Things to do in Toronto that are worth the hype
Tourist trap or worthwhile attraction? We all hesitate about before shelling out cash for tickets, and let's be honest – not all sights are worth the hype. Here are some things to do in Toronto that have earned their buzz.
The number one attraction every Torontonian will tell you to visit is the much-loved CN Tower. An elevator ride to the top leads to incredible city views, and the 360 Restaurant offers a revolving panorama. Dining at the restaurant gives you free access to the lookout and is definitely more worth it than purchasing tickets to the lookout alone.
Ripley's Aquarium is home to sharks, turtles and all kinds of friendly sea creatures. Explore it with the family or ride solo – there's plenty to see and do around the aquarium. It's located right next to the CN Tower.
Casa Loma is a heritage landmark and museum dating to the early 1900s. The Gothic-style mansion and gardens are a unique attraction in the city and a popular venue for weddings. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try out the escape room.
Enjoy rollercoasters and funnel cakes at Canada's Wonderland, located just north of downtown Toronto. With 17 rollercoasters and a massive waterpark, it's the largest theme park in the nation.
Art Gallery of Ontario
It's no surprise the Art Gallery of Ontario is a favorite spot for many locals. The AGO is home to a massive collection of art from both Canada and the world, and it also features special exhibitions. Entrance is free for everyone 25 and under, and free for all ages Wednesday evenings.
Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum is a stunning masterpiece inside and out, housed in a magnificent granite building. Filled with Islamic artifacts from the last 1,000 years, you'll be transported back in time. Entrance is free on Wednesday evenings.
Art galleries, shopping boutiques and restaurants line the cobblestone streets of this small but trendy neighborhood, once home to a historic whiskey distillery. Grab a cup of joe at Arvo Coffee, snap photos of the art installations and see a show at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. The Distillery District is also home to the Toronto Christmas Market, which takes over during the holiday season.
Nathan Phillips Square
What's a visit to Toronto without stopping by Nathan Phillips Square? With the addition of the colorful 'Toronto' sign from the 2015 Pan Am Games, it's now even more worth the visit. It plays host to so many festivals and fun events, you're likely to catch one while you're here. During the holidays, the square becomes a winter wonderland where you can skate under the stars.
Take a ferry over to the Toronto Islands and spend a day cycling or relaxing on the beach. Kids especially will enjoy Centre Island for some fun rides and farm animals.
Allan Gardens is a conservatory and botanical garden filled with lush greenery and tropical plants. Opened in 1858, it's one of Toronto's oldest parks and a historic landmark. It's open year-round and entrance is free.
Kensington Market has been home to many different cultures over the years, and you can clearly see their influence in the diverse shops lining the neighborhood. From international food to vintage boutiques and eclectic murals, it's a fun neighborhood to explore. Summer brings Pedestrian Sundays, where the neighborhood is completely car-free.
Graffiti Alley isn't an official tourist attraction, but it's so popular, it might as well be one. Located in a small section of alleyways in the west end of Toronto, you'll find street art by all kinds of local artists. Graffiti Alley gets busy on nice days, so be sure to visit during the early morning to avoid the crowds.