There’s so much to see and do in Toronto, from cultural attractions like world-class theater and museums to endless shopping and dining opportunities. In fact, thanks to its high immigrant population, with nearly half of people living here born outside of the country, you can find cuisine from all corners of the globe.
So how do you fit it all in within a weekend? Unfortunately, you don’t. But you can experience many of its highlights with this itinerary, or stick around and find a new home among the Toronto real estate while you’re here.
St. Lawrence Market. Start your Saturday morning early with a visit to St. Lawrence Market, the largest in the city. Not only has it been named the best of its kind in the world, but it’s a great spot for breakfast while mingling with the locals. Pick up a famously delicious bagel at St. Urbain Bagel, baked in a wood-burning oven, Montreal style. You’ll find plenty to go with it, from organic healthy foods to a wide range of fresh produce with over 120 specialty food vendors.
CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium. CN Tower is the tallest structure in all of Canada, towering over 1,800 feet above Toronto’s streets. You can take a ride to the top in its glass-fronted elevator for a panoramic vista, and then head back down to explore Ripley’s Aquarium at its base. The country’s largest indoor aquarium, it houses around 20,000 aquatic animals. A moving walkway will take you through the Dangerous Lagoon, providing an up-close look at sharks and other creatures. If you’re up for the thrill, you can even swim with the sharks on a 30-minute guided dive.
Royal Ontario Museum. A must for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of Toronto, the surrounding region and beyond, the Royal Ontario Museum is the largest of its kind in Canada. It displays six million artifacts in exhibits focused on everything from Canada’s First Nation to dinosaur bones, ancient Rome, and Chinese temple art.
Dinner at Richmond Station. Treat yourself to dinner at one of the best places in town, with “Top Chef Canada” winner Carl Heinrich serving up a delicious daily menu of seasonal cuisine, from kale-salads to high quality burgers
Star Gazing at Tommy Thompson Park. Just 15 minutes from downtown and you’ll be in the spot with the lowest light pollution in Toronto, providing stellar opportunities for stargazing. Tommy Thompson Park is located on Leslie Street Spit which stretches out into Lake Ontario.
Brunch at Dirty Food. Don’t let the name fool you, this is the place to go for brunch if you want to fill up for the day. Located in The Junction neighborhood on Toronto’s west side, it serves up classics with a southern twist, like biscuits and gravy, sweet potato pancakes, and the famous fried chicken ‘n’ waffle ‘wich.
Toronto Islands. Burn off those calories and enjoy some natural beauty by hopping the ferry to the Toronto Islands to spend the rest of the day. It’s made up of three islands, Algonquin, Ward’s, and Centre, with paths, boardwalks, and bridges that link them all. You can rent a standup paddleboard at Toronto Island StandUp PaddleBoarding, which also offers lessons, or rent a bike by the hour and pedal around. From several vantage points, you’ll be able to take in a panoramic view of the city skyline. There’s also an amusement park and beaches for lounging on the sand. You’ll even find a clothing-optional beach at Hanlan’s Point which is also perfect for a refreshing swim.