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25 FUN Things to do in Toronto in Summer

25 FUN Things to do in Toronto in Summer

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Toronto is so much more than just the largest city in Canada, it is a vibrant cultural mosaic just waiting to be explored! As a proud Canadian who has explored the city multiple times, I’m thrilled to guide you through all of the exciting activities that make Toronto come alive in the summer.

From the shores of Lake Ontario to the bustling streets of downtown, Toronto becomes a playground of endless possibilities during the warmer months. Whether you’re a local seeking new adventures or a visitor sightseeing on a Toronto tour, I’m sure you will find something on this list that appeals to you! You can visit iconic landmarks such as the CN Tower, take in a local music festival, or even go on a day trip to the iconic Niagara Falls to enjoy the nice summer weather.

As a self-proclaimed Canadian travel expert, I have outlined the 25 best things to do in Toronto during the summer below to help you plan your visit. So grab your sunglasses and get ready for your next Toronto adventure!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Our absolute favorite things to do in Toronto in the summer are:

  1. Relax at Bluffer’s Beach while taking in the views of the Scarborough Bluffs!
  2. Organize an epic day trip to Niagra Falls.
  3. Take a guided bike ride to explore downtown.
  4. Have a drink or two in the historic Distillery District.
  5. Explore Toronto’s world-renowned culinary scene on a food tour – yum!
Table Of Contents
  1. Things to do in Toronto, Canada in the Summer
  2. Where to Stay in Toronto
  3. Thanks for reading!
  4. Why We Book Tours with Viator
  5. Don't get Caught without Travel Insurance!

Things to do in Toronto, Canada in the Summer

1. See Niagara Falls

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!

You can’t visit Toronto during the summer without seeing one of the world’s most famous and impressive waterfalls!

Niagara Falls is located about 90 minutes from Toronto and sits on the border between Ontario and upstate New York. While both sides are mesmerizing, the falls on the Canadian side are larger and in our opinion, much more impressive.

Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls, and the one best seen from the Canadian side is Horseshoe Falls – the most powerful waterfall in North America! You’ll also be able to see the “American Falls” from across the river.

On a beautiful summer day, nothing beats a road trip! The drive from Toronto to Niagara Falls is 130 km (81 miles) and takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. This is a great option if you have a rental car and feel comfortable making the trip on your own. However, even on a rainy day in Toronto, we’d recommend coming here – you’re going to get wet anyway, right?

Once in Niagara, you can view the falls by going on a cruise, taking this amazing scenic helicopter flight, or from the Skylon Tower observation deck. And if you want an unmatched view, you can zipline between Horseshoe and American Falls for an ultimate bucket list experience!

We loved our Voyage to the Falls Cruise with Niagara City Tours, which gets you so close to the falls you need a poncho! Best of all, it only costs around $33.50 CAD per person. The boat only runs from May to November, making this the perfect summer experience while in Toronto!

Just make sure you get to Niagara early. It is a very popular place to visit in the summer and the parking lots tend to fill up quickly!

If you want to skip the crowds and planning, you can opt to visit Niagara Falls as part of a tour from Toronto. This is the best stress-free option as everything is taken care of for you. A tour also makes sure you are seeing the highlights of the area while learning all about the falls. There are a lot of tour options, so to make sure you choose the right one, I’ve included some of the best tours below!

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
Looking at the boardwalk on the US side!

For only $99 CAD,  this full-day tour from Toronto to Niagara Falls does not disappoint!

It’s perfect for those on a budget who still want to experience the highlights of the Niagara Falls area. It includes many photo stops such as the Floral Clock and the Living Water Wayside Chapel – also known as the smallest church in the world! In addition to these quirky stops, you’ll have a full 3 hours to explore Niagara Falls itself.

Another bonus is the stop at the Niagara Whirlpool, a powerful natural whirlpool at the bottom of the Niagara Gorge. The striking blue color of the water makes it the perfect photo opportunity!

If you’re visiting from May to November, you can choose to add the Voyage to the Falls Cruise to your Viator tour for $135 CAD in total. This was my favorite part of visiting Niagara Falls, so it’s well worth the money in my book!

