Top Attractions in Downtown Toronto
Toronto Scenic Tours
The CN Tower is a National icon, engineering Wonder, a Toronto must-see attraction and award winning dining and entertainment destination. Rocket to the top aboard the Tower’s glass fronted and glass floor paneled elevators, which take you to the top in only 58 seconds. Take in spectacular views of up to 160km (100 miles) away from four observation areas on three levels, including the Lookout, world famous Glass Floor with outdoors Sky Terrace and the Sky Pod, the highest of them all. Experience the thrill of Edge Walk at the CN Tower, the World’s Highest Outdoor Walk on a Building. Go up for a climb up the tower or go for an exciting edge walk if you dare, new in 2016. At 553 meter (1,815 feet) in height, the CN Tower was technically the world’s tallest building in the world (if you include communications towers and not just habitable space) from its completion in 1976 until 2009. Enjoy award-winning Canadian cuisine and breathtaking revolving views at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower, family friendly fare at Horizons Toronto celebrating the multicultural flavours of Toronto neighborhoods, or grab and go fare from Le Café. Plus, visual displays, Kid Zone play area and 8,000 square feet of unique Canadian artisan and souvenir shopping in the Gift Shop. Don’t miss the architectural illumination of the CN Tower each night from dusk with top of the hour light show.
General Admission: $36+HST
St. Lawrence Market
Spacious market with 100+ vendors, bakers, butchers & artisans, with produce & antiques on weekends. There is no entrance fee for the St. Lawrence Market. The only cost associated with this are the goods purchased at the vendors.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Explore the Waters of the World at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto at the base of the CN Tower, the aquarium is Toronto’s newest must-see attraction for tourists and locals of all ages.
Distillery Historic District
The Distillery District is an internationally acclaimed village of brick-lined streets and dozens of vibrantly restored Victorian Industrial buildings. It’s one of Ontario’s hottest tourist attractions and home to live theatres, galleries, fashion, design and jewelry boutiques, unique cafes and award-winning restaurants. It’s all completely closed to traffic and just a few minutes walk from downtown Toronto. There is no entrance fee for the Distillery Historic District. The only cost associated with this are the goods purchased at the different stores.
Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is among the world’s leading museums of natural history and world cultures. In combining a universal museum of cultures with that of natural history, the ROM offers an unusual breadth of experience to our audiences from around the world. We realize more acutely now that nature and humanity are intertwined, and the ROM offers many examples in its collections and programs of these fundamental relationships.
General Admission Ticket for Adults: $17.00+HST
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
The eighth-largest art museum in North America presents an awe-inspiring collection: more than 36,000 works representing 1,000 years of extraordinary art.
Gallery Admission Ticket is $21.50 (HST included)
Hockey Hall of Fame
Honor the achievements of some of the greatest stars in hockey at this shrine to Canada’s national sport.
General Admission: $18.00 (CAN)
The central hub of downtown, Yonge-Dundas Square is located directly across from the Eaton Centre and aims to attract both tourists and residents alike to celebrate Toronto. The square hosts community celebrations, theatrical events, promotions, and concerts. When not used for special events, the square becomes an urban plaza, an open space for the public to enjoy. Weather-permitting, the fountains will be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Buskers entertain on the square while visitors enjoy the cafe style seating. The only cost associated with this are the goods purchased at the different stores.
Toronto Eaton Centre
The Largest Chinese Indoor Mall in North America. Pacific Mall is an Asian shopping centre in Markham, Ontario, Canada. It is located on the northeast side of Steeles Avenue and Kennedy Road, right across the municipal border from the city of Toronto.
The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s premier zoo known for its interactive education and conservation activities. As a unique wildlife experience, we inspire people. The Zoo has over 5,000 animals representing over 500 species. At the Toronto Zoo we are dedicated to providing the animals in our care with the means to live long and enriching lives. Visitors may come across animal feedings (which could include the feeding of prey items), breeding activities or other natural behaviours when visiting the Zoo. Walking Trails: There are over 10 km (six miles) of walking trails. This is in the northeast section of Toronto.
