12 awesome attractions in Toronto (2024)

12 awesome attractions in Toronto (1)

The best attractions in Toronto include Frank Gehry-designed buildings, museums and plenty more

Photograph: Shutterstock

Written by Sandra Osojnik

Contributors: Danielle Goldstein, Alex Floyd-Douglass & Jennifer Banful

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It seems obvious to state that Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is brimming with fantastic things to do. We're talking amazing museums, exquisite cuisine and some of the best nightlife in the entire Great White North. Not to mention the nature walks, which you can find right in the heart of the city (hello Balfour Park loop).

There’s nowhere else quite like it. Toronto is a city that manages to both preserve its areas of cultural importance and expand at a break-neck pace. Get ready to explore both the city’s rich heritage and its exciting future – here are our top picks of Toronto’s best attractions.

RECOMMENDED: Best things to do in Toronto

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Best Toronto attractions

1.Royal Ontario Museum
  • Museums
  • Bloor Yorkville
Courtesy: Royal Ontario Museum/Sam Javanrouh

From crystals to dinosaurs, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) covers it all, making it an essential stop on any kind of traveller’s itinerary. Originally opened in 1914, the ROM now houses numerous permanent collections and is always curating interesting feature exhibits. With the futuristic addition of the Michael Lee-Chin crystal in 2007, the ROM is an attraction that stands the test of time for visitors of all ages.

Time Out tip:On average, it takes visitors 3-4 hours to explore all the rooms, so we recommend getting there a little early and prioritising the must-see collections. It might be worth taking a coffee break too.

2.The Distillery District
  • Things to do
  • The Distillery District
Photograph: Shutterstock

This is one of Toronto’s oldest industrial neighbourhoods, with a modern, contemporary twist. The very hip Distillery District, comprised of the cluster of restored Victorian buildings that once operated as the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, has undergone one of the city’s greatest urban transformations, creating a unique European-esque walking district packed with restaurants, cafés, boutiques, galleries and more.

Time Out tip:If you like discovering unique finds, pay a visit to the Distillery's finest local-run clothing boutiques and shops, where you’re bound to stumble on a cool décor piece or two.

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3.Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

12 awesome attractions in Toronto (7)
12 awesome attractions in Toronto (8)

Immerse yourself in art and culture at one of the city’s most intriguing architectural landmarks. With a stunning expansion designed by Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry, the AGO houses one of the largest art collections in North America. From Canadian artist collections and European classics to interactive workshops and classes, the AGO is a must-visit for any art-loving adventurer.

Time Out tip: Once you've worked up a hefty appetite from all that pondering, you'll be spoilt for choice by the likes of China Town and Kensington Market, both within walking distance of the gallery. Whether it's dim sum, pho or a doner kebab you're after, we know a guy!

4.Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Attractions
  • Harbourfront
Photograph: Shutterstock/ValeStock

Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Toronto takes the idea of ‘sleeping with the fishes’ very, very literally. One of the venue’s awesome events lets visitors spend the night amongst sharks, rays and tropical fish – and it isn’t the only cool program at Ripley’s. The aquarium also holds yoga sessions and live jazz nights, cementing it as one of the city’s hottest tourist destinations.

Time Out tip:To avoid the crowds, try arriving before 11 am and after 2 pm on weekdays. On weekends, begin your tour before 11 am or after 4 pm.

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5.Evergreen Brick Works

12 awesome attractions in Toronto (11)
12 awesome attractions in Toronto (12)

An old brickworks heritage site turned into a hub for innovation, Evergreen Brick Works offers visitors a unique experience through demonstrations, exhibits and events. The complex is comprised of a variety of multipurpose buildings, including a large kilns-turned-gallery building, a garden market, a restaurant café and a bike shop, to name just a few. Focused on sustainability and creating green-friendly modelsof urban living, Evergreen Brick Works is an engaging destination for the ecologically inclined explorer.

Location perks:Thenature trail is the perfect way to enjoy a morning hike or even a cycle.

Time Out tip: Head over on a Saturday to catch Evergreen Brick Works' famous farmer's market in action. You'll find a wide variety of seasonal food stands with lots of fresh baked goods and vegan options to choose from.

