this is our ultimate Toronto Travel Guide with all you need to know
If you like New York City, make sure to put a city trip to Toronto on your bucket list. I’ve recently spent a week in this amazing Canadian city and there’s so much to discover that I easily could’ve stayed for another week. Foodies like mecan indulge theirselves here in Toronto, because there are lots of great and unique restaurants where you can enjoy yourself for hours. The best thing about Toronto in my opinion is that it’s a city with lots of smaller districts that all feel like a village on its own once you get to know them.
Toronto is an immensely huge city. That’s why I’m sharing a couple of streets and districts you wouldn’t want to miss when you’re in the city in this Toronto Travel Guide. If you’re going to visit these hotspots you’ll come across lots of nice cafés and stores! The skyline of Toronto is very recognizable with the CN Tower and from the parks and islands you have an amazing view of it. In this Toronto Travel Guide you’ll read all you need to know for your city trip to this fun Canadian city. From the best hotels to the best things to do there, from shopping to restaurants.
this is how you get a direct flight to toronto
Did you know that Jet Always offers direct flights every day from Amsterdam to Toronto? Starting from €402, you can book an economy class return ticket to Toronto (all inclusive). It the my first time flying with Jet Airways and together we made a video in Toronto that you can view above. In the video I tell all about Your Little Black Book and my findings in the new cities that I’ve visited for work.
Personally I’m a huge fan of the Indian kitchen and on board at Jet Airways they serve delicious Indian and international dishes. In a little over 8 hours you fly directly from Amsterdam to Toronto Pearson International Airport. From the airport it takes about half an hour by taxi to get to the trendy district West Queen West! Where you’d love you stay? You’ll read all about it in the next paragraph.
3 x the beste hotel in Toronto
– 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!
13 x fun to do in Toronto
Curious as to what you can do in Toronto? Because Toronto is a giant city the daily life is taking place in all the different districts. You can easily explore a different area every morning and every afternoon, stroll around or do a bike tour there. In Toronto you’ll also find lots of street art and Graffiti Alley is a real attraction nowadays. What are the other things you’ll definitely don’t want to miss out on?
Eating Poutine: In Amsterdam we go score some fries or döner kebab after clubbing, but in Toronto you eat poutine after a night full of cocktails. Fries with cheese curd and gravy. Not exactly light on the stomach, but it’s a perfect greasy snack after a night full of craft beers and cocktails.
Hop from district to district: I’ve mentioned it before, but Toronto honestly is ‘the city of neighbourhoods’! Every district is like a village on its own and the ones that I’ve explored until now are Parkdale, Queen Street West, Little Portugal and Kensington Market. Here you can find lots of nice restaurants and it’s great for some shopping. From vintage to concept stores!
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!
7 x TIPS FOR SHOPPING in Toronto
Who’s in the mood for shopping came to the right place in Toronto. In the more trendy neighbourhoods you can find lots of fun small boutiques with unique items. But also if you’re more in the mood for larger retailers you can find everything you’re looking for in Toronto. On Queen West Street you’ll find brand stores of all the well-known brands between Bathurst Street and University Ave. Make sure to not skip Queen Street West (at the height of the Drake Hotel), Dunas Street and Ossington Street. These are without a doubt the most trendy streets of Toronto and you’ll find lots of boutiques that also sell items from local designers.
TDM: In the giant hall that says TDM in capital letters you can find several small designers under one roof. It stands for Torondo Designer Market and it’s kind of an indoor market with fixed stands where they sell all sorts of things by local designers. From vintage to locally made beauty products and art. Very fun to look around when you’re in the Parkdale neighbourhood!
1605 Queen St W, Toronto, Canada – torontodesignersmarket.com
Saudade: When you’re strolling around on Dundas Street West you’ll notice that it’s also known as Little Portugal. And that’s why they only sell items originating from Portugal in the concept store Saudade. I must say all the cute items they sell here made me so greedy. From mugs, plates and more tableware to soaps, postcards and leather bags.
1191 Dundas St W, Toronto, Canada – saudadetoronto.com
1233 Queen St W, Toronto, Canada – crownflorastudio.com
3 x coffee hotspots in Toronto
There are so many great coffee places in Toronto that it’s impossible to name them all. Personally I’m a huge iced latte lover and they sell this in almost all the coffee bars in the city. A couple of addresses to remember?
Jimmy’s: this coffee bar is without a doubt the most trendy one of coffee chains in the city. Every nice neighbourhood has its own location! I personally like the one in Kensington Market en Queen West the most.
Capital Espresso: In the Parkdale district Capital Espresso is the place to be for the best coffee. Don’t expect a lot of tourists here, but only locals who sit here with their laptop, newspaper or just having a good conversation with one another!
Dineen Coffee Co.: A beautiful, large coffee place in the centre of the city where you can drink your coffee on their sunny terrace! If the weather allows it that is ;-).
17 X nicest restaurants in Toronto
La Banane: When I was in Toronto I discovered that La Banane had only been open for a couple of months. You can find this hotspot at the crossing of Dundas at the end of Ossington Avenue. A very trendy street, where you can solely find nice places. The menu at La Banane is French and it’s the right place to go for au fruits de mer, steak tartare and more French dishes with a Canadian twist. You can recognize it by banana-yellow door!
227 Ossington Ave, Toronto, Canada – labanane.ca
Bar Raval: If you ask me, Spanish gastro bars never gets too old to have a bite and a drink. Especially when it comes to a restaurant like Bar Raval in Toronto. They’re open from brunch till late in the evening and at the end of afternoon the bar is full with pinchos and you can order the tastiest Spanish tapas to share.
505 College St, Toronto, Canada – thisisbarraval.com
El Rey Mezcal Bar: In the Kensington Market district you’ll find restaurants from all over the world. One of the newest hotspots for drinks and bites is El Ray on Kensington Avenue. Delicious tostadas and quesadillas with a craft beer or cocktail, preferably with mezcal!
2a Kensington Ave, Toronto, Canada – elreybar.com
3 x the best neighbourhoods of toronto
For the best neighbourhoods in Toronto I’ve made seperate neighbourhood guides so you have all the hotspots you don’t want to miss in one overview. Make sure to put the hotspots in you Google Maps before you go into town and download the map via ‘OK MAPS’ on your phone in order to easily navigate yourself from hotspot to hotspot without an extensive search. Click on the buttons below to go to the hotspot guides for Parkdale, Kensington Market and West Queen West & Trinity Bellwoods. Veel plezier!
good to know if you’re going to toronto
Sometimes there are those things you just have to know wheb you’re going to a new destination for the first time. During my trip to Toronto I’ve put up a list with 21 facts and tips that can be very handy.
Have fun if you’re visiting Toronto anytime soon! I hope the tips from this guide will be very useful.
Anne de Buck