Whether you are a visitor or a local, there’s always something to discover (or rediscover) in Toronto. Recognized as one of the most multicultural cites in the world, Toronto’s vibrant and thriving entertainment, food and cultural scene is influenced by the diverse cultures and backgrounds of those who live there. This three day tour will take you to some of the city’s must-visit spots and local favourites.
Credit: Destination Toronto
Start your day off right with a quick stop at Reign. A Canadian Brasserie with a traditional French touch, Reign also has a bakery that serves up fresh pastries and artisan-roasted coffee off the bar. Grab a freshly baked croissant and an espresso and take a stroll through Toronto’s Financial District.
Take a walk down memory lane and discover the wonderful world of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood, in this immersive and playful exhibition that’s currently on at the Royal Ontario Museum. The exhibition runs until January 17, 2021, but check their website for updates before you visit. And when you feel ‘rumbly in your tumbly’ hop over to the next stop.
This busy lunch spot with its casual yet sophisticated vibe is located in Toronto’s Entertainment District. Taking on a farm-to-table approach, Montecito combines California cuisine with fresh, Canadian ingredients that are featured heavily on their seasonal menu. Lunch at the restaurant’s two-storey dining room, or on the patio facing Adelaide-street where you can enjoy a side of people-watching with your Malibu ribs.
Built in 1914 by financier Sir Henry Pellatt, Casa Loma is the only full sized castle in North America and is well worth a visit. Experience the splendor of the Edwardian era as you explore secret passageways and elaborately decorated rooms with period furnishings or take in the breathtaking view of Toronto from one of the towers.
End day one at Bindia, an Indian bistro located directly across from the historic St. Lawrence Market, that serves classics like butter chicken, fragrant biryani, soft naans and tandoori jumbo prawns. Bindia brings a nouveau approach to Indian cuisine, and they focus on using fresh, local ingredients.
Credit: Destination Toronto
Day two begins at old Toronto’s internationally acclaimed Distillery District. This pedestrian-only village is set amidst restored, Victorian era industrial buildings that house hip trendy restaurants, shops and cafes. It’s a place where old meets new and the perfect spot to grab breakfast from one of the many cafes that line its cobblestone streets.
A trip to Toronto is incomplete without a visit to Canada’s iconic landmark, the CN tower. Take in the view from the panoramic Window Walls, the world-famous glass floor, the SkyPod or the glass fronted elevators with glass floor panels. And for a midday adrenaline rush, book the EdgeWalk, the world’s highest, hands-free external walk that’s 116 stories above the ground.
This popular pub down King Street West serves up great pub grub and around 40 beers on tap (90% of which are brewed locally), as well as a nice selection of wines, spirits and cocktails. They have several indoor spaces, including a long main bar and a huge wrap-around patio.
For anyone who wants to (literally) step inside the mind of Van Gogh, visit the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit down 1 Younge Street. Lose yourself in 600,000 cubic feet of projection animating some of Van Gogh’s most famous works like the Sunflowers and Starry Night, and observe the expressive brushwork, detail, and use of colour.
The illuminated three-dimensional sign in Nathan Phillips Square is even more dramatic at sunset. Take a few Instagram-worthy pictures before heading down to Richmond Street for dinner.
Nestled right in the city’s downtown core, this Feast On certified restaurant believes that good food starts with great ingredients. Start your evening with an aperitif and watch the bustling street outside. Their menu is divided into sharing plates, apps and mains and they also do daily chalkboard specials that feature seasonal ingredients.
Credit: Destination Toronto
Kensington Market is one of the oldest, and most unique neighbourhoods in Toronto. Designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2006, this vibrant, culturally diverse and highly walkable neighbourhood is home to many eclectic shops, trendy bars, cafes and restaurants and specialty stores. If you are feeling adventurous, download the market map and plan a self-guided tour. Alternatively, you can book a guided tour that will take you to some of the best spots in the market. From there, take a 12 minute walk down to Graffiti Alley to take a peek at some of the city’s most iconic (and most photographed) street art.
Go on an underwater adventure in Canada’s largest indoor aquarium. There are many exciting and interactive experiences like the Dangerous Lagoon and Shoreline Gallery where you can get up close and personal with some amazing marine animals.
The dishes served at Pai are inspired by Chef Nuit’s life in Northern Thailand. Alongside the more popular options such as Pad Thai and Green Curry, you’ll find Northern Thailand specialties such as Khao Soi (fresh egg noodles in a golden coconut milk curry) and Gaeng Panang (thick Panang curry) on their menu.
One of the largest the art museums in North America, the AGO has a permanent collection of more than 90,000 works of art, from contemporary art to masterpieces such as Rubens’s “The Massacre of the Innocents” and Rembrandt’s “Portrait of a Lady with a Lap Dog”, as well as an excellent collection of historical Canadian and indigenous art.
End your night at Toronto’s very first farm-to-table restaurant, known for their British inspired, seasonally-driven cuisine and warm, cozy ambience. If you want to experience something a little different, book the Chef’s Table at Marben. You’ll get to sit kitchen-side and watch Chef Locke and his team work their magic, and enjoy a 15 course tasting menu featuring local, seasonal and sustainably sourced ingredients, paired with carefully selected wines.