In this article we tell you the best things to see in Toronto , the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Canada .
We certainly came to Toronto on the rebound. We organized a trip up the west coast of the United States and found a flight back to Spain from Toronto. Overall, we launched into organizing a visit to the city.
We found ourselves in a city that combined everything that was most positive about New York: great buildings, many people, a very cosmopolitan atmosphere; but in an improved view of the city. For us, Toronto became the Canadian version of New York.
Toronto is undoubtedly cleaner, tidier, and tourist-friendly than New York. Despite the latter being incomparable, Toronto is a fantastic destination to spend a couple of days, start a visit to Canada, or visit the Canadian part of Niagara Falls.
What to see in Toronto, the economic center of Canada
Toronto is the most populous city in Canada with more than 7 million inhabitants and is the capital of Ontario, the economic and financial heart of the country.
Despite not having an outstanding historical and cultural heritage, Toronto surprised us with its modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and its contemporary buildings. It is, without a doubt, a destination that surprises .
If you have little time in the city, we recommend that you book a Panoramic Tour of Toronto, in which you can see the main thing in a couple of hours. 🚀
Despite its size, most of the places that we propose in this article are located in the center of the city, so you will not have to get dizzy using public transport. In any case, the Toronto Subway is an excellent means of transportation and it works great.
What to see in Toronto in 10 incredible monuments
If you were looking for a guide on what to see in Toronto , here I will tell you one by one the main monuments that you cannot miss in the city and I give you several tips and recommendations.
1. The CN Tower, the most emblematic place to see in Toronto
If you have ever seen a photo about Toronto, it is very possible that it was from the CN Tower . Possibly the most emblematic place in the city, it is a symbol for the country as a whole.
In reality, the CN Tower is nothing more than a 555-meter-high broadcast tower considered the tallest building of its kind in America and the fifth tallest in the world.
In fact, if you are a fan of Drake (Canadian), a couple of years ago he released an album called Views whose cover is a photo of him on top of the CN Tower. Everything is said, the cover was a montage but in a certain way, it allows a glimpse of the iconicity of the monument.
If you go to Toronto, I recommend that you go up to the top of the CN Tower without thinking. From above you get a very complete view of the Toronto Skyline, the Toronto Islands, and the Rogers Center, the stadium of the Toronto Blue Jays.
We leave you the schedules and prices of the CN Tower :
- The CN Tower hours are from 09:00 to 22:30.
- To climb the tower you have two options: go up to 346 meters (adults $ 38, over 65s $ 34 and girls (4-12) $ 28) or go up to 346 meters and to the Skypod, 447 meters (adults 53 $, over 65s $ 49 and girls (4-12) $ 43).
2. The Toronto Eaton Center
Another Toronto landmark is the Eaton Center , one of the largest shopping complexes I have ever seen. The list of stores is endless and the mall is the same.
It is a very lively area and is full of people . If you want to go shopping or have a drink, the Eaton Center is the best option.
In our case we stayed at the Chelsea Toronto Hotel, a mammoth hotel very close to the shopping center, so we almost left the hotel and were already there. If you are looking for accommodation, we recommend this hotel without hesitation.
In addition, here we leave you a Booking map with many offers in hotels in Toronto and in this link some offers on airbnb .
3. The Old and New Toronto City Hall
In the heart of Downtown Toronto and very close to the Eaton Center, there are two buildings very different from each other: the Old and the New Toronto City Hall .
First, the Old Toronto City Hall , one of the oldest buildings in the city, dates from 1899 and served as City Hall until 1965. At the entrance there is a Cenotaph in memory of the citizens of Toronto who lost their lives in the two world wars.
On the other hand, we have the New Toronto City Hall , a pretty ugly building , more so when compared to the previous one. Even so, I recommend that you come over to take a photo with the Toronto sign and the shamrock .
4. St. Lawrence Market
The market of Saint Lawrence is one of the most beautiful, clean and orderly markets we’ve ever been.
There are a lot of stalls to shop and the odd one to eat and take prepared food. It is one of the most charming places in the city and it is worth spending a while. We went here and bought something to have at the hotel.
5. The Art Gallery of Ontario
The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the most important museums in Canada.
It was redesigned by Frank Gehry in 2008, who expanded the museum and designed that kind of blue part that you can see in the photo. Despite having been a fairly controversial reform, I see it as very cool.
It includes one of the best art collections in Canada and inside it houses paintings by some of the world’s leading painters such as Rubens, Van Dyck, and Goya.
It also (and to our delight, because we love contemporary art museums) includes paintings by contemporary authors such as Picasso, Rodin or Salvador Dalí.
6. The Cathedral of Santiago
The Cathedral of Santiago is one of the highlights to see in Toronto. It is a quite beautiful church built in 1797, being the oldest in the city.
What surprised us the most is how open Canadians are, especially in the religious sphere. In fact, the Cathedral of Santiago was full of posters with the rainbow flag welcoming them .
7. The Gooderham Building
If you’ve been to New York and visited the Flatiron Building, you will quickly notice the resemblance. Despite the always obnoxious comparisons, the Gooderham Building is a worthy Canadian version of the Flatiron.
Just behind the Gooderham , you can find one of the best-known murals in the city: the Flatiron Mural by a Canadian artist named Derek Michael Besant . It’s very cool!
As in any large and cosmopolitan city worth its salt, Toronto also has its Chinatown . In this case, it is a few streets with a lot of Chinese shops and stores. As it is not too big, it is worth going for a walk.
There are some Chinese restaurants, which are usually cheaper than those in the rest of the city, and quite a few grocery stores. Although if something caught our attention it was the Chinese Gospel Church of Toronto .
Very close to Chinatown is Kensington Market , one of the most alternative and bohemian areas of the city.
9. The Harbourfront
The Harbourfront is an area located on the shores of Lake Ontario full of parks and canals.
The truth is that the difference between the city center and the Harbourfront is amazing. Here the pace is much calmer and it even has a certain air of a coastal town. If you also go to Toronto in summer , this area is very lively and is great for walking and taking a walk .
In it, in addition to a lot of parks, you can find the WaveDecks , some very cool wooden structures and the HTO Park , a kind of urban beach.
10. The Distillery District
The Distillery District is located in the eastern part of the city. It is an old distillery converted into one of the most modern parts of the city. In it there are a lot of shops and businesses and restaurants.
Although it is a little further from the center, I recommend that you approach it without hesitation . Of course, it is better to go early because at night it is quite sad.
An excursion that you cannot miss if you arrive in Toronto is the typical visit to Niagara Falls . Whether you have never been or have only visited the American part, we strongly recommend that you book an excursion.
The visit includes a previous visit to a vineyard area , where we taste different wines, and a stop in a beautiful town on the way back to Toronto. We also recommend that you include the Hornblower boat ride (it is a bit more expensive) but it is worth it.
Book here your visit to Niagara Falls, an essential visit. 🚀
What to see in Toronto (Canada)
I hope you liked this article about the best things to see in Toronto and that the 10 visits that we recommend will help you organize your trip. It was a city that surprised us for good because of its modernity, cleanliness and cosmopolitan air, and I’m sure you will love it too. See you soon!