Davy Crockett, one of America’s most well-known folk heroes, was born in 1786 near Limestone, Tennessee. Crockett died at the Alamo, fighting for Texas’ freedom as a pioneer, politician, and soldier. A few miles southwest of Johnson City is a 105-acre state park dedicated to his birthplace. At the historic park, you’ll see people dressed up and weathered buildings, including an 18th-century homestead.
The park is more than just Davy Crockett. You can camp here, explore the natural world, and look for bird and wildlife sightings. Smallmouth bass and catfish are caught by anglers in the Nolichucky River, which runs through the park.
The city center of Toronto is relatively easy to navigate, with many of the top attractions within walking distance of one another and a subway system for longer journeys. If you’re in Toronto during the winter, head inside to explore the extensive PATH network of underground walkways connecting shopping, entertainment, and attractions. Wander along the beautiful waterfront in the summer and enjoy the beaches and parks.
See our list of top tourist attractions in Toronto for a comprehensive look at how to spend your time.
1. See the View from the CN Tower
The 553-meter CN Tower, Toronto’s most famous landmark, is one of the city’s must-see attractions and also the most difficult to miss. This Canadian icon, which towers above downtown, can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.
You can admire the structure from the ground or ascend to one of the observation areas or restaurants for spectacular views of the city and Lake Ontario. The CN Tower, built between 1972 and 1976, was once the world’s tallest freestanding structure, but it has since been surpassed.
The Sky Pod at 447 meters above the city provides the highest viewing area on the CN Tower, with views that extend to Niagara Falls and New York State on clear days. It takes two elevators to get here.
Below this, at 346 meters, is the LookOut level, with floor-to-ceiling windows and the new Glass Floor, which looks down to the original Glass Floor, one floor below, where the Outdoor Sky Terrace is located. The Glass Floor, as the name implies, provides a bird’s-eye view of the city.
The “Edge Walk” is for those looking for a little more adventure, or perhaps a lot more adventure. This entails a hands-free walk around the outside edge of the main pod on a 1.5-meter-wide ledge at an elevation of 365 meters. The participants are strapped into a safety harness and rope.
The 360 Restaurant, located at 351 meters, offers fine dining and some of the best views from a table anywhere in Toronto. 360 is open for lunch and dinner, and diners receive complimentary access to the tower’s LookOut and Glass Floor levels.
Address: 301 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario
Official site: https://www.cntower.ca/intro.html
2. Visit the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is one of Canada’s most prestigious museums, with an international reputation for excellence. It houses an outstanding collection of natural history, art, and culture from all over the world from a wide range of periods. It is also well-known for hosting exhibitions from all over the world.
The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, a modern wing with glass and sharp angles, was added to a very traditional older building in a contentious expansion in 2007. It has since become one of Toronto’s most recognizable structures.
Address: 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario
Official site: https://www.rom.on.ca/en
3. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
The Ripley’s Aquarium, located near the base of the CN Tower, is one of Toronto’s newest top attractions. This fantastic facility exhibits a wide variety of marine life and is one of the most popular family attractions in Toronto.
The massive underwater tunnel with a moving sidewalk is the most impressive feature. As sharks glide by and sawfish linger on the tunnel roof above, you can watch the ocean world go by all around you. This is a truly peaceful experience for people of all ages.
The jellyfish display, which is accented with creative lighting, is another unexpected highlight. Touch tanks with stingrays and small sharks are also available for a hands-on experience. The building’s open concept also allows for a look at the Life Support System and filtration equipment that keeps the facility running.
Address: 288 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario
Official site: https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada/
4. Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of North America’s largest museums. The more than 95,000-piece collection includes works from all over the world, from European masterpieces to contemporary art, but it also houses an impressive collection of Canadian art, including a large collection of Group of Seven works. Throughout the year, a number of temporary exhibitions are held.
On the west side of the city center, the AGO is housed in a distinctive building with a mix of older and modern architecture. The Ontario College of Art and Design, which stands high above the street on stilts shaped like pencils, is right next to the AGO.
Address: 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Official site: http://www.ago.net/
5. Day Trip to Niagara Falls
If you’ve never visited Niagara Falls, a day trip from Toronto is well worth your time. You can be standing on the edge of the falls in just over an hour.
If you don’t want to drive yourself, a Niagara Falls tour from Toronto is a convenient way to see the falls. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included, as is a Niagara Cruise that takes you up close to the main Horseshoe Falls’ tumbling wall of water.
Some of the area’s most important attractions, such as Whirlpool Rapids, the Floral Clock, and the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, are also included in the tours.
There are several ways to get from Toronto to Niagara Falls, making it easier than you might think. In the summer, from late June to early September, as well as Thanksgiving weekend in October, a train (Go Train) runs from Union Station to Niagara Falls. You can even take your bike on the train on weekends and enjoy a bike ride along the Niagara Parkway.
If you have the time, you might want to spend the night in Niagara Falls to explore the downtown area and see the falls lit up at night.
[inhype_block type=”postsgrid7″ block_title=”More about” block_subtitle=”Recommended” block_posts_type=”latest” block_categories=”5″ block_posts_limit=”4″ block_posts_loadmore=”no” block_posts_offset=”0″]
6. Catch a Show or Dine in the Entertainment District
The Entertainment District in Toronto encompasses a large portion of the city center and is home to many of the city’s most popular attractions, including the CN Tower, Scotiabank Arena, Rogers Centre, and numerous museums. It is also well-known for its excellent dining and, most importantly, its shows and performances. The majority of the action revolves around King Street, which runs between Spadina Avenue and University Avenue.
The Entertainment District, Toronto’s answer to New York’s Broadway, comes alive in the evenings and is a great place for nightlife. This is where you can see major theater productions such as musicals, concerts, and other forms of performing arts.
The Roy Thomson Hall, which houses the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Alexandra Theatre, which hosts the most recent musicals, are two of the most prominent venues in this area.
7. See the Animals at the Toronto Zoo
With approximately 5,000 animals, the Toronto Zoo has an outstanding and diverse collection. Popular animals include pygmy hippos, lions, tigers, giraffes, penguins, orangutans, and many others. The zoo is divided into sections, each of which represents a major region of the world.
Other attractions at the Toronto Zoo include the Gorilla Rainforest, the Tundra Trek, which features polar bears, and the Great Barrier Reef. The Discovery Zone is a popular spot for families, and a splash pad provides fun in the sun during the summer months.
The zoo is located about 40 kilometers northeast of the city center on the Rouge River.
Address: 361A Old Finch Road, Toronto
Official site: www.torontozoo.com
8. Wander through St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence Market is home to a variety of vendors selling food, flowers, and specialty items. The St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto was built in 1850 and served as a public meeting place as well as a concert venue.
If you’ve been shopping or sightseeing in the area, this is a great place to stop for a bite to eat or to relax with friends over a cup of coffee. Outdoor patios on elevated spaces are ideal for soaking up some of the summer sun.
The hall was restored in 1967, but it has kept much of its original charm. The building provides a unique atmosphere for the market and is also used for film and television shoots on occasion.
A grand staircase and a gas-lit chandelier grace the interior.
After leaving St. Lawrence Market, head north (away from the lake) up Front Street, then west for a block and a half to see the architecturally stunning Gooderham building on Church Street. This building, framed in front of downtown Toronto’s towers, is an iconic image of the city.
Address: 92 Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario
Official site: http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/
9. Dine and Shop in the Distillery District
The Distillery District in Toronto is a restored historic district that has been transformed into a trendy entertainment and shopping district. The old buildings are filled with charming boutiques, galleries, artist studios, and restaurants. This is a fascinating place to visit at any time of year, day or night.
The annual Toronto Christmas Market is one of the most well-known entertainment events held here. Wooden stalls decorated for Christmas sell one-of-a-kind gifts; a massive Christmas tree stands in an open square; and cozy outdoor areas, often with couches and large fire pits to gather around, are set up. Despite the cold, restaurants provide outdoor dining with heat lamps and lap blankets. At this time of year, hot chocolate is always readily available.
Official site: http://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/
10. Tour Casa Loma
Casa Loma is an extraordinary building that stands in beautifully kept grounds and is reminiscent of a medieval castle. It was built in 1914 for Sir Henry Pellatt, an eccentric Canadian multi-millionaire who was among the first to recognize and capitalize on Niagara Falls’ financial potential.
The house is now a museum with nearly 100 rooms, including three dozen bathrooms. Visitors can travel back in time to a time of European opulence and splendor. The castle has decorated suites, secret passages, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables, and five acres of estate gardens.
Address: 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto
Official site: http://www.casaloma.org/
11. City Hall & Nathan Philips Square
The new City Hall, with its bronze sculpture, The Archer by Henry Moore, dominates the expansive Nathan Philips Square. Viljo Revell, a gifted Finnish architect, designed it and built it in 1965. City Hall is made up of two arc-shaped high-rise blocks, each 20 and 27 stories tall, that wrap around a lower central building topped by a flattened cupola.
A man-made pond in the square in front of City Hall serves as a popular skating rink in the winter and is home to the frequently photographed Toronto sign. This is a lovely area to visit in December, especially at night when it is decorated for the holidays.
Address: 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario
12. Shop at Eaton Center
The massive Eaton Center mall can be found at the far north end of the Central Business District. This ultra-modern shopping complex, which has its own subway station, spans several blocks and is constantly being renovated and expanded.
Strangers can easily get lost in the bewildering maze of department stores, specialty shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafeterias, and snack bars that crowd the various levels above and below ground. Eaton Center is connected to the Hudson Bay store by a skywalk and is also a subway stop in Toronto.
Official site: https://www.cfshops.com/toronto-eaton-centre.html
13. Watch the Action at Yonge Dundas Square
This neon-lit public space is modeled after Times Square in New York and is a popular gathering place for Torontonians. The area includes seating areas, dancing fountains, and a stage where summer concerts are held.
Yonge Dundas Square is best enjoyed in the evening, when the flashing neon signs come alive and the atmosphere becomes lively. It is by far the best place in town to people-watch. The streets around it are densely packed with restaurants, many of which have patios.
The square can be reached by subway or by parking in the large underground parking lot directly beneath the square.
14. See the Stars at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
The Toronto International Film Festival is a highlight on the city’s annual events calendar. This world-famous festival, held each year in early September, attracts some of the most famous names in film.
You can go see a movie or simply hang out and hope to see someone famous walk by. The weather in Toronto is still hot this time of year. Dining outside in the evening and relaxing on an outdoor patio is a popular pastime, especially when limos and photographers and press are present.
The energy in Toronto for this eleven-day event is palpable. Thousands of people pour into the city. If you want to visit Toronto this time of year, make a hotel reservation as soon as possible.
Official site: https://www.tiff.net/
15. Stroll through Kensington Market
Kensington Market is a bohemian and multicultural neighborhood in Toronto. The smell of incense wafts through the air on a typical summer day; music from a street musician can be heard; and the numerous retailers, who mostly operate out of old two-story brick homes, set up their goods on designated areas of their deck-covered lawns or on the sidewalks. This is an excellent location for a stroll.
The shops sell everything from Tibetan blankets to jewelry, bags, purses, and vintage clothing, and there are even a couple of cheese shops. Restaurants and coffee shops here provide a multicultural feast of options such as Jamaican, Mexican, Tibetan, and more basic options such as pizza or smoothies. There are also natural food stores, tattoo parlors, and fruit and vegetable stands.
16. Visit the Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum is one of the best Islamic arts museums in North America. It is housed in a spectacular light-filled modern building with lovely, peaceful surroundings that include large reflecting pools.
The late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan and Princess Catharine Aga Khan established the permanent collection in the 1950s. Manuscripts, ceramics, and textiles dating from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries are among the spectacular items on display. The items were sourced from all over the world, from China to Spain.
In addition to the permanent collection, the museum’s second floor hosts visiting exhibitions.
The museum’s restaurant is one of Toronto’s top dining destinations.
Official site: https://www.agakhanmuseum.org/index.html
17. Enjoy Nature at High Park
High Park is a sprawling green space that includes sunken gardens, hanging basket gardens, nature trails, natural ponds, and streams. The Howards originally owned the 165-acre country estate, which was deeded to the City of Toronto in 1873. This deed stipulated that the park be kept “for the free use, benefit, and enjoyment of the citizens of Toronto, and it be known as High Park.”
The High Park Zoo is located within the park and is home to a variety of animals such as bison, reindeer, llamas, wallabies, and Toronto’s famous Capybaras, Bonnie and Clyde, who escaped from their enclosure and quickly rose to fame, developing their own social media platforms in 2016.
Other activities and attractions in the park include swimming and wading pools, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a scenic train ride. The grounds also include recreated 19th-century gardens, a Coach House, and the Howards’ Tomb.
Sakura cherry trees bloom for a week or ten days in the spring, heralding the arrival of warmer weather. This colorful spectacle is popular among Toronto residents and always draws large crowds. Near the duck pond is the best place to see the trees.
