This Canada 150 Toronto Bucket List Makes the Perfect Summer Holiday
I am a proud Torontonian. After being abroad for a lengthy amount of time, it is a common occurrence to grow newfound adoration for a hometown. And this happened to me. Canada 150 is approaching at a fast pace and where better to celebrate than in the largest city in the country? Here is our Toronto Bucket List of 25 things everyone visiting the city must enjoy on a summer holiday.
1- Do the Traditional CN Tower Visit
This is a staple for all visitors! There are many activities to do here at the famous tower, including observation deck ascents, fine dining, and of course the adrenaline-pumped Edgewalk. To read more about the Toronto icon, see our post here.
2 – Eat At Fresh Restaurant
Fresh is a delicious vegan restaurant with several locations across the city! They have a full menu of smoothies, noodle bowls, salads, soups, daily specials, and more. Ensure you order sweet potato fries with vegan may with your meal! It is flavourful and utterly satisfying. Save room for dessert and enjoy a slice of their vegan carrot cake. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is the moistest most incredible carrot cake I have eaten in Toronto.
3- Head to the Distillery District
This lovely area of Toronto was rated one of the best places to visit while in Toronto! It features brick roads, vintage buildings, artsy shops and decor, and incredible seasonal festivals. Stop into a pub or two and grab a photo beside the famous Love Lock display. Arriving for Christmas? The markets held here should not be missed. Artisan shops, hot chocolate, a visit with Santa, and holiday cheer are all waiting for visitors as yourself.
4- Head to the Royal Ontario Museum
Come and explore the hundreds of artifacts featured at The Royal Ontario Museum! A Toronto staple that opened in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum has educated guests and school groups for decades. More about this museum at our post here.
5- Have a Coffee at the Green Beanery
This is one of my favourite coffee shops in the city! They have the largest selection of coffees in the world and wonderful baristas ready to make your perfect bespoke beverage. Check them out located beside the old Honest Ed’s shop at Bloor and Bathurst. Read more about the Green Beanery and our favourite coffees shops in Toronto here.
6- Head to the Toronto Zoo
Now, I know many travellers out there aren’t fans of zoos, but I must preface on this recommendation that this zoo is not like many. It is certified after animal welfare inspections and is world-renowned for its ethical treatment of its animals and breeding facilities.
I am on the fence about some zoos and read up on them before supporting them with a visit. And I know from frequent visits that the Toronto Zoo is an incredible place to see gorgeous animals treated well with the family.
7- Head to the Eclectically Famous Kensington Market
Enjoy fun shops, art, restaurants and an overall unique market atmosphere here in Kensington Market. A treasure trove of great sites for the camera with perfect selfie backdrops, after a few snaps, grab a coffee and pick up a few fun finds as bacon soap and nostalgic items from the silver screen era.
8- While in Kensington, Check out the Street Art!
Not only does Kensington Market have unique shops and restaurants, but it is also home to many murals and interesting street art. Have a gander at some of the creations by many in this now-crowned Toronto heritage site.
9 – Go Shopping at the Eaton Centre
Enjoy looking for labels and window displays? The Toronto Eaton Centre is just for you. Head to one of the hundreds of shops including the newly welcomed Saks and Nordstrom. I personally love the Indigo Books store here that hosts frequent book signings and has a Starbucks attached. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me…
10 – Have a Mega Sundae at Caffe Demetre
Caffe Demetre is perfect for the traveller with a sweet tooth! Enjoy mega sundaes, delicious cakes, and homemade crepes! They are quite generous in size, so make sure you have left plenty of room after your meal!
11- Head to Toronto Island’s Centreville
I sincerely hope this summer you can visit the island. Due to heavy rains the island severely flooded forcing it to close and evacuate residents. Even a few local businesses had to close. All going well, the island plans to reopen by the end of June 2017.
Should you get the chance to go, make sure you head to Centreville, the amusement park located there with rides, games, a petting zoo, and more. The park is themed around the turn of the century and truly makes a fun filled day.
The park uses a ticket system to purchase rides and activities. Enjoy such rides as a flume boat, spinning teacups, topsy-turvy boats, swan rides, and of course, a vintage carousel to name a few.
12- Head to The Roger’s Centre for a Blue Jay’s Game!
Seeing the Toronto Blue Jays play should be a definite on your list. The Roger’s Centre is a unique stadium with a retractable roof that should you visit on a warm sunny day, just may have its roof open. The Toronto fans are unlike any other in the MLB league supporting the only Canadian team! Be part of the magic and root for these guys to make it to the playoffs. While at the stadium, check out the Jays Shop and all the different jerseys available, including the exclusive Canada 150 collection. Check out the home game schedule as certain Sundays also have giveaways with special limited edition items for the first 20,000 fans.
