One of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Toronto is bursting at the seams with excitement, energy, great food and great people! If you happen to find yourself in this North American city, whether you’re on work or just choose to travel, you’ll have plenty to keep yourself occupied with. As the capital of the province of Ontario, Toronto is also the most populated Canadian city in the country, and is packed with attractions in every sphere possible. While a weekend is definitely not enough time to soak in Toronto, it will give you a peek into what the city is all about. And by the end of your weekend, you will be convinced to make a loner trip back to the city to explore it in depth.
A multicultural melting pot
As a city with the largest population in the county, it is also one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with people from a range of ethnicities and cultures making Toronto their home. With a tightly packed but massive downtown area that spreads into larger surrounding neighborhoods, the fabric of Toronto is one that is woven by its people who come from varying walks of life. And when you find yourself in a city like Toronto, you have a dizzying array of attractions in the form of art, architecture, history, entertainment, culture and food to look forward to.
The ideal time for your weekend in Toronto
With two days in hand, it makes sense to check out the main highlights of the city; Toronto highlights that make the city what it is. If you find yourself visiting in the summer (personally for me, the best time of the year!), you can actually enjoy walking through the many districts of the city to get an up-close experience of Toronto. Winter visitors will be greeted by awfully cold weather, but that doesn’t undermine the beauty of the city. If you’re clad warm enough, you’ve won the battle. Be prepared for snowy days though, and sidewalks that can be a tad bit slippery with snow or black ice. Fall or autumn visitors have the best of both worlds, with the bonus of gorgeous colors everywhere you go. Hues of red, orange, yellow, purple and a dash of green greet you in the months of September and October everywhere you go! But remember, irrespective of when you choose to visit, you’ll always have plenty to look forward to, and if you’re not perturbed by weather in general (cold, hot, snowy, rainy, windy), you’ll love every moment you spend into this wonderful city!
What not to miss
If you get in on a Friday evening, spend time at Queen Street East! That’s where you’ll find tons of pubs and bars and some great live music. Toronto thrives on talent and you’ll see it ooze out of the fabric of the city. Adelaide Street and King Street are close by and offer some great evening entertainment options to. And for a really unique Toronto experience, make your way to the Distillery District, a unique spot in the city where traditional seamlessly blends in with modern. Made up of red brick buildings, there are bars and pubs here as well, along with shops, cafes, restaurants and art galleries. It offers an interesting peek into small businesses where you can be assured of great service and value for your money. If you happen to visit in November or December, you’ll be in time for the famous Christmas Market that is a huge draw!
Spend Saturday morning browsing through the ancient St. Lawrence Market located in the heart of downtown. It’s been around since the early 18th century, and has often been touted as the best farmer’s market in the world! From bakeries to meat shops, fresh produce to hand-made delicacies, knick-knacks and souvenirs, you can find it all at St. Lawrence Market. Enjoy a meal at one of the cafes inside or outside the market, and watch the world go by at this historic location in Toronto.
The Harbourfront is a jewel in Toronto’s crown. Take a leisurely walk along the Harbourfront area and if you fancy, hop onto a boat for a harbor cruise. It’s a great way to get a panoramic view of the city from Lake Ontario. Boats also run trips to Toronto Islands but you’d rather save a trip there for your next time in Toronto.
Re-energize yourself at the Amsterdam Brewhouse located right on Harbourfront where you can enjoy a quick drink accompanied by stunning lake views.
CN Tower and 360 The Restaurant
A short walk from the Harbourfront will bring you to Toronto’s most iconic structure – the CN Tower. The tallest freestanding structure in the city, CN Tower offers stunning views of the entire city and its surrounding districts. If you plan well in time, book a reservation at 360 The Restaurant, a revolving restaurant atop the CN Tower. That’s an experience you can’t match up to easily!
The museums of Toronto
Spend all of Sunday exploring the museums of Toronto. While one day is not nearly enough to explore all the museums, you’re good to cover about two museums in-depth. Toronto is known for its excellent museums and if you’re a museum aficionado, you’ll be a very happy person at the end of the day. Save this day for exploring two of the city’s most popular museums – the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The Art Gallery of Toronto is located in downtown Toronto, in Chinatown, and the museum is a piece of art in itself, apart from over 95,000 exhibits it houses. After you’ve exhausted yourself checking out the stunning works of art, enjoy a sumptuous and authentic Chinese meal at one of the many restaurants in Chinatown
The Royal Ontario Museum is next on the list; here you’ll get a great insight into Canadian history, everything to do with First Nations, modern fashion, dinosaurs, science, art and more.
You literally touched the tip of the iceberg when you spend a weekend in Toronto. There is so much more on offer into this fantastic city, and you’ll need many more weeks and weekends to truly explore Toronto.