Local’s guide on Toronto places you should not miss

Toronto at night

It can be challenging to decide where to go in Ontario’s capital city because there are so many hidden gems. While well-known attractions such as Nathan Phillips Square and the CN Tower are always exciting, Toronto has so much more to offer. If you wish to see the city in a new light, following the local’s guide can be beneficial. There are plenty of Toronto places you should not miss.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

The Ripley’s Aquarium, located near the foot of the CN Tower, is one of Toronto’s newest top attractions. This fantastic facility exhibits a wide variety of marine life. It’s one of the most popular family attractions in Toronto. If you’re wondering why this is one of the Toronto places you should not miss, you will find out once you visit it. It has the largest underwater tunnel with a moving sidewalk, which is just the most fantastic feature. As sharks glide by and sawfish linger on the tunnel roof, you can watch the water world unravel all around you. For people of all ages, this is genuinely both an exciting and relaxing experience.

Niagara Falls is one of the Toronto places you should not miss

Niagara Falls, Canada
If there’s one near to Toronto place you should not miss, it’s Niagara Falls.

An easy day journey from Toronto to Niagara Falls is well worth the time. In just over an hour, you can be standing on the edge of the falls. This is also a great honeymoon spot if you’re in the area. If you don’t want to drive yourself, a tour to Niagara Falls from Toronto might be more convenient. Tours include hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as a Hornblower Niagara Cruise, which takes you up close to the iconic Horseshoe Falls’ crashing wall of water.

Art Gallery of Ontario

If you’re looking for an insider’s guide to Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario is a must. The renowned Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of North America’s largest museums. The more than 95,000-piece collection comprises works from all over the world. This gallery has it all from European masterpieces to contemporary art and an excellent collection of Canadian art, including an extensive collection of Group of Seven works. Throughout the year, a range of temporary exhibitions is staged. If you’re keen on culture, you should not miss this Toronto place.

Dine in the Entertainment District or catch a show

The Entertainment District in Toronto encompasses a significant section of the city center. It’s home to several of the city’s most popular attractions, including the CN Tower, Scotiabank Arena, Rogers Centre, and several museums. Various things make it a Toronto place that you should not miss. It’s also known for its delicious food and, most importantly, live music. King Street West is where the majority of the action takes place, between Spadina Avenue and University Avenue. It’s Toronto’s version of New York’s Broadway. It comes alive in the evenings and is a terrific spot for nightlife. This is where you may witness major theater productions such as musicals, concerts, and other forms of entertainment.

Visit the animals at the Toronto Zoo

With around 5,000 animals, the Toronto Zoo offers an impressive and diversified array. Pygmy hippos, lions, tigers, giraffes, penguins, orangutans, and other animals can be found here. The zoo is separated into numerous parts, each of which represents a different part of the world. You definitely should not miss this Toronto place if you’re an animal lover.

Tour Casa Loma

Casa Loma, one of the best places in Toronto that you should not miss
If you’re able to, be sure to visit Casa Loma.

Casa Loma is an impressive building that resembles a medieval castle and stands on well-maintained grounds. It was built in 1914 for Sir Henry Pellatt, an eccentric Canadian multi-millionaire who was the first to identify and capitalize on Niagara Falls’ financial potential. It’s one of the Toronto places you should not miss because it makes for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. The home is now a museum, with about 100 rooms and three dozen bathrooms. Visitors can travel back to a time when Europe was a place of grace and splendor.

Eat and Shop in the Distillery District

If you’re looking for a Toronto place that’s one of the favorite spots for locals, the Distillery District should go on your to-do list. It’s a restored historic district that has been turned into a hip entertainment and shopping spot. The landmark buildings are rich with charming stores, galleries, artist studios, and cafes. This is a fun location to visit at any time of year, day or night. The annual Toronto Christmas Market is one of the most famous of the many entertainment events here. Unique products are sold, and warm outdoor spaces are set up for people to gather around and enjoy themselves.

Relocation to Toronto

If you have fallen in love with some of these Toronto places that you should not miss, you’re not alone. Of course, you can permanently relocate here if you wish to spend more than a holiday exploring it. Hiring a moving company would be the best way to go about this affair. Once you’ve made up your mind, reach out to experts that’ll help you plan everything out. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of reliable Toronto movers for your to choose from.

Enjoy nature at High Park

High Park is one of the Toronto places you shouldn't miss if you like nature
If you’re looking for Toronto places you shouldn’t miss and you love nature, High Park is a must.

Finally, if you’re someone who loves nature and taking road trips with your family and friends, you’ll love High Park. Swimming and wading pools, playgrounds, picnic spots, and a picturesque train journey are all available. Additionally, there are replicas of 19th-century gardens, a Coach House, and the Howards’ Tomb on the grounds.

Where can you stay in Toronto during your visit?

The most fabulous area to stay in Toronto for sightseeing and entertainment is right downtown, in the heart of the activity. From here, you’ll have no trouble visiting all the Toronto places you should not miss since many of the major attractions are within easy walking distance.

