With the reputation of being Canada’s “New York City,” Toronto is quite an outrageously large city with thousands upon thousands of activities to keep yourself occupied all year-round. With it’s nearly 6,000 square kilometer land area, you’ll surely never be bored in this city. Toronto really embraces New York’s mantra of “the city that never sleeps,” because Toronto truly never sleeps; there is always something going on. Whether it is broad daylight, dusk or the darkness of the night, here are the top 10 things you must do in Toronto before you die.
1. Visit the CN Tower.
Located in the heart of the downtown core, the CN Tower is one of Toronto’s finest and most impressive establishments. Standing at more than 550 metres in the air, you can either walk (and get a killer workout) or ride the elevator all the way up to the observation deck in which you can see the entire city. Not only is this the perfect picturesque view of Toronto, if you’re channeling your inner dare-devil, you can take the “Edge Walk” and walk around the tower from the outside. Yes, that means you can combat fierce winds as you walk around the CN Tower on the outer edge, but try not to look down!
2. Take a trip to Centre Island.
Yes, Toronto has it’s very own island! Thousands of tourists and Torontonians flock to Centre Island each year to enjoy a wonderful day out in the sun. Whether you’re going for a nice picnic, the Centreville theme park or the Far Enough Farm, you’ll never want to leave! Plus, the exciting way to get to Centre Island is by taking a scenic ferry ride around Lake Ontario, so how could anyone resist? If you have small children and are looking for something kid-friendly to do, Centre Island is your place to be!
3. Watch a sports game.
Believe it or not, Toronto has some pretty amazing sports teams with over the top, incredible fans. If you’re a soccer fan, Toronto’s Football Club (commonly referred to as Toronto FC) has their matches held at BMO field. If you’re looking for a game with dramatic wins and insanely supportive fans, head on over to the Roger’s Centre (A.K.A the Skydome) to see the Toronto Blue Jays. Though these games are wild, nothing beats watching a Raptors basketball game at the Air Canada Centre. The venue turns into what is known as “Jurassic Park” with unbelievable support from fans and celebrity appearances from the “Six God” himself, Drake. Beware, if you’re looking forward to a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey game, you might be setting yourself up for some disappointment.
4. Visit High Park and James Gardens.
Calling all photographers, come one come all! If you’re a scenic photographer looking for new scenery to capture or if you’re just someone who likes beautiful parks, High Park and James Gardens are the places to be. Both of these parks have the most beautiful botany in all of Toronto! In the spring, High Park has these beautiful cherry blossom trees which cover the ground in their beautiful blush pink leaves. James Gardens is a gorgeous park with many pathways that lead over creeks and ponds setting up a marvelous scene, perfect for any wedding and/or prom photos.
5. Attend a concert or music festival.
Toronto’s music scene is one of the finest music scenes in all of Canada. Whether there is a pop up band on a corner of a street or a concert or a music festival, Toronto has all you need when it comes to music. There are Jazz festivals held every year not to mention the numerous pop, rock and rap concerts held all over the city. Toronto also hosts many EDM Music Festivals such as Digital Dreams, Ever After, Electric Elements and VELD every year. Therefore, no matter what music you’re into, Toronto has it all!
6. Attend a Medieval Times show.
Have a passion for history? Want to know what it was like to be a knight in shining armour during the Renaissance? Toronto’s Medieval Times has all you need and more with their exciting dinner shows that will take you back to an era we have only seen in movies and museums. Feast like a king and root for your team as you watch knights joust on live horses all competing for the winning title and the affection of their fair maiden. Located at the Toronto Castle, the history that this event brings alive all year round is a night of entertainment you truly will not forget.
7. Explore Queen’s Street.
Are you a senior in high school looking for the perfect prom dress? Are you a foodie who wants to try something new? Maybe you’re someone who likes adventure. Whoever you are, visiting Queen Street is something that everyone needs to do in Toronto at some point in their life! Home to the Burger’s Priest, Butter Avenue, Originals and one of Toronto’s only Urban Outfitters, Queen Street has everything you could ever imagine. Need to go somewhere trendy to cure your shopping addiction? Queen Street. In the mood for a different culinary experience? Queen Street. Interested in seeing a parade once in a while? Queen Street. Just beware of the traffic, Queen Street drivers can be quite hectic!
8. Explore the Marketplace.
Toronto has many local markets where vendors are set up year-round to sell everything from clothing to shoes to pastries and more! The two infamous markets in Toronto are the St. Lawrence Market and Kensington Market which happen to be part of Toronto’s history. Dating back to the 1800s, these markets have seen thousands of faces from all over the globe and contribute to the rich history that Toronto has. With a fifteen minute walking distance between each other, these markets are definitely worth it to check out!
9. Visit the Canadian National Exhibition.
Year after year, Toronto hosts the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE for short) throughout the last two weeks of August. You may be wondering, what is the Canadian National Exhibition? Well to answer your question, think of the most epic carnival of all time. Unimaginable rides and attractions, unique vendors for an incredible shopping experience, petting zoos and animal shows in addition with food galore, the CNE is quite possibly the best part of the summer season in Toronto.
10. Skate at Nathan Phillips Square.
You cannot possibly get closer to the heart of downtown Toronto than Nathan Phillips Square. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, the square hosts festivals in which you can walk around and is the home to the infamous “Toronto” sign. Throughout the winter though, this square goes through a miraculous transformation into an ice rink with faux stars dangling from the arches above, creating the most perfect date. If you’re looking for a cute date idea, a fun friend adventure or maybe you want to have some winter fun with the kids, skating at Nathan Phillips Square should be at the top of your list!