Top 10 tips for your first trip to Toronto

If you are planning a trip to Toronto, you will be spoilt for choice in this exciting, and vibrant city where there is so much to do, and so much to see. Although not the capital, Toronto is Canada’s largest city – make the most of your time there with our top 10 tips:

1. CN Tower

This 1,815 ft structure, which until 2007 was the tallest building in the world, is undoubtedly the defining feature of Toronto’s skyline. The glass fronted elevators will whiz you up to the Look Out level at a speed of 20 ft per second, where you will enjoy breath taking views of the city. Walking across the Glass Floor, suspended 1,122 ft above the ground might take a little bit of persuasion if you are afraid of heights, but just keep telling yourself that it has been built to withstand the weight of 14 hippos, and you will be fine. If you are feeling exceptionally brave, you might like to try the Edge Walk which involves circumnavigating the tower whilst attached to a safety harness.

EdgeWalk, CN Tower, Toronto

2. High Park

This enormous public park offers a haven of peace and tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are playgrounds, sports facilities, and picnic areas, hiking trails and even a zoo where you can see buffalo, bison, lama and deer. Don’t miss the “maple leaf circle” at the bottom of Hillside Gardens.

3. Toronto Islands

A fifteen minute ferry ride from down-town Toronto will transport you to this peaceful retreat. Toronto Islands provide a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with a beautiful view of Lake Ontario on one side, and a stunning view of the city skyline on the other. With bike rides and boat rides, beautiful gardens and sandy beaches, this is the perfect place to be on a hot summer’s day. The Rectory Café is well worth a visit.

4. Kensington Market

Declared a National Historic Site in 2006, this colourful and quirky multi-ethnic hub is a delight to behold. With its bustling street scene, shops selling vintage clothes and an array of food from all around the world, the atmosphere is slightly edgy but friendly and welcoming at the same time.

5. Sassafraz

Situated in rather quirky looking yellow Victorian house right in the heart of Yorkville, Sassafraz offers a pleasing selection of French inspired Canadian dishes served with with an air of calm and sophistication.

6. Niagara Falls

This natural wonder of the world is only 81 miles away from Toronto, which makes it easily accessible within a day. The town itself is surprisingly tacky, but the breathtaking beauty of the falls more than compensates. The mesmerising Maid of the Mist boat ride is an absolute must.

Niagara Falls

7. Royal Ontario Museum

One of the largest in North America, the Royal Ontario is a museum of world culture and natural history. Highlights include the dinosaurs, Spirit House and Stair of Wonders. It’s worth visiting just to see the great prisms of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal bursting out of the walls of the original 100 year old building.

8. Canada’s Wonderland

With its 15 roller coasters, 65 rides and 200 attractions, Canada’s premier amusement park is guaranteed to keep the family happy for the whole day.

9. Shopping

The Eaton Centre claims to be Canada’s premier shopping destination, and as shopping centre experiences go, it is indeed a fairly pleasant one. With a multitude of international retailers and restaurants housed in a spectacular glass galleria, you should be able to find everything your heart desires all under one roof.

10. Hockey game

Most Canadians are passionate about Hockey and if you get the chance to go to a game, you should take it. It’s fast, furious and exciting. If you want to ingratiate yourself with the fans, make sure you refer to the sport simply as “hockey”, rather than, “ice hockey” as we might say in the UK.

Ceri Tinley is the Co-Founder and MD of Consensio Holidays.

Comments (4)

  1. Jennifer says:

    Great ideas. I have always wanted to visit Toronto. Can’t wait to go! I have hear so much about the great dining and shopping.


  2. David says:

    #11. Mayor Rob Ford’s office parties. Some of the best theatre in Toronto can be seen anywhere within a 100 meter radius of the city’s famous mayor and admitted crackhead ;-)

  3. You could include High Park which is wonderful during the summer.

  4. Emil says:

    Nice tips! I spent over a year in Toronto and definitely recommend to visit

Leave a comment

Your actual name, not your online persona, website name, company name or keywords, otherwise your comment won't be published

Please do not advertise and make sure your comment adds value, otherwise we regret that it won't be published. Comments such as "Nice post. Thanks for sharing." do NOT add value to the discussion! Homepage links (not deep links) are allowed in the 'Website' field only - if you would like to advertise, please contact us for details and we will be happy to help.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

Our readers also enjoyed these posts…