1. Spend a day at Niagara Falls
Number one of most people’s lists of things to do when visiting Toronto is to visit the world famous Niagara Falls. For those of you that don’t know, Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the border between Canada and the USA. From smallest to largest the three waterfalls are the Bridal Veil Falls, the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. Although not exceptionally high compared with other waterfalls throughout the world, Niagara Falls is exceptionally wide.
From Toronto, it takes around 2 hours to drive directly to Niagara Falls, although Tours usually take longer due to stop offs at various places en route – the town of Niagara, which was voted the nicest town in Canada, is a popular place for tour groups whilst wine distilleries are also plentiful on the way to the falls.
When arriving at the falls, visitors have the opportunity to sail into the heart of the Horseshoe falls by boat (don’t worry, you are given a big raincoat to wear as you will get wet) guests are also given the opportunity to zip-wire across a part of the lake at the bottom of the waterfalls. There’s also a walking route on the American side of the waterfalls where tourists can walk up
the side of the American Falls.
2. Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario
If you are an art fan, then you are going to love the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Located in the China Town area of Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is worth visiting even if you do not wish to enter the gallery. The building itself is beautiful, especially at night when it is all lit up. Inside, the gallery features works of art from a variety of world famous artists including, Picasso, Rembrandt, Reuben’s, Degas and Monet, amongst others.
The collection includes works from the renaissance and Baroque era’s as well as a modern contemporary collection (the contemporary collection is on the top floor up a long winding staircase). If you’re a fan of Canadian history, the Gallery also has works by the Canadian artists the ‘Group of Seven’. These seven artists have painted a history of Canada in a variety of different ways. Overall the Gallery is certainly worth a visit, even if you only spend a couple of hours inside.
3. Attend a Blue Jays game
Assuming you are visiting Toronto during the correct time of the year, (the baseball season starts in April and ends at the start of November) then you should make it a main priority to attend a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game. Toronto is the home to numerous sports teams but perhaps the most well supported and famous of these teams (not including the Toronto Maple Leafs) are the Toronto Blue Jays. Even if you are not a fan of baseball and do not full understand the rules of the game, you will still have a lot of fun being a spectator at Toronto’s ‘ball park’. The rules are very easy to pick up and the atmosphere at the stadium is incredible. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Rodgers Stadium is the home of the Blue Jays, although it is still known as the ‘Sky Dome’ by disgruntled Torontonians.
(Businessman Edward Rodgers bought the rights to the stadium in 2005 and named the stadium after himself) Depending on the type of match, how well the Blue Jays are doing in the standings and who the opponents are, tickets can be as cheap as $5, most of the time it is even possible to buy tickets directly at the stadium on the day of the match. The atmosphere in the stadium is incredible, especially if it’s a close game. If you are visiting the city on a warm and sunny day/night, then it is likely that the roof on the stadium will be open (hence the name Sky Dome) this makes for an even greater experience. Also, if you happen to catch one of the many balls that end up in the crown, you get to keep it! Although the numbers of American’s watching baseball games are dwindling thanks to modern sports such as esports and the ever popular North American sports of American football and basketball, there is still something romantic about going to watch a game of baseball with a classic American (or Canadian) style hotdog to match.
4. Go up the CN Tower
No trip to Toronto is worthwhile without going to the top of what was once the tallest free standing building in the world. Standing at 1,815ft high the CN Tower is an unmissable sight when visiting Toronto, in more ways than one. If you want an unparalleled view of the city, then getting to the top of the CN tower should be your main priority. There are two ways to reach the top of the tower, you can climb the 1,776 steps to get to the summit or you can use the high speed glass paneled elevators. If you decide on the elevator route, (as probably more than 99.9% of people do) be prepared for a quick ride – it takes 58 seconds to get to the top and you will be traveling at a brisk 15mph, the views from the lifts rival those form the top of the tower and the glass paneled floors certainly offer a unique experience.
When you reach the top there is of course the viewing platform where you can take as many pictures as you like (it is very windy though) as well as another glass floor. There’s also a gift shop and café which you can visit if you so wish.
5. The Royal Ontario Museum
A museum with something for everyone, the Royal Ontario Museum holds a vast collection of ancient and modern artefacts. From dinosaur fossils and ancient Egyptian artifacts, to Imperial Japanese samurai warrior armor and native Canadian totem poles, the museum holds a vast collection of pieces from around the world. In order to thoroughly explore the entire museum, you will need to set aside at least three hours if not more. Once you have paid for entry there are guided tours which can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. It truly is a wonderful place to explore. Currently at the museum there is a blue whale exhibition.
Not long ago a number of blue wales became beached in Nova Scotia and ended up dying – as sad as this was it gave scientist the opportunity to learn more about the what is quite possibly the biggest animal to have ever lived. In the exhibition you can read more about the beached Wales in Nova Scotia, you can listen to the noise a blue whale makes in the water and you can learn a variety of facts about the incredible animals. There is also a real blue whale heart on display as well as the bones of whale that the scientists were working on. The Royal Ontario museum really is one of the jewels in Ontario’s crown so don’t miss out.
This article was updated on 1-18-2018