Things to Do in Toronto Any Season


By Mattie Lacey-Davidson

There are loads of reasons to visit Toronto, Canada, this year. It doesn’t even matter when you go because during the summer you can cycle or stroll around, and take a trip to the islands, or in the winter you can experience the spectacular build up to Christmas.

In the past 150 years the country has established itself as friendly and multicultural with an easy going atmosphere, with the high rise and super trendy buildings giving a similar vibe to New York City.

Toronto is a diverse and vibrant city – there’s even an established Tibetan community – where skyscrapers jostle with hip, artsy districts and there is a food fusion culture that has everything from sushi pizzas to Chinese Jamaican.

Toronto sign with water feature

Things to do all year round

Visit the city’s skyscraper centrepiece, the CN Tower beside Lake Ontario in which you will find the thrilling EdgeWalk – the world’s highest hands-free walk, 116 stories above ground.

If you want to get away from the buzz of the city centre and find a little homegrown culture then head to Parkdale. Amongst the hipster women in daring outfits and stunning hair, men with beards, thick glasses and plaid shirts, are an array of thrift stores and coffee shops well away from the beaten track of tourism.

The Toronto Film Festival (TIFF), is taking place between September 6 and 16, but they host events all year round so it’s a great one to check out if you’re staying in the city for a long time.

Things to do in the summer

You have to go to Toronto Islands in Lake Ontario, south of mainland Toronto. You’ll feel like you are somewhere far more exotic because temperatures get really high. To get there you take a ferry and then walk through a gorgeous green park, before stumbling into the sandy beaches.

Sit in a beer garden and eat poutine (chips, gravy and cheese). It’s practically a summer ritual.

toronto subway entry

Things to do at Christmas

The Christmas tree light switch on at Nathan Philips Square, opposite the Sheraton Centre, is a landmark event to start the season with ice skating, fireworks and music at The Cavalcade of Lights.

You can book a walking Tour of Holiday Traditions in Toronto Old and New with Bruce Bell, one of the city’s most respected historians. It’s a fun and fact-filled jaunt to St Lawrence Market where you can sample its famous Peameal Bacon sandwich; Toronto’s First Post Office – send a letter written with a quill pen; and finish at the historic Distillery District for the annual Christmas Market with music, food, drink, shops and stalls ideal for Christmas shopping.

If you don’t fancy walking in the cold then you can get a great view of the city on a Toronto Double Decker City Tour, or can discover how our festive traditions began in the olden days at the charming Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Cafe in Toronto

Where to eat

At Reds Midtown Tavern you will find wholesome food beautifully prepared while you, should you fancy it, challenge a stranger to a shuffleboard battle.

Drake One Fifty – no relation to the singer – is another great spot which lives up to its promise of a ‘Canadian take on modern Brasserie cooking,’ with an array of choices from burgers to sushi.

Set in a row of elegant Victorian houses in ‘Old Toronto’, is Sassafraz, which offers an incredible Canadian à la française menu making your old favourites somehow decadent.

Finally, a great lunch spot is the Gardiner Bistro for fresh and creatively presented light food.

You may also be interested in checking out this post about Montréal, the perfect place to stay alone.

sky tower Toronto

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