Toronto is a city that comes to life in the summer months, especially after the cold winter. You’ll often find pleasant weather and clear sunny skies. Within the city you’ll find a great variety of things to do and see, making it the perfect destination for anyone looking to make the most out of their summer. From exploring the great outdoors to attending exciting events and festivals, there is a great mix in Toronto.
Below you’ll find our suggestions of the best things to do in Toronto in the summer and the top places to stay to make the most of your trip.
Top things to do in Toronto in the summer
Here are some of the best things to see and do in Toronto in the summer:
1. Relax on Toronto’s beaches
Toronto is home to a variety of great beaches, each offering something unique. From the very large Woodbine Beach to the quiet serenity of Hanlan’s Point, or the scenic Bluffer’s Park beach, there is a beach for everyone in Toronto. Spend the day soaking up the sun, swimming in the lake, or simply relaxing with a good book. Find more beaches via toronto.ca.
2. Enjoy Toronto’s outdoor swimming pools
In addition to its many beaches, Toronto also offers outdoor swimming pools too. And many of these are free to visit and enjoy so perfect for enjoying on a warm summer’s day. Some of them include the Sunnyside – Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool and the family-friendly pool at Christie Pits (Alex Duff Memorial Pool). Visiting one of the many pools in Toronto is a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day and enjoy some outdoor fun with friends and family.
3. Explore High Park
High Park is one of Toronto’s largest and most popular parks and for good reason. It offers a variety of activities for all ages, including hiking trails, an animal park, playgrounds, and a beautiful lake. Take a picnic and spend the day exploring the park, or head to one of the many events that take place throughout the summer, including Shakespeare in the Park and outdoor concerts.
4. Catch a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre
What better way to spend a summer day than at a baseball game? Head to Rogers Centre to catch a Toronto Blue Jays game and experience the excitement of one of North America’s favourite pastimes. The stadium is located in the heart of the city and whilst watching a game you can enjoy a variety of food and drink options.
5. Experience the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)
The Canadian National Exhibition, or CNE for short, is an annual event that takes place in Toronto during the summer months. It offers a variety of attractions, including a midway, food vendors, live music, and even a dog show. The CNE is a great way to experience the excitement of summer in Toronto and is a must-visit for anyone in the city during the event.
6. Attend a concert or festival
Toronto has endless amounts of concerts and festivals to attend during the summer months. From smaller, intimate venues to large-scale events like the Toronto Jazz Festival and Pride Toronto, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Throughout the summer months, you’ll be able to enjoy beer festivals, cultural events and the flamboyant Caribana. See all the upcoming festivals on Toronto.ca.
7. Visit the Toronto Islands
A top summer activity is to take a ferry ride over to the Toronto Islands for a day of relaxation and adventure. The islands offer stunning views of the Toronto skyline, as well as a variety of activities for all ages. You can take a bike ride around the islands, go kayaking or paddleboarding, or simply relax on one of the many beaches. There are a few places to grab a bite to eat, making it the perfect spot for a day trip. You can get ferries from the Harbourfont and you can see the schedule here.
8. ..Or just go on a boat cruise
Another way to enjoy the stunning views of Toronto’s skyline is from the water with a boat cruise. There are plenty of options to choose from, including dinner cruises, sightseeing tours, and even pirate-themed adventures. It’s a great way to see the city in a whole new way and is perfect for a romantic evening or a fun day out with friends.
You can find some tours online, or if you’re passing along the waterfront you’ll also find various vendors selling tickets too.
9. Visit the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is one of Canada’s largest and most popular zoos and is a must-visit for anyone in the city during the summer months. You’ll find a variety of animals within the zoo including lions, rhinos, hyenas, and bears, as well as tropical plants. There are also various activities to enjoy including a Zoomobile, a carousel, Splash Island, zipline and Gorilla Climb Ropes Course. The zoo is a top place to go for families and here you can spend the day exploring the zoo and learning about the incredible animals that call it home.
10. Take a stroll through Kensington Market
Kensington Market is a vibrant and eclectic neighbourhood in Toronto that is known for its food, unique shops, and vibrant street art. You can take a stroll through the market and experience the excitement of this one-of-a-kind neighbourhood. It’s the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat or find a unique souvenir to take home with you.
11. Go cycling in Tommy Thompson Park
Stretching on the far side of the Toronto Islands is Tommy Thompson Park. This is a stunning nature reserve that is perfect for cycling and exploring. It offers a variety of trails, as well as stunning views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline. You can spend the day exploring the park and taking in the beauty of Toronto’s natural landscape.
12. Enjoy a drink on a rooftop patio
The city is home to a variety of rooftop patios, each offering stunning views of the city. From the chic design of Harriet’s Rooftop to the casual atmosphere of the Bar Hop, there are a variety of rooftop patios to enjoy. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a drink and take in the stunning views of the city, especially on a warm summer’s day.
13. Go for a walk along the waterfront
Toronto’s waterfront is a stunning spot to explore during the summer months. Take a walk along the boardwalk and take in the stunning views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline. There are plenty of spots to stop and grab a bite to eat or enjoy a drink, making it the perfect spot for a day out with friends and family.
14. Go on a day trip to Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is a spectacular waterfall and a must-see if you haven’t seen it before. The landmark is just a short distance from Toronto, making it the perfect day trip during the summer months. You can easily get there by driving, by coach or through a tour.
Once there you can take in the stunning views of the falls, or head to one of the many attractions in the area, including the Niagara SkyWheel and the Hornblower Niagara Cruises. It’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of Canada and make the most out of your summer vacation.
More things to do in Toronto
As well as the things suggested above you’ll find plenty of other top things to see and do when visiting Toronto. From enjoying the many museums, bars and shops, or heading up the CN Tower for incredible views of the city. You can also find lots of things to do via GetYourGuide and Viator such as those below:
Best places to stay in Toronto in the summer
Toronto offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors during the summer months. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there is something for every budget and traveller. A few ideas of the best places to stay include the Fairmont Royal York, the 1 Hotel Toronto, and the Planet Traveler Hostel.
Toronto is a city that truly comes to life in the summer months. There are plenty of things to do and explore, making it the perfect destination for anyone looking to make the most out of the warm weather. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there are endless amounts of things to do and explore in Toronto during the summer months. Be sure to add some of our suggestions to your list when visiting the city.
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