Toronto is a large and popular metropolitan city in Canada. Sometimes mistaken as the capital of the country, Toronto offers a great opportunity to experience Canada and experience some of its highlights. The city is located along the northern coast of Lake Ontario and has been growing extensively over the last decade with a large development of new skyscrapers popping up.
Within and near the city you’ll get a mixture of activities from museums, parks and impressive landmarks making the city ideal for backpackers and solo travellers to families. Contemplating whether or not to visit? Here are seven of the top reasons to visit Toronto.
1. You can experience epic views from the CN Tower
As you enter Toronto one of the first things you’ll see is the CN Tower which towers high over the city. Built-in 1976 and reaching up to 553 meters it was once one of the tallest towers in the world (until 2010). You can visit the CN Tower via its observation platform or by booking a table at the revolving restaurant. For those with a head for heights then you might also want to experience the EdgeWalk where you’ll be taken (safely) on an adrenaline-fuelled walk around the top of the main pod.
It’s also worth noting that the CN Tower is lit up at night with bright vibrant colours (which are great to photograph). Also for certain events such as Pride and New Year the tower has special themed colours and sometimes even fireworks.
2. See the skyline and beautiful Toronto Islands
The Toronto skyline is iconic and displays everything you might expect from a highly developed North American city. The skyline features a large number of skyscrapers accompanied by the CN Tower which stands tall and proud (which is very Canadian).
Directly opposite the downtown district is the Toronto Islands, which is a large park covering around 332 ha. These are a highlight of the city where you’ll find beaches, greenery and even the Centreville Amusement Park. To get to the Toronto Islands you can get a ferry from Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. There are also private boat taxi’s but these will cost considerably more. Learn more about the ferry and schedule.
We recommend visiting the Toronto Islands during the day to explore and enjoy the beaches. Then around sunset and into the blue hour head to the north shore to enjoy the skyline as it turns from day into night. This is prime time for photography and when you can capture typical postcard shots of the city.
3. Wander around the city’s many parks
Toronto has a huge number of parks (over 1600). These are scattered throughout the city and you’ll often see signs saying ‘City within a park’. There is also a mix of nature, from open green spaces, lakes, ravines and beaches.
Popular parks in the city include High Park, which is located in the west of the city. Here you’ll find stunning cherry blossom trees for a short period in the Spring. As well as the fantastic Toronto Islands (one of the highlights in the city). Other favourites of ours include Riverdale Park West (for great skyline views), Tommy Thompson Park, Humber Bay Park East, Woodbine Beach and Bluffer’s Park. See more of the parks in Toronto on Toronto.ca.
4. Enjoy delicious food at the restaurants
One thing you’ll definitely get in Toronto and that is great food and fantastic service. From takeaway joints to upscale restaurants the city has it all. You’ll find Canadian restaurants really try to go that extra mile therefore when ordering you’ll get a friendly waiter/waitress who will be more than happy to go through the menu and highlight some of the best dishes. The food can then come out cooked to perfection with twists on common dishes.
A few ideas on great restaurants to visit include Gusto 101, Bar Isabel and Terroni.
5. Check out a baseball game at Rogers Centre
Baseball is one of the more popular sports in Canada, along with ice hockey and basketball. So if you decide to visit the city (in the summer) why not check out a game? The Rogers Center would be your best choice for this – located right next to the CN Tower in the center of downtown and the home of the Toronto’s Blue Jays. The Rogers Centre is also a popular place for hosting live concerts and other events too. Another cool feature of the Rogers Centre is that the roof can retract, so during certain games and when applicable this will be open air.
6. Niagara Falls is easy to reach from Toronto
Another top reason to visit Toronto is that you can easily get to the mighty Niagara Falls. You can do this through a tour, bus, train or driving (read more via the link below). Niagara Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world, and at times over 168,000 cubic metres of water flow over its crest every minute. The Falls include several waterfalls which include the Horseshoe Falls (below), the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. They are located along the Niagara River and at the border between Canada and the USA.
You can visit Niagara Falls at any time of the year and it can also look impressive when surrounded by snow and the water surrounding it freezes. At night the waterfalls are lit up by multi-coloured spotlights from the Canada side. These are great to see and also to photograph.
7. A city with something for everyone
Toronto really is a city that has something for everyone. For those that love nature and being outside then you’ve got the parks and Toronto Islands, for those that like sport you have the Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena (previously called Air Canada Centre) and other options. For families, you have the beaches, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and plenty of museums. And for photographers, you have countless Instagram and photography spots, from the Toronto Islands, artistic and unique facades, to modern and stylish interiors.
So there you have it, some of the top reasons to visit Toronto. Fancy learning about other places to visit in Canada? Then check out our article 10 Best and Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Canada for more ideas.
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