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Find out how to spend a day in Toronto, Canada

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There are such a lot of nice issues to do in Toronto, however the place do you begin? Right here’s a someday in Toronto itinerary with all the highest sights.

Big neon sign of Toronto in Nathan Phillips Square

Planning Your One Day in Toronto Itinerary

For those who plan to spend a day in Toronto, Ontario, you’ve made a sensible alternative. Since no fewer than 25% of Hollywood motion pictures are filmed on this metropolis, it’s (virtually) as thrilling as Hollywood. Nicely, not less than 25% as thrilling.

However hey, throughout TIFF, the Toronto Worldwide Movie Competition, held each September, it’s even extra thrilling than Hollywood.

High Toronto Sights

High sights embody the CN Tower, the Artwork Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, Harbourfront and the Rogers Centre – one of many world’s first stadiums that includes a very retractable roof.

When the solar is shining, it’s a great time for visiting the Toronto Islands. They’re simply reachable by way of ferry or water taxi from the Toronto Harbour.

I’m a fan of the swanky buying and gallery district of Yorkville, with its hippie previous (howdy, Joni Mitchell!), haute resorts and stroll-able avenues … and since I’ve lived right here for years.

Toronto in 24 Hours

For those who solely have 24 hours in Toronto, you’ll should make some exhausting selections. Possibly both the Royal Ontario Museum or the Artwork Gallery of Ontario. Discover fashionable Queen Road West or posh Yorkville. The Islands might should go.

I’ve tried so as to add in sufficient choices that you could choose and select – or attempt to squeeze all of it in. If in case you have two days in Toronto, you possibly can simply unfold this itinerary out. If in case you have three days, even higher. 

Toronto skyline with flowers
Toronto seems to be lovely from many angles

Find out how to Get Across the Metropolis

On Your Personal

You possibly can stroll between many of those Toronto sights. Different choices for getting round are Uber, Bike Share Toronto, or taxi. There are numerous cabs accessible and it’s often straightforward to flag one down.

Public Transport

The Toronto Transit Fee, often called the TTC, is a fast and simple approach of travelling round downtown or for excursions farther afield. You should purchase a PRESTO Day Move for $13.50.

Find out how to get a PRESTO Day Move: You may get a go from a merchandising machine within the subway stations, and at Pearson Airport close to the general public transport space. The go contains the road automobile and buses in addition to the subway.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

You can even do a Hop On Hop Off Bus. If you wish to go to some standard vacationer sights that aren’t as central as others, such because the Distillery District and Casa Loma, it’s choice.

For 48 hours, costs begin at $63 CAN. Ebook the Hop On Hop Off Bus.

Toronto Day Excursions

If planning isn’t your factor, you can also make your Toronto day journey straightforward with a 5-hour Final Toronto Tour that features a lodge pickup, entry to the CN Tower and a Harbourfront Cruise (in season). 

Toronto skyline with CN Tower

Issues to Do in Toronto in a Day

Begin at Harbourfront

Toronto’s Harbourfront overlooks Lake Ontario and is a bustling vacationer hub.

It’s a 10-acre unfold of assorted indoor and outside areas. All year long there’s a full program of occasions with theatres, outside phases, lakeside eating places and a skating rink in winter.

There used to be higher buying, and I don’t know what occurred there, however I’m hoping it can someday be revived. 

From Might to October, one of the standard issues to do right here is to take a sightseeing cruise.

Verify costs and availability for a Harbourfront and Islands tour right here.

If the climate is unforgiving (hey, it’s Canada), you possibly can go to the PowerPlant, town’s main modern artwork gallery. Bonus: Entrance to the PowerPlant is free.

Harbourfront Centre is at 235 Queens Quay West. You possibly can take the 509 Harbourfront streetcar from Union Station.

CN Tower
CN Tower

In search of chilly climate enjoyable? Try Issues to do in Toronto in Winter.

Go to the CN Tower

The lofty CN Tower is Toronto’s prime vacationer sight – not less than the 1.5 million individuals a yr who go to appear to suppose it’s definitely worth the journey.

Well-known for being the tallest freestanding artifical construction on the earth – till the even increased Burj Khalifa in Dubai knocked it off its pedestal in 2008 – Toronto’s CN Tower can stand up to winds of over 400 km/h and an earthquake of 8.5 on the Richter scale.

