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6 Ways To Spend One Day in Toronto
Toronto is the capital of Ontario and Canada’s largest city. Tourists flock to the destination for its bustling city life and culture, friendly locals, and recreational activities. It’s also where many of your favorite celebrities like Drake and Jim Carrey call home.
Things to see and do in Toronto
If you like art, Toronto is the best place to visit due to its collection of art galleries and museums like the Art Gallery of Ontario or the Ontario Science Centre. Graffiti Alley is popular with tourists for its street art which includes graffiti and murals. It’s a great place to take a selfie or shoot a vlog. And Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada offers a great way for tourists to get an up-close look at marine wildlife, including some of Canada’s resident aquatic creatures like the giant Pacific octopus or wolf eel.
You can’t go to Toronto without seeing a hockey game at the Scotiabank Arena. But if you can’t attend a game, you can learn all about the sport at the Hockey Hall of Fame, a site that houses the Stanley Cup and an array of historical artifacts and memorabilia.
The entertainment district in Toronto offers live music, performances, and a collection of eateries that locals and tourists love. Flock Rotisserie + Greens is a popular restaurant that serves rotisserie chicken and homestyle side dishes. And By The Way is a Mediterranean restaurant known for its tender and juicy chicken kabobs served with rice and salad.
Because there are many things to see and do in Toronto, exploring the entire city can be challenging when you don’t have much time. Fortunately, there are ways to have a great time in Toronto, even with limited time. The city offers several guided tours, including walking tours and boat tours, to help visitors learn about its history and culture. You can even purchase a day pass to ride Toronto’s public transit system through the city in record time. To plan your visit, here are six things to see and do with one day in Toronto:
1. CN Tower
Canada’s National Tower, also called the CN Tower, is a concrete communications and observatory tower that stretches to one-third of a mile in height. This makes it the tallest building in Canada and the entire western hemisphere.
At 1,136 above ground is the Main Observation Level, where tourists can take in the panoramic views of the city. And tourists can take their experience to new heights as they pose for pictures on the tower’s invisible glass floor, 114 stories from below.
Thrill-seekers enjoy Skypod, the tallest observation platform in the western hemisphere. It’s 33 stories above the main level and so tall that you can feel it swaying back and forth in the wind.
2. St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market is a farmer’s market where tourists can get a taste of the local Ontario flavor. Many local food and drink vendors congregate at the market to sell fresh and quality produce from their harvest. From artisan vendors to those selling grass-fed meats and cheeses, the marketplace is a must-see tourist destination.
Sip some organic hot coffee from Everday Gourmet as you peruse the market’s aisles. Or try the award-winning “World Famous Peameal Bacon Sandwich” from Carousel Bakery to see what the hype is about.
You can even support local artists at Arts at the Market, a special event where artists and other local talents showcase some of their best art pieces.
3. Kensington Market
Kensington Market is a bustling neighborhood where many tourists can visit to dine, shop, and experience Toronto culture. Located in the heart of Toronto, the site is home to many things to see and do, including swanky bars, local grocers, bakeries, and restaurants selling international foods.
Art lovers will enjoy seeing the different murals plastered throughout the market. For a more up-close-and-personal experience, learn the art of burlesque at The Toronto School of Burlesque.
Or foodies can eat their way through the city with By The Sidewalk Food Tours Inc, where they can take a guided tour of the neighborhood while sampling some of its local foods and treats.
4. Toronto Islands
Located just offshore from downtown Toronto is another popular tourist destination, the Toronto Islands. Locals and tourists love to visit the islands for their many recreational activities, like frisbee, golf, and swimming.
Pro tip: The best time to visit is during the summer months or peak season. To get there, you can sail across Lake Ontario in a rented kayak or canoe. Or take a ferry ride to the island, which is the most popular and fastest way to the site. You can even take a sightseeing cruise for a more scenic route.
5. Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum, also known as ROM, is the most popular museum in all of Canada. More than one million visitors flock to the museum annually for its 13 million art pieces that span culture, history, and nature. As the largest and most comprehensive museum in Canada, it boasts 40 different collections and exhibits for guests to explore.
Learn Chinese history in the museum’s Gallery of Chinese Architecture which houses the largest collection of Chinese architectural artifacts outside of China. Or learn how mammals came to be following dinosaur extinction at the Reed Gallery of the Age of Mammals.
Visit the museum’s official website to plan your visit, including a list of special events that are free and open to the public.
6. Toronto's Queen Street West
Named by Vogue Magazine as one of the world’s coolest neighborhoods, Queen Street West is the best place to visit to experience authentic Toronto culture. It’s home to many indie and boutique shops, casual and fine dining restaurants, and art galleries.
At the dog park at Trinity Bellwoods Park, pet owners can spend an early morning playing ball or catching frisbees with their furry friends.
And for the perfect ending to a long day of exploring, sit down for a meal at Hooky’s Fish and Chips, where you can enjoy an authentic British meal of fried cod, chips, and mushy peas.