A fun fact about Canada is that Toronto is its largest city, but not THE capital city, Ottawa actually is. Toronto IS the financial hub of Canada though as lots of major international companies base their Canadian businesses here. Locals sometimes leave buzzing Toronto city life to also visit Canada's beautiful national parks, like Jasper and Banff, on the West Coast.
This quick guide to Toronto can cater to individuals; however, the suggestions made in it are for small groups of people travelling together. It includes a variety of activities ranging from the usual spots, like museums, traditional houses and night markets, to more exciting stops, such as walking at the edge of a high tower, boating in the Niagara or walking the creepiest roads downtown.
To fully appreciate Toronto’s diversity, be sure to drop by its popular hipster market or the Graffiti Alley, both of which express the townspeople’s eye for style, art and unity.
Toronto has everything to offer to a group of friends looking for a great time. Group tours and meals are best shared with your favourite people, and soon enough, Toronto will be your best bonding destination, too!
For great pals on a mission to make the most out of their Toronto trip, a first stop to the city's iconic CN Tower is a good primer for the great heights that Toronto is able to offer. Nothing screams memorable first time more than a short stroll at the edge of a towering skyscraper. Afterwards, discover the city through a hair-raising escapade by going on a Haunted Tour—a truly unique way to go through this Canadian city.
After a frightful tour, it is time to fully relax and head with the gang to bond some more over sumptuous food and great company at the St Lawrence Market in the early afternoon. You will continue your group feast at the historic Distillery District at night time. This roller coaster ride of a day will surely set any friendship bar higher, and will make you want to travel in groups for the fun of it again!
A memorable trip to Toronto should begin right at the city's iconic landmark, the CN Tower. This skyscraper offers a glass elevator trip to one of two viewing decks: the Lookout (346m above) or the SkyPod (447m). Visitors can take a breathtaking EdgeWalk where one can literally view Toronto from above. Experiencing Toronto from such great heights would certainly make anyone hungry. Fortunately, the CN Tower has the 360 Restaurant where visitors can enjoy a great meal with a beautiful view.
Follow up your dizzying experience with another item on the bucket list that will appeal to the senses. The Haunted Walk of Toronto is a unique way to explore the city. Following a trail of the city's spookier spots, the organizer Haunted Walk offers a guided tour starting off at the Hockey Hall of Fame (30 Yonge St.). This walk also includes the Mackenzie House, one of the country's creepiest mansions.
From the CN Tower, walk to King St West At John St East Side, and ride the light rail at Broadview Station, then alight at King St East At Church St East Side, and walk to the Haunted Walk spot.
In 2012, the National Geographic awarded the St Lawrence Market as the best food market in the world. A few years in, and this old City Hall complex has maintained its timeless charm with an excellent selection of gastronomic finds, such as organic foods, themed dishes, artisanal pastries, and more.
So get prepared to get to know Toronto's Old Town through the city's culinary masterpieces. It has three main areas, the South Market, North Market, and St Lawrence Hall. After all, anyone who spends a day at the CN Tower and the Haunted Tour deserves a hearty meal.
Known for its well-preserved 1800s architecture, the Distillery District is the best place to kick off your first night in Toronto. It is home to what used to be the world's largest whiskey producers, Gooderham and Worts Distillery, which was crafted in the 1830s.
At present, one can enjoy the town's vintage look and feel, which is bustling with cafes, shops and public places that boast Toronto's rich taste and heritage. There are numerous performing arts companies that also give live shows every night too.
The second day in Toronto merits a day to discover Toronto in all its vibrant glory. Canada is known to embrace all races and ethnicities, and a quick sweep through it shows the result of such diversity: a generous exhibition of sights, sounds and tastes that makes up Toronto’s very fabric.
Continue your group tour at the Graffiti Alley where each one of you can get your photos taken at varying spots. This long stretch of pure street art is one of the city’s unlikely attractions, but many people still pay a visit to it to get immersed in this creative art form.
For storied works and pieces from world heritage, head over to Canada’s biggest museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, where art and life are depicted in millions of curated artefacts. Then, keep going until your group reaches another gem in history, the Casa Loma, a European-inspired mansion in midtown Toronto. Finally, end your cultural experience with an evening at Kensington Market - the bohemian heart of Canada.
