There are so many reasons to visit Toronto, but we’ve narrowed it down to seven to make your trip planning a bit easier.
Toronto is made up of many distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own charm. Kensington Market is a fun area where Victorian houses from the 1800’s are now home to funky vintage shops, diverse eateries and local bars. West Queen West was number two on Vogue’s 2014 list of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world for its contemporary galleries and homegrown fashion labels. Toronto is very multicultural and you can see that from neighbourhoods such as Little Italy, Greektown, Koreatown, Little India and more. Wandering around Toronto’s different neighbourhoods alone would make for a great trip.
In the last few years, the beer scene in Toronto has been steadily growing and now the Greater Toronto Area has over 30 breweries. Beer lovers can visit Toronto and try an amazing array of local beers and for many breweries, such as Halo or Godspeed, you can literally see the beer being brewed in their tanks while sipping back a pint or two. There are also a lot of great beer festivals throughout the year such as Cask Days and events hosted by the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies. If beer is not your drink of choice, Toronto is also home to the Brickworks Cider brewery and even a local sake brewery as well.
Many artists call Toronto their home and there are many places to see a variety of art in the city. The Art Gallery of Ontario always brings in some incredible exhibits and the Museum of Contemporary Art just opened earlier this year. Smaller galleries are sprinkled throughout the city and there are always art shows happening at any time throughout the year. For people who love street art, Toronto has many spots to see some impressive pieces as well. Graffiti Alley is a great place to see a lot of art in one place and the sidestreets of Kensington Market always has some street art to discover. Check out our list of the best places to see street art in Toronto.
Experience Toronto attractions like the locals
Toronto has many wonderful attractions and you will probably come across them as soon as you search for things to do in the city. However, while locals do visit the attractions, many choose to visit them in the evening for special events. Friday Night Live at the Royal Ontario Museum is a great way to see the exhibits but with the addition of local food, live music and special events set up all over the museum. Casa Loma, the castle of Toronto is a beautiful place to explore but it can be even more fun as a haunted castle during Halloween or as an escape room with your friends. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada has spectacular underwater exhibits and they can be enjoyed during an evening jazz night with some drinks in hand.
Food from around the world
Toronto is truly a global city where the citizens are from over 230 different nationalities. Due to the diversity of the people of Toronto, eateries featuring authentic food from around the world can be found throughout the city. Adventurous eaters can try a lot of interesting dishes, such as gözleme, savoury Turkish flatbreads with tasty fillings, juicy Tibetan style dumplings called momos, and generously filled Mexican sandwiches called tortas. Not to mention the plethora of incredible desserts from around the world such as halo halo, a shaved ice dish from the Philippines, or Japanese taiyaki which are fish shaped waffles filled with custard. Our Down Desserts & Culture Tour is a great way to try different desserts in the city as well.
Winter in Toronto is chilly but there are also a lot of fun activities and events happening during these colder months. Skating and enjoying some hot cocoa in front of Nathan Phillips square is a great way to spend some time with the whole family. The annual Christmas Market at the Distillery District is the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit with singing carollers and a giant tree decked out in twinkle lights. The Canadian National Ballet is one of the top international ballet companies and their production of The Nutcracker is always a hit. See our full list of fun things to do during the holiday season for more ideas to inspire a winter visit.
Shop Canadian Made
Toronto has many artisans creating incredible products in the city that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Whether you are a ceramic enthusiast, a fashionista, or a lover of all things handmade, Toronto will have something for you. Shops like Kid Icarus carry a lot of Toronto made goods such as lovely smelling candles, beautiful jewelry and prints from local artists. Many Torontonians make delicious artisanal foods too, such as traditional French style jams at Kitten and the Bear or flavourful charcuterie at Sanagan’s Meat Locker. Toronto also has a lot of amazing chocolatiers and our list of our favourites are bound to satisfy any sweet tooth.