Toronto Top Attractions

Canada’s Wonderland – Canada’s largest amusement park with great rides and lots of things to do and see. Great family experience. Not open during the winter.

Casa Loma – Historical castle with lots of beautiful architecture, on the side of a hill in an upscale neighbourhood.  The former home of Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt, it is complete with decorated suites, secret passages, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables, and beautiful 5-acre estate gardens (open May through October).  Visitors can take self-guided multimedia tours in English, French, Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean and American Sign Language.  Also available are audio Descriptive Tours for the visually impaired (available in English and French).  Open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Last admission : 4:00 p.m.), closes at 1:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, December 24 and closed Christmas Day – December 25.

CN Tower – Great view of Toronto.  Stand among the clouds as you look down onto the city and across the lake.  On a clear day you can see as far as Buffalo.  A communications and observation tower located in Downtown Toronto standing 553.3 metres (1,815 ft) tall.  When completed in 1976, it surpassed the height of the Ostankino Tower making it the tallest free-standing structure on land, which it continued to be until 2010.  In 1995, the CN Tower was declared one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World by the American Socity of Civil Engineers and also is connected to the World Federation of Great Towers, where it holds second-place ranking.  Attracts more than 2 million international tourists annually. 

Edwards Gardens – A quiet, 14-hectare (35-acre) garden that is part of a series of parks stretching over 240 hectares (593 acres) along the Don Valley. Bridges arch over the creek, plenty of rock and flower gardens create a wonderment of colour and scent. Edwards Gardens is known for its rhododendrons. The Civic Garden Centre operates on the property, offering a gift shop and free walking tours on Tuesday and Thursday at 11am and 2pm. There is a horticultural library.

Hanlan’s Point Beach (Hanlan’s Beach) – A clothing optional beach only minutes from downtown Toronto. You can reach the beach directly by taking the Hanlan’s Point ferry from the foot of Bay Street at Queens Quay. The ferry costs about $7 CAD per adult for a return trip and the schedule varies depending on the day of the week and season.  The ferry is a 15-minute trip and then you’ll have to walk or cycle another 10-15 minutes on a paved path. The beach is hidden from the path by a natural bush and trees. The beach has  no admission fee. The common beach season starts in late May and ends in late September. It is possible to swim off the beach only well within this period. On low-attendance days, there are usually at leasat 50 people on the clothing-optional side of the beach at any one time, with almost none to be seen on the clothing required side. On hot and sunny weekends, 500 or more people can be at the beach at any one time.  There is no requirement for nudity in the clothing-optional side, but almost everyone takes the opportunity to completely shed their clothes otherwise why would you be on that side. Sailboats and motorboats often anchor just offshore while their owners also enjoy the beach.

Kensington Market – fun time every day of the week.  On the last Sunday of every month during the summer the neighbourhood puts on a show where Augusta, Kensington and Baldwin streets are closed to motor vehicles. Includes human size games of Scrabble, buskers, street food, BBQ, arts and crafts and a lot more.  A different theme every month which keeps it fresh.

Ontario Science Centre – Great exhibits and shows.  Good for family interactive educational experience.

Royal Ontario Museum – In downtown Toronto by the University of Toronto.  Has an extensive collection and seasonal exhibits. Great place to visit for an afternoon and within a five minute walk of both the University and internationally recognized Yorkville.

St. Michael’s Cathedral – Historical and beautiful.  Built between 1845 and 1848, St. Michael’s Cathedral is not only an example of 19th-century neo-Gothic architecture, it is also the seat of the Catholic archdiocese of Toronto.  When Armond de Charbonnel, a Frenchman who became the second Bishop of Toronto arrived in Toronto in September 1850, he dedicated himself into beautifying St. Michael’s.  So much so, that he even sold lands that he owned in France and donated the proceeds to the cathedral.  In addition, he bought marvelous stained-glass windows from France, constructed interior chapels, and commissioned paintings; he also imported the Stations of the Cross from France (which is why they’re in French). Charbonnel contributed the most to making St. Michael’s the masterpiece it is.  The Cathedral is particularly known for its musical tradition. It has its own boys’ choir, which has won awards internationally.  Every Sunday, there are three Masses in which you can enjoy the choir.

The Beach, also known as The Beaches – Close to downtown Toronto with the small-town charm of Toronto’s lakeside community.  The natural beauty of The Beach has drawn people since 1870 making it Toronto’s first lakeside resort.  In the years that followed Queen Street East which runs along the beach developed as the community’s “Main Street” providing a diverse selection of over 350 shops, restaurants, cafe’s and boutique shops.  Their is a 3.1 km boardwalk that winds along The Beaches, along with a paved path for bicycling or inline skating.  Their is also a paved path (Martin Goodman Trail) that begins at the Harbourfront and takes you right through The Beaches.  The Beaches area is along the waterfront, north to Queen Street East, from Northern Dancer Boulevard (just west of Woodbine Avenue) toVictoria Park Avenue.  It is home to Ashbridge’s Bay Park, Swim friendly Blue Flag-designated Woodbine Beach, Donald E. Summerville Olympic Pool, Kew Beach Fire Hall, Kew Beach Boathouse,  Kew Willians (Gardener’s) Cottage, Kew Gardens, Beaches Library, and the Ivan Forrest Gardens.  Easily accessible by taking the Queen Street East streetcar from Queen subway station at Yonge Street. 

The Distillery District – Converted from one of Toronto’s abandoned industrial sections it is now a happening hangout.

The Danforth, also known as Greektown – Great for its ethnic cuisine and Mediterranean culture.  Full of lots of little shops and cafe’s.  Home of one of Toronto’s most popular organic food stores.  Excellent for dinner dates or family leisurely afternoons.

Toronto Music Garden – A musical walk experience on the waterfront. Peaceful and free. Great thing to do if you’re at the harbourfront, but not worth making a seperate trip for.

Toronto Zoo – Great collection of animals.

Yorkville – Internationally recognized for its shopping, dining and jetset hangout.  This neighbourhood is rich in history, architecture and culture and a great place to go to people watch while enjoying an espresso or gelato.

Other things to see:
St. Lawrence Market
The Harbourfront
Little Italy
Yonge & Eglinton, also known as Yonge & Eligible
Toronto Islands
The University of Toronto (including Hart House)
Bluffers Park, also known as Scarborough Bluffs
Unionville (just North of Toronto, accessible by Go train)

If you would like a consultation on what to see and do on your trip to Toronto or if you would like a personal guide to take you through the city you can reach us at info@metroactive.org or call us at 416 564-0245.

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