The largest city in Canada’s Ontario province, this dynamic metropolis along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore is a global powerhouse. Its gleaming downtown core is a densely packed collection of soaring skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the free-standing CN Tower, while its leafy neighborhoods and 400-acre High Park offer paths, sports facilities and a zoo.
Whether you’re interested in art or dinosaurs, the Royal Ontario Museum is an impressive destination that’s a must-visit for any culture buff. You’ll see amazing objects spanning history, including the Bat Cave and Egyptian Exhibit as well as a vast selection of prehistoric beasts. There are also plenty of hands-on activities for kids and teens, making it one of the most family friendly Things to do in Toronto.
When you want to get a bird’s-eye view of the city, head to the CN Tower. From the platform at its base, you can see the city glimmering below you—and if you’re really brave (and not too afraid of heights), climb to the top and peer down at the city.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is another top attraction, with works from artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet. This is a place for art lovers, but even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, you can still enjoy the museum’s many displays and listen to a docent explain the significance of the artwork.
From mid to late August, kids and their parents get a little twitchy in anticipation of the CNE, or Canadian National Exhibition. This two-week carnival of fun takes over the city waterfront, featuring rides, unique foods, concerts and a massive airshow.
To escape the hustle and bustle of the main part of the city, hop a ferry to the Toronto Islands. This cluster of three main islands, Centre Island, Ward’s Island and Algonquin, offers a welcome break from the urban landscape. Each island has its own perks, but Centre Island is the most popular with a huge Ferris wheel, carousel and Centreville Amusement Park.
If you’re looking for a way to experience the best of Toronto on a budget, look no further than the CityPass, which provides discounted entry to five of the most popular attractions in the city, including the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Casa Loma and the Royal Ontario Museum. There’s also the option to add on other options such as the Ontario Science Center and Toronto Zoo. The CityPass can be purchased online or at the CN Tower.