Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Awesome suggestions! Fika is the best coffee shop in Kensington Market. Also, I worked in the Distillery District for the Christmas Market, and I totally agree that it’s such a neat spot to check out!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Kaitlyn – the Distillery District is great, right!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • Danielle Theriault

    I had no idea there was a castle in Toronto! So cool! | http://ourpassportpages.com/

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s gorgeous isn’t it! So glad you like it too, Danielle.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I was just in Toronto in December and loved it! There was a beautiful christmas market in the distillery district that is a must! =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.blogspot.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So glad you loved the city! It really is a cool place isn’t it!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx