Over 1.5 million people visit the Canada’s National Tower every year to experience the breathtaking views and enjoy all the tower has to offer. Astounding, right?
Though dethroned, the CN Tower is still among the top 10 tallest structures of its kind in the world, rising 553.3 m (1,815.3 ft) above the ground. And, it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
That is quite a resume there for the most popular tourist spot in Toronto.
But, going up the CT Tower isn’t the only worthwhile thing you can do in Canada’s largest municipality.
Being the diverse urban setting it is, Toronto offers so much for you as a tourist that it will be a huge mistake to stop at the tower only.
I bet you want to find out.
Keep reading for 7 things you should do in Toronto.
1. Check Out the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
Do you fancy yourself as a lover of old hard-to-find literature? Then, a visit to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto is among the unique things to do in Toronto.
The library is a haven of approximately 740,000 volumes and another 4,000 meters of manuscripts.
The nature of these collections ranges from popular fictional pieces of William Shakespeare and Anne Gables to groundbreaking work manuscripts by the likes of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
And, you can check out a couple of age long drawings by the one and only Leornardo da Vinci.
2. Get on the 501 Queen
Measuring 24.8 kilometers, this streetcar route the longest in North America.
And, there is more to riding on it than its mere length.
Stretching from the east to the west, the route is sure to give you a great deal of good things to see in Toronto, Canada. Not forgetting the experience of riding the unique Articulated Light Rail vehicles.
On the eastern side, it starts in the Beach District, with its sandy beaches and classic boardwalks. It weaves on through Corktown, passing by Old City Hall, through Trinity Bellwoods Park and Parkadale before coming to a halt on the western side of Lake Shore Boulevard.
It’s no surprise that the 501 Queen features on National Geographic’s top 10 trolley rides.
3. Get Enough Eye Candy at One of the Biggest Photography Festivals in the World
The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, one of the largest in the world, goes down every May in Toronto.
By attending, you not only get to be a part of something huge but also get to sample an endless collection of the best contemporary shots from local, national, and international photographers spread across 200 venues around Toronto.
Yes, 200 venues of photography lectures, events, screening, and installation! I don’t know about you, but that to me sounds like a must among all the fun things to do in Toronto.
4. Take a Boat or a Ferry to Toronto Islands
They’re both just a suitable means and take a maximum of 20 minutes to drop you off at one of the islands in Lake Ontario. And, the magnificent view of Toronto’s skyline from the water makes it worth your time.
So, what earns visiting these islands a spot in cool things to do in Toronto?
Beaches and parks form a better part of these islands. For a family, though, I can vouch for Centreville Amusement Park in Centre Island. How does a promise of a little bit of over 30 rides and attractions sound? Or, the freedom to choose from more than 10 food outlets?
I’ll let you decide on that.
That aside. Enjoy a stay free from all the hustle and bustle of cars as the islands are devoid of cars for a larger part. In fact, the community is one of the largest car-free communities in North America.
As soon as you get off that boat or ferry, grab a bike and get exploring all the beaches and parks. Or, at least the ones you can manage.
Getting a bike is pretty easy, all thanks to Bixi, a rideshare program.
5. Bata Shoe Museum
With 4,500 years of history and more than 13,000 shoes, the Bata Shoe Museum is the ultimate stopover for all things footwear.
Established back in 1995, it was born out of Sonja Bata’s love of collecting shoes – a habit she picked up in the 1940s. Her collection from places she had visited quickly spiraled, making it only natural to house it in a building of its own.
There is a ton to see here from ancient footwear designs to shoes once won by your revered celebrities. For instance, you can find sandals once worn by ancient Egyptians and the Chinese.
For celebrity shoes, you’ll be sure to see the following:
- Marilyn Monroe’s high heels
- John Lennon’s Beatle boot
- Queen Victoria’s ballroom slippers
- Terry Fox’s running shoes
6. Pay a Visit to St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence market is a 200-year shopping establishment with lots of options in terms of stores, commodities, and price ranges.
The market comprises of more than 100 small shops offering great bargains on a wide array of foodstuffs. If you want to eat to your fill without coming up short on your budget, then grabbing a mouthful at this market is a sure stuff to do in Toronto.
Just be sure to be mindful of days, as the market doesn’t open on Sundays and Mondays.
7. See the Old World in Distillery District
Do you want to see how the world looked like in the years gone by? Then, Distillery District is just the place to be.
The red-bricked walls of buildings give you a rare glimpse into the past.
But, that’s not all.
The area is dotted with the best restaurants and is a hive of activities ranging from outdoor concerts to markets. If you happen to visit during winter, you’ll be in for some great Christmas market shopping experience.
Final Thoughts on Things You Should Do in Toronto
Going up the CN Tower is surely a great thing to do, but the 7 things you should do in Toronto are even greater.
So, besides climbing the famous tower, try out these activities on your next trip to Toronto. The places and services are unique in their own way.
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