Toronto has all the trendy spots to shop, eat, and play you’d expect from a big city, with the added bonus of walkability—many major attractions are within an easy stroll of each other. But where this city really shines is its spectacular waterfront, which stretches for 30 miles along the northwestern shores of Lake Ontario.
On the Waterfront
- Toronto Island Park: Hop a ferry to reach this cluster of small islands with scenic picnic spots and an amusement park with an antique carousel.
- Toronto Music Garden is a peaceful waterfront spot designed (with input from cellist Yo-Yo Ma) to interpret the music of Bach via landscaped installations, a winding river, and giant grass steps.
- Waterfront Trail: All told, it stretches more than 850 miles from Detroit to Quebec. The Toronto portion boasts paved, off-road stretches that are perfect for pedestrians, cyclists, and rollerbladers.
What to See Downtown
- CN Tower: At 1,815 feet, the CN Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the western hemisphere. Thrillseekers can up the ante on the EdgeWalk, a circular, hands-free lookout that’s 116 stories above the sidewalk.
- Kensington Market: This bohemian village just south of downtown abounds with vintage shops and organic markets. It borders Chinatown, which is also worth a visit.
- St. Lawrence Market: Assemble the ingredients of a gourmet picnic lunch from a selection of artisanal food vendors. National Geographic recently ranked it the best market in the world.
Top Cultural Attractions
Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, a quality on full display in the city’s museums, theatrical offerings, and public sculptures, including a tribute to the city’s diversity entitled “Monument to Multiculturalism” that stands outside Union Station.
- Art Gallery of Ontario houses an astounding collection of work from Canadian and European artists in a Frank Gehry–designed building centered on a circular floating staircase.
- Royal Ontario Museum: At Canada’s largest museum of world cultures, galleries highlight global artwork, textiles, and ancient tools.
- Toronto International Film Festival: The largest public film festival in the world, TIFF screens more than 300 international films each year in venues across the city.
Toronto is home to no fewer than seven professional sports teams, including baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays and the national lacrosse team, the Toronto Rock. But this is Canada, so hockey is undeniably king.
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Root for the home team at the Air Canada Centre, where games take place from October–April.
- Hockey Hall of Fame: The centerpiece is the hallowed Esso Great Hall, home to the Stanley Cup and portraits of all 375 inductees.
- Our Game: This bronze sculpture of kids in hockey gear sits outside the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Where to Stay
- Omni King Edward Hotel: This century-old hotel in the Financial District features ornate crown moldings and marble bathrooms.
- The SoHo Metropolitan Hotel is within walking distance of Chinatown, Kensington Market, and other hip downtown neighborhoods.
- The Westin Harbour Castle: This CAA Four Diamond waterfront hotel in downtown Toronto boasts impressive views of Lake Ontario from a 38th-floor Italian eatery.