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Top 10 Things to Do in Toronto

Whether you’re looking for a unique date idea, an exceptional live performance or attractions your kids won’t want to miss, Toronto is your place. There’s enough to experience, groove to and savor in the city to suit just about everyone. Check out the top 10 things to do in Toronto:

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1. CN Tower

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A standout among Toronto's dazzling skyline, the 1,815-foot CN Tower is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Today, elevators bring visitors to the top in less than a minute. Once there, you have four observation areas to choose from: the Glass Floor room (at 1,122 feet), the LookOut Level (at 1,136 feet), the revolving 360 The Restaurant (at 1,150 feet) and the SkyPod, which at 1,465 feet is one of the highest public observation area in the world.

Located in downtown Toronto near the harbor, the CN Tower is open to the public every day (except for Christmas), but hours depend on which attraction within the tower you plan on visiting.

Tip: The entire ascension fee is waived, however, if you dine at the restaurant. 

2. Distillery District

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Back in the early 1800s, this waterfront neighborhood was home to Canada's largest distilling company, the Gooderham and Worts Distillery. Today, this historic pedestrian-only neighborhood—flanked by industrial-style Victorian buildings and paved with cobblestone once tread on by horse-drawn carriages—overflows with art galleries, performance spaces, cafes such as Balzac’s Coffee Roasters (they have the world’s most Instagrammable coffee in a cone), restaurants such as El Catrin and yes, a brewery. For a true glimpse into Toronto's past, this is the place to go. Enjoy festivals and outdoor exhibitions throughout the year, join an art class or kick back, relax and enjoy an authentic Canadian brewski.

3. St. Lawrence Market


Located in Toronto's historic Old Town, the St. Lawrence Market has seen many faces since its construction in the 17th century. Along with being a marketplace, the St. Lawrence Market has served as the city's social center, as well as its City Hall. Today, the market sells goodies galore, from gourmet cured meats on one end to handcrafted jewelry in the other. The St. Lawrence Market is divided into three buildings: the South Market, the North Market and St. Lawrence Hall. The South Market features 120 vendors that sell a mix of food and retail items. There are also cooking classes held at the Market Kitchen as well as exhibitions on the city's art, culture and history held in the Market Gallery. The St. Lawrence Hall houses retail businesses, while the North Market is famous for its historic farmers market. Every Saturday since 1803, purveyors from Southern Ontario gather at the North Market to sell their seasonal produce. On Sundays, the farmers market converts into a flea market, where more than 80 vendors sell antique items.

4. Eat & Drink

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The enormous, delicious and diverse food scene in Toronto spans Spanish, Turkish, Thai, Mexican, Israeli, Indian and a plethora of other cuisines such as maple syrup-drenched pancakes, Ranchero or curing a hangover with egg-topped poutine, pho, or biscuits and gravy, there's no shortage of fantastic spots to choose from in this city.

For creative Latin dishes & cocktails served in a restored three-storey building with eclectic décor, Baro offers a lively bar atmosphere that includes a speakeasy on one floor and an expanded list of ostentatious cocktails. Order flights of ceviche and hot plates of picada for nibbling or visit the raw bar in this towering four-storey half dining, half party establishment with a rooftop patio. The whole place has a speakeasy vibe with a neon sign outside and tons of copper and warm wood tones inside. There’s an elevator for transport between floors. The brunch menu is quite eclectic, offering up everything from Nick's Greens (tender organic greens, cucumber, tomato, avocado, yuzu vin and walnuts) and a Parfait (Baro granola, yogurt, passionfruit, dried fruit, honey, pears and banana), to heartier fare like the Eggs Benny Blanco (poached eggs, yuca rosti, tobasco hollandaise and mustard greens) and the Ranchero (eggs, rice and beans, tostada, crema, bacon, maduro, chorizo, morcilla, guacamole and salsa). They also have a host of side options available including rice and beans, Baro bacon, Valdez chorizo, chicharron, toast and honey butter, a side salad and 2 eggs.

5. Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto


Crowned by an articulated spire 900-feet above downtown Toronto's financial and entertainment district, luxurious accommodations, exclusive amenities and the signature services of Trump Attaché™, Trump International & Tower Toronto is rated the No.1 Luxury Hotel in Canada 2015. Staff offers assistance in planning and securing arrangements during your visit such as transportation, dinner and spa reservations (Trump offers America Restaurant, The Calvin Bar, and Pure Beauty Salon & Spa), guest room set-up and/or ensuring the food and beverage teams are aware of dietary preferences.  The service is impeccable and the staff is genuine and pleasant—always eager to chat with a smile and offer any help. They address any request, issue or question with promptness and a genuine eagerness to please with a meticulous delivery of unparalleled service and experience.

Exquisitely furnished in an elegant, cosmopolitan, modern style, Superior and Deluxe Guest Rooms start from 550 square feet and are some of the largest hotel rooms in Toronto. The Superior & Deluxe Hotel rooms include the most luxurious accommodations in Toronto. The suites in Toronto include high ceilings to add to the roomy feel. The luxurious hotel rooms are complete with floor to ceiling windows, offering some of the most breathtaking views of the Toronto skyline. The spacious Deluxe One Bedroom Suites in Toronto are beautifully designed and furnished and start from 750 square feet with complimentary Wi-Fi, king beds, powder room, spacious living room area, custom designed furnishings, European style wet bar, Nespresso coffee machine, LCD flat-screen HDTV, iPod/iPhone/iPad sound system, Italian Bellino linen, bedside touch panel control for lighting and window fashions, deep soaking tub, separate shower with rainfall shower head, luxurious stone finished bathroom, stone-topped dual sink vanities and magnifying mirror with in-mirror bathroom TV, fireplace, and complimentary coffee, tea and bottle water. High ceilings add to the generous feel, while oversized windows afford commanding views of Toronto's skyline.

