Fun Things to Do in Toronto
Updated: May 22, 2018
Beautiful Lake Ontario
I can’t believe I lived in Toronto for almost 10 years and absolutely loved every bit of the city, but never got the chance to write about it. I still remember the first time I visited Toronto with my parents. I was 12 or so and remember REALLY wanting to see as much as I can. From the Harbour front’s walk to Yorkville’s European styled buildings. When you visit a city like Toronto, there’s so much you want to see while soaking everything in.
Whether you’re a resident of TO or planning an upcoming trip – here’s a little city guide of my favorite fun things to do while you’re here.
Top Spot 1: Distillery District
The Distillery District is an internationally acclaimed village of brick-lined streets and dozens of vibrantly restored Victorian Industrial buildings. It’s one of Ontario’s hottest tourist attractions and home to live theatres, galleries, fashion, design and jewelry boutiques, unique cafes and award-winning restaurants. It’s all completely closed to traffic and just a few minutes’ walk from downtown Toronto.
Sano’s Tip: Best way to start your trip in the district is to start from 55 Mill Street, M5A 3CA
Hidden Treasure: Distillery District is transformed into a vibrant and cheerful Christmas Market from November 16th to December 23. There are farmers that sell their locally sourced and organically produced produce at the market. Some of the chocolate fudge that you find here is out-of-this-world-amazing!! It is ranked as one of the Top 10 Holiday Markets in the World. Cafes add Christmas and snowy winters special hot cocos and desserts to their menus.
Sano’s Fav Café: Cacao 70 - please have the milk chocolate fondue with fresh fruits and waffle and brownie chunks – please see the mouthwatering pictures below and follow me on Instagram to watch some crazy videos too! <3
Top Spot 2: Yorkville
Day and night, the neighborhood vibrates with energy and excitement. It is often termed “little Europe in the middle of downtown Toronto”. It is an affluent neighborhood with luxury shopping brands and some of the best hair stylists in the city. You will see people drive their luxury cars in the area and almost all cafes have outdoor patios to enjoy the sights of luxury. Dining game is pretty strong here. Whether you prefer casual, romantic or exotic dining, Bloor-Yorkville is home to some of the city’s finest culinary artists. Whatever your taste, you are sure to find something that pleases your palate.
Sano’s Tip: Go earlier during the day as it’s a great place to walk around and explore all the cute lil cafes and gelato places. Start from Bay subway station if using public transportation otherwise get dropped off at 29 Bellair St, M5R 2C8
Best Café: Zaza Expresso Bar – their location is everything – sit on the outside café – they have the best gelato and finest coffee selection – plus they are authentic Italians who started this from scratch from a waaaay smaller location
Best Restaurants: Yamato & Kasa Moto for Japanese lovers (I had my first sushi experience at Yamato!), Café Nervosa for Italian lovers, Sassafraz for French lovers, STK Toronto for Steak lovers, Carols Cheese cake for the dessert fans and Amber Restaurant & Bar is quite nice for a drink or two at a nice Bar/Lounge type place
Night out at Amber with my girls <3
Top Spot 3: Financial District & TorontoPATH
Financial District is a business district in Downtown Toronto. It is considered the heart of Canadian’s finance industry. All the major Banks and Financial Institutions are based here. Toronto Stock Exchange is also located here.
Fun Fact: There is an underground walkway linking 30 kms of shopping and entertainment under the financial district. It is called TorontoPATH. According to Guinness World Records, PATH is the largest underground shopping complex with 30 kms of shopping arcades. 200,000+ people use it each day, 1200 stores are located here and 0 winter coats are required to get around!! (No winter coats is huge for Toronto Winters!)
Sano’s Tip: Don’t drive here as parking is very expensive. Take the subway to Union Station and happy exploring the region!
Sano’s Personal Story Link: I worked in the financial district for 4 years and would use the PATH to get food and everyday essentials!
Top Spot 4: St. Lawrence Market
Located in Toronto's historic Old Town, the St. Lawrence Market has seen many faces since its construction in the 17th century. Along with being a marketplace, the St. Lawrence Market has served as the city's social center, as well as its City Hall. Today, the market sells goodies galore, from gourmet cured meats on one end to handcrafted jewelry in the other. Every Saturday since 1803, purveyors from Southern Ontario gather at the North Market to sell their seasonal produce. On Sundays, the farmers market converts into a flea market, where more than 80 vendors sell antique items.
Fun Fact: The St. Lawrence Market is often regarded as one of the best food markets in the world by foodie experts, and travelers cannot agree more. Not only are visitors impressed by the overwhelming amount of delicious food under this market's one roof, but they absolutely love how reasonably priced items are!
Sano’s Tip: Please go there with an empty stomach and hard cash on you. Food there is amazing and unfortunately the small vendors don’t usually accept debit or credit cards. For this market, remember Cash is King!
Best Café: Crepe it Up – they have the most amazing sweet and savoury crepes! They are super delicious and crazy cheap!
Sano’s Personal Story Link: I lived in 10 mins walking distance from this gem of a market for 6+ years and this would be my every Sunday go-to place esp. during summers! :)
Desserts at St Lawrence Market
Top Spot # 5: Harbour Front
Harbour Front is a neighborhood on the northern shore of Lake Ontario within the downtown core. You can walk by the lake here and enjoy offerings from numerous restaurants and pop-up-vendors. It transforms into a small farmer’s market sort of a place during summers with numerous stalls with delicious food offerings, artistic jewelry pieces and beachy clothing. Harbourfront Centre – a key cultural organization – plans events and activities here during summer including Water Sports, Concerts, Exhibitions and much more.
Fun Fact: This is where the Toronto’s block party on ice takes place! It’s called DJ Skate nights, where you skate while dancing onto the songs played by a stellar lineup of DJs. It is a good date spot too as people have an excuse to hold hands while balancing on the skates and dancing ;)
Sano’s Tip: Don’t drive there as parking can be difficult to find and is usually expensive. Take the train till Union Station and then take the underground street car to Harbour Front Station. Both 509 and 510 streetcars go there.
Sano’s Personal Story Link: I have enjoyed many summer nights dancing to some amazing summer songs played here. I had my first Stand-Up-Paddle Boating training here. I have been to DJ Skate nights and shared many laughs with friends with people falling and dancing to the DJ’s jam <3
I hope this guide was helpful! Comment below and let me know your top 3 favorite things to do in Toronto! Don't forget to subscribe <3