During the months of July and August, the Canadian Stage Company puts on a performance at the park’s open-air theater known as “Shakespeare in High Park.”
Official site: http://highparktoronto.com/
18. Take a Trip to Toronto Islands
The ferry ride from Queen’s Quay Terminal to the Toronto Islands, which are located about a kilometer offshore, is the prelude to a thoroughly enjoyable outing. The islands offer beautiful walks as well as rowing, sailing, swimming, and other outdoor activities. Throughout the summer, the Toronto Islands host a variety of open-air events. In good weather, the ferry terminal on Ward’s Island offers a spectacular view of the Toronto skyline.
If it’s hot during your visit – and don’t be fooled, Toronto gets hot in the summer – the Toronto Islands have some of the city’s best beaches. They stretch for kilometers along the offshore islands, and the views from the beaches, combined with the golden sands and crystal-clear waters, may make you believe you’re in the Caribbean. That is, until you step into Lake Ontario’s icy waters and are instantly transported back to reality!
The Centreville Amusement Park, located on Centre Island, one of Toronto’s islands, offers a variety of rides for children. The Toronto Islands Ferry Service departs from Queen’s Quay and travels to all of Toronto’s major islands.
19. Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Center is a family-friendly attraction with a variety of fun exhibits for kids. It is located about 10 kilometers northeast of the city center, overlooking the Don Valley.
This modern structure was designed by virtuoso architect Raymond Moriyama and completed in 1969. With 12 permanent exhibitions, a planetarium, and an IMAX OMNIMAX Dome theater, the emphasis is very much on visitor participation.
Visitors to the center are exposed to the most recent advances in technology, telecommunications, optics, biology, physics, space travel, meteorology, and much more, all presented in an engaging and imaginative manner.
Address: 770 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Ontario
Official site: http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/
20. Little Italy
Toronto’s multiculturalism makes it one of the most livable cities in North America. People from all over the world have moved here to make this world-class city their home, bringing the best of the old country with them.
A variety of ethnic enclaves can be found throughout the city. Little Italy is one of the most well-known. The main retail area of Little Italy is located along Collect Street, which is roughly in the square formed by Dundas and Harbord Streets, as well as Ossington and Bathurst Avenues.
People are strolling up and down the wide sidewalks, past Italian restaurants with popular patios (especially during a European soccer game). Keep an eye out for the statues of famous Italian Canadians as you walk along the Italian Walk of Fame.
Little Italy is also a good place to buy imported Italian food and cooking supplies.
21. Danforth for a Taste of Greece
Another of Toronto’s well-known ethnic enclaves, The Danforth, or Greektown, is the place to go for a taste of Greece. The area has long been associated with the Greek diaspora, running along Danforth Avenue from Chester Avenue to Dewhurst Boulevard.
Take a walk down Danforth Avenue and stop in at any of the restaurants, shops, or other retail establishments along the way. Some of the best Greek food in town can be found here. Take a seat on the patio or, if the weather is cool, step inside to be transported to the warmth of the Greek Islands. Taste of the Danforth is a well-known and well-liked event in the area. Hopefully, you’ll be here in mid-August, when the area transforms into a massive outdoor restaurant for a few days.
22. Bata Shoe Museum
Only half of the human population recognizes the importance of a shoe museum. Those of a feminine bent (if you hadn’t guessed! ), will adore the Bata Shoe Museum and its incredible displays of shoes and over 14,000 other artifacts. All of this and more can be found in the world’s largest collection of footwear-related items, which dates back over 4,500 years.
The museum houses a collection of one-of-a-kind shoes worn by indigenous people, 16th-century Italians, and, of course, celebrities. Elvis Presley’s blue patent loafers, Robert Redford’s cowboy boots, Elton John’s silver platform boots with a monogram, and Queen Victoria’s ballroom slippers are all part of the celebrity collection. Terry Fox’s unique running shoe and Karen Kain’s ballet slippers stand out for Canadians.
Address: 327 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario
Official site: https://batashoemuseum.ca/
23. Harbourfront Centre and Toronto’s Waterfront
Toronto, like many other Great Lakes cities, has done a good job of making their former industrial waterfront areas accessible to their residents. The Harbourfront Centre is a performance venue that offers year-round artistic programming on its 10-acre waterfront campus. Some of the city’s most innovative performances are presented on indoor and outdoor stages.
