Get under the skin of Toronto and find out what makes it tick with an unforgettable trip to this Canadian gem. Experience the neighbourhoods, culture, and fascinating attractions that bring Toronto to life with the help of this handy guide. All bases are covered with the 8 best things to do on a first time visit to Toronto.
Don't just gaze in wonder at Toronto's most famous landmark, get some unbeatable views of the city and beyond as well. Even a trip in the elevator is an experience, as you speed up the tower to the glass fronted LookOut in just 58 seconds. Enjoy some spectacular photo ops at the Sky Pod, one of the highest observation platforms in the world. On a good day you can experience some unique views extending as far as Niagara Falls, before ending your 360 degree experience with a Canadian meal in the revolving restaurant. The CN Tower is a short walk from Union Station Subway.
Journey back to Edwardian times with a trip to the only full sized castle in North America, found in Austin Terrace. Daily opening hours with a multimedia audio guide included in admission ensures you will make the most of a visit to this elegant attraction. Enjoy a stroll through secret passage ways, formal rooms, stables and carriage houses, find out more about the history of Toronto in an underground exhibit, and take in the beautiful landscaped gardens with fountains and flower displays.
If there was a place just to walk around and soak up the atmosphere, then the Distillery District would be it. It all started with the dream of restoring Victorian distillery buildings to create something unique, and since 2003 the area has been delighting visitors with its blend of one-off stores, galleries, restaurants and creative businesses. Excite your senses with their yearly events programme which includes live music from emerging Canadian artists, art exhibits, and a weekly market.
Experience the laid-back vintage vibe of this popular neighbourhood. The Beaches is just 20 minutes east of downtown and has an inviting sandy beach on the shore of Lake Ontario. Unwind in the shady parks or stroll along the boardwalk – you could even challenge friends or family to a game of beach volleyball. It's always good to soak up the atmosphere of a new city, and first timers will also enjoy Queen Street East with its trendy dining, nightlife and antique stores. Check out a craft show or concert in Kew Gardens, or pick up some mementos of your trip at one of the quirky stores.
Celebrate the best of Canada at the Walk Of Fame! You can find the famous stars in downtown Toronto along King Street West and Simcoe Street. Check out the map and list of inductees to see which well-known names you recognise, then go out and explore. See if you can spot stars dedicated to Michael Bublé, Louis B Mayer, Celine Dion, Cirque du Soleil, and the Royal Canadian Air Force. If you're lucky you may catch one of the Walk Of Fame special events, celebrating all things Canadian.
Best described as a living museum, this outdoor space will transport all the family back to mid-19th century rural Ontario. The restored period buildings, crafts, people, and interpreters offer an authentic recreation of pioneer life, and as this is a working village, there are plenty of opportunities to see people at work, and join in with hands-on demonstrations. The site features a church, blacksmiths, school, fire house, cider mill, along with rare and heritage breed farm animals.
If you're a first time visitor to Toronto and short on time, a tour can help you save it, and help you make the most of your trip by seeing as much of this beautiful city as possible. Set sail with Mariposa for a sightseeing cruise around Toronto's harbours and grab your camera as you are treated to amazing views of the CN Tower, Toronto Island Parkland, and the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. This is a must-do experience that also comes with a state-of-the-art GPS triggered audio tour for fully interactive sailing. Boats leave from Pier 6, 207 Queens Quay West.
Feeling energetic but want to stay on dry land? Then how about a sightseeing tour by bike. All ages can enjoy exploring the different neighbourhoods, parkland, and iconic sites, along with some places that visitors may not normally see. Tours are available with expert guides' year-round, and include the Downtown and Lower Midtown districts, along with an exciting Island Twilight Tour. Make some memories on two wheels.