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How to Spend 4 Days in Toronto (For First-Time Visitors!)

How to Spend 4 Days in Toronto (For First-Time Visitors!)

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Toronto is a lively city bursting at the seams with fun and unique things to do. If it’s your first time here, you are in for a real treat!

With 4 days here, you’ll be able to squeeze in a lot of the must-do activities and sights, but knowing which activities to do is the hard part! As a Canadian who has been to this city multiple times, I have done it all and have narrowed it down to the BEST tours and places to go for an epic 4-day Toronto Itinerary!

So get ready for a busy, and memorable 4 days in Canada’s largest city. From exploring the Toronto Islands to visiting Niagara Falls, this will be a trip you won’t forget!

Don’t have time to read the full article? There is so much to do in Toronto that even with 4 days you won’t be able to see it all. We have narrowed down the top experiences you absolutely can’t miss while visiting:

  1. Day trip to Niagara Falls on a guided tour
  2. Visit the iconic Hockey Hall of Fame
  3. Wander around the historic Distillery District
  4. Explore the Casa Loma Castle
  5. Relax on a sunset sailing cruise

Day 1

Breakfast – Lady Marmalade

Daniel with brunch from Lady Marmalade in Toronto
Brunch is our favorite!
Two brunch meals at Lady Marmalade in Toronto, Canada
How good does that look?

There is no better way to start your first day in Toronto than by fueling up at Lady Marmalade for breakfast. It’s such a cute breakfast spot, with food that tastes even better than it looks – and it looks good!

We think this is the best place in the entire city for brunch … especially if you’re an Eggs Benny fan! They offer 7 different types of delicious Eggs Benedict, from mango to pulled pork! You can wash it down with a coffee or even a mimosa if you’d like – it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

Lady Marmalade is located close to downtown Toronto. They serve breakfast and lunch all day every day from 8:30 am to 3 pm. Prices are pretty average for a specialty brunch spot ranging from $14 – $22 CAD for a plate.

It’s a very popular spot and unfortunately, they don’t take reservations. We recommend showing up around 10 minutes before they open so you can get seated right away. This way you can have your breakfast nice and early and still have time to explore the rest of Toronto!

Morning – Hockey Hall of Fame

Daniel poses for a photo with the current Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada
The current Stanley Cup!
The original Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto
The original Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto

Once your belly is full, you can head on over to the Hockey Hall of Fame! Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a trip to Canada if you didn’t do something hockey-related, right?

It’s a lot of fun for hockey fans, and if you’re not a fan you’ll still have a good time. I’m not big into hockey but I really enjoyed looking at all the hockey memorabilia from around the world! They even have the current and original Stanley Cup on display, which was donated by Lord Stanley of Preston over 130 years ago. You can take a picture with the current Stanley Cup for free, or pay $10 CAD for a professional photo, which makes a great trip souvenir!

But that’s not all, there are also a ton of exhibits and fun interactive activities the whole family will love such as NHLPA Game Time, a model rink where you can take on animated versions of NHL’s greatest stars! Or you can test your sports anchor skills in front of the camera at the TSN Broadcast Zone.

Another super cool exhibit was the to-scale replica of the famous Montreal Canadiens dressing room. And I liked the 22-minute film in the TSN theatre called Stanley’s Game Seven in 3D. There is honestly so much to see, that we wrote an entire post all about the Hockey Hall of Fame!

Bailey poses with a statue at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada
The place is huge!
A man plays a hockey game at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto
The games are fun!

The Hockey Hall of Fame is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, about a 10-minute drive from Lady Marmalade. If you aren’t renting a car, you can always use Uber, which is super popular in Toronto. To get there you’ll enter the street-level entrance to Brookfield Place, then follow the signs to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Alternatively, you can use public transit (subway, bus, or streetcar) to get around downtown Toronto easily. Check out the routes and schedules here. And if you’re arriving via public transit, you can access the Hockey Hall of Fame from Toronto’s underground walkway (PATH). Both PATH and the Hockey Hall of Fame are excellent choices for a rainy day in Toronto as well!

It is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (except for Christmas and New Year’s Day). Costs are quite affordable as well at just $25 CAD for ages 14+, $15 CAD for ages 4-13, $20 CAD for seniors over 65, and free for kiddos 3 and under!

We recommend booking your tickets in advance with Viator because it allows you to skip long ticket lines when you get there. It also allows free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance, so there is no need to worry if your plans change!

Related Read: Check out another iconic Canadian city – Vancouver! With so much to see, we put together a 3-day Vancouver itinerary, check it out!

