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Downtown Toronto: Top Things to Do

Photo things to do in downtown toronto

Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, Canada, is a popular tourist destination known for its vibrant culture, diverse neighborhoods, and iconic landmarks. From the towering CN Tower to the historic Distillery District, Toronto offers a wide range of attractions and experiences for visitors to enjoy. While the typical tourist attractions are certainly worth exploring, it is equally important to venture beyond these well-known spots and discover the hidden gems that make Toronto truly unique. By doing so, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the city’s rich history, immerse themselves in its vibrant arts and culture scene, and experience the local way of life.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore the iconic CN Tower and surrounding area
  • Take a stroll through the historic Distillery District
  • Check out the art and culture scene at the AGO
  • Shop and dine in style at the Eaton Centre
  • Catch a game or concert at the Scotiabank Arena

Explore the Iconic CN Tower and Surrounding Area

No visit to Toronto would be complete without a trip to the CN Tower. Standing at a height of 553.33 meters, it is one of the tallest freestanding structures in the world and offers breathtaking views of the city skyline. The tower was completed in 1976 and has since become an iconic symbol of Toronto. Visitors can take an elevator ride to the observation deck, where they can enjoy panoramic views of the city and even see as far as Niagara Falls on a clear day.

Located near the CN Tower is Ripley’s Aquarium, which is home to over 20,000 aquatic animals from around the world. Visitors can explore various exhibits, including a walk-through tunnel where they can see sharks swimming overhead. Another nearby attraction is Rogers Centre, a multi-purpose stadium that is home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. Visitors can catch a game or take a guided tour of the stadium to learn more about its history and architecture.

Take a Stroll Through the Historic Distillery District

The Distillery District is a pedestrian-only neighborhood located east of downtown Toronto. It was once home to the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, which was one of the largest distilleries in the world during the 19th century. Today, the area has been transformed into a cultural hub, with its cobblestone streets lined with art galleries, restaurants, and shops.

Visitors can take a stroll through the Distillery District and admire its well-preserved Victorian-era architecture. The area is also known for its vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries showcasing works by local and international artists. In addition, there are several restaurants and cafes where visitors can enjoy a meal or grab a drink. The Distillery District is particularly lively during the summer months, when it hosts various festivals and events.

Check Out the Art and Culture Scene at the AGO

Metrics Data
Number of visitors 1.2 million annually
Number of artworks over 90,000
Number of exhibitions over 20 per year
Size of the building 583,000 square feet
Year founded 1900
Number of floors 5
Number of restaurants 2
Number of gift shops 3

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America and is home to an extensive collection of artworks from around the world. The museum’s collection includes works by renowned artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol. In addition to its permanent collection, the AGO also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase a wide range of artistic styles and mediums.

Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the AGO is surrounded by other cultural institutions, including the Royal Ontario Museum and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Visitors can spend a day exploring these institutions and immersing themselves in Toronto’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Afterward, they can grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the area, which offer a variety of cuisines to suit every taste.

Shop and Dine in Style at the Eaton Centre

The Toronto Eaton Centre is a premier shopping destination located in downtown Toronto. With over 250 stores, it offers a wide range of shopping options, from high-end designer brands to popular retailers. Visitors can browse through clothing boutiques, electronics stores, and specialty shops, among others.

In addition to its shopping options, the Eaton Centre also boasts a variety of dining options. Visitors can enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants located within the mall, ranging from fast food chains to upscale eateries. The mall also features a food court with a wide selection of cuisines, making it a convenient option for a quick bite to eat.

Catch a Game or Concert at the Scotiabank Arena

The Scotiabank Arena, formerly known as the Air Canada Centre, is a multi-purpose arena located in downtown Toronto. It is home to the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team and the Toronto Raptors basketball team. In addition to sporting events, the arena also hosts concerts and other live performances throughout the year.

Visitors can catch a game or concert at the Scotiabank Arena and experience the excitement of live entertainment. The arena offers state-of-the-art facilities and amenities, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for attendees. Whether it’s cheering on their favorite sports team or singing along to their favorite band, visitors are sure to have a memorable time at the Scotiabank Arena.

