As the largest city in Canada, Toronto sees millions of visitors a year. If you only have a limited time to visit Toronto, it’s important to know where to go and what to see, in order to make the most of your time here. Toronto is a vast city, but the best places to see are mostly confined to the southern part of the city. Staying somewhere downtown or close to downtown, on the subway line, will make getting to all the different attractions much easier.
Anyone who isn’t native to Toronto likely hasn’t heard of the Scarborough Bluffs. It is an escarpment that rises as high as 90 meters and stretches 15 kms long, along the eastern portion of the waterfront. You can take a walk along Bluffers Park, where you can take in the view of the Bluffs above and visit the beach which is surrounded by the Bluffs above on one side and a beautiful natural landscape on the other side. I’ve seen people swim here before, but I would not recommend swimming anywhere along the Toronto waterfront, as the sewer system runs into the lake (unless you want to grow a third arm). It is also worth visiting the top of the Bluffs, where you can take in the view of the lake below. There are trails all over the Bluffs that you can follow and explore all the beauty it has to offer. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be familiar with the bluffs, as it is one of my favorite place to shoot in Toronto.
Toronto Harbourfront Centre
The Harbourfront is a wonderful path along the lakefront. It is great place downtown to have a drink or grab a bite to eat. You can take in the view of the lake, get some fresh air as the refreshing wind come up from the lake and you can see the Toronto island. If you’re not looking to eat or sit down, there’s a long walkway all along the edge of the lake where you can take a relaxing walk.
Just west of downtown Toronto you’ll find High Park. It is a beautiful 400 acre large Park, with hiking trails, a small zoo and even a swimming pool and some sports facilities. There are many ponds, which create a stunning landscape. It is a calming oasis just minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown life. It is especially beautiful in the spring, when the famous Cherry Blossoms are blooming and in the fall when the leaves are changing colors.
Casa Loma is a beautiful Edwardian Era castle. It is the only landmark Castle in North America and has even been featured in a few movies. Here you can explore the countless wonderfully furnished rooms, and enjoy a walk around the lovely gardens. There are even hidden tunnels and passages to explore.
You cannot visit Toronto and not visit the Toronto Island. It is a natural paradise just a quick ferry ride from downtown Toronto. Here you can see the spectacular Toronto skyline and enjoy a relaxing walk exploring all the island has to offer. If it is warm out you can even lay on the beach and work on your tan. If you have kids, they will love Center Island, which has a variety of rides and attractions for kids and even adults to enjoy.
Lastly, is the famous CN Tower. What used to be the tallest freestanding structure in the world at 553 meters high, before the Burj Kalifa was built (thank you for taking that from us Dubai), is the most visited attraction in Toronto. It is incredible to take in the view of the city and the lake from up above. If you’re looking for a thrill, you can also do the seasonal EdgeWalk, which will give you the opportunity to walk along the perimeter of the roof of the CN Tower. It is certainly not for the faint of heart, and I can say that I have not, nor will I ever be doing the Edge Walk. Possibly falling 100s of meters to my death is not the kind of thrill I’m seeking.
Toronto has something to offer no matter what your interests are. If you have more than a few days, also worth visiting are the Royal Ontario Museum and Science Center. Take a look at getting a Toronto City Pass, which gives you access to 5 different attractions for only $76 CAN plus 13% tax, saving you 40% off single admission. I would however, only recommend getting a City Pass if you plan on visiting at least 2 or 3 of the attractions, otherwise it is cheaper to get single admission.
If you’ve been to Toronto, what was your favorite thing to do?
by Dawn Lioutas