13- Head to Canada’s Wonderland
Enjoy amusement parks with adrenaline-rushing rides? Head to Canada’s Wonderland- home of the Leviathan, the highest roller coaster in Canada and the deliciously sinful funnel cake. Spend a day here enjoying over 40 rides, a kids area, carnival games, a refreshing waterpark of slides and lazy river, theme park food, candy floss, the Peanuts gang, and interactive stage shows. Season passes are the best way to go if you will be in Toronto and wish to visit more than once and includes access to the full park including the water area.
14 – Make a Day trip to Niagara Falls
Head West to the incredible 10th Natural Wonder of the World – Niagara Falls! I may seem slightly biased, but I love seeing the horseshoe falls in the summer. Enjoy wonderful views and a variety of attractions including the walk behind the falls and the new Hornblower boat. I am slightly sad that the famous Maid of the Mist is now on the American side though. Those blue ponchos really were the staple of the Canadian side!
After checking these attractions out, head up Clifton Hill for some fun touristy playhouses with wacky mirrors, an overpriced treat, and quintessential Niagara entertainment. More on Niagara Falls coming soon to the blog!
15 – Steamwhistle Brewery
Enjoy a tour here at this homegrown brewery! Learn how the Steam Whistle beer is made and a little history about the company in this historic round house. Afterward enjoy a free sample and a browse in their official shop and retail gallery. Make sure you book ahead as tours do fill up super quick.
16- Head to Ripley’s Aquarium
Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon at the new Ripley’s Aquarium! See over 16,000 fish and aquatic animals swimming in giant tanks and North America’s longest viewing tunnel! Walk through and just stand there marvelling at the sharks surrounding you. See the gorgeous lion fish, seahorses, barracudas, puffers, and more.
17 – Head to Chinatown
Just like London and other large cities, Toronto has an incredible China Town with lots of authentic restaurants, clothing, crafts, and more. Have a Dim sum meal for me! My favourite of all Chinese cuisine!
18- Head to the Junction
This up and coming neighbourhood is artsy, modern, and has a heap of incredible independent restaurants. In particular, give the Curry Twist a try. They are rated the #1 Indian restaurant in all of Toronto according to Trip Advisor. They have incredible naan, curries, and more made fresh by their exceptional executive chef. There is also an amazing mac ‘n’cheese joint, “Cut the Cheese” with some of the most incredible comfort food in the city, washed down perfectly with a pint of a variety of indie beers crafted right here.
19 – Black Creek Pioneer Village
Head back in time and learn how things were done 150 years ago! The Black Creek Pioneer village has the old time feeling with staff dressed for the era, interactive displays, and much to see for the whole family. Go this year for Canada 150 and enjoy exhibits and shows in particular for the confederation.
20 – The Keg Mansion
Enjoy a meal at the Keg Mansion! Now an official Heritage site, the mansion is the perfect venue for a celebration. Have a steak with all the fixings cooked just how you like it, chicken, salads, and more.
21 – The Casa Loma
Toronto is home to one of the few castles outside Europe. It was built in 1911 and was the home to Sir Henry Pellat. There are frequent shows, exhibits, and tours here for guests to enjoy as well as fun facts about movies shot on the property. Visit the Casa Loma website for prices, dates and any other questions you may have.
22 – Saint Lawrence Market & Flat Iron Building
Enjoy another incredible market in the heart of Toronto! Row upon row of fresh produce, fish, cheese and other delicious foods are available here from Tuesday-Saturday from the #1 Food Market in the World! Truly a cultural staple in the heart of the Six. Support local farmers with every purchase as you enjoy some of the most tantalizing flavours. After indulging on a artisan-made meal, head up the hill on Front Street and grab a couple of photos of the picturesque Flat Iron Building right in the centre of the street.
23 – Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
Enjoy a fun evening here at Medieval Times! Eat without cutlery and enjoy a 4-course meal served by wenches, with all the fixing while watching an entertaining show of horses and knights. After the show you may be in luck and get the opportunity to meet your knight of the tournament!
24 – Take in a Show at Second City
Ever wondered where Canadian icons as John Candy, Rick Moranis, and Catherine O’hara got their start? Well it was right here at Second City Theatre. Since its grand opening in 1959, the Second City Theatre has brought hilarious comedy skits and productions to the Toronto stage. Visit the Second City website for show schedules, meal options, and availability.
25 – Bata Shoe Museum
Love shoes? Well you need to check out the interesting and unique Bata Shoe Museum! Check out the 100+ pairs of incredible footwear that shows styles from decade upon decade. See cultural shoes from China, Egypt, Italy, and even nostalgia (Ronald MacDonald has shoes there!)
This is only a fraction of things to do in Toronto! Stay tuned for further coverage on our Restaurant Bucket list, and essential day trips coming soon!
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