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6.Kensington Market
  • Shopping
  • Kensington Market
Courtesy: Shutterstock

Kensington Market perfectly capturesToronto's melting-pot cultural makeup. Vibrant and diverse, it is home to eclectic second-hand vintage boutiques, bars, cafés and restaurants that fill up the area’s colourful streets, making this an ideal destination for exploring. Once a month during the summer, Pedestrian Sundays, a lively street party celebrating food, music and fun, takes over the streets.

Time Out tip: You'll come for the bohemian vibes, but stay for the market's street food fusion – we hear Golden Patty and Seven Lives are well worth trying.

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7.Scarborough Bluffs

12 awesome attractions in Toronto (15)
12 awesome attractions in Toronto (16)

Stretching across 15 kilometres along Lake Ontario, the Scarborough Bluffs offer turquoise waters, sandy beaches and cascading cliffs that tend to deceive unknowing tourists. Photos from the Bluffs seem exotic and almost tropical, yet the destination is found right in the city’s east end. For adventurers and hiking enthusiasts, the Bluffs are a gorgeously imposing geological attraction.

Location perks:When it comes to creating the perfect photo op., there's nothing quite like the Bluffsto commemorate your trip.

8.Toronto Islands
  • Attractions
  • Toronto Islands
Courtesy: Tourism Toronto

Just a short ferry ride away fromToronto’s bustling downtown core sits a cluster of small islands, commonly known as Toronto Island. Consisting of a quaint amusem*nt park, sandy beaches (including one that’s clothing-optional – yay to no tan lines!), shady knolls and biking trails, the Island is a great day-trip destination. Frequent ferry service is available from the main ferry terminal located on the city’s scenic harbourfront.

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9.Allan Gardens Conservatory

12 awesome attractions in Toronto (19)
12 awesome attractions in Toronto (20)

Fans of horticulture are sure to love this Victorian-era conservatory. Lush with plants and botanical features, this small yet impressive structure houses species from the tropics, the Mediterranean, Australia and elsewhere. If you find yourself in Toronto during the winter, escape from the city’s snowy slushy street and revel in the warm and fresh climate that the conservatory offers. You might even get to experience the annual Christmas flower show if you hit the city during the winter months.

10.Ontario Science Centre

12 awesome attractions in Toronto (21)
12 awesome attractions in Toronto (22)

The Science Centre is all about interactive learning for kids and adults alike. Welcoming curiosity and creativity, this family-friendly attraction is dedicated to making science fun and promoting exploration and learning. The Science Centre offers unique experiences such as an indoor rainforest, science arcade and OMNIMAX® dome theatre, as well as a variety of exhibitions and demonstrations to keep you (and your brain) busy.

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11.High Park

12 awesome attractions in Toronto (23)
12 awesome attractions in Toronto (24)

Take a trip to Toronto’s largest park if you’re looking for a green getaway in the heart of the city. Since the late 1800s, High Park has been a destination for locals and tourists alike, offering plenty of picturesque vantage points, hiking trails, waterfront views, activities and more – there is even a small zoo within the park!

12.CN Tower
  • Attractions
  • Harbourfront
Photograph: Shutterstock

With the world's tallest tower currently standing at 828 meters (2,717 feet) in Dubai, it's hard to believe that Canada once led the way in grounbreaking buildings. Yet it did. The CN Tower—arguably one of the world's most renowned silhouettes—was once the world’s tallest structure and it remains impressive today. Standing at 553 meters (that's 1,815 feet), this icon provides incomparable 360º views of the city, plus a revolving restaurant.

Time Out tip: If you’re feeling adventurous, strap into the EdgeWalk—the world’s highest hands-free walk, on a 1.5m-ledge, 356 meters (1167 feet) above the streets.

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Find more Toronto attractions

Worked up an appetite after all that touring?

The 20 best restaurants in Toronto

This food savvy city is quickly becoming a tourist destination for culinary connoisseurs and thrifty gourmands alike.

Been there, done that? Think again, my friend.

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