The Toronto tourism guide. Top ten tourist attractions in the greater metropolitan area.

Best Attractions in Toronto, Ontario

The top rated things to do and attractions to see in Toronto, Canada. Throw on some sunscreen (or a toque, depending on the season) and head out into the wilds of Toronto to have some good ol' wacky Canadian fun.

There are a million and one things to do in Toronto. Of course there is no "best" thing to do in Toronto, it's all about your interests and willingness to explore. Use the following top rated sites and attractions as a guide to help you create your own perfect Toronto adventure.

Toronto's CN Tower

Take a trip to the top of the world. The CN Tower is Toronto and Canada's most recognizable and celebrated icon. Over 550 meters (1800 feet), it's the tallest building in the world. Each year, around 2 million people take the elevator ride to the top of the tower to hang out at the top of the world and take in the breath-taking view. Built in 1976, the CN Tower seems to inspire a sense of pride and inspiration for Canadians and a definitely a sense of awe for tourists.

Once you're at the top, see if you can muster up the courage to walk across the see-through glass floor.

The revolving restaurant at the top of the CN Tower is a nice (if pricey) way to spend a couple hours. On a clear day, the view is nothing short of spectacular. The floor in the 360 degree Restaurant rotates once every 72 minutes allowing everyone a complete and unobstructed view of the city below. Along with the view, they also offer an internationally recognized wine cellar of nearly 500 choice labels. Art work throughout is created by local artists.

Toronto's number one tourist destination has inevitably become somewhat tacky over the years. There is the usual bombardment of souvenir shops where you can buy everything from yoyo's to dinnerware emblazoned with a picture of the CN Tower. There are also interactive rides, motion simulators, and an arcade to keep the kids entertained.

The CN Tower is located on Front Street which is located in the heart of downtown and the entertainment district. Located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, the CN Tower is easily accessible from Union Station as well as many major streets and highways.
01 Front St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V2T6
Phone: (416) 360-8500
Fax: (416) 601-4722


Kensington Market

Kensington Market was known as the Jewish Market in the 1920s, and today it has evolved into a multicultural mix of shops, restaurants, vintage clothing shops, and eclectic cafes. An international feast for the senses, it's truly a great place to wander and get a sense of Toronto's rich cultural mosaic.

Like to shop? Check out places like Dancing Days funky store. New, used and vintage clothing, fine batiks, unique jewelry and hemp culture products.
Photo from - Visit their web site.

At Kensington Market, you can find imported goods from Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. There are also a number of artist studios open to the public. Artists in the market work with a wide range of media including prints, sculptures and metal work, ranging from sublime to the obscure (depending on your own point of view).

TIP: If you're going to be in Toronto in December, a great time to visit Kensington Market is during the annual Kensington Karnival. This is an exciting and interesting event that celebrates the Solstice. The neighborhood dresses up in colorful and elaborate costumes and parades through the market area. Lots of great music, food ensure that it's a terrific time to be in the market. The best time to get there is late afternoon.

Where is Kensington Market:
Between Dundas and College, west of Spadina Ave. If you're taking the TTC: Get off at Queen's Park Station, then take a streetcar westbound. Taxi drivers and locals can point you in the right direction.


Bata Shoe Museum

Who would think of visiting a shoe museum when in Toronto? You'd be surprised how much fun 10,000 shoes can be. Not only for people with a foot fetish, the Bata Shoe Museum is a fun and different stop on the Toronto tourist trail.

Housed in a unique building made of limestone and glass, the museum has a massive collection of shoes spanning 4,500 years. Ranging from exotic Egyptian sandals and Chinese bound foot shoes, to celebrity footwear including Elton John's platforms and Picasso's lovely pony boots.

Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum is a great place to bring the kids, who always seem to have a grand time. There is a puppet theatre, arts and crafts, and lots and lots of shoes to try on. Near the University of Toronto, the shoe museum is easy to get to by public transportation.

Where is the Toronto Bata Shoe Museum:
327 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S1W7

Located on the SW corner of Bloor St. W. and St. George
(at the St. George Subway Station).
Phone: (416) 979-7799 Fax: (416) 979-0078
Visit their web site


Toronto Island

Toronto Islands. Just a short ferry ride across the harbour from the city, you'll find over 600 acres of parkland waiting to be discovered. The Toronto Islands are a 150-year-old community made up of 262 homes, 650 people, dogs, cats, gardens and protected parks.

Walking trails, picnic areas with fire pits, supervised swimming beaches, bicycle and boat rentals, tennis, volleyball and much more await you. Prefer to kick back Island-style? Pull up a piece of beach and simply take a day off from the big city to relax and recharge.