Located on the south-east corner of Bay and Adelaide, this luxury hotel in downtown Toronto places guests moments from the city's finest attractions including the Toronto Eaton Centre, CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto Stock Exchange - there's no hotel in downtown Toronto with a better location.

6. Ontario Science Centre


If you're looking for a learning experience, you should head to the Ontario Science Centre. The facility features interactive exhibits in the hundreds, with the goal to maximize learning opportunities for both children and adults. Here, visitors can pilot a rocket chair, explore the city's only public planetarium and bust moves on a dance floor that turn energy into light power. You can even touch a tornado in the Living Earth experience, or perform an ultrasound to get an up-close look at the inside of a model womb. Before starting your tour, stop by the information area to see if there's anything special going on that day—the on-site IMAX theatres showcase a variety of educational movies and the museum often presents demonstrations on everything from electricity to papermaking. 

7. Kensington Market

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If you don't mind a bit of chaos, the Kensington Market in a Toronto must-see. Previously a Jewish neighborhood, the market came to life around the 1920s when families would set up stands in front of their houses to sell one another goods. Today, this marketplace has grown in both size and diversity. Streets are lined with shops and restaurants selling a variety of goods from Europe to Asia and beyond. The last Sunday of every month, however, is the closest you'll come to having that traditional market experience. The area goes completely car-free and fills up with shoppers, along with some lively street performers.

Kensington Market is known for its variety, with many saying the neighborhood truly has it all. Fashionistas will appreciate the plethora of vintage stores while foodies will salivate at all the delectable (but oftentimes pricey) options available. Even if you aren't much of a shopper, a casual stroll through the quirky, art-clad neighborhood is more than enough to satiate travelers. 

Note: Kensington Market is the name of the neighborhood in which these shops and restaurants reside, not an actual outdoor market.

8. Toronto Islands


When you're in need of a break from the hustle and bustle of Canada's biggest city, hop a ferry to the Toronto Islands. This collection of islands and islets offers a welcome touch of green to the city's skyscraper-speckled mainland. The three islands, Centre, Ward's and Algonquin, are all connected, so you don't have to worry about having to get on and off a boat to fully experience the area. Each main island offers something different. Centre Island lives up to its name, providing the most in terms of activities.

There, visitors will find expansive picnic areas, beaches, sporting rentals and the Centreville amusement park, which features 30 rides, a petting zoo and a boating lagoon. Ward and Algonquin are more low key, dotted with 1920s-style cottages and English gardens. Hanlan's Point, located next to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport at the northeastern tip of the island, features the area's only clothing optional beach, as well as a lighthouse believed to be haunted. All of island's are largely car-free, making them the perfect venue for a peaceful stroll, bike ride or picnic. And while the winter brings biting winds and lots of snow, the Toronto Islands are also a great place for cross-country skiing and ice skating.

9. Dessert

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Do you have an insatiable sweet tooth? A craving for chocolate, honey and everything in between? Look no further than the dessert options in Toronto (it needed to be separated from the Eat & Drink category because the city is filled with sweet surprises)! From macarons to eclairs to honey balls and kefir served as a treat at the end of a meal, there’s a long list of desserts that should be considered “essential eating material” on any Torontonian’s to-do list.

Sky high swirls of soft serve rolled through crushed cookies, decorated with cotton candy and sprinkles, or drizzled with caramel and other crazy toppings are among the epic creations available from Sweet Jesus—a popular chain of ice cream parlors. Eva’s Original Chimneys (known as Kürtőskalács in Hungarian or Trdelník in Czech) are delicious and unique, bread-like freshly baked Hungarian pastries, named after their hollow, cylindrical shape. They have a satisfying crunch on the outside and a soft, fluffy dough on the inside. Using a traditional-style, open rotisserie grill, you can also watch your Chimney Cake or Chimney Cone™ bake before your eyes as you wait!

10. Nightlife

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Toronto has one of the liveliest music and nightlife scenes in the world. The major venues host the biggest touring acts and renowned arts producers and Toronto’s nightclub scene is hot. Partiers flock to Toronto from all around to dance, drink and de-stress in style. It’s nearly impossible to choose a “best of” list from Toronto’s many nightspots, but some of the trendiest Toronto clubs where you’re guaranteed to have a good time are located in the Entertainment District running roughly from Queen Street West on its northern edge and south to the lakeshore, with Spadina Avenue and University Avenue along its west and east borders.

Located lower level space at Thompson Toronto Hotel, Wildflower serves to shake up the ordinary with a lounge that caters to the city’s most discerning clientele, offering impeccable service, adaptable design and modern nightlife. Featuring the city’s most prestigious display of contemporary art and design installation, Wildflower blends the beauty of art with the sound of North America’s top DJs to deliver a truly unique experience for a mature crowd tired of the mundane. A rotating lineup of guest DJs and special events ensures every week is different from the last.

Escobar is a hidden bar that can be found inside Baro, a Latin hotspot that is on the upper floor. To get in, you're going to need to know a password that changes on a day-to-day basis. However, once inside you'll get to sip on cocktails under a neon sign that spells out, ‘Pablo loves you’.

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