One of the most popular places to visit Toronto’s waterfront is the area surrounding Harbourfront. The seawall’s wide and scenic walking trails extend east and west and are flanked by restaurants and shops. This is where many of Toronto’s lake cruises depart.
The area does not hibernate in the winter; in fact, it remains quite lively, with one of Toronto’s most scenic and popular ice-skating rinks.
24. Black Creek Pioneer Village
Stepping back in time at the Black Creek Pioneer Village is a popular family activity in Toronto. You’ll be transported to village life in the 1860s as soon as you walk through the gates.
Not only are there over 40 historical buildings, but costumed interpreters go through their daily routine of living life 160 years ago. Interacting with these fun and friendly characters from the past will appeal to both children and adults.
Animals, in addition to human participants, are allowed to take part. Over 70 animals live here, and many of them welcome a pet or two.
Official Site: https://blackcreek.ca/
25. Hockey Hall of Fame
A visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto is a must for hockey fans. This is the place to learn about the greatest hockey players, teams, and games of all time. It also has the original 1893 Stanley Cup, as well as a collection of important memorabilia, and an interactive display where you can test your own hockey skills.
Check out an exact replica of the Montreal Canadians’ dressing room from the Montreal Forum, as well as a display of 90 painted goalie masks and an incredible collection of hockey cards.
Brookfield Place is located at 30 Yonge Street in Toronto, Ontario.
Official site: www.hhof.com
26. Graffiti Alley
Canadians who have watched the long-running TV comedy series Rick Mercer Report will recognize this long alley in Toronto. This is where he filmed his inflammatory news rants. Even if you haven’t seen the show, this is a fantastic area that seems to go on forever. Tourists flock here, posing in painted doorways and windows and taking selfies at all hours of the day and night.
From Spadina Avenue to Portland Street, Graffiti Alley runs parallel to and between Queens Street West and Richmond Street West.
27. Rogers Centre
The Rogers Centre, a massive domed sports arena and home to the Toronto Blue Jays, is directly adjacent to the CN Tower (MLB). The one-of-a-kind design includes a retractable roof that slides back, allowing it to be opened in good weather.
This megastructure, which was completed in 1989, can hold tens of thousands of spectators and serves as a venue for other major events such as concerts. The center also provides one-hour guided tours that take visitors behind-the-scenes of the facility.
The Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel is attached to Rogers Centre and has rooms with views of the field. If you’re in town for a game, staying here is a very convenient option that also offers a unique experience.
Address: 1 Blue Jays Way, Toronto, Ontario
Official site: https://www.mlb.com/bluejays/ballpark
[inhype_block type=”postsgrid7″ block_title=”More about” block_subtitle=”Recommended” block_posts_type=”latest” block_categories=”5″ block_posts_limit=”4″ block_posts_loadmore=”no” block_posts_offset=”0″]
28. Visit the CNE
When mid to late August arrives, kids (and some adults) get antsy in anticipation of the CNE’s arrival. The Canadian National Exhibition, also known as the CNE, is a two-week carnival of craziness that takes over Toronto’s waterfront.
In the hot, humid August weather, midway rides, arcade games, and popular musical acts are all part of the heady mix. Along with the rides and entertainment, an airshow featuring the Canadian snowbirds and other historical planes is held during the same timeframe. It’s not just about having fun. The CNE is also known for its distinctive fried food offerings. Tiny Tom Donuts started the trend that has now evolved (or not, depending on your point of view) to deep fried butter, deep fried Red Velvet Oreos, deep fried Corn Dogs with a pickle, and most recently, deep fried cheese curds.
Official site: https://theex.com/
29. Go Fishing
With its enviable lakefront location, Toronto is an ideal place to go fishing. Lake Ontario is home to a diverse range of deep-water inhabitants, including Chinook and coho salmon, rainbow trout, walleye (pickerel), northern pike, sheepshead, perch, and many others.
Consider a salmon charter if you want to go offshore into deep waters. Although they can be pricey, your captain and first mate will do everything they can to get you on the fish. Nothing beats the sound of “fish on” and the scream of fishing line as a fish takes the bait and runs. Depending on the time of year, you could be up against a 30-pound behemoth.
If that’s out of the question, simply head to one of the waterfront parks or the Toronto Islands with a casting rod and reel and some bait. You will undoubtedly catch something, though it will not be as large as the fish caught on a charter. It should be noted that if you intend to go fishing, you will need a license, which can be easily obtained online.