Over 1 million people visit the islands each year, many of them to Center Island for the Centreville Amusement Park. With over 30 rides and attractions, Centreville Amusement Park is a fun place to visit for kids and adults alike. Opens daily at 10:30am from June 4th to September 6th and all weekends in May and September, weather permitting.


St. Lawrence Market

Are you getting the idea yet that Toronto has some great neighborhoods that are very conducive to getting out of your car and going for a walk? Toronto's St. Lawrence Market is the perfect place to spend an afternoon wandering through the shops and stalls. Sit down with a cafe latte and read a magazine, or simply soak in the atmosphere and people watch.

Known primarily for its Saturday Farmers' Market, farmers from Southern Ontario starting bringing their produce to sell in 1803. The tradition continues today, and you will find a colorful display of fresh produce including vegetables, meats, breads and other goods.

On Sundays, over 80 antique dealers fill the North Market and the surrounding plaza, displaying their wares from dawn to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

The Market Gallery is another good place to visit, located inside the South St. Lawrence Market on the south-west corner of Front Street East and Jarvis Street. The Market Gallery hosts a number of special exhibits each year. For more information see below.

Where is St, Lawrence Market:
Located west of Jarvis Street, between King Street East and the Esplanade, is owned by the City of Toronto.
St. Lawrence Market
St, Lawrence Market Gallery


Casa Loma

Well, it seems that a lot of historic towns have an old mansion or castle tucked in their back pocket, usually attached with an intriguing story or two. Toronto is no exception, and tucked away in the corner of a downtown neighborhood is the very unique Casa Loma, dripping with old world charm.

Even if you're not usually a Castle or Museum hopper, you'll appreciate the atmosphere and grandeur of Casa Loma. Take a walk along the winding paths through the beautiful gardens surrounding the mansion.

Rekindle your sense of wonder when you step back in time at Toronto's most romantic historic mansion. Explore elegantly decorated suites, secret passageways, stately towers, an 800 foot underground tunnel linking to luxurious stables and beautiful 5 acre estate gardens.

A self-guided audio tour, available in 8 languages, is included with admission. Casa Loma is open daily all year around from 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Last admittance 4:00 p.m.

Casa Loma is owned by The City of Toronto and has been operated by The Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma, a charitable organization, since 1937.

Where is Casa Loma:
If driving, take Eglington to Spadina. Turn south on Spadina and continue until you reach the Castle, which is south of St. Clair.
If you take the TTC (subway), get off at Dupont station, walk north two blocks on Spadina Ave and up the hill to the castle.
1 Austin Terrace
Telephone: (416) 923-1171
Casa Loma web site

Lonely Planet Toronto City Map

LonelyPlanet guide books usually include some pretty good basic maps, but their standalone maps are much better, and this map is no exception.

Find your way around the Toronto area with maps to the city, Toronto Islands and nearby Niagara Falls. The Toronto City Map has a write on, rub off surface so you can plan your own routes.

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Toronto Attraction Links and Resources:

  • Allans Gardens Conservatory
    Plan your trip to Allans Gardens. Web site has an online field trip guide, and panoramic photos of the conservatory.
  • Roberta Bondar Earth and Space Centre Planetarium
    60 seat capacity planetarium located in North York that hosts a variety of public and educational programs.
  • Toronto Horizons
    Offers links to local attractions and neighbourhoods.
  • Doors Open Toronto
    Annual weekend dedicated to Toronto's architectural heritage. Site showcases the city's most significant buildings.
  • Toronto Zoo
    Comprehensive site offers general information including admissions, exhibits and educational information.
  • Casa Loma
    Casa Loma is the unique legacy and popular Toronto tourist attraction, left behind by Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. Casa Loma history, tour and location information.
  • Canada's Walk of Fame
    Canadian walk of fame pays tribute to renowned Canadians through inlaid "sidewalk stars" in Toronto's Theatre District. Information about public nominations and stars honoured to date.
  • Toronto's Skydome
    Official website of the city's indoor/outdoor sports centre, with descriptions of the building, virtual tours and events calendar.
  • CN Tower
    Defining the Toronto skyline, the tower is the world's tallest building and free standing structure. Offers panoramic views, shopping and dining.
  • Ontario Place
    Family park with rides and events.
  • Toronto Street Festivals
    Offers information about street festivals and attractions in the Toronto area.
  • Paramount Canada's Wonderland
    A 122 hectare theme park north of Toronto with 200 attractions including over 65 rides. Schedule, admission fees and directions to park included.
  • Virtual Toronto
    Informational links and 3D virtual model of the city.

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The Toronto tourism guide. Top ten tourist attractions in the greater metropolitan area.

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