Sightseeing in Toronto is very popular all year round for adults, couples and families. With each season brings traditional and new attractions.
Sightseeing in Winter
Toronto sightseeing winter events include some of the most memorable experiences for families. Walk through the streets of Toronto to see the Festival of Lights. The city of Toronto lighting up its Christmas tree in December at Nathan Philips Square is always a memorable experience for the whole family.
For attractions near Toronto in the winter, you can head to Niagara Falls. There are festivals put on every year such as the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights. Weekend packages and discounts are usually available for families and couples.
But nothing is more romantic then enjoying a nice glass of Ice Wine by the fire. There are Ice Wine tours in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This area is also filled with quant Bed and Breakfasts.
Sightseeing in Spring
Spring time in Toronto means the sun is starting to shine. Toronto attractions in the spring vary depending on what you are interested in. The Toronto Zoo is located in Scarborough and is the third largest zoo in the world and is called home by over 5,000 animals.
Casa Loma Toronto is spectacular to visit in spring. Already a Toronto landmark and local favourite, the Casa Loma castle has also been used in movies such as X-men. The gardens and grounds are alive during this time of year and it is considered a must-see for Toronto sightseeing.
Sightseeing in Summer
Summer Toronto attractions and sightseeing almost seems endless. Canada’s Wonderland is at its prime during this season. Canada’s Wonderland is Canada’s favourite amusement park and offers over 200 attractions along with 65 thrill rides. Bring the kids, as Canada’s Wonderland is also home to a massive kids play area along with live shows playing every day such as Rock Bank Live and Arthur’s Baye Dive Show!
Canada’s Wonderland isn’t the only amusement park to see. Centreville Amusement Park is located on the Toronto Island and is a popular destination and attraction for families.
If you’re looking for a more romantic sightseeing adventure, Toronto Islands would fall into that category. This beautiful old Toronto community is filled with picnic areas, hiking and biking trails. Take a walk through the streets of the Toronto Islands and enjoy the sights of this historic island.
At the end of August, Torontonians get ready for the best attraction of the season – The CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) comes into town and changes the Toronto Exhibition Centre into a carnival of rides, games and exhibits. And who can forget the delicious funnel cakes and Tiny Tom Donuts?
There are a lot of sights and attractions available to travelers and locals all year round. One of Toronto’s sightseeing favourites is the CN Tower. Dominating the Toronto skyline is this magnificent free-standing structure which has become Toronto’s mascot. The glass floor is one attraction inside that is fun (and terrifying) for the kids. The renowned 360 Restaurant rotates slowly while clients eat, giving you a full view of Toronto.
Another great attraction Toronto is well known for is the Hockey Hall of Fame. During hockey season, the streets are filled with people, representing their favourite teams by wearing a team jersey. A perfect way to end your trip at the Hockey Hall of Fame would be to eat dinner at the Wayne Gretzky restaurant.
While Canadians love hockey, they also live for concerts and the theatre. Take a walk along the Toronto Entertainment district to find all the new shows, plays and performances.
Toronto’s most famous venue attractions include:
- The Molson Amphitheatre
- Ricoh Coliseum
- The Roger Centre (sitting beside the CN Tower and home to the Toronto Blue Jays)
- The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
- Air Canada Centre
- Harbourfront Centre
For people going green, Toronto is also the city of trails and parks. Scattered throughout the city are peaceful and relaxing parks. You can also head down to the Beaches district and take a stroll on the Boardwalk which is a family (and pet!) friendly place for sightseeing in Toronto.
Visitors can head up into Northern Ontario to find conservation areas with hiking and biking trails. A popular Toronto sightseeing activity is bird watching. This activity is great for all ages and shows you more of Ontario’s beautiful province and its accompanied wildlife.
In eastern Toronto, a local favourite is Edwards Garden. With numerous trails and resting spots, it is a beautiful place to spend your afternoon.
Toronto tourism has made huge changes to its Toronto sightseeing bus tours. Hop on a Double-Decker bus and tour Toronto for a very low cost. There are also many walking tours offered by Toronto sightseeing tour groups or create a tour of your own.