Lunch – St. Lawrence Market

The front of the St Lawrence Market in Toronto
St. Lawrence Market!
Daniel enjoys a slice at St Lawrence Pizza and Pasta in the St Lawrence Market, Toronto
Daniel enjoys a slice at St. Lawrence Pizza and Pasta in the St. Lawrence Market, Toronto

After scoring some goals at the Hockey Hall of Fame, I’m sure you’re ready for some delicious lunch! We highly recommend making your way to the St. Lawrence Market area to enjoy a meal and shop the vendors. It’s only 500 meters (0.3 miles) from the Hockey Hall of Fame making it a quick walk over.

St. Lawrence Market is the oldest (and in my opinion the best) local market in downtown Toronto! This indoor market dates back to 1803 but has been renovated many times since making it into the lively market it is today.

It offers everything from gourmet cheeses to artisan jewelry and delicious food vendors! Our favorite is St. Lawrence Pizza and Pasta, where you can get mouthwatering pizza by the slice. Or if you’re craving fresh seafood, make sure to stop by the popular Buster’s Sea Cove – so good it has people lining up around the corner!

If you’re a cheese lover (who isn’t?!) then don’t miss the Olympic Cheese Mart, home to over 600 different types of cheese. And if you love to cook, make sure to stop by Domino Foods, a niche cooking store that offers specialty ingredients that can be hard to find anywhere else.

The St. Lawrence Market is open every day except Monday, but the hours differ a bit depending on the day of the week. It’s best to check online before you go.

We absolutely love taking a stroll around this lively and vibrant market! It’s one of our fave places in the city, and we’re not surprised it’s a top destination on many Toronto sightseeing tours. It is a great example of the friendly atmosphere you’ll find all over Toronto which is why we think it deserves a visit on your 4 days in Toronto itinerary!

Afternoon – Head up the CN Tower

View of Toronto from the CN Tower
What a view!
The shadow of the CN Tower over Toronto as seen from the top viewing platform
It’s the best vantage point in the city!

Next, you can head on over to the CN Tower, the most iconic building in Toronto! It is also located downtown and is only a quick 10-minute drive or 20-minute walk away from the St. Lawrence Market.

The CN Tower is Toronto’s most prominent and tallest structure and is a must-visit when you’re in the city. Soaring at a height of 553 meters (1,814 ft), it is the tallest building in Canada and the tallest structure in North America, just narrowly beating out the One World Trade Center in New York City.

The CN Tower offers breathtaking views of the entire city, with the primary observation deck located 346 meters (1,136 feet) off the ground! Additionally, there’s the glass floor deck, providing a unique perspective as you gaze down at the city below. While stepping or sitting on the glass floor may induce some nervousness, rest assured that it is entirely safe! General admission for the main observation deck costs $43 CAD and you must reserve a time slot in advance.

For only $10 CAD more, you can head up to the SkyPod observation deck, which is 33 stories higher than the main observation deck. It is the highest observation platform in the entire Western Hemisphere!

For those who want to get their adrenaline running, you can do the EdgeWalk, where you will walk along the outside of the building 116 stories up (harnessed in of course)! It is the world’s highest hands-free walk and is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget. Edgewalk operates from the spring to the fall every year and costs $199 – $225 CAD per person aged 13 and up.

There is also a restaurant on the CN Tower that offers incredible panoramic views of the city. It’s called 360 Restaurant, because it rotates around once every 72 minutes, allowing you to enjoy the changing view as you eat! It is open daily from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm for lunch and 4:30 pm – 9:15 pm for dinner. Please note they do have a minimum spend requirement of $75 CAD per person, but that includes the cost of admission to the main observation deck.

Dinner – Little Italy

A Little Italy sign in Little Italy in Toronto
Welcome to Little Italy!
Bailey eats her meal at Trattoria Taverniti in Little Italy, Toronto
Trattoria Taverniti!

Having explored many of Toronto’s iconic activities all day, we are sure you’ll be starving by the time dinner rolls around. If you haven’t already had a bite at 360 Restaurant, we recommend heading to a new area of the city for dinner to get a taste of just how diverse the culture of Toronto is – and there is no better place to do that than Little Italy!

Little Italy is a vibrant neighborhood in Toronto set around the main College Street strip. Since Daniel’s family is Italian, we can’t resist going here to indulge in authentic Italian cuisine. It’s such a quaint and trendy area of the city, and we enjoy walking around and taking in the Italian vibes!

For a nice, sophisticated evening meal we suggest Sotto Voce Pasta and Wine Bar. I’m a sucker for their potato gnocchi in a white wine sauce – yum! It’s a great spot in any season, feeling cozy inside during the winter and enjoying the patio in the summer months!

If you are looking for a budget-friendly dinner option, we recommend heading to Il Gatto Nero for some delicious authentic Italian pizza. And if you’re craving affordable pasta, then Trattoria Taverniti is the place for you! Make sure to reserve a spot here in advance as it can get really busy.

