Toronto is my home. A city that has now dethroned London as the most cosmopolitan in the world.

An incredible achievement.

As this city is one where you can find almost any cuisine you like, has a new experience on every street corner (obviously beside a Tim Hortons or Starbucks), and is currently attracting thousands for the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), I wanted to share with you some incredible highlights all visitors should try.

A Guide to Toronto
A Guide to Toronto
  1. Climb the CN Tower & Dine at the 360 RestaurantA Toronto icon since 1974, the CN Tower is a favourite landmark for visitors. Deemed the tallest structure in the world until dethroned by the U.A.E’s Burj Khalifa in 2007, The Tower attracts approximately 2 million visits per year.
    The Iconic CN Tower
    The Iconic CN Tower

    With a variety of activities, it’s a wonderful place for families, adventurers and romance. The 360 restaurant offers an elegant fine dining experience, coupled with extraordinary views of the city and revolving floors for a complete 360-degree vantage point. It takes approximately one hour to complete a full circle.

    Next, ascend to the observatory where you can snap photographs of those brave enough to walk across the glass floor. Staff assure us that the floor is able to hold the weight of several elephants, but gosh, I just can’t do it… could you?

    CN Tower Glass Floor
    CN Tower Glass Floor

     

    Bravery Upon the CN Tower's Glass Floor
    Bravery Upon the CN Tower’s Glass Floor

     

  2. Take in the Ripley’s Aquarium
    Lion Fish at the Aquarium
    Lion Fish at the Aquarium

    Stop in to the newly opened Ripley’s Aquarium and marvel at over 15,000 marine animals and plants. Walk through the longest underwater tunnel in the world and take beautiful photographs of the animals in interactive sessions. Families will love the new exhibits allowing visitors to touch crabs, sharks and the beautifully mysterious manta rays.

  3. Visit the Casa Loma
    The Casa Loma
    Casa Loma

    Did you ever think you would see an authentic castle outside of Europe? Well, look no further than the Casa Loma. Built in 1911 through to 1914, this beautiful castle was designed as the permanent residence of Sir Henry Pellatt.

    Thousands of visitors enjoy tours throughout the various rooms, explore the underground tunnel that leads to the stables, and become mesmerized by the beautiful 5-acre gardens. Tours and events run daily. Exclusively for the fall season, a number of Halloween-themed experiences have been planned. Visit the Casa Loma website for prices, dates and any other questions you may have.

    You or someone you know engaged? The Casa Loma has been named one of the top wedding venues in the city. Contact them directly for date availability and options.

  4.  Dine at the Keg MansionUnlike the other Keg locations, this one is a real treat.The Keg Mansion is located at 515 Jarvis Street in the heart of Toronto’s Cabbagetown district. The mansion was initially built in 1868 by the nephew of notorious Toronto businessman William McMaster.
    The Keg Mansion
    The Keg Mansion – photo from Roam New Roads

    The building was then bequeathed to the University of Toronto (UofT) in 1915 and was later purchased and transformed into the Keg Mansion in 1976. Enjoy classic Keg originals including steaks cooked to order, stuffed potatoes and variety of desserts. The Mansion attract thousands of patrons yearly for its ambiance and unique setting. Be sure to make a reservation as they book up quickly.

  5. The Toronto ZooOne of the most famous zoos in the world, the Toronto Zoo is a certified sanctuary for many animals from around the world. Their breeding program is world renowned for fighting extinction, helping many species improve from endangered to threatened status. Visit now for a limited time to view the adorable panda cubs, the first bred outside of China, and the new mischievous polar bear cub “Juno” frolicking with the adults in the Arctic tundra.
    Baby Lynx
    Baby Lynx

     

    Panda
    Panda

    Hop on the zoo-mobile and get a glimpse of many free-roaming animals exclusive to riders. See yaks, wild horses, and buffalo in safari-like abodes. Be sure to visit the Canadian Domain when you arrive as it is situated at the base of an extremely steep hill. Although somewhat exhausting, you will be rewarded at the bottom with exhibits of many homegrown Canadian animals including the incredible grizzly bears, moose, and the adorable newborn baby lynx.