Additionally, you can head up to the Skylon Tower for a great view of the falls below. The Skylon Tower is an observation deck as well as a revolving restaurant and admission to the tower costs $22 CAD – so just make sure to factor in this extra cost when booking this tour!

To secure your spot book this budget-friendly Niagara Falls tour online here.

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

We did this premium tour of Niagara Falls during the summer and loved it! Not only do you get to visit the falls, but when you do this tour in the summer it also includes a boat ride around the falls AND a delicious 3-course lunch at Queen Victoria Place Restaurant.

But wait, it gets even better. This tour also includes a wine tasting at one of the region’s best wineries! If you’ve been following our blog for some time, you’ll know we love a good wine tasting and tour combo. On top of that, you’ll get to visit the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake to shop in the charming boutiques and marvel at the historic buildings.

This full-day premium tour costs $200 CAD per person, but when you consider how much is included, it really is a great deal. I don’t think we could have done it any cheaper on our own!

I highly recommend booking this tour in advance, because it is likely to sell out during 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 full-day Niagara Falls tour from Toronto does it all! It is perfect for people who want to make the most out of their time and experience all of the highlights Niagara has to offer.

It is quite similar to the tour above in that it includes a boat ride by the falls, a delicious lunch, a wine tasting, and a visit to the beautiful town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. But what sets it apart is that it includes admission to the Journey Behind the Falls. You’ll take an elevator down to outdoor observation decks right behind the waterfall!

This tour is also unique in that it leaves time to ride the Niagara Whirlpool Aero Car, which is a cable car that suspends you directly over the Niagara Whirlpool – talk about a thrilling experience!

On top of all that, 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 full-day tour is a bit more pricey than the other options at $325 CAD per person, but it is jam-packed with fun activities making it totally worth it in my opinion. It includes transportation and entrance fees for everything except the Aero Car, which is an additional $19 CAD, just keep that in mind!

To see the falls and everything the surrounding area has to offer, book this tour online here!

Private Niagara Falls Tour in an SUV

If you like flexibility and prefer to avoid crowds of people, then this private tour to Niagara Falls is a great option for you! You’ll be in complete control of your itinerary so you can decide where you want to spend most of your time and what activities you want to do.

Prices vary depending on the number of people going. There is an SUV that can sit up to 6 guests for $1,099 CAD, so if you split it up that’s only $183 CAD per person. Keep in mind that any activities you want to do such as a ride on the Aero Car, the Voyage to the Falls Boat Ride, or a visit to the Skylon Tower – will cost extra.

In my opinion, the best thing about a private tour is not having to wait to pick up or drop off other guests at their hotel at the beginning and end of the day – this saves a lot of time for more fun activities!

So if you’re ready to explore Niagara Falls in style, book your private tour of Niagara Falls here!

Related Read: After your summer trip to Toronto, head south of the border! There are so many fun things to do in New York City during the summer too!

2. Head up the CN Tower

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

When you look at the Toronto skyline, one iconic building always stands out and towers among the rest. This building is the CN Tower and it is the tallest building in Toronto at 533 meters (1,814 feet) high. It’s also the tallest building in all of Canada and North America, narrowly beating the One World Trade Center in New York City by 7 meters (23 feet).

Its towering vantage point means the views of the city are incredible! Even if you only have one day in Toronto, you’ll want to visit the observation deck 114 stories above ground. If you’re brave enough, you can also go to the glass floor deck where you can look down at the city below! It might make you a little nervous, especially if you are afraid of heights, but it is perfectly safe. General admission to the Main Observation Deck costs $43 CAD for adults and you can book your tickets in advance.

Located 33 stories above the Main Observation Deck, you can visit the SkyPod Observation Deck to see the city from even higher up. Rumor has it you can even feel the tower sway in the wind from up here! You can add this experience to your general admission ticket for only $10 CAD per person.

If you really want to get your adrenaline pumping, you can do the EdgeWalk outside along the tower’s perimeter. You’ll be harnessed in while you walk so you can lean out over the edge to look to the ground below. It’s the world’s highest hands-free external walk – yikes! This experience is for ages 13 and up and costs between $199-$225 CAD per person depending on your selected date and time.

