Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!
Canada Travel Guides

30 Cool Things to do in Toronto, Canada

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For me the perfect way to explore a new city is to get as close to local life as possible. So when I had the opportunity to travel to Ontario in autumn 2016, I knew I did’t just want to spend the typical two to three days in Toronto and race from sight to sight. I wanted to experience what it felt like to live in Toronto, find my favourite coffee shop to work on my writing, discover neighbourhood restaurants and shops, roam the markets and vintage shops, and just generally find out what makes the city so fascinating. I ended up spending 10 days here and wanted to share a list of 25 cool things to do in Toronto – not all of them are sights, some are outright random everyday things I did while I was pretending to be a local – but all are must-do’s on your itinerary!

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!


1) Watch the local neighbourhood of Kensington Market wake up at I Deal Coffee.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

2) Hang out in every single cafe, bar or restaurant at Kensington Market.

3) Shop for Asian souvenirs on Spadina Avenue.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

4) Learn about the history of shoes at the Bata Shoe Museum.

5) Do a free guided tour of a random collection at the Royal Ontario Museum.

6) Spend a morning at Dark Horse Espresso Bar – but bring a fully charged laptop to the community table!

7) Do a sunset cruise on a Tall Ship.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

8) Stay with locals to learn about their city. I had booked an amazing AirBnB!

9) Find your dream house.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

10) Ride a bicycle down Landsdowne Avenue.

11) Have breakfast waffles at the Starving Artist or amazing brunch across the street at Hello Darling.

12) Save up money and spend it all in the vintage shops on West Queen West Street.

13) Join a street art tour, or simply roam Graffiti Alley by yourself.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

14) Have lunch at the Good Neighbour Espresso Bar.

15) Window-shop at Smash.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

16) Take a boat across to Toronto Islands and rent a bicycle or a kayak to explore!

17) Check out the festival calendar at the Harbourfront Centre.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

18) Try and visit for Toronto International Film Festival or watch a film at TIFF Bell Lightbox cinema.

19) Taste the vegan pizza at Pizzaiola (I went to their W Queen West branch).

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

20) Hang out in one of Toronto’s many parks!

21) Ride the elevator up to the top of CN Tower.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

22) Have a day out at Scarborough Bluffs Park.

23) Try every single mode of transport – buses, trams and the subway!

24) Discover the shops and restaurants in the Historic Distillery District.

25) Go for dinner at El Catrin.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

26) Spend a day by the beach.

27) Rent a Stand-up paddle board at Woodbine Beach.

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

28) Treat yourself to a set menu dinner at Ruby Watchco.

29) Get drunk and eat poutine! Or just eat poutine…

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

30) Spend a night at Thompson Hotel just to take a sunrise dip in the rooftop pool.


And if this wasn’t enough already, check out these 15 best things to do in Toronto, Canada!

Toronto is a city best enjoyed from a local perspective - here are 25 things to do in Toronto, including what to see, where to eat and local favourites!

All photos by Kathi Kamleitner.

Disclaimer: I visited Toronto on behalf of Travelettes with support of Ontario Travel & See Toronto Now. This post also contains a sponsored link. All opinions are my own.

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4 Comments

  1. Toronto!!! We went there 4 years ago already, and now you made me to miss it. At first, I felt it as a cold place (and I’m not referring at the weather :)) ) but after spending some time, I really started to love it.
    A good way to immerse yourself into the atmosphere and culture is to have a tour with a guide. There are a many free guides in Toronto (or at least 4 years ago they were) and you get also useful insights from them.

    I have also started my little travel corner at
    https://egodiary.com/
    Maybe you’ll find usefull tips here as well 😉

    • Local guides are always the best for tips and stories about the city – makes it easy to warm up to a place. I’m definitely glad I spent over a week in Toronto, because otherwise, I think I wouldn’t have liked it so much! Any more, and I would have run out of cash though… it’s so expensive! Thanks for your comment, I’ll head over to check out your blog 🙂

  2. I’m finally going to Toronto in a couple months after years of just thinking about it (many of my closest friends here in NYC are from Toronto), thanks for the fantastic list!

    http://www.patientexplorers.com

    • It’s such a great city – so diverse and quirky! Have a great trip there and let me know how it was!

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