Looking for the best things to do in Toronto? We’ve got you covered. Every city has a list of must-see attractions that are must-sees from tourists and locals and Toronto has no shortage of them. There are a number of amazing destinations to be seen in Toronto, Canada’s capital city from an eclectic array of restaurants and neighborhoods to an arts and culture scene that would rival some of the biggest cities in the world, and much more. These are the can’t-miss things to do in Toronto, for locals and tourists alike.
Come face-to-face with life-sized dinosaurs at this thrilling, immersive exhibit in Mississauga. Jurassic World: The Exhibition turns you into a brave explorer, discovering the dinosaurs inside Isla Nubar like the ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex and the life-sized versions of the long-necked Brachiosaurus. This is the closest you’ll ever get to living dinosaurs and is the perfect family-friendly activity to do in Toronto.
One of the first things tourists do when visiting Toronto is head to the CN Tower, an iconic emblem of Toronto and its waterfront. The sky-high structure is 555.33 metres (1815.5 feet) tall and is 1,776 steps high.
The CN Tower has a lot of highlights: the main observation deck with panoramic views, the Skypod which is 33 storeys taller (they say you can feel the tower swaying in the wind from this height), a restaurant, and the Edgewalk, the world’s highest full-circle, no-hands, harness-only walk.
These year-round candlelight concerts are a perfect way to spend an intimate evening in one of Toronto’s stunning venues–bathed in flickeing candlelight. From classic composers to contemporary icons like Taylor Swift and Queen, there’s a variety of concerts available, plus a whole lineup of specialty holiday-themed concerts every year from Halloween to Christmas.
4-10. Visit one of these gorgeous museums
For lovers of art, Toronto has a whirlwind of an art scene dedicated to everything from sports to ceramics to even shoes. Some of the highlights include:
- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
- The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
- Aga Khan Museum
- Bata Shoe Museum
- Textile Museum of Canada
- The Royal Ontario Museum
11. Take a ferry to Toronto Islands
The largest car-free community in North America, Toronto Islands, is comprised of a year-round residential neighborhood, Centreville Amusement Park, a public marina, and several public beaches. A popular destination for visitors to Toronto and locals alike where you can kayak, paddle board, bike, or swim at the beach. The ferry is located at the base of Bay Street and Queens Quay and costs $9.11 for adults, with ferries departing every 30 minutes.
Visitors and tourists alike flock to High Park, especially during the fall and spring seasons when autumn leaves and cherry blossoms take over the park. During these times, it’s not uncommon for the park to be more crowded than usual, with everyone wanting a perfect shot amongst the trees, but there’s also a community aspect to High Park that makes it one of the most popular and can’t-miss destinations in Toronto.
One of the best places to visit in Toronto, the Harbourfront is often where cultural festivals and exciting community events take place. From the Nordic Lights every winter to summer’s TAIWANfest to interesting and unique art exhibitions. Aside from that, the boardwalk at the Harbourfront is one of the best spots for a stroll where you can take in the skyline and Lake Ontario.
One of the coolest most eclectic neighborhoods in Toronto is Kensington Market, a can’t-miss place to visit when in the city. The neighborhood is one of Toronto’s most diverse, with mom-and-pop shops and restaurants (no chains here) and an emphasis on art. On the last Sunday of the month from May to November, you can enjoy Pedestrian Sundays where the roads are closed off to cars and pedestrians can walk the blocks to do some shopping and eating.
The Hockey Hall of Fame puts a spotlight on Canada’s most-renowned sport and is one of the key places to see in Toronto. One of their exhibits is the biggest collection of hockey memorabilia in the world and another is an interactive exhibit that lets kids go head-to-head with life-sized animated versions of today’s greatest goalies and shooters. GA tickets costs $25 CAD.
16. Take in the views at this enchanting castle
One of Toronto’s most enchanting attractions, Casa Loma is open daily with cultural events tailored to the season. During the summers, there are a multitude of outdoor concerts like ‘Symphony in the Gardens’ and ‘Soul in the City.’ Halloween sees the interactive theatre performance, ‘Legends of Horror,’ and Christmas brings ‘Christmas at the Castle’ filled with dazzling lights.
Looking for things to do in Toronto year-round? We recommend Allan Gardens Conservatory, a gorgeous indoor botanical garden with five different greenhouses offering different types of plants and flowers. The conservatory also offers seasonal flower shows you can’t see anywhere else and a koi pond.
There’s nothing more relaxing, in our opinion, than an Aquarium and the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is located in Toronto. From permanent exhibits to special shows like Sharks After Dark and Friday Night Jazz, there’s something for everyone here. Dive shows, educational programs, and more await you at the aquarium.
19. Get your thrills on at this exciting amusement park
Canada’s Wonderland is one of the most exciting things to do in Toronto, with year-round festivities, thrilling rides, and fun performances. During the holidays, Canada’s Wonderland turns into a Halloween Haunt and WinterFest, a winter wonderland suited for all ages. Every other time of the year, the amusement park offers daring rides for thrill-seekers and family-friendly zones. The 2024 gold season pass which includes Halloween Haunt and WinterFest is only $110, and a great deal.
20. Watch a film at TIFF Bell Lightbox
One of the most popular cinemas in Toronto is TIFF Bell Lightbox, a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to highlighting the best of international and Canadian cinema. They’ve always got an exciting program of films to choose from, so head to their calendar to learn more about their curated selection.
21. Close out summer at The Ex
The Canadian National Exhibit, or The Ex, is one of the most exciting events to hit the city. A huge fairgrounds full of carnival games, thrilling rides, and over-the-top carnival food brings visitors and tourists alike to the event that closes out summer from August 16 to September 2nd.