You’d go on a city break to NYC so why not Toronto? With a flight time under 8 hours, Toronto is easy to visit on a short break or as a stopover on a bigger Canada holiday. Plus, as Canada’s largest city, it’s full to the brim with vibrant culture. An established arts scene and burgeoning foodie culture mean there are galleries and restaurants galore. The nightlife is fun and lively, with a friendly and welcoming vibe in the city’s many bars. Whether your dream holiday involves shopping, wining and dining, sports or culture, there’s a lot of everything in Toronto.
Read on for our five must-have experiences in one of the world’s most iconic cities.
1. Eat a hot dog at a ball game
Right next door to the iconic CN Tower is another famous Toronto landmark – the Rogers Centre. This huge arena houses not only baseball and American football matches but all kinds of other sports to boot. Plus, it’s a top venue for international pop and rock acts. Seeing the Toronto Blue Jays play a game of baseball is a must-do on your holiday. The atmosphere is unlike anything else. There are plenty of places close to The Dome – as locals call it – to grab a brew or a bite to eat, but the real fun starts inside the stadium. Grab a hot dog from one of the vendors for an authentic experience.
2. Drink a craft beer in the Distillery District
The Distillery Historic District is, as the name suggests, one of the most historic areas of the city. Established in 1832, the district is full of trendy, converted warehouses boasting everything from bars and restaurants to shops and theatres. With its industrial feel of exposed brick and steel beams, it’s possibly one of the most hipster – and the most fun – places for a beer. Head to the Toronto Mill Street Brewpub for a staple of the city and try their local small-batch tap beers.
3. Take a ferry to Toronto Island
Don’t let the name fool you; the popular Toronto Island is actually a group of 15 islands interconnected by pathways and bridges. There are tons of things to do on the islands, from beautiful swimming beaches to kayak rentals to bike paths. Plus, the ferry ride itself is a real novelty. As easy as jumping on a bus, the ferry takes less than 15 minutes and offers a new perspective of the city as you sail over. Conveniently nestled in downtown, the ferry docks are located between Bay Street and Yonge Street on Queens Quay.
4. Ride a bike around High Park
Toronto’s largest public park has a network of trails, a beautiful lakefront and even a zoo. It’s a must visit when you’re in the city, and the tranquil nature offers a counterpart to Toronto’s urban glamour. At 399 acres big, there is plenty to see in High Park, which is why a bike makes easy work of getting around. The park has gorgeous green spaces at any time of the year, but we particularly love spring and autumn. Spring heralds the delicate pinks of the park’s many cherry blossom trees, while autumn ushers in vibrant fall hues on the hundreds of trees. Metro Cycle is a convenient and highly recommended bike hire shop a couple of streets away from the park.
5. Buy a Toronto-made keepsake at St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence Market is a little slice of Toronto history. Dating back to 1803, the market has been a focal point of the community for over 200 years. Conveniently located on Lower Jarvis Street, the market is a highlight of the Old Toronto district, just southeast of the downtown core. Today, 120 vendors each showcase a vibrant stall, making up a patchwork of unique local produce. There are plenty of food stalls selling everything from homegrown fruit and veg to locally cured meats. You’ll find dozens of options for a fantastic keepsake to remember your time in the city. How about a bottle of locally grown wine?