Toronto is easily one of my favourite cities in the world and with good reason too! For starters, much as I’d typically avoid comparing cities, it’s so reminiscent of the many reasons I love our home city of London and makes you feel right at home as soon as you step into it.
There’s a myriad of different things to do in the city and it just makes you feel like there’s something for everyone here – no matter what your interests are. (Like seriously, you could tell me what sort of things you’re interested in and I could find you at least 10 things at a drop of a that would keep you fascinated all weekend long).
I guess that’s the beauty of being such a huge global city with so many people from so many cultures. It really the most brilliant cultural melting pot!
But enough about why I love Toronto (even though, I’ve barely even scratched the surface on that one… 😀 ). This post, after all, is about your trip to Toronto and what you need to check so let’s get cracking with that instead.
Now, our last trip to Toronto was incredible, even if it was for only a few days (that’s all you need to fall in love with Toronto – after that, you’ll keep finding excuses to return to the city). On that trip, we started and finished our trip in Toronto with a solid chunk of time spent in the picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake (and the rather impressive Niagara Falls).
That being said, it wet my whistle on how cool a weekend in Toronto could be in its own right. This is exactly why we jumped at the chance to return with WestJet!
Flying for a Weekend in Toronto
Right, I’m gonna rewind a little and tell you about one of our first flights with WestJet from Calgary to London a while back.
The thing I remember vividly was how friendly the crew were – it went above and beyond what we’d kinda gotten used to in Canada already (Canadians are a really friendly and polite bunch). Honestly, stuff like this just makes all the difference for me.
This all made me excited for our recent trip to Toronto with WestJet, especially as they’ve just launched their brand-spanking-new Dreamliner service on their daily London to Toronto service. Woohoo!
Now, this wasn’t going to be any old hop across the pond, we headed across in WestJet’s new Business Cabin that has on their (equally new) Dreamliners, all kitted out with fully flat beds (in a private pod), huge TVs and a massive food and cocktail menu to boot.
After breezing through the Gatwick airport, we hopped on board, straight through to our private pods. As soon as I plonked myself inside, I was quick to explore my home for our trip to Toronto.
You see when I was a wee boy, I always wanted to be a pilot. Now, that dream might have been dashed when I realised I was colour-blind but my excitement of planes has never waned. This all left me pretty giddy about being some of the first people on this flight!
Now, there are a few things I loved about our pods.
Firstly, the lie-flat seats, with blankets and pillows (which the crew sprayed with lavender oils) are just so cosy. I had the best kip between meals. Truth be told, by the end of the flight, I’d nested myself firmly in my pod.
Oh, and talking about food, we had some pretty tasty dishes onboard. You see, when you board, the crew provide a flight-specific menu to choose your meals (just like in a restaurant). You’d be fooled into thinking you were in a restaurant itself.
After a zingy starter of beetroot carpaccio, followed by a tender beef short rib, we both finished off with a warm sticky toffee pudding that’s become something of a staple for both of us. Oh yeah, WestJet also had some ice wine from Peller Estates, which we visited on our first trip to Ontario. It was as good (and sweet) as I remember.
I nearly forgot to mention… Each business cabin passenger is given a Matt & Nat Vegan accessories bag that’s all created using vegan leather and lining made from recycled bottles. Inside our bag, there was everything from eye masks to organic skincare from Province Apothecary. It felt like I had a proper pampering session after the flight. 😉
After curling up for a little nap, I woke up for the dinner I chose before zonking out. It was Poutine!
It’s so funny, I mentioned to Yaya that I had to get Poutine as soon as we arrived in Canada. In all honesty, I say this on every trip to Canada (with Yaya seeing it as a running joke, now). This has happened on almost every trip we’ve been on but I beat my record this time and had it whilst cruising high above Newfoundland.
As we landed, I kinda didn’t want to leave my pod. I’m sure I had to drag Yaya from his!
It was one of those flights where you wished it was a little longer, even just to enjoy it for a few more hours chilling. Though, saying that, we had some epic plans for our weekend in Toronto, which we want to share to help you plan your next trip.
Now there are some places in Toronto that are like the must-see spots for the first-time visitor to the city. Though, this isn’t really about that (we’ve got that in this post here).
This is more centred around having fun in the city and getting to explore and experience it in a way that will hopefully not leave your feet pounding at the end of the day and leave your stomach in a state of constant delight the entire weekend.
It’s the kind of weekend you want when you visit with friends and family and want to sink your teeth more into what makes the city so special. So let’s get started with it, shall we?
1.) EdgeWalk at the CN Tower
Okay, the EdgeWalk isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it’s easily one of the most fun and exhilarating ways to spend a weekend in Toronto.
After heading to the viewing platforms on our last trip, we decided to go for a little more of a challenge and walk on the outer perimeter of the viewing deck itself, which is the world’s highest full-circle hand’s free walk.
After booking the EdgeWalk, you’ll get all geared up and safety brief before heading outside to walk the tower itself. I was so excited about doing this, though, I have to admit I was shaking by the time we stepped outside.
It was so exhilarating and it’s probably one of the most unique ways to see Toronto from above. It was such an incredible experience.
2.) Head to the patio at Bar Reyna
Perched on Cumberland Street, Bar Reyna is a pretty inconspicuous little restaurant that serves up some of the tastiest Mediterranean fusion dishes.
We opted for the Lebanese tacos, which were immense. Plus, plan your visit during the evening when live bands and singers play. We were lucky enough to catch Jessica Rose who sang the smoothest blues-hued Jazz.
3.) Go for dessert at the Dessert Kitchen
Based on Harbord Street, the Dessert Kitchen is one of the best things to do on a weekend in Toronto if you have a sweet tooth.