An enchanting and historical area to visit is the Distillery District. This perfectly preserved Victorian Toronto neighbourhood attraction is loved by both locals and tourists. People come to admire the architecture and art galleries, or to just stroll along the cobblestone streets.
Other popular Toronto attractions and sightseeing venues are:
- Kensington Market
- Union Station
- Royal Ontario Museum
- St. Lawrence Market
- Eaton Centre
- Ontario Science Centre
Experience and see Toronto like it’s never been seen before. Explore our tour guides for more details about Toronto Sightseeing.
Customized tours in Toronto are a great way to see all the sights you personally want to see on your own time frame. Certain companies in Toronto allow you to design tours for you and your group.
Sightseeing in Toronto is almost as diverse as its communities. You can see historical sites, attractions, entertainment, and natural destinations all within a few blocks from each other. But some people and groups have a limited time or have a specific attraction they wish to see.
There are companies who can help you create a customized tour in Toronto to see specific areas, attractions, and neighbourhoods. You can also tour through different communities.
Types of Tours
There are many different types of groups – each group enjoys different sights at different speeds. The great thing about Toronto customized tours is the diversity of places of things you can choose to see in one day.
The kind of category of groups found in Toronto visitors are;
* Leisure groups
* School groups
* Special interest groups
* Social groups
Leisure groups are interested in a nice slow paced tour of certain themed destinations. Leisure customized tours in Toronto would be a nice tour of the waterfront area, or walking tour through certain Toronto neighbourhoods.
Educational customized tours in Toronto are great for classes or schools. You can choose the best sights for your kids to see in the small amount of time available. This could be historical sites only between a certain time period in Toronto.
Special interest customized tours can often be more fast paced or more detail oriented around a single topic. Toronto has a lot of different spaces — you can find a themed customized tour for anything you can imagine.
Social group customized tours can be for a variety of themes. This includes sports, organizations, religions, age groups, friends, and other communities.
Benefits to Customized Tours
There are many benefits to customized tours in Toronto. Some of them are;
* Customized itinerary planning
* Transportation arranged — including ground, air, and water
* Entertainment packages
* Trip guides available 24/7
Customized itinerary planning means you see only the attractions your group is interested in or plan around another event taking place that day. You aren’t bound by the tour groups pre-made plans.
Transportation can become expensive, especially with larger groups. Customized tours know the right companies to work with for ground, air, and water transportation.
You also become privy to boat cruises in Toronto, or they can be incorporated into your tour if you would like. You can find more information on boat cruises by following this link; www.torontoharbour.com.
Entertainment packages can also be incorporated into your Toronto customized tour. This can include concerts, theatre, exhibits, and other shows. The customized tour means the proper amount of time will be allocated so you can experience what you choose.
You will also have a guide for the entire duration of your tour. You can have someone who knows the people and area, someone who can answer all your questions or show you the coolest sites.
Toronto customized tours can also be created to visit places outside of the city. You can visit the famous Niagara Falls for the day and see the beautiful country side of Ontario.
You can travel to Niagara-on-the-lake, home to many great wineries, on your own schedule and visit the places you wish to see. Bed & breakfasts are a popular industry in this region so you can even make it a weekend tour!
All of the details can be made ahead of time so the Toronto customized tour company can have it all ready for your arrival. You can even get airport pickups!
The kinds of tours available are the same as regular tours: walking tours, driving tours, sightseeing buses, and boat cruising tours.
Customized tours in Toronto have become a favourite way for people visiting to see the right sites. Everyone is different, so why should the tours be generic?
Search through more of Totally Toronto for a company that suits you and your group!
Toronto historic sites are easy to find. Between every new building and park you will find a little piece of history. Toronto’s style is a clash between modern architecture and perfectly preserved historical buildings.
Since the birth of Toronto (as we know it) in 1793, many of the buildings and landmarks have stayed the same. The city of Toronto has always maintained and conserved old treasures. It has been done in such a manner that it has given Toronto its own unique flavour and style. Instead of secluding or tearing down a historic Toronto site, they have built around them.
