Toronto will forever hold a place in my heart.
It’s where I grew up, went to college and spent my 20s. Over the years, I’ve been asked by friends, family and readers on the top things to do for a trip to Toronto and it’s SO hard to narrow it all down to just a FEW things.
However, if I had to pick and you were visiting for only a week – these would be the things I would suggest to you:
Visit St. Lawrence Market – If you’re a food lover, you absolutely can’t miss a visit to this food market in the heart of Downtown Toronto. I swear by the Eggplant Sandwiches at Mustachio’s, the bagels at St. Urbain Bagel and the fish sandwiches at Buster’s Sea Cove. It’s a great place to stop for lunch and to wander around. See my list of my must-eat foods at St. Lawrence Market.
Eat at Poutini’s – A traditional poutine is the beloved greasy snack of Canadians. Poutini’s on Queen West does it best with crisp fries, hot gravy and squeaky Quebec cheese curds! For my local eats, see my Top 10 Must-Eats of Toronto.
Shop Queen West – If you’re looking to shop a few local spots, Queen West – the stretch from University Avenue to Dufferin is the place to start. You’ll find a mix of coffee shops, clothing stores, vintage furniture among the local small businesses that dot this strip. I love this place for vegetarian eats and this Mexican place on Queen West. You might also like this facial bar or this cocktail spot!
Dim Sum Brunch – Toronto has some incredible Chinese food and the dim sum can’t be missed! If price is no object, I suggest Lai Wah Heen for some of the top dim sum in the city. For those more budget-minded, locals line-up at Rol San in Chinatown on the weekends. Also check out Luckee Restaurant for dim sum with a modern take.
Go to the Top of The CN Tower – A visit to Toronto is not complete until you’ve had your first visit up to the top of the iconic CN Tower. Take in all the skyline views and walk on the glass floor. Afterwards, head down the street to Steam Whistle Brewery for a beer tasting and tour. Finish your afternoon with a visit to Ripley’s Aquarium, which is also close by.
Ferry to The Toronto Islands – If you’re visiting in the summer, I highly recommend hopping on a quick 15-minute ferry boat ride over to Centre Island. You can rent a bike, wander through a hedge maze, lie by the water or visit the Centreville amusement park. For a bite, check out the Rectory Cafe or the Island Cafe.
Spend a Rainy Day at The AGO – For a rainy day activity, head to the Art Gallery of Ontario to see some incredible Canadian art and the space designed by Frank Gehry.
Wander The Distillery District – Head over to the historic Distillery District for lunch or dinner and give yourself some time to explore the galleries, local shops, bars and eateries that have taken over this re-purposed space. It’s a great place for photos too!
Do you have any favourite places in Toronto?