After dinner, you can catch a show at the old-style movie theater, The Royal. Or walk down the Italian Walk of Fame along College Street, to honor the 25+ Italians who have made significant contributions to the world across many different fields. Or head to a fancy cocktail bar for a nightcap or two – check out our favorite cocktail bars in Toronto here!

Day 2

All day – Niagara Falls tour

Niagara Falls in the background of the viewpoints on the Canadian side
Summer is a beautiful and busy time here!
A cruise cruises past Niagara Falls on a tour
A cruise is a must while in Niagara!

Let’s be honest, you can’t visit Toronto for a couple of days without going to see one of the most famous waterfalls in the world!

Niagara Falls is a majestic group of 3 waterfalls located only 90 minutes outside of Toronto, making for a great day trip from the city! Located right on the border between Canada and the USA, people come from all around to view the falls from each side of the border. From the Canadian side of the falls, you can view Horseshoe Falls (aka Canadian Falls), which is the most powerful waterfall in North America! Having seen both sides ourselves, we can say that the Canadian side is much more impressive and is definitely worth visiting while in Toronto!

There is so much to do here and many ways you can enjoy the scenic views of the falls. You can go on a cruise to the base of the falls with Niagara City Tours, take a scenic helicopter flight overhead, go up to the Skylon Tower observation deck, or even zipline across the falls!

Being such a breathtaking natural attraction, Niagara Falls is a very busy place. If you rent a car and drive out there yourself, it may be hard to find parking and get reservations. Plus there is so much more to see in the Niagara area than just the falls, so if you go yourself you risk missing out on some seriously awesome activities and sights.

This is why we decided to do a day tour of Niagara Falls from Toronto when we went. We didn’t want to deal with the stress of planning, logistics, and crowds – and boy are we happy we did! We had such a fantastic time on our Niagara Falls tour that we think everyone visiting the Toronto area needs to add it to their bucket list! That’s why I created the list below of the best full-day tours to Niagara Falls that you can add to your Toronto Itinerary.

Niagara Falls Day Tour from Toronto

Bailey leans over the railing on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls
Amazing views!
Niagara Falls boardwalk on the America Side as seen from the Canadian side
The boardwalk on the US side!

This $99 CAD full-day tour to Niagara Falls from Toronto is perfect for people who don’t want to go over budget but still want to experience the highlights of the Niagara region!

This tour picks you up in Toronto and brings you to Niagara Falls where you get 3 full hours to explore independently! During this time you can choose to do the Voyage to the Falls boat cruise during the summer months for an additional $36 CAD. Or for $22 CAD you can head up the Skylon Tower for some great views of the falls below (this is a great winter activity because it keeps you out of the cold!).

Not only does it visit the falls, but it also stops at the Floral Clock and the Living Water Wayside Chapel (the smallest church in the world)! Plus, you’ll get to visit the Niagara Whirlpool, a natural majestic blue whirlpool at the bottom of the Niagara Gorge, so get your camera ready!

Make sure to budget for lunch as well because it is not included on this tour. You can always pack a lunch and some snacks to bring along with you to save some money. This tour has thousands of 5-star reviews and always books up quickly, so reserve your spot here to take advantage of the book now, pay later option!

Niagara Falls Platinum Tour from Toronto

Daniel poes for a photo at the front of the boat on the Hornblower Cruise in Niagara Falls
The cruise was our favorite part!
Bailey enjoys a glass of wine at Queen Victoria Place Restaurant with views of Niagara Falls
Bailey enjoys a glass of wine at Queen Victoria Place Restaurant with views of Niagara Falls

This full-day premium tour of Niagara Falls was the one that we did during the summer and we had such a great time! We got to visit the falls, go on the boat ride, have a 3-course lunch overlooking the falls, and go wine tasting – all included! Does it get any better than that?

Since we visited Toronto in the summer we got to do the boat ride adventure at Niagara to the base of the falls which was incredible! But if you visit in the winter months when the boats don’t operate, you get to do the Journey Behind the Falls experience which takes you behind the powerful falls instead – which honestly looks just as fun!

This tour also stops at Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is a charming town full of quaint boutiques and historic buildings. You’ll have some time to explore and take pictures. It was so nice having a guide for this trip, we learned so much about the falls and surrounding area and got to see so many things we would have missed had we been on our own.

For only $200 CAD per person, we think this tour is definitely worth it! It includes all of the activities mentioned above, so we don’t think we could have done it any cheaper ourselves. Make sure to book this tour in advance, as it’s likely to sell out, especially in the busy summer months!

