Our top attractions, highlights and insider tips
Toronto is a city with multicultural offerings, a striking cityscape, and sandy island beaches. Enjoy a dash of culture at Canada’s largest museum, before taking your pick of the myriad of international cuisines—steamed bao in one of the city’s three Chinatowns or grilled comfort food in Greektown—the choices will seem endless. At Toronto Island, gaze over Lake Ontario with the sand between your toes. To end a day, tour the Distillery District’s 40 one-of-a-kind boutiques, vibrant theatres, and glitzy bars with an Old Fashioned in hand.
The Distillery District
Toronto Island Park
Toronto City Hall
Royal Ontario Museum
If on the hunt for tapas and micro-brewed craft ales, head to the Distillery District, the perfect place to indulge your T-Dot hipsterism. As you walk past chic bars and artisan boutiques, check out Dennis Oppenheim’s sculpture Still Dancing, which incorporates an original still from the distillery. Once home to the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, the area is a masterclass in urban rejuvenation.
Toronto houses Canada’s most famous building and must-see sight: the CN Tower. Look up to see 553 metres of concrete pierce the sky, and ascend a lift that takes less than a minute to reach its peak. Whether taking an EdgeWalk tour or simply admiring the panoramic views of the cityscape, be sure to treat yourself to a Canadian Club whisky at the suitably named 360 Bar.
Only a 13-minute ferry ride from Downtown, Toronto Island is a local getaway from the hustle of city life. Hop on a bike and enjoy a forest trail that leads you to the historic Gibraltar Lighthouse, or explore the island’s inlets by canoe, looking out for herons and snapping turtles. End the afternoon with an ice cream as you rest on the grass and gaze over the bay at the downtown skyline.
The City Hall is where Torontonians meet for picnics in summer and ice skating in the winter. The building’s two curving towers, designed by Viljo Revell, have stood in Nathan Phillips Square since 1965. Walk up the path into the marble-floored central rotunda, where you’ll see a concrete column six metres in diameter supporting the council chamber. Don’t miss Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture Three-Way Piece No. 2, a quirky piece beloved by Toronto natives.
At the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest, Daniel Liebeskind’s jagged aluminium crystal protrudes from the 1933 art deco exterior of the East Wing. This bold architectural contrast is a sight in itself, before you’ve even set foot in the museum. Head inside and experience the museum’s superlative collection of 6 million paintings, artefacts, and natural history specimens—you can lose yourself for hours in this place.
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