That’s safer than the White Home.

Soar up the glass-fronted elevator, get pleasure from sprawling views of Toronto and Lake Ontario, and stand on the glass flooring and look down.

For those who’re planning to go to the CN Tower together with many different Toronto prime sights, you may need to contemplate a CityPASS. It offers you reductions on admissions to locations just like the CN Tower, Casa Loma, the Royal Ontario Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and extra.

The place to Eat on the CN Tower

You possibly can splurge on a meal on the 360 Restaurant – I nonetheless suppose longingly of the tenderloin I as soon as had there. You possibly can simply guess why the restaurant is named 360 – it makes an entire panoramic rotation each 72 minutes letting you admire town 300 metres beneath.

Excessive Journey on the CN Tower – Attempt the EdgeWalk

Daredevils can do the CN Tower’s most excessive attraction, the EdgeWalk. It’s a death-defying (besides apparently it’s secure) outside stroll from an unimaginable top. And I’m completely going to do it … as quickly as pigs can fly. (Kidding. I actually do need to do it.)

The CN Tower is positioned at 290 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9.

Shark at Ripley's Aquarium
Ripley’s Aquarium

Go to Ripley’s Aquarium

One other prime attraction is Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. It’s sightseeing exercise to mix with the CN Tower because it’s proper on the tower’s base, and is an important factor to do in Toronto with children. Jellyfish! The Harmful Lagoon! What’s to not like?

Slide on Over to the Hockey Corridor of Fame

From Ripley’s Toronto Aquarium you possibly can stroll to the Hockey Corridor of Fame, a museum dedicated to all issues ice hockey. Positioned close to Union Station, the Hockey Corridor of Fame is the place the Stanley Cup lives when it’s not jet-setting world wide.

The Hockey Corridor of Fame is at Brookfield Place, 30 Yonge Road, in a gorgeous outdated banking constructing.

Blue view of Toronto from Lake Ontario
Expertise Lake Ontario

Go to the Toronto Islands

For a little bit of nature, among the finest issues to do in Toronto for a day is to go to the Toronto Islands. They’re only a 20-minute ferry experience from the lakeshore. Many individuals don’t notice you possibly can go to the islands in wintertime too.

To succeed in the Islands you possibly can catch a ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal between Bay Road and Yonge Road at Queens Quay.

You can even hop a personal boat taxi for about $10 per particular person simply west of Harbourfront. I often do that to skip the traces on the ferry.

There are three stops on the Islands. For those who’re a primary time customer purpose for Centre Island, particularly in the event you’re on the lookout for issues to do in Toronto with kids, as a result of there are Swan Boats and different kid-friendly actions there throughout summer season.

What Can You Do on the Islands?

Stroll round, hire a motorcycle, eat a scorching canine, hire a kayak, or go to Toronto’s solely nude seashore at Hanlon’s Level.

The reality is, you’re most likely solely going to need to go to the Islands on a pleasant day and, in the event you solely have 24 hours in Toronto, and none of these hours are sunny, learn on for higher issues to do.

(If the climate is nice and also you need extra issues to do outside listed here are another locations to hike close to Toronto.)

Toronto Eaton Centre inside
Eaton Centre – Photograph from Toronto Tourism

Store on the Eaton Centre

Irrespective of how quick your Toronto go to is, it’s exhausting to withstand a wee little bit of buying – particularly because it’s an all-weather sport.

The most well-liked buying vacation spot in Toronto is the Eaton Centre, a glass-covered mall housing an enormous array of retailers together with high-end malls like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. 

Don’t miss Canada’s personal division retailer within the mall, Hudson’s Bay on the south finish. (Attention-grabbing be aware: the Bay purchased Saks in 2013. Take into consideration that subsequent time you’re having an iconic buying expertise at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.)

The place to Eat within the Eaton Centre

For those who’re on the lookout for restaurant on the Eaton Centre, try Leña Restaurante on the nook of Richmond and Yonge at Saks. This South American all-day restaurant is getting rave opinions.

By the way in which, I’m advised the Eaton Centre attracts extra guests than Disneyland. (I’m having hassle believing that however there’s no arguing with hearsay.)

The Eaton Centre is at 220 Yonge Road. 

