Top Things to Do and See in Toronto for First Timers

Top Things to Do and See in Toronto for First Timers
Casa Loma

Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, is a vibrant and diverse destination that offers something for everyone. From its world-renowned cultural attractions and delicious cuisine to its beautiful parks and scenic waterfront, there's no shortage of things to see and do in this exciting city!

I visited Toronto just before the pandemic (year 2019), yet I assure you that the tips I will be posting here will still be relevant for your travels this 2023 (or even in the next few years).

Hop on and read through my recos on the top things to do and see in Toronto for first timers:

1. One of the top attractions in Toronto is the CN Tower, an iconic landmark that offers incredible views of the city and lake from its observation deck. You might want to try the thrilling "EdgeWalk" around the tower's circumference, 116 stories above the ground. I didn't try this though. Just seeing the tower with my Tita was enough!

CN Tower

2. Other must-see cultural attractions include the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the historic Casa Loma.

We visited Casa Loma and toured the majestic castle. It was the private residence of Sir Henry Pellatt, that's now owned by the City of Toronto. The castle costs $40 per pax to tour. To learn more about it, visit their website at

Casa Loma

3. Foodies will love exploring Toronto's diverse culinary scene, which features everything from traditional Canadian dishes to international cuisines. Some popular local specialties include poutine (french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds), peameal bacon sandwiches, and smoked meat.

For a unique dining experience, head to one of the city's many multicultural neighborhoods, such as Little Italy or Chinatown, where you'll find a wide variety of authentic restaurants and food shops.

4. Nature lovers will enjoy visiting the Toronto Islands, a group of small islands located just a short ferry ride from the mainland. The islands offer a peaceful escape from the city, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and picnicking. Other outdoor activities in Toronto include exploring the beautiful High Park, visiting the Toronto Zoo, and taking a stroll along the Lake Ontario waterfront.

5. No trip to Toronto would be complete without experiencing some of the city's vibrant nightlife. Whether you're looking for live music, comedy, or just a good pint of beer, Toronto has something to offer. Some popular nightlife hotspots include the Entertainment District, Kensington Market, and the Distillery District.

We did a quick street tour of Kensington Market in the morning, then passed by Graffiti Alley. It's a small street where you will find astounding street art that will delight artists and photographers.

Kensington Market

Graffiti Alley

Distillery District is also a unique and fun place to hangout. We, being Asians, tried sake and whisky tasting in some of their bars. You can also do some shopping there, and take lots of photos with its brick walls and lovely backdrops.

Distillery District

Overall, Toronto is a dynamic and exciting destination that offers something for everyone. I have more to share - but I'll do in another post - for this list of top things to do and see in Toronto will pretty much keep you happy and occupied, especially if it's your first time!


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