Niagara Falls Tour from Toronto with Boat, Journey Behind the Falls, and Lunch

Two boat cruises below Niagara Falls, Canada
Niagara Falls as seen from the US side!

This adventurous full-day Niagara Falls tour is jam-packed with all the amazing experiences the Niagara area has to offer! It is perfect for those wanting to make the most out of their day and see all of the highlights.

It is basically the same as the tour above but with a couple of little extras. It includes the boat ride to the falls (summer only), Journey Behind the Falls, lunch, wine tasting, and a visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake. But it also visits the Niagara Whirlpool Aero Car, where in the summer, you can choose to go directly over the whirlpool suspended in a cable car!

You’ll also get to visit the Floral Clock (made out of 16,000 flowers!), Living Water Wayside Chapel, and drive through the scenic botanical gardens. This tour costs $325 CAD per person and lasts approximately 10 hours. Everything is included, except for the Aero Car, which is $20 CAD extra. If you’re ready to experience everything Niagara Falls and the area has to offer, book this tour in advance here.

Private Niagara Falls Tour in an SUV

For those who want to visit Niagara Falls on a tour, but don’t want to be with a large group of people and prefer flexibility, then this full-day private tour is for you! Since it will only be your group in a private SUV, you are in complete control over your itinerary and activities.

Prices vary from $999 – $1,099 CAD per vehicle depending on the number of people going. For example, an SUV that seats 6 people is $1,099 CAD, so if you had 6 people going it would only be $183 CAD per person. This price is for transportation only, so you would have to pay extra for any activities such as the Aero Car, the Voyage to the Falls boat ride, or a visit to the Skylon Tower.

We think it’s worth the price if you are going with a group of people and split the cost. That way you can avoid being on a bus with a bunch of people and just do your own thing instead! Book your luxury private tour here!

Related Read: You can also visit Niagara Falls on a day trip from New York City to see another perspective of the falls from the American side!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Day 3

Morning – Visit the Toronto Islands

Bailey and Daniel pose for a photo on a small bridge on the Toronto Island in Canada
The beautiful Toronto Islands!

There is no better way to start your third day in Toronto than with a visit to the Toronto Islands! This group of 15 interconnected walkable islands is only a quick ferry ride away from Toronto and is just booming with incredible things to do such as visiting the amusement park and exploring the islands on a bike ride!

The most convenient way to access the Toronto Islands is the City of Toronto ferry service. Boats leave from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal every 20 – 60 minutes and run from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm, but be sure to check the current schedule for the day of your visit as it’s always changing!

During the summer there are 3 different islands you can disembark on, but we think the best option is to take the ferry to Ward’s Island. This island has consistent ferry service year-round so it keeps things a bit less complicated. If you do end up disembarking on a different island it’s no biggy as all the islands are easy to walk between!

The ferry ride is only 20 minutes and offers fantastic views of the Toronto skyline the whole way. Plus it is super affordable at only $9 CAD for a return ticket.

A ferry leaves Toronto and heads to the Toronto Islands to transport guests
The ferry to the islands!

We recommend getting to the island bright and early as there is so much to do! Start your day by grabbing a quick to-go breakfast and eating it on the ferry on the way over (Tim Hortons anyone?!). Make sure you have good walking shoes and get ready to explore.

You can visit the islands year-round but a lot of activities are closed in the winter. During winter you can still go for a beautiful walk around the islands on the 14.6-kilometer (9-mile) loop that transverses around the islands. And if you’re a history fanatic, make sure to check out the Gibraltar Lighthouse, where legend has it that the former lighthouse keeper was brutally murdered over some bootleg beer and haunts the place to this day!

Summer in Toronto is when the islands really come alive! You can go swimming at Hanlan’s Point Beach (beware this is a nude beach!), or for something more PG we recommend Ward’s Island Beach, which is super peaceful. If you want to partake in some water activities such as paddleboarding, you can rent SUP boards from Toronto Island SUP for $30 CAD an hour, or $70 CAD for 5 hours. 

If you are visiting Toronto with your family, then a visit to the Centreville Amusement Park is a must. With over 30 kid-friendly rides, like teacups and bumper cars it is the perfect activity for the little ones. This attraction is open in the spring and closes in the fall and an all-day pass costs $40 CAD for kids over 4, and a family pass is $132 CAD.

When we visited the Toronto Islands, we went bright and early and did a morning bike tour around the islands. It was the perfect way to explore everything the islands have to offer from Gibraltar Point Lighthouse to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and some residential areas. We learned all about the area from our guide and got panoramic views of Toronto’s skyline along the way!

The tour starts at 8:30 am and lasts 3.5 hours, giving you enough time to explore more of Toronto still once you’re done. It operates every day year-round and costs $113 CAD per person. Out of all the fantastic tours in Toronto, this is one of our favorites! I highly urge you to book in advance here so you don’t miss out!