Yonge and Dundas Street Intersection
Yonge and Dundas is at all times bustling

Stroll Yonge Road

At 1,896 km in size, Yonge Road is the world’s longest road in accordance with the Guinness Ebook of World Data. It’s not essentially the most elegant buying vacation spot on the earth. In actual fact, some main (and far wanted) revitalization is being deliberate, however it’s at all times busy and it’s positively lengthy.

Okay, actually, it’s not my favorite road on the earth, however it connects the downtown core and the Eaton Centre to the ‘Mink Mile’ buying space at Bloor Road, so you might end up strolling it whether or not you need to or not.

(Am I making today in Toronto sound enjoyable or what?)

Tip: An alternate route north in direction of Yorkville is College Avenue.

Go to Nathan Phillips Sq.

Throughout from the Eaton Centre at Queen and Bay you’ll discover Nathan Phillips Sq., the courtyard to our space-age-looking Toronto Metropolis Corridor.

You possibly can skate in Nathan Phillips Sq. within the winter and attend occasions right here yr spherical.

Enjoyable truth: When the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors (sorry, California) within the 2019 NBA Championship, the insanely huge Victory Rally was held right here. We’re speaking greater than one million individuals. It was bedlam.

Try Hip Queen Road West

For those who stroll farther west on Queen West, you’ll discover loads of hipster hangouts and outlets round Queen and Spadina Avenue. For those who hold going all the way in which to West Queen West (sure, we actually name it that) you’ll discover the taking place hubs of the Drake Lodge and the Gladstone Lodge.

A phrase of recommendation: For those who can solely spend a day in Toronto and need to cram all of it in, it’s greatest to hop on the streetcar to get this far west slightly than stroll.

Itinerary tip: Whereas West Queen West is a enjoyable Boho neighbourhood, if you wish to concentrate on the highest Toronto sights and also you solely have a day to sightsee, you might need to give it a miss.

Chicken street art Grafitti Alley in Toronto
Graffiti Alley makes a enjoyable cease on a day journey to Toronto

Cruise Via Graffiti Alley

Whilst you’re within the Queen West space, a singular factor to do is to take a look at Toronto’s Graffiti Alley, an Instagrammer’s dream.

Positioned simply south of Queen Road, in what is named the Style District, Graffiti Alley is an eye-popping strip of road artwork that runs between Spadina Avenue and Portland Avenue.

Only a be aware: The identify Style District comes from the world’s previous, when quite a few warehouses and garment factories had been positioned right here, not as a result of the outlets are significantly trendy.

Graffiti Alley is named Rush Lane and runs for about three blocks.

Art Gallery of Ontario AGO sign
Photograph credit score: Danielle Petti

This booming Canadian metropolis is wealthy in tradition and one of many prime issues to place in your Toronto 1 day itinerary is the AGO.

The artwork gallery holds 80,000 artefacts going again to the primary century AD, and the gathering contains work by well-known artists like Cézanne, Goya, and Matisse. Additionally they have blockbuster touring exhibitions.

For a style of great Canadian tradition try the exceptional panorama work by the Group of Seven.

(My favorite issues to see on the AGO is the Bernini bust of Pope Gregory XV.)

The AGO is positioned at 317 Dundas Road West, a couple of 10-minute stroll west from the Eaton Centre.

Ebook your AGO tickets on-line.

Grasp Out in Funky Kensington Market

From the Artwork Gallery of Toronto you possibly can stroll to Kensington Market. It’s one of many liveliest and earthiest neighbourhoods within the metropolis. To get right here head west on Dundas from the Artwork Gallery in direction of Kensington Avenue and switch proper.

This enjoyable pedestrian-friendly space fights exhausting to maintain its native flavour, and also you’ll discover fishmongers, fruit and vegetable stands, well being shops, cafes and classic outlets galore. (Plus the not unusual whiff of pot.)

The place to Eat in Kensington Market

You’ll positively need to take a break in one of many many indie espresso outlets in Kensington like Wanda’s Pie within the Sky or Moonbeam.

For an informal lunch a stable vegetarian choice is the City Herbivore at 64 Oxford Road, proper throughout from Wanda’s. (You’ll most likely see my husband there, as he’s a loyal common.)

The Royal Ontario Museum Crystal Wing
There be dinosaurs inside

Go to the Royal Ontario Museum

Now head north to Bloor Road and College Avenue. For those who’re fascinated by science, historical past and nature, cease in on the Royal Ontario Museum (the ROM).