There is even a rotating restaurant at the CN Tower! 360 Restaurant makes a full rotation every 72 minutes, so you will get incredible panoramic views of the entire city as you indulge in the delicious food. Plus it has the world’s highest wine cellar!

There is a minimum spend of $75 CAD per person which can easily get you a 2-course meal or a starter and main from the a la carte menu. Guests also get free general admission to the Main Observation Deck. I think this is a pretty good deal for such a unique dining experience! But be sure to reserve a table in advance, because this is a very popular place.

3. Visit the Scarborough Bluffs

Pathway along Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto in summer
Such a beautiful place to walk in summer!

If you are looking for the perfect summer escape from the bustling city, look no further than the Scarborough Bluffs! Located only 30 minutes east of downtown Toronto, the Scarborough Bluffs extend along 15 km (9 miles) of Lake Ontario’s shoreline making this a nature lover’s paradise.

The “Bluffs” as they’re called, are steep cliffs rising as tall as 91 meters (299 feet) above the water making for a gorgeous sight. They are a geological marvel and were formed from sedimentary deposits over 12,000 years ago! With 11 different parks throughout the Scarborough Bluffs, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful area. Swimming, fishing, and hiking are just the start of the fun things you can do here!

One of the best things to do on a warm summer day in Toronto is head to the beach! Bluffer’s Park and Beach is the perfect place to spend the day. You can swim in the blue water or lounge on the sand while taking in the views. Bluffer’s Beach actually has a “Blue Flag Award” meaning the water quality meets high standards of environmental safety and cleanliness.

Beach season at Bluffer’s Beach is from June to September when there is a lifeguard on duty. There are many areas where you can enjoy a picnic or play some beach volleyball. Other facilities include showers, washrooms, and drinking fountains – you’ll be set for the whole day! If you’re renting a car and driving, make sure to get there early as the parking lots tend to fill up quickly during the summer.

If you are looking for a more active way to experience the Bluffs, you can walk the Scarborough Bluffs Trail, one of the many trails in the area. And you can’t miss going to Scarboro Crescent Park at sunset to take in the amazing views from up high over Lake Ontario. Just make sure to follow the signs and stay away from the cliff edge as it is unstable!

We also had a great time taking in the scenic views at Bluffer’s Restaurant. Located in Bluffer’s Park Marina, it offers spectacular views of the Bluffs and delicious food made with fresh, local ingredients. It also makes for a great spot to watch the sunset with a glass of wine in hand!

4. Check out Casa Loma

Bailey poses for a photo at Casa Loma in Toronto, Canada
It’s such a beautiful castle!
A bedroom at Casa Loma, Toronto
Just one of the vintage bedrooms!

No trip to Toronto is complete without visiting Casa Loma! Some may call Casa Loma a museum, but it is so much more than that. It is a breathtaking castle located in downtown Toronto filled with interesting exhibits, unique photo opportunities, and interactive activities for all ages. You can visit Casa Loma any time of year, but we think summer is the best time because you’ll get to see the beautifully landscaped gardens around the castle!

We had the best time here and spent almost 3 hours taking in all the sights. We even wrote an entire post on the things to know before exploring Casa Loma to help you navigate this great attraction.

It feels like you step back in time as you wander through the castle which is still decorated in an early 1900’s style. There are also tons of exhibits to check out! My favorite was the “Dark Side of Toronto” exhibit. It’s inside a tunnel and tells the darker stories of Toronto’s past such as the Great Toronto Fire and the Prohibition days.

Another one of my favorites was the WWII Intelligence Exhibit. It was fascinating to learn about how secret agents went through training right here at the castle! After that, we popped into the stables to see the classical car collection. We had a great time walking around looking at the cars and taking pictures.

And if you’ve already been to Casa Loma, that doesn’t mean you’ve seen it all. They are always changing things up and adding in new special exhibits so there is always something new to see! We always recommend stopping here for first-timers planning a visit to Toronto.

Vintage car out the front of Casa Loma on display in Toronto
A vintage car!
Outdoor cafe and seating area at Casa Loma Toronto
Enjoying lunch outside!