Lunch – Amsterdam Brewhouse

Bailey drinks craft beer from Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto
Mmm, craft beer!
A cold beer from Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto
Amsterdam Brewery!

After a morning of exploring, there is nothing better than a delicious lunch and a refreshing pint with a waterfront view! In our opinion, the best place for all 3 of those things is at the Amsterdam Brewhouse. It is located an 11-minute walk along the harbourfront from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

We love trying craft beer wherever we travel and Amsterdam Brewery is one of our favorite craft beer spots in Toronto. They have a great selection from pale ales to IPAs, but don’t worry, if you’re not a beer fan there are many other options available! They also serve good food with many Canadian favorites like burgers and chicken wings.

In my opinion, Amsterdam Brewery also has the best restaurant location in all of Toronto. It’s right on the waterfront of Lake Ontario and has 4 patios so you’re almost guaranteed a nice patio spot on a warm day! And the prices are very reasonable, a specialty burger with fries will set you back about $22 CAD. They are open every day at 11 am and stay open until 1 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Afternoon – Distillery District

Entrance to the Distillery District in Toronto
Welcome to the Distillery District!
Bailey enjoys a drink at Spirit Of York distillery in the Distillery District of Toronto
At Spirit Of York Distillery in the Distillery District of Toronto

After some lunch, it’s off to the Distillery District! Located in downtown Toronto, this historic area is about 11 minutes from the brewhouse by car or taxi.

Toronto’s Distillery District was once a hub for whiskey production, but in the late 20th century it became run down. To increase the value of the neighborhood, 47 of the historic Victorian buildings were redeveloped into restaurants, boutiques, cafes, and art studios, making it the trendy area it is today!

Most of the Distillery District is closed off to cars, making it a lovely place to walk around the cobblestone streets to admire the Victorian architecture and watch some street performers.

There is a huge art scene in the Distillery District, with many galleries to visit such as the contemporary Arta Gallery or the Thompson Landry Gallery that features work from Quebec artists. I also recommend going shopping in the specialty stores to get some souvenirs. If you are here during the winter holiday season, make sure to check out the Distillery Winter Village – which is a huge Christmas market!

Want to keep the craft beer train going? Swing by Mill Street Brewpub – another great craft brewery! If sweets are your thing, indulge in a delicious craft ice cream at Scooped (my personal favorite!), or savor a pastry and coffee at the charming Brick Street Bakery.

It’s easy to spend a few hours here, so you may even choose to stay in the Distillery District for dinner. One of our favorite places is BOKU Japanese Eats + Drinks, which serves incredible ramen and neat cocktails. I ordered an Old Fashion and it was served in a teapot – so cute!

If you’re a vodka or gin fan, I recommend going to the Spirit of York Distillery which is actually the only distillery in the Distillery District! You can even go on a self-guided tour of the distillery and sample 3 spirits here for $15 CAD.

Honestly, there are so many cool spots here, that it’s tough to decide where to begin. So to get some more guidance on where to go and to learn some history about the area, we recommend doing this 1-hour walking tour. It starts at 11:30 and 3:30 most days and only costs $25 CAD per person. It’s a great way to make the most out of your time here, but it does sell out quickly so be sure to secure your spot in advance here.

Night – Go for cocktails

Two cocktails at the bar at Pompette Bar in Toronto
Pompette Bar in Toronto
Daniel drinks a cocktail from Pompette Bar in Little Italy

After your busy day exploring Toronto, there is no better way to end it than by relaxing with a fancy cocktail in hand! There are many great options, but we have outlined our favorites below:

Bar Pompette (Our favorite)

Bar Pompette is located in Little Italy and is our favorite cocktail bar! Offering a chic French atmosphere and cocktails made with authentic ingredients, this bar feels like you are sitting in a Parisian café. When you get here, you won’t be surprised as to why they are named one of the Top 50 Bars in North America, and one of the best bars in Canada.

You can snack on some shared plates from their sister restaurant, Pompette (which is equally as great), and if you’re lucky enough, you may be there on one of the live jazz nights! Make sure to check their Facebook page here for any upcoming events. The bar is open until 1 am Sunday – Thursday and until 2 am on the weekend. Believe us when we say that this bar deserves its spot on your 4-day Toronto itinerary!

Bar Raval

For another great option in Little Italy, head over to Bar Raval. As soon as you walk in, you’ll be wowed by the gorgeous wooden decor! We had so much fun here sipping on cocktails and cracking jokes with the hilarious staff.