An Insider’s Guide to Canada

Riding on a boat on a lake in Canada

Canada is a big country, and you will find a ton of information on it in blogs and articles, but sometimes you need a quick rundown of the best bits to give you a rough idea of where to go and what to do. That’s the intention of this Insider’s guide to Canada. Since the summer is fast approaching and folks are starting to make their vacation plans, an insider’s guide can give you a reliable overview of the highlights to help your planning along. Here goes:

Niagara Falls

Most people have heard of Niagara Falls; they are regularly classed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. And sometimes they are included in the official eight wonders of the world. That’s not surprising; they are the largest waterfalls in North America.

If you decide to visit this iconic natural wonder, fly into Toronto and take the 90 minute drive down the highway. Watch this wonder before you, or get closer with a Maid of the Mist boat tour. In addition to the falls, there’s lots to see and do in the Niagara Falls area.

Whistler Mountain

Canada is known for its Rocky Mountains, and no wonder, with such a special landscape spanning much of Western Canada. But perhaps, one of the more famous mountains is Whistler. Whistler Mountain is located 125km north of Vancouver and is well known for its winter skiing and outdoor activities.

But Whistler Mountain has much to offer in the summer months as well. The mountain is 2,182 meters high, and there is almost always snow at the higher elevations, even in the summer sun. You don’t have to hike the whole way to have an incredible experience; just do what feels comfortable.

Quebec City

Quebec City is the capital of French-speaking Canada. It was established in 1608, making it one of the oldest cities in Canada and North America. The original Old Quebec City is a walled city and is home to some amazing historical architecture.

If you decide to travel here this summer with your partner or your family, you are in for a magical experience. The city offers a wealth of culture and cuisine you won’t find anywhere else. If you are visiting Canada, this is what happens after an eta application.

St. John’s

If historical cities are your thing, then take a visit to St. John’s in the northeast. St. John’s pre-dates Quebec City by around 100 years. It was established in 1497. It doesn’t have the same medieval feel as Quebec City; in fact, as a coastal city it has a distinct Maritime feel.

St. John’s is known as the San Francisco of the north because of its pastel-colored houses and artistic sensibility, but it has more to offer besides. Off the coast of St. John’s, there are Atlantic waters perfect for whale-watching, and you can take a trip to see icebergs as well.

Tofino

People don’t always realize how much Canada has to offer. It has the Rockies, of course, the wildlife, the cities, and the great lakes, but it also has something more exotic – an island paradise. Yes indeed.

Where is this island paradise then, you ask? The answer is Tofino on Vancouver Island off the west coast. Tofino is primarily a beach location that looks onto the pacific. It offers some incredible sunsets, excellent surfing, and much more besides.

Looking over the water in Tofino, British Columbia

Churchill

Canada is home to many famous places and landmarks that you could spend a lifetime visiting and getting value from, but it’s also how to some lesser-known places that can offer big wins in terms of value-adding, life-enhancing experiences.

Churchill is one of those places. It sounds a bit stuffy, like the top-hat wearing Prime Minister from the 1940s, but it’s way more interesting than that. This is polar bear country, and if you visit, there will definitely be a chance to see one of these towering giants – eat your heart out Churchill.

Old Montreal

If you love Quebec City, then you will also love Old Montreal. It dates back to around the same time as Quebec City, established in 1642. And like Quebec City, it can be found in the heart of the city. Montreal is a very culture rich and authentic place to visit.

Travel to Montreal if you want a continental experience within the Canadian borders. You will find plenty of historic buildings, nightlife, and seasonal events to keep you and your family entertained. This is the cosmopolitan Canada that will appeal to everyone.

Banff National Park

Banff National Park is a gateway to the Rockies and perfect if you have all the gear but lack some experience of hiking. Banff National Park is located around some natural hot springs and gives you the best of both worlds.

Spend some time hiking in the surrounding wilderness, following the well-trodden paths to low summits where you get the best view of the landscape. Absorb it all, then return to the springs for a well-earned relaxer.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park in Vancouver is a bit like Central Park in New York. It’s an extensive city park that is in all seasons and is famous for all the right reasons. Stanley Park is where many of the romantic fall walks in TV shows and the movies are filmed, even ones set in NYC.

Stanley Park is a big place, and there are tons of things to keep you occupied and entertained. You can spend all day at the park and take a leisurely walk, going hiking, lay on the beach, visit native totem poles, and drop by the lively aquarium.

Okanagan Valley

If you’re in Western Canada, and you’re in Vancouver, then you are a short flight or 4-hour drive to the Okanagan. Take full advantage of this and head northeast to the Okanagan Valley. Here you will find the Okanagan Lake and plenty of sunshine and native wine.

Okanagan Valley has it all. Food highlights include chef prepared outdoor farm to table dining experiences for small groups. The lake is clear and sparkling, the sunshine is pretty much continuous, and you can visit many orchards and vineyards.