Picture yourself walking down Front Street; it is in the centre of downtown Toronto, busy with cars, people and tourists. As you look to the left you see the new high-rise business buildings towering overhead, yet as you look to the right you are thrown back in time to 1927. The original Union Station stands before you. This monstrous, pillared building spreads down an entire block and is still fully functioning to this day.
Some of the Toronto historic sites are better known than others. Probably one of the most famous Toronto historic sites is Casa Loma. Sir Henry Pellatt built this gothic revival style house in 1911. Costing over $3 million to build plus the rise in property tax due to World War 1, Sir Henry Pellatt lost the house less than ten years after it was completed.
From that point on, it became a treasured Toronto historic site. You can see this massive 98-room home, as it has become a great tourist attraction as well. You may also recognize it from the blockbuster movie ‘X-Men’ as the peaceful school for mutants!
The Fort York is one of Toronto’s proudest historic sites. The British Army built Fort York in 1793 as protection against the now independent United States. Unfortunately, the original Fort York was destroyed in 1813 during the Battle of York but was rebuilt shortly after.
The Fort York National Historic Site is one of Canada’s largest ‘War of 1812’ compilations. The fort itself is now a museum and pulls in a large amount of tourists each year. It is also a reminder to Canadians of the men who protected the shores of Lake Ontario.
The Distillery District is a great place to see as a look into the past. Originally home of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery making over 2 million gallons of whisky a year and became the largest distillery in the world by the 1860s.
The Toronto historic site is now one of the most popular districts in the city. Stretching across 13 acres, this perfectly preserved Victorian neighbourhood houses more than 40 historic buildings. You can walk the streets of this piece of history and enjoy the cafes, restaurants, and shops in the Distillery District.
Black Creek Pioneer Village is a Toronto historic site that is fun for the whole family. It was built to represent what rural Ontario community would have looked like in the 1800s. Containing over 40 historic buildings complete with 1860 furnishings, Black Creek Pioneer Village allows us to walk into the past.
Most of the buildings were moved from their previous position while others were rebuilt in the grounds. This Toronto historic site also offers complete re-enactments of day-to-day life for the Canadian pioneers. It is a fun place to visit and often has school group’s visit for the historical value to be learned.
Another great Toronto historic site is the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. The cemetery was the first of its kind, allowing locals to be buried with its gates since 1876. The grounds of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery are still stunning with long walking paths, gardens, glorious old trees and architecturally advanced monuments. It is located in the center of Toronto and holds many famous remains as Edward S Rogers Sr. (founder of Rogers Communications) and William Lyon Mackenzie King (Canada’s tenth Prime Minister).
Other Toronto historic sites that hold a special place in the hearts of Torontonians are; Colborne Lodge, Spadina House, Mackenzie House, Markham Museum and Historic Village, Campbell House and Museum, the First Post Office, Hungarian Monument, Necropolis, The Grange and the Gibson House Museum.
As rich as Toronto is in culture, it is just as rich in history. Toronto historic sites are a treasure and the city is proud to maintain them in their original form. Add a few Toronto historic sites to your list and become a part of the history!
Top 10 Places to See
When visiting a city with as many great attractions as Toronto, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Begin sightseeing and visit these tourist attractions which include the top 10 places to see in the city of Toronto.
The CN Tower
Located right downtown, The CN Tower is Toronto’s classic tourist attraction. Visitors will attest that you haven’t really seen Toronto until it’s been seen from 553 meters (1,815 feet) above. The CN Tower has been the city’s most iconic attraction since it was built in 1976, and until last year it was the tallest free-standing structure in the world. However, it’s not just a tower. There are interactive rides, an arcade, and even a 3-D movie theater. On the main observation deck is also the CN Tower 360 Restaurant, a revolving restaurant that features the world’s highest wine cellar. For the brave tourist, do not miss the glass floor elevator ride, which was named number one in National Geographic’s list of the World’s Top 10 Elevator Rides.