Once inside, you’ll get to choose from anything from Taiwanese shaved Ice to, Chinese deserts and milk tea (with floating polar bears). It’s such a lovely place to stop.
4.) Meditate in a salt cave
If you’re still feeling a little groggy from jet lag, then pop on into Hoame and find their Himalayan Salt Cave that’s in the heart of Toronto.
Inside, there are over six tonnes of salt, which is said to help with relaxation and reduce stress. This is all amazing if you’re looking for a more unique experience during your weekend in Toronto.
Oh yeah, it’s not too far from the CN Tower itself, too (about 15-minute walk).
5.) Grab lunch at Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen
Nestled around 5 minutes from Hoame, Chubby’s serves up some of the tastiest Jamaican food in all of Toronto.
Once inside, make sure to try their jerk pork and their freshly fried plantains. Finish off with a homemade ginger beer or Blue Mountain latte that you can cut with coconut milk.
Now, it does get busy so make sure to book a table if you’re short on time.
6.) Explore the Distillery District
The Distillery District is one of those spots in Toronto that mixes a historic area with lots of new restaurants, breweries and independent shops. It’s a great place to stroll on a lazy day on your weekend in Toronto.
That being said, if you don’t fancy a stroll, you can also hop on your very own Segway tour of the district itself. This can all be arranged at their office on Gristmill Street (in the heart of the Distillery District) or online at GoToursCanada.
Plus, you get to finish off your tour with a little stop in a few of the stores and breweries.
7.) Explore a festival or event
The great thing about spending a weekend in Toronto is that there’s usually something going on. Whilst we visited, the Biennial of Art was happening all across the city.
This was the perfect opportunity to check out some Canadian and international art that’s temporarily housed across the city.
Each of the venues was totally free and it was such a great way to find different types of art.
That being said, make sure to check Toronto’s official webpage for upcoming festivals and exhibitions that happen year-round.
8.) Go for dinner at KIIN
Perched on Adelaide Street, KIIN is one of my favourite Thai restaurants in all of Toronto. Here, they serve up Thai cuisine from all over the country.
Once you’re here, make sure to try their dumplings which are equally artistic and totally delicious.
9.) Visit the Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum is easily one of the best things to do on a weekend in Toronto if you want to explore the museums in the city. Once you’ve booked your tickets, you’ll see everything from dinosaurs to diamonds – it’s got everything.
Plus, you can also book special exhibit tickets that are worth it for more sought-after collections.
Oh, and don’t forget to check the events they run in the evening, too. Whilst we visited, ROM Friday Night Live was in full swing. Book your tickets online and hop on over for a Friday night in the Museum.
Once inside, they have DJs, performers, dance floors, food and lots of cocktail spots. It’s so much fun!
10.) Tour Toronto by Helicopter
If you’re a sucker for good views, then pop over to Helitours at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Best of all, the airport is right in the city (and accessible via a pedestrian tunnel under Lake Ontario.
Once here, head in your helicopter and soar over Toronto. It’s a great way to see the city and really easy to organise if you/re a sucker for some breathtaking views.
11.) Go for lunch at La Palma
Based on Dundas Street West, La Palma is an amazing foodie spot that you can’t miss on a weekend in Toronto.
Whilst here, make sure to try their lobster sliders for starters and their 100-layer lasagne that’ll leave you stuffed. It’s so good.
As with most yummy spots in the city, make sure to reserve a table if you want to guarantee a seat at a certain time.
12.) Explore AGO
The Art Gallery of Ontario is easily one of my favourite spots in the city and a great place to visit during a weekend in Toronto.
Being one of the largest art galleries in all of North America, you can spend days here. Once inside, make sure to see the Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama which is now housed at AGO permanently.
Don’t forget to wander through the different floors and rooms with both permanent and temporary exhibitions. If you love art, you’ll love this place.
13.) Head on a guided foodie tour
If you’re looking for a foodie experience, then you’ll totally love the foodie tours that go on throughout Toronto.
We had the most incredible time. Stopping off at some delicious spots like Bar Ravel and others.
It’s a great way to spend an evening, especially if you don’t have time to explore lots of different restaurants in the city.
14.) Go for a drag brunch
Now, this might be one of the most fun brunch events we’ve ever been to! Based at the Gladstone Hotel, they host an epic drag brunch on Sunday mornings/early afternoon that’s hilarious and fun.
You’ll leave aching from dancing and laughing so much.
Hosted by Miss Moço, a local drag queen in Toronto, it’s an epic way to spend a Sunday. Expect lots of cocktails and lots of singing.
15.) Explore Kensington Market
Every last Sunday of the month, Kensington Market is blocked off to cars and any driving. This all means that we strollers can take over the whole area and explore by foot.
In so many ways, Kensington Market reminds me of Camden Town in London. It has that alternative vibe and loads of vintage and thrift stores selling everything you could ever imagine.
Not only that, there’s a whole heap of restaurants and buskers that you have to see whilst you’re here.
16.) Gorge at Grey Gardens
Grey Gardens is, in my opinion, one of the tastiest spots in Kensington Market to stop off for a bite to eat.
They have a pretty eclectic menu, serving everything from raw scallops (which were so good) to hand-torn pasta.
It’s a great spot for dinner and really easy to visit if you’re going to be in the Kensington Market area during your weekend in Toronto.
17.) The Funhouse Toronto
Okay, if you really want to lean into the fun vibe, then the Funhouse might be one of the best ways to visit whilst on a weekend in Toronto.
Situated on Lisgar Street, they host seasonal events and shows that’s almost like a grown-ups version of the funhouse you’d see at a fairground.
It’s pretty quirky and I have to admit I did get petrified during the Halloween walk trough. Yay was laughing the whole time at me!