Toronto was my home for five years and while I was there, I met many tourists and students from abroad. The most common questions they would ask is ‘What should I do? Where should I visit?’
Almost everyone who visits Toronto knows about our main attractions – the CN Tower, shopping malls, the museum, harbor front and Lake Ontario. But there are many other areas and places where you can experience true Torontonian culture.
The first thing I recommend is seeing a hockey game. If you’re visiting in the summer, then see a baseball game! Even if (like me) you aren’t interested in the sport, it’s always fun to eat nachos and hot dogs and experience the excitement of the home team scoring a goal or hitting a home run.
I also recommend a trip to Yorkville, Toronto’s upscale, ritzy neighbourhood. It’s a few blocks of quaint little streets, houses and shops. Most of the shops are well-known brands, but there are also a few small independent boutiques with great finds. There are tons of unique restaurants with food from across the world – Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Ethiopian, Canadian, Greek, Italian, Mexican, and many more. Hollywood celebrities usually get a hotel room in Yorkville when they visit Toronto, so maybe you’ll even get to do a bit of star-gazing!
Kensington Market is another great area of Toronto. It’s an outdoor market, with vendors selling unique items that they often make or manufacture themselves. In 2006, it was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada. This is a great place to pick up souvenirs that you won’t find anywhere else in the city.
The last place I recommend visiting is Casa Loma, Toronto’s ‘castle’. It was built in 1911 by a financier, so it’s not a castle in the traditional sense. It has many historical exhibits and beautiful gardens. There’s always fun activities for children as well! It’s rumoured to be haunted, so watch out for ghosts if you go there…
There are many things to do in Toronto that are off the beaten path. I recommend trying all of them to fully experience Torontonian culture.