At a population of just over six million, the Greater Toronto Area is the urban hub of Canada, America’s neighbor to the north. As one of North America’s safest cities, locals and visitors can feel at ease as they they explore its unique and bustling central districts, be it day or night.
With the worst of the summer heat soon to subside, there is no better time to explore the T-Dot, as the days of late summer and fall are are comfortable during the day, absent the sticky humidity that define the dog days of July and early August.
From museums to pro sports teams, waterfront attractions to amusement parks, there are plentiful points of interest for just about any traveler in the Golden Horseshoe … but which are worth your time on an introductory trip, and which can be left for another time?
These top attractions in Toronto should not be missed by a visitor on a trip spanning one week, as all of the below can be comfortably seem within this time frame. Let’s begin with an obvious highlight…
1) CN Tower
While it recently lost its title as the tallest freestanding structure in the world to the mythical Burj Khalifa, the CN Tower still commands a massive presence, dominating the Toronto skyline for many miles in every direction. For $20 Canadian dollars, you can ascend its spine in one of the faster elevators in the world and get world-class views of the forest of skyscrapers and condo towers that sprout in every direction in one of Canada’s few true megalopolises. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, a rotating restaurant on-site serves up fine food with a view that can’t be beat anywhere in the GTA.
2) Hockey Hall of Fame
While those that are into sports may not be able to watch a live hockey game until October (at the Air Canada Centre), those looking to delve deep into Canada’s undying passion should check out the Hockey Hall of Fame. Containing a record of this game back to the days when it was played outdoors on natural rinks with fragile wooden sticks, it tracks hockey through its development, with the formation of pro leagues, the Stanley Cup, all the way to the present, where the goings-on of not just the National Hockey League, but also of the continual expansion of the game internationally is chronicled.
3) Royal Ontario Museum
Of the many museums that can be found in Toronto, the Royal Ontario is the best of the lot, containing collections from civilization from all around the world, from Asia to the history to Canada’s own First Nations people. Be sure not to miss the world’s largest totem pole, which clocks in at just over one hundred years old, among other outstanding exhibits. What if you traveling on a budget? Come on Friday night, and get in for half price!
4) Toronto Islands
Has the concrete and steel of Toronto’s downtown core begun to wear your green soul down after a few days of relentless urban sightseeing? If so, hop on a ferry boat at the base of Bay Street on the Toronto waterfront and sail away to the Toronto Islands, home to the cities’ most beloved greenspace. Have a picnic on its expansive green lawns, or go for a swim on its many beaches, all of which carry a Blue Flag designation for their cleanliness.
5) Canada’s Wonderland
Looking for a shot of adrenaline, or have kids in tow? Then a trip to Canada’s Wonderland, open daily until October, should be high on the agenda. This park is themed after Peanuts, so your children will be thrilled at the opportunity to give Snoopy a hug, while those seeking a thrill ride on some of the best and most modern roller coasters in Canada will find plenty of love about this amusement park.