Kids love the dinosaurs within the Libeskind Crystal Wing. And who wouldn’t? It’s among the finest dinosaur collections in North America, and an important factor to do in Toronto with children. Don’t miss Gordo, the biggest dinosaur skelton ever to be displayed in Canada.

Fascinating Structure

The ROM was inbuilt 1912, and is residence to a controversial trendy addition that appears like a classy meteor has crash-landed into the normal brick constructing. Locals are divided between love and hate, with most individuals I discuss to firmly on the hate aspect. (I’m on the love aspect.)

The ROM is conveniently positioned throughout the road from the posh neighbourhood of Yorkville, so it’s only a hop and a skip away.

Get your ticket for the Royal Ontario Museum prematurely right here.

Insider’s Secret –  Thinker’s Stroll

Proper behind the ROM is Thinker’s Stroll, a stunning strolling path that’s a part of the College of Toronto’s St. George Campus.

It’s a refreshing place to sit down on a bench and relaxation your legs earlier than heading into Yorkville. Not solely is Thinker’s Stroll a spot of tranquility, it follows the route of a buried waterway known as Taddle Creek.

Pink sunset in Yorkville Village Park in Toronto
Yorkville – Toronto’s Glamor Vacation spot

Spend Time in Yorkville, The place the Wealthy Individuals Play

One other buying vacation spot of be aware in the event you’re visiting Toronto is Yorkville. This swanky neighbourhood is bordered by Bloor Road West, Avenue Highway and Bay Road.

Right here you’ll discover most of the metropolis’s high-end designers, particularly on Bloor Road. In actual fact, the stretch of Bloor Road between Yonge and College is known as the Mink Mile (by whom, I don’t know, actually not by me).

Yorkville and Cumberland Avenues are a delight to stroll round with their blue chip artwork galleries, fashionable boutiques, 5-star resorts, eating places and bars. You can even entry the upscale Yorkville Village mall from Hazelton Avenue or Avenue Highway.

And don’t miss our cool Village of Yorkville Park on Cumberland Road, with its modern interpretations of Canada’s various panorama.

The place to Eat in Yorkville

Hungry? One choice in Yorkville is Planta, an upscale ‘plant-based’ restaurant, which, I assume, means ‘vegan solely dearer’. And if my husband desires to know the place he ought to take me on my birthday, Planta will do properly. It’s at 1221 Bay Road.

(Replace: He took me to Sofia as an alternative.)

Sofia Restaurant, at 99 Yorkville Avenue, has an exuberant and ornate decor and provides upscale Italian delicacies in a glam ambiance.

My High Decide: An incredible restaurant choice in Yorkville is AloBar at 57A – 162 Cumberland, which is tucked into a bit of courtyard. The small plates are divine, the clientele stylish and it’s rapidly change into one of many greatest eating places in Toronto.

Beautiful photo of Casa Loma in Toronto Canada
Photograph Credit score: Casa Loma supplied by Toronto Tourism

Discover Toronto’s Fort – Casa Loma

Not fairly as central as Yorkville, however actually eye-catching is Casa Loma. This lavish Toronto landmark was inbuilt 1911 by the rich Sir Henry Pellatt, a businessman who dreamed of dwelling in a large Edwardian fortress.

He commissioned the well-known architect E.J. Lennox to design essentially the most palatial residence North America had ever seen.

It took 300 individuals and three years to erect the majestic assortment of 30 restrooms, 98 rooms, and 25 fireplaces atop of the hill overlooking town.

Casa Loma’s Decline

For Sir Henry Pellatt and spouse, Girl Mary, the cash wasn’t an excessive amount of of a stretch as he managed 1 / 4 of the financial system of Canada. But solely 10 years later, the couple’s fortune was ruined by the lack of the electrical energy monopoly in favour of the federal government. Yikes.

Casa Loma is positioned in a residential neighbourhood at One Austin Terrace close to Davenport Highway and Spadina Highway. For those who’re not utilizing the Hop On Hop Off Bus, you’ll most likely need to take a taxi.

Toronto in Two Days

To discover any of those sights intimately, you’ll most likely need to unfold this itinerary out over two days in Toronto – or extra.

You would additionally add in the St. Lawrence Market, a enjoyable and energetic meals market on Entrance Road East, or Chinatown, which rubs shoulders with Kensington Market.