Head to the Market
St. Lawrence Market, located on the east side of the downtown core, is another of the city’s most popular attractions. It was named among the top 25 markets in the world according to Food and Wine Magazine. On Saturdays the area also has a farmer’s market, while on Sunday an antiques market takes its place. However, for those looking for something a little rougher around the edges, Kensington Market is a great option. Navigate the narrow streets where visitors can find everything from seafood markets and butcher shops to vegetarian health-food stores. There many restaurants and cafes, as well as a variety of stores selling vintage clothes, antiques, jewelery and accessories.
A popular outdoor winter activity is skating on one of the city’s many outdoor ice rinks. Toronto has over 50 rinks, operating from mid-November to early March. If you have a pair of skates and a stick, go check one out. For visitors who didn’t happen to bring skates with them, there are several rinks where they can be rented. The rink at Nathan Phillips Square and the Natrel Rink at Harbourfront Centre (Canada’s largest artificially cooled outdoor rink), both have rentals available for visitors. The Natrel Rink also offers regular skating lessons for all skill levels.
Look out from Toronto’s waterfront towards Lake Ontario and you will see the Toronto Islands, another of the city’s most popular attractions. The islands are reached by taking a short ferry from the harbour, usually to Centre Island which is the main point of arrival. One of the best ways to check out the island’s trails and boardwalks is by bike, which can be rented. The islands are packed with activities for all ages, including an outdoor maze, beaches, and an amusement park for the kids.
The Distillery District
Located just east of the downtown core, the Distillery District is one of the best examples of Victorian era industrial architecture in North America. Designated a National Historical Site in 1988, the past 10 years have seen the area revitalized into a destination for the arts, food and shopping. Among the attractions, the Distillery District is the home to the world famous SOMA chocolate factory. One of the best ways to take in the historical scenery is on a guided tour. For the adventurous, guided Segway tours are also available.
Try Eating Something Different
Toronto is increasingly becoming known for its wide range of international cuisine. When visiting Toronto, it’s a great chance to try something you haven’t eaten before. Outside of the downtown core, certain types of restaurants are often clustered together in one neighbourhood. Just west of downtown are the bustling markets and restaurants of Chinatown, while a little further northwest of there are Little Italy and Little Portugal. Over to the east, the area on the Danforth is famous for its Greek restaurants, while a little southeast of there is the up and coming area known as Little India.
A Night at the Theatre
Toronto has a booming theatre scene, featuring top stars and many hit plays and musicals from London and New York City. Downtown Toronto features several large Broadway-style theatres, including The Royal Alexandria Theatre, The Princess of Wales Theatre and The Canon Theatre. Recent hit shows to pass through include Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia, and The Lion King. There are also many acclaimed smaller venues such as Soulpepper Theatre Company or The Second City Theatre.
Check Out a Brewery
For the beer lover, there are several great breweries in Toronto that are worth checking out. The Steam Whistle Brewery, located downtown in the shadow of the CN Tower, offers regular tours of their brewery which is located in railway roundhouse from the 1920s. North of downtown is the Granite Brewery, an award-winning microbrewery that features a great patio in the summer. Meanwhile, over in the Distillery District is the Mill Street Brewpub, a restaurant and pub located on the original site Mill Street Brewery, who were the winner of Canadian Brewery of the Year from 2007 through 2009.
The Royal Ontario Museum
Toronto has many fascinating museums, but one that stands out from the others is the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), located on Bloor Street. The building is hard to miss, thanks to its famous redesign that added a glass crystal structure to the existing museum building. The museum features dozens of exhibits and galleries on world culture and natural history, as well as a variety of changing special exhibits. Some of the most popular exhibits include their collections of Egyptian, Greek and Chinese artifacts, while kids will love the huge collection of dinosaurs as well as the recently re-opened Bat Cave.
North of downtown and perched atop a hill is Casa Loma, another of Toronto’s top tourist attractions. The huge mansion was built in 1914 for a rich businessman looking to fulfill his childhood dream of living in a castle, but is now owned by the city and is open to the public. Casa Loma has also been a popular spot for movie shoots, including films such as X-Men and the recent Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The castle features decorated suites, tunnels, secret towers, stables, as well as a beautiful five acre garden. Self-guided multimedia tours are available in nine languages, including American Sign Language.