They also serve some delicious tapas that pair well with craft cocktails. My favorite was the “Palomita”, a twist on the classic Paloma cocktail. And if mocktails are what you’re after, they have a great selection of those as well. It’s open daily from 11 am to 1 am, and would be a perfect way to end off your great day in Toronto!

Civil Liberties (Canada’s No. 1)

Civil Liberties is located just outside of Little Italy and it was rated the Best Bar in Canada! It is a small speakeasy that serves unique Prohibition-era cocktails. And the craziest part? They don’t have a menu, so the bartenders will whip up a specialty creation for you based on your preferences!

There is no sign on the front of this bar, instead, you must look for the large pineapple symbol signifying you’re at the right place. Please note that they don’t accept reservations and are open every day from 6 pm to 2 am. It’s a busy place, and you may have to wait a bit for a seat, but we think it’s well worth the wait!


BarChef is located on Queen Street West and is the place to go for super unique and quirky cocktails. Some are served in plant pots while others are inside of giant shells! This makes for such a memorable experience – offering many great “Insta” photo opportunities!

The menu is always changing to reflect the time of year as the mixologists use seasonal herbs and ingredients. The prices definitely reflect this upscale establishment as a cocktail can set you back anywhere from $20 – $55 CAD per drink. We think it’s worth it to experience this one-of-a-kind cocktail bar and treat yourself! It’s open from 5 pm – 2 am and will certainly be somewhere you’ll want to visit again when you return to Toronto one day!

Related Read: After your time in Toronto, head south and visit Philadelphia! Philly has a ton of history and some unique sights to explore.

Day 4

Morning – Explore Casa Loma

Bailey poses for a photo at Casa Loma in Toronto, Canada
Casa Loma is so beautiful!
A bedroom at Casa Loma, Toronto
Just one of the bedrooms!

If you need a bit of a sleep-in after all those fancy cocktails last night, don’t worry because Casa Loma doesn’t open until 9:30 am! Casa Loma looks like an impressive Gothic Revival Castle from the outside, but on the inside, it’s been transformed into a museum full of interactive and interesting exhibits for all ages.

Inside the castle, it’s like you’ve stepped back in time as you wander around and look at the vintage decor. You can also check out the exhibits, from the Backstage Celebrity Gallery to the Dark Side of Toronto, where you learn about Toronto’s darker side during the days of Prohibition, The Great Toronto Fire, and much more!

Another educational exhibit is the WWII Intelligence exhibit, where you learn how this castle was a secret agent training school and can even see a spy suitcase radio on display! The Antique Car Collection is another exhibit that car enthusiasts will love. We had a great time checking out the cars and taking a bunch of pictures!

Plus, there are many specialty exhibits that change often, so even if you have been to Casa Loma before, I’m sure you’ll have a great time coming back again for another visit! Admission is $40 CAD for adults, $35 CAD for seniors and teens, and $25 CAD for 4 to 13-year-olds. The castle is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm daily. You can purchase your tickets in advance here.

Vintage car out the front of Casa Loma on display in Toronto
A vintage car!
Daniel with a statue of Mike Tyson at Casa Loma, Toronto
The museum of the stars!

When we went to Casa Loma, we actually visited as part of a guided tour of Toronto. We found this was a great option to not only experience Casa Loma, but also a bunch of Toronto’s other highlights in one day!

With only 4 days in Toronto, it can feel a bit overwhelming trying to plan your days to fit in everything that you want to do. That’s why a tour is a great option! This tour is about 6 hours long and makes sure you see all of the best places Toronto has to offer in a short amount of time.

It visits many of the stops we’ve mentioned so far such as the the CN Tower, Distillery District, St. Lawrence Market, and Casa Loma. On top of that, we also went to Chinatown, the Harbourfront, and Kensington Market just to name a few. It was also so nice having a guide to teach us about the city and its history as we went along.

This small-group tour costs $282 CAD per person and includes downtown hotel pick-up around 9:30 am, admission tickets, and transportation. It only runs on Sundays from mid-June to the end of September and tends to book up fast, so secure your spot here to access free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.

Lunch – Kensington Market

Birria Tacos from the Kensington Market in Toronto, Canada
Birria Tacos from the Kensington Market in Toronto, Canada
Ton of Juice at the Kensington Market in Toronto, Canada
Perfect on a hot day!

Only a quick 8-minute drive away from Casa Loma you will find yourself at Kensington Market – one of my favorite places to grab a bite to eat in the city. This “market” is actually a couple of streets that form one of Toronto’s coolest bohemian neighborhoods. Here you will find everything from vintage clothing stores to bars, diverse food stalls, and specialty grocery stores, you won’t find a Starbucks here!

This area was created by the immigrant working class and brings together such a wonderful mix of cultures and diversity. I love walking around and admiring the street art and graffiti while enjoying different foods from around the world. In fact, I tried Birria Tacos for the first time at the Latin American Food Court and now I’m addicted!

