18 of the best things to do in Toronto

Found on the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with half of its population born outside Canada. Canada’s largest city and the fourth largest in North America, Toronto's size, diversity and amiability make it one of the most visited on the continent, with more than 8,000 restaurants and bars and a strong cultural life.

By Kieran Meeke

Published 4 May 2024

Toronto’s largest green space is as big as New York’s central Park and has its own mini zoo, with llamas, buffalo and bison among other animals. The Grenadier Pond has lakeside trails popular with walkers and hikers.

Must-do: See the “Sakura” cherry blossom trees in full bloom during spring.

AGO holds more than 80,000 works behind a striking facade designed by Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry.

As well as the world’s largest collection of Canadian art, its large international selection has masterpieces from Rembrandt and Gainsborough to Rothko and Dalí. Its collection of historic ship models is also unique.

Originally called the SkyDome after its all-weather retractable roof (the first of its kind in the world), this multi-purpose stadium is home to the Toronto Blue Jays who play Major League Baseball in the American League East.

As well as baseball games, many events are held here, from car shows to concerts.

Must-do: Catch a baseball game – an eating and drinking experience as much as anything else – among the 49,000 home crowd.

This massive indoor food market is in an historic building that throngs with artisan bakers, butchers, cheesemakers and other suppliers. At weekends, you can also find antiques and a farmer’s market.

The tallest freestanding structure in the world when it opened in 1976, this is still (just) among the world’s ten tallest. The views from the top are striking and can be enjoyed from the revolving restaurant.

Must-do: Test your nerves by standing on the glass floor.

More properly Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto’s neon-lined answer to Piccadilly Circus or Times Square hosts concerts, movies and other free events throughout the year.

The Kensington neighbourhood is one of Toronto’s most multicultural, a fact reflected in its eclectic shops which may remind UK visitors of Notting Hill or Camden.

You can find everything from fresh local fruit and exotic veg to Africa art and Peruvian clothing. Bellevue Square Park also hosts concerts and mini-festivals during the warmer months.

Once the home of Gooderham and Worts, the largest distillers in Canada, this pedestrian-friendly area of cobbled streets and heritage warehouses is now filled with smart apartments, chic coffee shops, trendy restaurants, a microbrewery, galleries and quirky shops. Here you'll find the largest of collection of Victorian industrial architecture in North America.

This chain of small islands in Lake Ontario is home to the largest urban car-free community in North America. It’s a summer playground for the city, with a beach, four yacht clubs, cycle paths and numerous sports facilities.

This museum dedicated to ice hockey will either convince you that it is the world’s greatest sport, or at the very least help you understand why so many Canadians think it is.

Exhibits include lots of jerseys but also a replica of the Montreal Canadien’s dressing room and the real Stanley Cup.

This former family home is now a museum dedicated to life in the 1920s and 1930s, with a six-acre garden from the earlier Edwardian era.

These interwar years were an important time in the history of Toronto and the house reflects the changes undergoing both the country and the world at large.

For a night out, Torontonians love to head to one of the many rooftop terraces that give a view of their city. With more than 8,000 pubs and restaurants, and locals eating out an average three times a week, a patio is a great selling point.

Held over ten days in late June/early July, this festival fills venues throughout the Downtown area with the best of local and international jazz. Headliners have included Wynton Marsalis and the Chick Corea Trio.

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival, previousy named Caribana, is North America’s largest street festival, running for three weeks of events and attracting more than a million spectators to its final carnival parade.

Led through along Toronto’s Lake Shore Boulevard by Calypso, Soca and Steelpan bands, and deny of dancers, it’s a taste of Caribbean sunshine every July.

More than a million visitors attend CNE every August that includes the three-day Canadian International Air Show.

What began as an agricultural show now encompasses a fairground, concerts, waterski and skating displays, and much more.

Food is a major attraction, with new temptations created every year to add to such traditions as Beaver Tails, Corn Dogs, Funnel Cakes and Tiny Tom Donuts.

More than 200 restaurants offer a Prix Fixe menu during this two-week festival of food and drink. It’s normally held in late January/early February.

Summerlicious, a companion event, runs at the start of July.

Everyone is welcome at this showcase of dance, music, food, storytelling and many other aspects of First Nations and other indigenous cultures. Held in June, the event coincides with Canada's National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Every November, the largest indoor agricultural and international equestrian competition in the world brings everything from showjumping to rodeo to Toronto’s Exhibition Place.

Food and drink is also an attraction, with events such as the Craft beer competition. And, like any good agricultural show, it features competitions such as giant vegetables and dog shows.


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