Learn About Toronto’s History at the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is one of the largest museums in North America and is dedicated to showcasing art, culture, and natural history. The museum’s collection includes over six million objects, ranging from dinosaur fossils to ancient artifacts.

One of the highlights of the ROM is its focus on Toronto’s history and culture. Visitors can explore exhibits that delve into the city’s past, including its indigenous heritage and immigrant communities. The museum also hosts various events and programs that provide opportunities for visitors to learn more about Toronto’s diverse cultural heritage.

Relax and Enjoy Nature at the Toronto Islands

Located just off the coast of downtown Toronto, the Toronto Islands are a group of small islands that offer a peaceful escape from the bustling city. Visitors can take a ferry ride to the islands and spend a day exploring their natural beauty.

The Toronto Islands are home to several beaches, where visitors can relax and soak up the sun. There are also numerous parks and picnic areas, making it a great spot for a family outing or a romantic picnic. In addition, the islands offer various recreational activities, including kayaking, canoeing, and biking.

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping at the Edgewalk

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the Edgewalk at the CN Tower is a must-try experience. Participants are harnessed to an overhead rail system and can walk along the edge of the tower’s main pod, which is located 356 meters above the ground.

During the Edgewalk, participants can enjoy breathtaking views of the city while taking in the thrill of being suspended in mid-air. The experience is led by trained guides who ensure the safety of participants at all times. It is a unique and exhilarating way to see Toronto from a whole new perspective.

Marvel at the Architecture of the Financial District

The Financial District is located in downtown Toronto and is home to some of the city’s most impressive architectural landmarks. The district is characterized by its towering skyscrapers and modernist designs.

One notable building in the Financial District is the Toronto-Dominion Centre, which was designed by renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The complex consists of several office towers and features a minimalist design that has become an iconic symbol of modernist architecture.

Another notable building in the Financial District is Brookfield Place, which is known for its stunning atrium and glass facade. The building houses offices, retail spaces, and restaurants, making it a popular destination for both business professionals and visitors alike.

Experience the Nightlife Scene in the Entertainment District

The Entertainment District is located in downtown Toronto and is known for its vibrant nightlife scene. The district is home to numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences.

Visitors can explore the Entertainment District and discover a wide range of nightlife options. Whether it’s dancing the night away at a trendy nightclub, enjoying live music at a cozy bar, or indulging in a delicious meal at a gourmet restaurant, there is something for everyone in this lively neighborhood.

Toronto is a city that offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for visitors to enjoy. From iconic landmarks like the CN Tower to vibrant neighborhoods like the Distillery District, there is always something new and exciting to discover in this dynamic city. While it’s important to explore the typical tourist destinations, it is equally important to venture off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems that make Toronto truly unique. By doing so, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s rich history, immerse themselves in its vibrant arts and culture scene, and experience the local way of life. So next time you find yourself in Toronto, be sure to explore beyond the typical tourist attractions and uncover the true essence of this incredible city.


What are some popular attractions in downtown Toronto?

Some popular attractions in downtown Toronto include the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Hockey Hall of Fame.

What are some outdoor activities to do in downtown Toronto?

Some outdoor activities to do in downtown Toronto include visiting the Toronto Islands, walking along the waterfront, and exploring the many parks and gardens in the area.

What are some shopping options in downtown Toronto?

Downtown Toronto has a variety of shopping options, including the Eaton Centre, Queen Street West, and the St. Lawrence Market.

What are some dining options in downtown Toronto?

Downtown Toronto has a diverse range of dining options, from fine dining restaurants to casual cafes and food trucks. Some popular areas for dining include King Street West, the Entertainment District, and Chinatown.

What are some cultural experiences to have in downtown Toronto?

Downtown Toronto has a rich cultural scene, with many museums, galleries, and theaters. Some cultural experiences to have include visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario, attending a performance at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, or exploring the historic Distillery District.