There are so many amazing foods to try that it can be a bit overwhelming – I just want to eat it all! That’s why doing an international food tour of the Kensington Market can be helpful. This tour will show you around the market while you skip the lines to try a variety of global cuisines from Tibet to Jamaica! Plus, you’ll learn all about the interesting history of the area from your local guide.

This tasty tour costs $107 CAD per person and includes 6 delicious treats from the best vendors in the whole market. It starts at 11 am and goes for about 2.5 hours, giving you enough time to do some more activities afterward!

Alternatively, there is this walking tour that takes you to both the Kensington Market and Chinatown to explore the best local stores, vendors, and cafes. During the 3-hour tour, you will visit historical sites and learn about this diverse area of Toronto. You’ll leave this tour feeling like an expert! It costs $79 CAD and starts at 10 am, so you will have to shuffle your schedule around to fit this one in.

Afternoon – Visit the Legislative Building

Bailey poses for a photo at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in Toronto
How beautiful!

After lunch, head on over to Queen’s Park to visit the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It’s only 12 minutes away from the market by car and is an important political landmark. The building houses the Ontario provincial legislature – meaning all important decisions are made here to shape Ontario’s future!

Not only is the building important, it’s equally as beautiful to look at. Full of intricate carvings, arched windows, and green gardens, it makes for an impressive sight. Plus, you can even head inside the building on one of these tours to learn and explore. From free guided tours to architecture tours and tea tours, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

We did the 30-minute building tour, which gives you an overall look at the building while exploring various exhibits and seeing where parliament meets – and the best part is that it’s completely free! Finding free things to do in Toronto can be a challenge, so this is a huge bonus!

Another tour that sounds really interesting is the Afternoon Tea Tour where you can tour the building and then enjoy a traditional English-style tea service! This tour costs $45 CAD per person and all tours can be booked in advance on their website here.

To enter the building you must be on a tour of some sort and guided by staff. Anyone over the age of 16 will need to show photo ID upon entry and everyone will need to pass through the airport-style security. You can visit the Legislative Assembly from 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays, but it is closed to visitors on the weekends.

Note: Make sure you arrive 15 minutes before the tour starts to ensure everything runs smoothly and starts on time.

Evening – Sunset sail

Sailing in Toronto
Sailing in Toronto!

For a unique and memorable activity to add to your Toronto itinerary, you can go for a sunset sail! Head to the harbourfront, and hop on this sailing tour to get unbeatable views of the Toronto skyline while floating on Lake Ontario.

You’ll get to explore Toronto’s coast for 2 hours while relaxing on deck with a cocktail in hand. And the crew is so amazing, even letting you take the helm if you’d like! With only 12 people on board, it feels very intimate and social without being overcrowded.

The tour only runs during the summer from mid-May to October and only on select days, so make sure to check the schedule here to see if the dates line up for any of the days you’re in Toronto and shift activities around as needed. The departure times also vary depending on the month you book to align with the changing sunset times. If a sunset sail doesn’t work for you, there is also an option to go for an earlier departure in the afternoon, but you would have to skip one of the other activities on this itinerary to fit it in.

The sailing experience costs $189 CAD per passenger and makes for a perfect activity to do with a partner, friends, or family. Seeing Toronto from the water offers a unique perspective on this gorgeous city. So if you’re ready to set sail, book this sailing adventure here!

Other Things to do While You’re in Toronto

bailey smiles at the camera while riding her bike in downtown Toronto
A bike tour is a great way to explore!
Daniel tastes an authentic taco in the Kensington market on a food tour in Toronto
Trying tasty tacos on a food tour!

Toronto is a city filled with tons of things to do and see. So here are a few other top attractions and activities you may like to explore:

  • Try amazing wine! – Canada’s largest wine-making region, the Niagara Wine Region, is located not far from Toronto. Famous for its exquisite Chardonnays, Rieslings, Pinot Noirs, and icewine, you can’t miss coming here if you’re a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur! We don’t recommend driving yourself to go wine tasting, so the best way to visit is by taking this full-day wine-tasting tour from Toronto.
  • Eat great food! – With so many different cultures and restaurants, Toronto is a foodie heaven! Miku Toronto is considered the best sushi restaurant in the city with a big outdoor patio and a happy hour (3-4 pm) with great discounts. Food tours in Toronto are also top-notch and we enjoyed this walking food tour to help us try a variety of tasty dishes from butter tarts to pierogies to maple syrup and the chance to explore the iconic St. Lawrence Market.
  • Go cycling – Biking is a great way to explore Toronto’s fantastic outdoor areas as well as the trendiest neighborhoods and historic sights. You can easily get around and see a lot of the city in a short amount of time. Plus, there are many fun bike tours to choose from to suit your interests and needs. Our favorite was this guided bike tour downtown!
  • Watch a hockey game – Hockey is HUGE all over Canada, so taking in an NHL game while you’re here is sure to be a fun night. While I’m a diehard Oilers fan, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the home team here and the atmosphere is a lot of fun. Tickets range from $150 – $350 CAD and you can buy tickets on Viator.
  • Go on a beer tour – If you’ve read a few of our blogs, you probably already know how much we love a refreshing pint and Toronto is the perfect place for one (or 3!) because its craft beer scene is booming! For a behind-the-scenes look at how craft beer is made and to do some tastings, check out this fun brewery tour where you visit 3 different craft breweries and sample flights at each one!