Rush Lane off of Queen West is best known as the Grafitti Alley. For friends on the lookout for great Instagramable areas, this spot would really be right up your alley. Created by passionate artists and frequented by locals and accidental tourists alike, this is one of Toronto’s surprising must-see destinations. This alley stretches for almost half a mile, so you and your gang will not run out of walls to admire.
After Graffiti Alley, the next great thing to visit is a place with countless awe-inspiring sights. You can count on any great city to be home to remarkable museums, but in Toronto, you can find one of North America’s largest museums, and actually Canada’s largest museum - the Royal Ontario Museum. It houses more than six million objects, specimens and artefacts in multiple tastefully curated galleries. It showcases pieces on art, culture and natural history, which visitors tend to find very informative.
From the Alley, walk to Bathurst St at Queen St West and ride bus 307 to Bathurst St At Bloor St West. Then transfer to the 300 bus to Bloor St West At Queens Park, and walk to the Royal Ontario Museum.
Get a feel of how gothic architecture has influenced Toronto with the Casa Loma Mansion. In the heart of midtown Toronto lies a picture-perfect remnant of European elegance. On the outside, it is a great backdrop for period photographs, especially for those collecting snapshots of Toronto’s most beautiful buildings.
From the Royal Ontario Museum, walk to Bloor St West At Avenue Rd. to find the 300K bus at Kipling Station. Once on the bus, alight at Bloor St West At Bathurst St. Finally, walk to Bathurst Station and ride Bus 7 to Bathurst St At Davenport Rd, and then walk to Casa Loma.
After spending most of your day exploring Toronto’s best art and history, it only makes sense to walk around one of the city’s most hip neighbourhoods. Kensington Market is more than just a shopping district - it is a multicultural hub offering a wide variety of finds and scenes. From vintage pieces, independent labels and genuine hole-in-the-wall grubs, this ‘hood is the place to be.
From Casa Loma, walk to Spadina Station and ride the 510 A – Union Station train. When you reach Spadina Ave toward Nassau St, walk towards Kensington Market.
Naturally, a quick trip to Niagara Falls should be on your Toronto itinerary. Some locals would suggest setting out for the Falls first thing in the morning so you can have the rest of the day to either enjoy the view or move on to Toronto’s next aquatic attraction. This includes a ferry trip to the Toronto Islands, a must-visit off-city escapade perfect for adventure seekers.
This group of islands provides lots of opportunities to bask under the Canadian sun. At the heart of one of these islands is a family-friendly park called Centreville Amusement Park, which is complete with exciting rides, a scenic landscape, and offers fresh air thanks to the surrounding green nature and water.
After a fulfilling day of getting wet at the above water destinations, prepare to relax and unwind in the Entertainment District of Toronto. True to its name, this is the place where locals and tourists catch live shows or hop into bars for a few rounds of drinks - a fitting fun finish to a truly exciting tour of Toronto.
For your last day in Toronto, you will find it best to head out early for your Niagara Falls adventure. Ontario covers the Horseshoe Falls, which is one of the three falls that make up the Niagara. As a group of friends, you will surely enjoy an exciting Maid of the Mist boat tour as you will get to experience the breathtaking falls up close and personal.
When you reach Spadina Ave At Nassau St South Side, ride the 510A – Union Station rail and transfer to a Union Station Train - Aldershot GO. After that, alight at Burlington to reach Burlington GO to catch the 12 Bus from the Niagara Falls Bus Terminal.
After a beautiful morning at Niagara Falls, head back to Spadina Ave At Nassau St South Side and ride the 510 A- Union Station rail to Queens Quay to set sail for a chain of islands called the Toronto Islands. From Queens Quay, dock a ferry that traverses Lake Ontario.
Various activities can be enjoyed here, such as kayaking, paddle boarding and biking. Tourists also visit the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse for some keepsake snapshots from the island.
Toronto Island also has an amazing Centreville Theme Park that is good for visitors of all ages. This theme park is just within walking distance of Toronto Islands proper. It has 30 rides all over the resort that kids can truly enjoy. For the adults, the place also offers Pinterest-ready attractions that will look great in photos.
Head back to Queens Quay via ferry where you will easily find yourself heading towards your last stop. Toronto’s Entertainment District is known for its strings of theatres and performing arts centres that cater to many tastes. Aside from live performances, this District is also home to Toronto’s best night clubs. Make your group’s last night count by witnessing the city’s best acts in this amazing entertainment district.
This article was first published on Jun 9, 2019 14:14 UTC.
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