General Admission: $23
Bata Shoes Museum
Discover the treasures of North America’s charming and surprising shoe museum. Located in Toronto, Canada, the BSM has over a thousand shoes and related artefacts (from a collection numbering over 13,000) in architect Raymond Moriyama’s award-winning five-floor structure. The BSM celebrates the style and function of footwear in four impressive galleries. Footwear on display ranges from Chinese bound foot shoes and ancient Egyptian sandals to chestnut-crushing clogs and glamorous platforms.
New in Toronto: Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre
Dazzlingly white and playfully angular, the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre complex showcases the intellectual, artistic and scientific accomplishments of the Islamic world. Pulling double duty, this $300-million project underscores Toronto’s multicultural reputation and the namesake benefactor’s pluralist agenda. Among the more than one thousand pieces, highlights include 16th-century paintings from the Persian Book of Kings and the earliest surviving manuscript of Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine. For masterpieces of a culinary nature, check out the on-site Diwan Restaurant, with its slick and subdued décor and ambitious menu paying homage to Turkey, Iran, North Africa, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
Location: 77 Wynford Dr. Toronto
City Sightseeing Toronto
Hop On Hop Off City Tours Enjoy the fun and informative commentary from live guides and take in the city sights as you relax aboard our classic British double-deckers. There are more than 20 official stops for you to choose from and your bus ticket is valid for multiple days, allowing you to explore Toronto at your own pace.
Other interesting events
1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling
Every Friday night since 1978, storytellers and listeners have been gathering in downtown Toronto for an open evening of oral stories. Each Friday night is unique, and everyone is welcome to come and listen, come and tell. On these nights, we come as listeners and as tellers: we may ramble on, recite, relate, recount, retell, or recollect; however, we may never, ever read. You might hear traditional tales, stories of personal experience, literary stories, original stories, ballads, or episodes from history, all told through the human voice. Time: 8:00 p.m. sharp to 10:00 p.m. more or less (doors open around 7:30 p.m.) Don’t be late – we get started promptly! Cost: $5.00| Location: Innis College Café 2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto (Corner of Sussex and St. George, one block south of Bloor) By subway, go to the St. George station, use the St. George exit, and walk south one block along the west side of St. George.| By bus, take the Wellesley bus to St. George, and walk one block north along the west side of St. George.
Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman (AKA “DaBu”) started Choir! Choir! Choir! as a weekly drop-in singing event in February 2011. Equal parts singing, comedy, and community-building, the night unfolds like a dream: you get a lyric sheet at the door, DaBu teach you the vocal arrangement, and a video is recorded. Everyone has a ball and goes home feeling great! Now happening twice weekly at Clinton’s Tavern in Toronto and touring internationally, C!C!C! boasts a dedicated and passionate membership of inspired singers from in-and-around Toronto, Canada. They have performed in holes, on hills, and on big stages at the Polaris Music Prize Gala, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Massey Hall, The Juno Awards, Art Gallery of Ontario, Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Luminato Festival and at TEDx Toronto. And they’ve included guest singers such as Rufus Wainwright, Tegan and Sara, Patti Smith, Bruce Cockburn, Kathleen Edwards, Colin Hay (Men At Work), Joel Plaskett, Sarah Harmer, and Chris Murphy (Sloan). Just drop in and sing.
Location: Clinton Tavern, 693 Bloor St W, Toronto (Bloor and Christie)
Time: almost every Tuesday and Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. more or less
Hot Docs Festival
Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, offers an outstanding selection of over 200 films from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences of more than 200,000. The 2018 Hot Docs Festival will run April 26 to May 6.
The Sony Centre
Toronto’s first performing arts centre and one of the largest theatres in Canada, has played a defining role in the cultural life of Toronto for more than 50 years. Today, the Sony Centre’s mission is to unite the global citizens of Toronto through great artistic experiences. The Sony Centre presents year-round programming including concerts, musical theatre, gala and fundraisers, family entertainment, comedy, and dance. The Sony Centre has also recently introduced community classes ranging from yoga classes to art lessons. It is truly where the world comes to play!