Where to Stay in Toronto

One King West Hotel & Residence
Photo credit: One King West Hotel & Residence

Let’s face it, Toronto is a huge city with practically endless options when it comes to hotels. But, not all hotels are created equal – you want to ensure you book a place with an amazing location and even better amenities, which narrows down your choices.

I’ve handpicked some of the best places to stay in the city – the below hotels all have an ideal central location as well as everything you need to have a comfortable stay!

If you’re looking for more info about where to stay in Toronto, be sure to read our blog. It includes detailed info on the best area to stay, how to get from the airport to your hotel, and the top hotels!

Fairmont Royal York Hotel (Luxury Stay – $$$)

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels in Toronto. With its historic ballroom, beautiful rooms, and a gorgeous skylit indoor pool, you’ll have to force yourself to leave and explore the city! But once you do, you’re steps from Union Station, so getting around via public transport is really easy. It also means that you can take the train from the airport directly to the hotel! 

The Hockey Hall of Fame is two blocks away, and you’re also about a 20-minute walk from both the waterfront and the Distillery District. Rooms usually start from around $500-$600 CAD per night and you can check availability and book the Fairmont Royal York online here!

The SoHo Hotel (Moderately-priced Boutique Hotel – $$)

The SoHo Hotel is an excellent choice for anybody looking for a centrally located hotel that is just stunning. This hotel is located only a short walk from attractions like the CN Tower, and it also has plenty of nice facilities including a lap pool and fitness center. Oh, and did I mention the rooms have heated bathroom floors?!

Room rates typically range from $300 CAD and up. The SoHo is one of the highest-rated hotels in Toronto, so be sure to book online here well in advance to secure your room.

One King West Hotel and Residences (Moderately-priced Full Apartments – $$)

If you’re looking for a home away from home, then One King West Hotel and Residences might be the best choice for you. Although a hotel, this property features fully self-contained apartments complete with a kitchen. This is perfect if you like to cook some of your own meals. On top of that, the location is ideal and you’ll also find a fitness center and onsite bar and restaurant.

For an entire apartment in Toronto, prices start at about $330 CAD. You can check availability and book online here.

Town Inn Suites Hotel (Budget Hotel – $)

You don’t have to spend a small fortune to stay in Toronto. If you’re on a tighter budget, Town Inn Suites Hotel is the best choice for you. Starting from only $170 CAD per night (in the low season), this centrally located hotel is tastefully decorated and features plenty of amenities. Rooms also feature a kitchenette, which comes in very handy. You can check prices and secure your room online here.

Samesun Toronto (Budget Hostel – $)

The Samesun Toronto is the perfect choice for backpackers or solo travelers wanting to meet others. The hostel has a great location as well as communal spaces (including a huge kitchen) where you can relax. They offer both dorm beds as well as budget private rooms, but bathrooms are all shared.

You can grab a dorm bed for less than $100 CAD per night during peak season. You can book the Samesun Toronto online on either or Hostelworld.

One of the best ways to experience Canada is by hitting the road. Some of the best things to do and attractions are located in remote areas between destinations. For that reason, we highly recommend getting your own wheels!

  • Rent a car – To simply rent a vehicle, search on Discover Cars where they compare tons of different rental companies near you. This way you can easily compare prices, features, policies, and more!
  • Rent a campervan or motorhome Motorhome Republic is great for finding a motorhome or campervan to rent in Canada. With your own home on wheels, you can camp in beautiful places and save money on accommodation!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie as they ride the bus to Niagara Falls Canada
Thanks for reading!

Exploring Canada’s largest city in 4 days can be a challenging feat, but this itinerary should be a big help in hitting it all. We followed a similar itinerary during our time in Toronto and had a blast. There are so many things to do and see, but I hope this post helped you plan and make the most out of your time here!

For more travel tips and ideas, check out our other blogs about Canada and the USA. Or leave us a comment or question below!

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