Growing up in the Greater Toronto Area, aka the GTA, Toronto was always the place to go for entertainment. Whether driving into the city for a Blue Jays game or a night out with some good friends, T-dot is always buzzing with excitement.
After living in Toronto for five years while completing my bachelor’s degree, I can confidently say that some of the best years of my life were spent exploring this multicultural city. Although, unless you want to claim that you’ve braved a Canadian winter and survived, I would recommend visiting in the summer and leave the frigid temperatures to the experts, eh…
So, here are thirty-three of the best things to do in the city by the lake, so you can fall in love with ‘Trawna’ just like I did.
1. Wander through the winding streets of the eclectic yet charming Kensington Market.
2. At Kensington Market, sit down for a to-die-for taco lunch at Seven Lives. It’s quite popular, so arrive a little before the typical food rush to avoid a long line.
3. Check out the city’s extensive Chinatown neighborhood starting from Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue…
4….where you’ll find authentic Chinese food like dim-sum at student-friendly prices (win).
5. The morning (or afternoon?) after a fun night out, hit up one of the city’s the many fantastic brunch spots.
6. Grab a group of good friends, old and new, and head to a Toronto Blue Jays game (season permitting).
7. Although a clichéd tourist attraction, the CN Tower is definitely worth the view, and I would recommend taking the ride to the top.
8. Experience the new real-game trend called ‘escape rooms’ found all around Toronto like the haunted house murder-mystery at Captive in Niagara Falls.
9. Make the schlep to Niagara Falls and take a tour of this impressive natural wonder.
10. Discover the Ontario wine region– yes, we have vineyards despite the long winters–and take a winery tour with tastings at Vineyard Estates.
11. Check out the on-going art, culture and historical exhibitions at the Royal Ontario Museum.
12. Throw a few axes, yes, axes, at one of The Backyard Axe Throwing League locations.
13. Explore the cobblestone streets of the Distillery District for an interesting historical perspective of the city.
14. If you’re bringing the kids along, take them to Canada’s Wonderland, a roller coaster theme park within driving distance of the city.
15. Walk through the University of Toronto campus nestled within the city center. During my five years there, the stunning nineteenth-century architecture never got old.
16. While you’re on campus, check out the Thomas Fischer Rare Book Library. This is a must for book lovers! Personally, I drooled my first time being surrounded by one of the world’s largest and oldest preserved book collections.
17. Shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, cured meats and more at the St. Lawrence Market.
18. Take the kids to the Toronto Zoo and see more than 450 different species.
19. Go shopping on a rainy day at The Eaton Centre, an indoor shopping mall.
21. Go for a walk along Lake Ontario’s extensive waterfront. As a child on a plane in front of me once eloquently stated during a landing at Toronto’s airport, “Dad, is that the ocean?”
22. Cool off during happy hour at the Cabana Pool Bar.
23. Go on a fun competitive first-date at a ping pong bar.
24. Laugh until your face hurts during a live stand-up comedy show at Second City.
25. Take a tour of the Steamwhistle Brewery.
26. Dance the night away at Rebel Nightclub.
27. Adventure into a weed café after Canada legalizes cannabis on 17 October 2018.
28. Watch a Toronto Football Club Game at the BMO field.
29. Learn more about Canada’s pride and joy by visiting The Hockey Hall of Fame.
30. Watch the sunset from a rooftop bar.
31. Attend one of the latest festivals and events in the city like the Toronto Pride Festival.
32. Go for a hike just outside the city and get a little taste of the Canadian wilderness.
33. Visit Casa Loma, the 98-room castle in the middle of Toronto that’s construction bankrupted a nineteenth-century multimillionaire.