from food markets to street art and more things to do in toronto!
Are you going to Toronto for the first time? Naturally you’ll want to stop by all the highlights of your bucketlist. If you’re going to Toronto for a city trip, perhaps as a starting station of a round trip through Canada, you can easily spend three full days here. Toronto has so many nice districts that each have their own character and you can spend a week here just by visiting all the good restaurants. Of course Toronto also has a touristic centre, that you’d probably rather avoid. That’s why I’ve lined up the best things to do in Toronto in this blog for you. Enjoy!
13 X fun to do in Toronto
Eat poutine: We eat fries after clubbing as junkfood and the Canadians eat Poutine. Fries with cheese curd and gravy. Not very light on the stomach, but it’s a perfect greasy snack after a night of craft beer and cocktails. Across the entire town you’ll find several Poutine places that have their selection of toppings nowadays, like Korean BBQ or Mexican Style. For the best Poutine you’d have to go to Poutini’s House of Poutine on Queen West Street close to the Drake Hotel.
Hop from district to district: Toronto really is the ‘city of neighbourhoods’! Every area feels like a small town on its own and you can easily stroll around for a (part of the) day in one district. My favourite neighbourhoods that I’ve explored so far are: Parkdale, Queen Street West, Little Portugal and Kensington Market. Here you can find lots of nice restaurants and it’s good for shopping too. From vintage to concept stores!
Visit Niagara Falls: To be completely honest.. I found the Niagara Falls so touristic that the beauty of it kind of went past me. They’ve built some sort of Las Vegas around the waterfalls which makes it not very idyllic to say the least. But… It’s still an impressive sight with the enormous amounts of water falling down. I’m happy to have seen it with my own eyes, but it’s typically one of those things that you want to see once and not more if you ask me! So make sure to consider if this is one of the things that you want to do in Toronto.
The Distillery District: In Toronto you can find old factories at several places that now serve as creative spaces. Like The Distillery District, that made me think of the Westergasterrein in Amsterdam or for example the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town. An area with several restaurants and stores! Very nice to go to when the weather’s sunny.
Graffiti Alley and street art: It’s no Bushwick like in New York, but if you’re into street art you have several spots in Toronto that you’ll definitely want to visit. One of those is Graffiti Alley, around the corner from Kensington Market and Chinatown. A long alley where you can view several beautiful (and not so beautiful) pieces and murals. Once a year this long alley is provided with new murals and that’s why this is always fun to do when in Toronto, even when you’ve been there before. A popular spot to shoot pictures! Besides this alley you can find several murals around the corner of Queen Street and Ossington.
CN Tower: The iconic tower that makes the skyline of Toronto so recognizable is the CN Tower. It’s over 550 meters high and you can probably imagine that the view you have from there of Toronto and the surroundings is breathtaking!
View of the skyline: Speaking of the skyline. What’s probably even more beautiful than the view from the tower is the view of the skyline from Toronto with the tower. Definitely visit spots like Polson Pier or Riverdale Park for this view! Very fun to do in Toronto during your city trip.
St. Lawrance Market: Have a thing for indoor foodmarkets? In that case you’ll want to stroll around on the St. Lawrance Market. You’ll find a farmers market here, but also regular food stalls where you can grab a lunch or a snack for a picnic in the park.
Bata Shoe Museum: Amsterdam has a museum of purses, well Toronto has a museum of shoes for the fashion lovers among us. If you want to do and see something other than the usual suspects this lesser known museum is a nice change. You can find lots of things there, from ancient sandals from Egypt to high heels owned by celebrities!
Toronto Islands: Unfortunately I couldn’t visit the Toronto Islands during my trip because they were closed due to flooding, but my friend David who lives in Toronto told me all about it. You can take the ferry to the Toronto Islands (where there aren’t any vehicles) several times a day and it sounds like a nice thing to do if it’s sunny! The view of the skyline is also very nice from the Toronto Islands by the way.
Sugar Beach: Speaking of sunny weather… YESSSSS Toronto also has a city beach. Sugar Beach is an old parking lot on an industrial ground that has been transformed into a beach. With imported sand, parasols, tanning beds and a beach club!
Evergreen Brick Works Farmers Market: On Saturday the farmers and food market at Evergreen Brick Works is definitely a recommendation. It used to be a factory where bricks were made, now you can visit a farmers market here every weekend. They sell ‘local produce’ fresh from the country, but for tourists the food stands are of course way more interesting. Nice to visit for brunch on Saturday. From downtoen Toronto it’s approximately a 10-15 minute drive. Lots of the food stalls serve vegetarian and often even vegan food!
Royal Ontario Museum: The building alone is a sight for soar eyes. If you love art or if the weather is extremely bad than the Royal Ontario Museum is warm and dry. The expositions are very broad and the best thing to do is to check the website beforehand to see what’s there to do at the moment you’re in Toronto.
Have fun with the tips from this blog. Toronto is an amazing city and between all these tips you can enjoy a nice meal at one of the restaurants from our Toronto Travel Guide!
Toronto Travel Tips
>> THIS IS HOW YOU GET THERE: Jet Airways offers daily flights from Amsterdam to Toronto from € 402,-. You’re there in a little over 8 hours! During my last trip I flew in their Première Class and the food was honestly so good. Absolutely recommended if you love Indian food like me!
>> THIS IS WHERE YOU’LL STAY: Toronto has several nice districts where you can stay, but if you’re more into the trendy areas the neighbourhood around Queen Street West and Ossington Ave are recommended.
– Drake Hotel: without a doubt the most trendy hotel in Toronto. With a mere 19 rooms and an amazing rooftop bar where you can have a drink after a day in the city.
Shangri-La: if the budget isn’t an issue then staying in the Shangri-La can’t go wrong. Even if it’s only because they have a Momofuku restaurant here!
PSSSST…. did you know we have a lot more city guides?