  6. Take a Stroll through the Distillery District
    The Distillery District
    The Distillery District

    Head on over to the famous Distillery District located east of downtown Toronto. Browse independent boutiques and galleries, then stop for a meal at one of the many cafés, offering a variety of international cuisines. The District houses the largest collection of Victorian industrial architecture in North America and was named a National Historic site in 1988.

    If you are travelling during the holidays, The Distillery is known for an incredible outdoor Christmas market. Decorated with traditional Christmas trimmings, visitors will enjoy booths overflowing with unique gifts, treats and artwork, perfect for anyone on their list.

  7. Enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latté in Yorkville
    pumpkin-spice-latte
    pumpkin-spice-latte

    When exploring Toronto, enjoying a Pumpkin Spice Latté during the day seems only natural in the fall months. Take a stroll down Toronto’s version of Rodeo DriveBloor Street & Yorkville. Enjoy the luxurious boutique shops including such labels as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and Cartier. Stop at a Starbucks and enjoy a deliciously crafted pumpkin spice signature beverage. For a more personal experience, why not bring in a beautifully decorated Pumpkin Spice Mug such as those found in Etsy Shop bycamimonetNot only will your latté look beautiful when served, but you will receive a discount on your drink for being green with your reusable cup!

  8. Attend a Hockey Game
    Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey
    Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey

    Get the adrenaline pumping for a fast-paced game of thrilling puck-passing, goal-scoring, and stick-fighting. Watch the Toronto Maple Leafs play against one of their NHL rivals through three exciting periods of winning skills and strategy. Tickets are available ahead of time or try your luck on the night of the game for cheaper prices. Most games sell out, therefore, should this be a must on your itinerary, book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

  9. Take a Ferry to the Toronto Island
    Toronto Island
    Toronto Island

    Take a trip to the beautiful Toronto Island. Head to the harbourfront, board one of the daily ferries, and head on over for a beautiful day of nature, old-school fun, and breathtaking views of the city.

    Take the family to Centreville, the 1900-set turn-of-the-century-themed children’s park that opened in 1967. The park offers a day of rides, games, mini golf, merry-go-rounds, and a petting zoo featuring popular farm animals including goats, sheep, and llamas. On those hotter days, bring your swimmers along to enjoy the splash pad, pools, and of course the fresh water of Lake Ontario. Centreville is open ever year in the summer only.

    Petting Zoo
    Petting Zoo

    For those wishing to get up close and personal with nature, there are several other options for a fun and active day out. Canoes, kayaks, bicycles, paddle boats, and dune buggies are all available to rent for the day to explore the beautiful and lush grounds the island has to offer. Stop by the shore, snap some photos and enjoy a coffee as the bumblebees pollinate the flowers.

    Kayaking
    Kayaking

     

  10. Enjoy a show at Second City Theatre

    Second City Theatre Toronto
    Second City Theatre Toronto – Photo courtesy of LouLou

    For an evening of sheer laughs and entertainment, grab tickets to an improv show at the Second City Theatre. Since its grand opening in 1959, the Second City Theatre has brought hilarious comedy skits and productions to the Toronto stage, entertaining thousands of visitors yearly.

    This iconic stage launched the careers of many incredible performers with some considered the most influential and prolific comedians of all time. Such notables who debuted on this stage include Rick Moranis, Martin Short, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Catherine O’hara, and the late John Candy.

    Shows run daily with dinner and drink services available. Visit the Second City website for show schedules, meal options, and availability.

    There you have it! A taste of what this incredible city has to offer. Stay tuned for our 101 Toronto Guide to be released shortly! It will include all the above landmarks, plus 91 more places you must explore while here.

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