Ed Mirvish Theatre
The Ed Mirvish Theatre began its life in 1920 as a combination vaudeville and motion picture theatre in the Pantages theatre circuit. With its original 3373 seats, it was the largest cinema in Canada and, with its lavish interior – designed by the great theatre architect Thomas Lamb – the most elegant.
C’est What is Toronto’s cultural ambassador offering a diverse menu of comfort food made from scratch with real honest ingredients alongside an unsurpassed selection of local craft beer, wine, and original music. We are Toronto’s “local”. C’est What is located in the cellar of a historic 19th century building in the St. Lawrence Market area. Casual, warm, and inviting, our Old Town charm appeals to Bohemians and Bay St. bankers alike.
This perennial favorite is a modern-day speakeasy. The cramped space — it seats only 100 — is below street level, yet feels intimate rather than claustrophobic. Live jazz, whether Dixieland, New Orleans, or swing, belts out 6 nights a week. The epicenter for the swing dance craze in Toronto, this is still the place to watch glam hepcats groove.
Toronto is home for the Maple Leafs-Hockey, Blue Jays-Baseball, Raptors- Basketball
Rogers Centre Tour Experience is the best way to appreciate the wonders of the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Team. Find out about past and upcoming events and learn how the stadium can change configurations from baseball to event modes. Rogers Centre Tour Experience is a one- hour fully guided behind-the-scenes tour. Highlights include a visit to different levels, a press box and a luxury suite among other stops.
Tourist Attractions Near Toronto
You can easily visit Niagara Falls from Toronto as a day trip, or stay longer and explore all that the Niagara Region has to offer. Niagara Falls is approximately 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Toronto, an average drive of 1½ hour without traffic delays.
- The Falls at Niagara are about 12,000 years old
- Falls were formed when melting glaciers formed massive fresh-water lakes (the Great Lakes) one of which (Lake Erie) ran downhill toward another (Lake Ontario). The rushing waters carved out a river in their descent and at one point passed over a steep cliff like formation (the Niagara escarpment). From the original falls going over the Niagara Escarpment, the water began to wear its way back up the river. The path that it left is known today as the Niagara Gorge (a deeply-cut and very scenic river path).
- Currently, Niagara Falls wears its way back another approximately 1 foot/year.
- The Niagara River flows at approximately 35 miles/hour (56.3 kilometers/hour).
- There are actually two waterfalls in Niagara, the American Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
- It is the combination of height and water flow that makes Niagara Falls so beautiful.
- The Horseshoe Falls are 180 feet (57 meters) high and allow 6 million cubic feet (168,000 cubic meters) of water over the crestline every minute during peak daytime tourist hours (that is about a million bathtubs full of water every minute!).
- Man-made attractions of Niagara Falls include Maid of the Mist, Table Rock Scenic Tunnels, Spanish Aero Car, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, Marineland, Casino Niagara, IMAX Theatre, and the new Butterfly Conservatory.
- Niagara Falls was an area early settled and vigorously active in Canada’s formative years.
- In 1960, Roger Woodward was the boy who had survived a descent over the Falls after a boating accident above the Falls.
- Hydro Electricity generated in Niagara Falls at the Sir Adam Beck 1 and Sir Adam Beck 2 power stations from redirected waterflow serves the electrical needs of Southern Ontario and Western New York.
- Niagara Falls’ night time illumination makes a visitation to Niagara a spectacular event at all times of the day.
- Ice bridges form below the Falls when ice floes travel over the edge and collect at the base of the Falls.
Niagara on the Lake
Plan to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake? Many tourists do because Niagara-on-the-Lake is often described as the prettiest town in Ontario. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a well-preserved 19th-century village; it is the heart of Ontario’s wine region. Niagara on the Lake is home to the world-class theatre the “Shaw Festival” and many historical sites. Only a few minutes from Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint location to get that true authentic ‘Niagara’ feel.