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Best things to do in Toronto

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Where in the world: Canada  /  Ontario  /  Toronto
Although the majority of tourists rush to marvel at the magnificence of nearby Niagara Falls, things to do in Toronto include many activities in the city itself. You can admire the cityscape from the top of the widely recognizable CN Tower, explore the versatile collections at Royal Ontario Museum, or discover a trendy art hub at The Distillery District. Your kids will love a day spent among varied animal species at Toronto Zoo, while the whole family will enjoy a slow-paced stroll through the impeccable Toronto parks.

Toronto is best known for its Observation Decks, Aquariums, and Flea Markets.

Top 15 things to do in Toronto

1. CN Tower

Arguably Toronto's most recognizable attraction, CN Tower held the record for world's tallest building upon its completion in 1976. Still one of the world's highest towers, this spindly icon remains a landmark of the city skyline. Ride the glass elevator to the top, where on a clear day you can take in views of the city from 553 m (1,815 ft) in the air. If you choose to have a meal at the revolving restaurant, elevator access is free of charge. For an extra dose of adrenaline, daredevils can take a short walk around the edge of the tower's main pod, just above the restaurant.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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2. Royal Ontario Museum

Appreciate edgy art and science at Royal Ontario Museum, Canada's largest museum. Thanks to its strong ties to the University of Toronto, the museum offers informative and up-to-date exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to modern fashion trends. It also houses an extensive collection of artworks from around the globe. Admire the museum's bold exterior, which features striking crystalline features contrasted with the building's original facade. Take a tour of the museum to get the full story behind the pieces on display.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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3. Casa Loma

Constructed at the beginning of the 20th century in the Gothic Revival style, Casa Loma represents the city's only castle. The midtown landmark once served as the formal residence of financier Henry Mill Pellat, known for helping bring hydroelectric power to Toronto. Originally the largest private home in Canada, the grandiose 98-room castle now acts as a museum, often used for wedding ceremonies and movie shoots. Choose between several themed guided tours, or pick up a digital audio guide at the entrance and explore the castle and gardens on your own.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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5. Distillery Historic District

Once home to the British Empire's biggest producer of spirits, Distillery Historic District now represents one of Toronto's top tourist hubs, packed with shops and bars housed inside preserved Victorian-era buildings. This ten-street quarter contains dozens of old warehouses converted into modern art galleries, artist workshops, trendy eateries, and upscale boutiques. A popular gathering place for both tourists and locals, the neighborhood is especially crowded on weekends, when newlyweds come to pose in front of the area's iconic redbrick buildings. Browse the website for upcoming events, which include live jazz performances, food festivals, and art exhibits.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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6. St. Lawrence Market

Let yourself be tempted by a smorgasbord of mouth-watering aromas at St. Lawrence Market. With traditions dating as far back as 1803, the covered market showcases the capital city's most diverse range of fresh food vendors, with specialities from across the globe. Find all the ingredients you need to prepare your favorite meal, and taste samples of exotic foods from specialty vendors. Visit the market's bustling food court for a meal.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Butterfly Conservatory, Niagara Falls

Enter the world of colorful insects at Butterfly Conservatory, located just minutes from the world-famous waterfalls. Sheltering over 2,000 butterflies that fly freely through the lush vegetation, this modern insect zoo features a climate-controlled greenhouse, 200-seat theater, and a large gift shop. Most of the conservatory's butterflies come from farms in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Australia, and the Philippines. Special nets stretched along the conservatory's glass dome keep the fragile creatures from entangling and dying of hypothermia. Boost your chances that butterflies land on you by wearing brightly colored clothing, moving slowly, and dabbing some perfume just before entering.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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8. Hockey Hall of Fame

One of the largest collections of its kind in the world, Hockey Hall of Fame glorifies the famous names and storied history of Canada's most famous sport. Pay a visit to the museum, housed in a historic 19th century bank building, and explore its 15 different exhibits covering a range of hockey topics. You'll find collections of trophies, equipment, and other artifacts of the game amassed over the years, and you can even try taking a few shots yourself at the simulator. Don't miss the great hall, the crowning glory of the museum, which holds portraits and information commemorating the hall of fame's more than 250 inductees.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Toronto Zoo

Canada's largest animal sanctuary, Toronto Zoo shelters over 5,000 animals occupying habitats from seven different zoogeographic regions. Head to the indoor tropical pavilions to see creatures from warmer climates, and then venture to the outdoor habitats, where larger mammals roam spacious areas that mimic their natural environments. Learn about your favorite animals by attending a daily zookeeper talk, and explore exhibits dedicated to baby polar bears, rhinos, pandas, and white lions. Don't miss the award-winning tundra exhibit, designed to teach visitors about the habitats of snow geese, reindeer, snowy owls, and Arctic foxes and wolves. Check the website for available activities, events, and educational programs.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
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10. Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara Falls

Admire Niagara Falls from a different vantage point with a visit to Journey Behind the Falls. Hidden behind the powerful waterfall, the tunnel offers several viewing platforms that give visitors a fresh perspective on the thunderous cascade. Be sure to wear a poncho or waterproof jacket on your visit, as you'll almost certainly get doused by heavy sprays of water. Reserve your tickets in advance, as the popular attraction can sell out.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Kensington Market

Kensington Market represents one of the most vibrant and diverse areas in the city, where many cultures and ideologies seem to exist harmoniously. Peruse retro and vintage shops, art galleries, and many counter-cultural establishments. Take in the colorful street art, bohemian people, music, and a host of food establishments. The area is at its most active and interesting in the warmer months.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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12. Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls

Horseshoe Falls are the largest of the three waterfalls that constitute the Niagara Falls. The falls are not only a popular holiday spot, but also an abundant source of hydraulic power. If you wish to admire the scenery, take a walk along the waterfall, picnic in the free park, or take a ride in the cable car. Adventurous souls will appreciate boat cruises and ziplining to the falls.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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13. Art Gallery of Ontario

Admire the impressive range of over 80,000 artworks at Art Gallery of Ontario, one of the largest venues of its kind in North America. With a collection spanning the period between the 1st century CE and the present day, this architectural landmark (with a facade by noted architect Frank Gehry) houses First Nation carvings, Henry Moore sculptures, rare Quebecois religious items, and much more. Other highlights include permanent exhibits of European paintings by Tintoretto, Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya, Picasso, Rodin, Monet, Degas, Cezanne, and many other Baroque and Renaissance masters. It's difficult to see everything in a single day, but if you're on a tight schedule, you can get a good feel for the gallery by taking a short mini tour.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Niagara Falls Canada, Niagara Falls

One of North America's most impressive natural attractions, Niagara Falls Canada straddle the border between the United States and Canada, marking the point at which the eponymous river plummets over a prominent escarpment. Two cascades on the U.S. side and one on the Canadian combine to form the most powerful waterfalls in the world, harnessed to produce electricity using a generating system invented by famed scientist Nikola Tesla. Experience the sheer force of the water by taking a boat tour from the base of Horseshoe Falls, or climb to the top the observation tower for a bird's-eye view of the entire region.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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15. Ontario Science Centre

Interact with exhibits at Ontario Science Centre, opened in 1969 and designed to naturally descend into and follow the contours of the Don River ravine. Get hands-on with over 800 displays sprawled across three main pavilions. Kids can learn about science by playing games and attending daily demonstrations. Catering to the entire family, the museum also features a planetarium and a dome theater, as well as many exhibits offering insight into biology, space travel, and technological innovations.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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