The mountains of British Columbia

Best places to experience the true spirit of Canada

a Canadian flag and mountain ranges

The Canadian natural and urban landscapes are undeservedly neglected in many travel plans. However, if you are looking for the best places to experience the true spirit of Canada, you have stumbled upon a guide that will list and explain why the home of maple syrup (among other things) should definitely be on your travel horizon.

Essentially, this is a big country that boasts one of the most mesmerizing and impressive landscapes in the world. On the one hand, you can encounter lakes, mountains, and other natural sceneries of indescribable beauty. On the other, Canadian cities are a perfect starting and finishing point on your trip. They offer you a chance to experience incredible architectural gems in a progressive and liberal society. Read on to find out more about the most breathtaking and exciting places in Canada you should visit on your next trip to the Great White North.

Toronto

If you are looking for the perfect city to start your Canadian journey, Toronto is the place for you (and my hometown). It is one of the largest and culturally most important cities in this country. Toronto’s distinguishing landmark is the CN Tower which you must have seen if you have ever received a postcard from Toronto.

When it comes to its tourist potential, Toronto’s transportation system makes movement through the city impeccable, with a network of subways, street cars, and roads. However, if you get bored with Toronto’s bustling urban energy, you can always take the ferry across the harbour to the nearby Toronto Islands.  

a Toronto skyline with skyscrapers and CN Tower
The famous CN Tower dominates the Toronto skyline

Banff

If you are looking to visit the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff is a great resort town to start your hiking, biking, or skiing journey from. It is located in the Banff National Park, the first national park established on Canadian soil. As for what it can offer to its visitors, Banff is a town that is brimful of small, local cafes, restaurants, art galleries, shops, and other tourist amenities. You can find the beautiful Mount Norquay towering over this little town and the famous Lake Louise just an hour away from Banff.

Icefields Parkway

Icefield Parkway is a world-famous 144-mile double-lane highway drive between Jasper and Lake Louise. What makes it so epic is that this road offers an incredible overview of the Canadian Rocky Mountains while taking you through orchards, waterfalls, lakes, and other intact natural scenery. This route is fantastic for those who enjoy hiking and camping in breathtakingly beautiful Canadian nature.

a big lake at the foot of mountains in Canada, symbolizing the best places to experience the true spirit of Canada
Canada is home to supreme vistas and natural sceneries.

Vancouver

Vancouver is another big Canadian city that should be on your priority list, especially if you are visiting western Canada. This city is famous for its multiculturalism and green living. Around 50% of its citizens speak languages other than English, making it a truly inspiring and eclectic city. As for what you can do besides the essential sightseeing around the city, Vancouver is a well-known stop for any serious skier given its nearby world-renowned ski resorts such as Whistler Blackcomb. The local city council continuously strive to achieve the best living standard by pioneering and incorporating green design ideas into the city’s infrastructure.

In fact, a rising number of US citizens are moving to Vancouver and other Canadian cities to pursue a cleaner, more humane way of living. If you are considering moving to Canada from NYC, be mindful that you might need to hire an international relocation company to help you get here from NYC, with the necessary vehicles and equipment.

Cape Breton

Cape Breton is a unique part of the province of Nova Scotia located on the east coast of the country. It is one of Canada’s most beloved road trip destinations because of its amazing landscapes that line the famous Cabot Trail – a 186-mile route through the Cape Breton National Park. You will be able to see fantastic nature from Cape Breton’s lookout points, picturesque fishing villages, and one of the most breathtaking scenic routes in the world. A drive through Cape Breton is one to not be missed.

Prince Edward Island

This lovely eastern province and island is famous for its green hills, red cliffs, and amazing seafood everywhere you go. Also, given that most locations in Canada are oriented towards active vacations such as walking or hiking, this island is the perfect getaway where you can relax and enjoy the island scenery. This island is also huge in the golfing world due to its many golf courses available for play. Beside these luxurious, upper-class amenities, the island is also famous for its seal population – as many as four different species of seal inhabit its shores throughout the year.

Niagara Falls

colorful waterfalls and a tree
Niagara Falls are an incredible sight any time of the year and the best place to experience the true spirit of Canada

And, last but certainly not the least, the amazing Niagara Falls. There is hardly a person who has not heard of this collection of waterfalls on the United States and Canada border. The Niagara Falls are indeed a natural wonder that merits at least a day of your attention, especially if you are staying or moving to Toronto in the future. 

The waterfalls – Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls – make up an astounding six million cubic feet of water that splash downward every minute. This makes the word wonder in the phrase “natural wonder” a literal description of what experiencing the Niagara Falls is like.

All in all, we hope this short guide has helped you visualize the best places to experience the true spirit of Canada. Of course, there are many more amazing spots which you can visit, especially if you enjoy spending your holiday in the great outdoors. Don’t forget Quebec, Newfoundland and the other provinces and territories (coming in a future post). Whatever your favorite places are, we are confident you will love every minute spent in this beautiful country. Just make sure you stay safe and healthy during your travel.