One other enjoyable place to go to in Toronto is the Tiff Bell Lightbox complicated at 287 King Road West. That is the place the Toronto Worldwide Movie Competition magic occurs.

Toronto in Three Days

For those who’re spending three days in Toronto, you might add in a go to to the College of Toronto, a leafy campus with loads of Romanesque and Gothic Revival structure constructed between 1857 and 1929.

Excessive Park: One other place I’d advocate is Toronto’s largest park, particularly in the event you’re right here throughout cherry blossom season within the spring. There are wooded trails, geese and swans alongside Grenadier Pond and a restaurant that makes glorious french fries and gravy.

You possibly can take the subway – the Bloor Line will take you to the Excessive Park Station.

Cherry Blossoms in High Park
Blossoms in Excessive Park

What to do in Toronto at Evening

If it’s a straight 24 hours in Toronto you’re right here for and really feel sleep is overrated, the alternatives for issues to do in Toronto within the night are infinite.

Absorb a Sport or a Present

Sports activities followers can try what’s on on the Rogers Centre – you may catch a Blue Jays sport – whereas on the Scotiabank Area you possibly can see a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey sport or watch the Raptors play basketball.

Stage followers can see a Broadway present in one of many metropolis’s many theatres. King Road West is the principle theatre hub.

Attempt a Meal in Certainly one of Toronto’s Ethnic Neighbourhoods

You possibly can go for dinner in certainly one of Toronto’s distinctive ethnic neighbourhoods akin to Greektown on the Danforth within the East Finish, or Little India even farther east. Admittedly, Little India is fairly far in the event you solely have a day in Toronto however you may get there by streetcar. 

There are numerous nice locations to eat on Toronto’s East Facet.

Nearer to town centre is Little Italy, which runs west from School and Bathurst Road. Right here, along with Italian eating places you’ll discover energetic bars and a younger enjoyable vibe. In the summertime, the Cafe Diplomatico has a terrific outside patio.

Verify Out A few of Toronto’s Different Occurring Areas

For extremely hipster bars and eating places hit up Ossington Avenue between School and Dundas. It’s Toronto’s epicentre of cool.

The bars and nightclubs within the Leisure District round King Road downtown are extra mainstream. There are many standard eating places round King and Bathurst such because the Italian eatery Oretta.

One other great spot to go to in Toronto is the Distillery District, a pedestrian-only assortment of cobbled lanes and heritage buildings, restored to loving perfection. There are a variety of eating places right here to select from.

Do a Toronto Evening Tour

Try a Toronto evening tour, the place you’ll see the sundown both from the CN Tower or on a Harbour Cruise and get loads of photograph ops.

Try a Toronto Evening Tour out right here.

Stepping into Toronto from the Airport

Taxi: Taxis and limos are the simplest solution to get into Toronto’s downtown from Pearson Airport, however it can value you $60 and up. Simply comply with the indicators within the airport to seek out the stands.

Experience Share: To take Uber or Lyft, you might want to go to the proper pickup spots. You’ll find the pick-up areas on the Toronto Pearson web site.

Bus The most cost effective choice for stepping into Toronto from the airport is to take the 192 Rocket Bus. For $3.25 it can deposit you on the Kipling Subway Station. At Kipling Station hop on the subway (it’s free to switch) going east to Yonge and Bloor. You may get off there, or switch to the Yonge Line and head south in direction of Union Station. I might finances not less than an hour, possibly 75 minutes, to get downtown.

Practice: A faster route in from the airport is to take the UP Categorical to Union Station, the prepare station downtown. The grownup fare is $12.35 and it takes 25 minutes. Trains go away each quarter-hour. You can even get off at Bloor West.

Union Station

For those who’re doing a day journey to Toronto and coming in by prepare, Union Station is central, and you can begin your 24 itinerary from right here, by strolling or taking the streetcar to Harbourfront.

Can You See Toronto in One Day?

After studying this information, when somebody asks you what to do in Toronto, you need to have some good solutions. Whether or not you’re visiting on a women weekend getaway, a romantic Ontario escape or right here for a household trip, Canada’s largest metropolis has actions for you.

The draw back is that there are are so many various sides to town that irrespective of how a lot you slot in, you’re not going to see all of it on a fast go to. However hopefully this Toronto someday itinerary will get you in your approach.

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