After wandering the castle halls, you’re sure to build up an appetite. Luckily there are a few great options to have a bite to eat.

Visiting during the summer months (June-August) means the beautiful outdoor restaurant, The Gardens of Casa Loma, is open! Located in the middle of the award-winning gardens surrounding Casa Loma, you’ll be able to dine while taking in views of the castle and the city. We highly recommend planning to have lunch here during your visit and making a reservation beforehand to ensure you get a seat!

Another option to grab a bite to eat is at The Liberty Caffé. It serves lunch staples such as paninis and pizza and doesn’t require a reservation so you can just stop in! It is required that you have admission to Casa Loma in order to dine here and is conveniently open from 10 am to 4 pm.

For a more luxurious treat, you can choose to dine at the BlueBlood Steakhouse. This restaurant in Casa Loma makes a great dinner option once you’re done exploring for the day. As the name implies, steak is their specialty, offering prime cuts anywhere from $75-$240 CAD per steak. And while you eat, you can enjoy the surrounding artwork by Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali – talk about a memorable dining experience!

Casa Loma admission costs $40 CAD and it’s open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

5. Attend a summer event

Views of Toronto city from a beach on the Toronto Islands, Canada
Toronto is so beautiful in the summer!

Being the largest city in all of Canada, Toronto has a neverending list of fun events and festivals happening throughout the summer. There is always something going on here, so make sure to check the Toronto Festivals and Events Calendar to see what events line up with the dates you’re visiting!

From celebrating Canada Day to watching a film outside on a warm summer night, there is truly an event for everyone! To help simplify things, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular Toronto summer events and festivals below:

Canada Day

There’s no better event to celebrate while in Toronto than Canada’s birthday! Every year on July 1st, Canadians dress up in red and white to celebrate the best country on Earth! Ok, I’m a bit biased – I’m Canadian remember?

It’s an event you won’t be able to miss while in Toronto at this time (even if you tried)! The whole city comes together to celebrate with multiple different events happening at locations around the city. You can expect parades, children’s activities, food vendors, beer gardens, and of course fireworks! There are usually a few different launching points of fireworks around the city starting at 10 pm, the most notable being the display by the CN Tower (which is usually lit up red and white!).

The city of Toronto even allows free admission to all 10 Toronto History Museums on Canada Day! Make sure to check out the City of Toronto’s website closer to the date to get all of the up-to-date Canada Day information!

Toronto Pride Festival

Every June, Toronto holds one of the world’s largest pride celebrations. Toronto Pride is the ultimate celebration of love, diversity, and LGBTQ+ rights. With lively parades, parties, and shows, it’s a vibrant showcase of inclusivity with events happening throughout the entire month!

People come from all over to be a part of this welcoming, fun environment. Some of the events include drag shows, pool parties, concerts, and the famous Pride March Parade (just to name a few). The events support Pride Toronto, a local non-profit that supports the queer community. Make sure to check out their website for the event schedule and enjoy this great festival of love and acceptance!

Toronto Summer Music Festival

The Toronto Summer Music Festival normally runs during July and is exactly what it sounds like, a celebration of music! It brings together world-renowned artists as well as emerging artists to bring amazing classical music to the people of Toronto.

There are a variety of concerts throughout the summer as well as various masterclasses and lectures. There are also many different ticket options to choose from depending on how much you plan on seeing. From all-access passes to single tickets for certain shows, there’s an option for anyone wanting to enjoy some music.

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show

The Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (aka “TOPS”) is a charitable organization that puts on free outdoor cinemas at parks across the city. The shows run throughout the summer and are always changing, playing anything from Hollywood blockbusters to local Canadian films.

There is no entrance fee, but donations are accepted. All you have to do is bring some blankets to sit on and some snacks. In my opinion, there’s no better way to spend a summer night than cuddled up under the stars watching a great film!

Toronto Jazz Festival

If you are a jazz fan, this is the festival for you! The Toronto Jazz Festival has been a summer staple since 1987 and usually happens at the end of June. The 10-day event attracts over 500,000 people and 1,500 performers from Toronto and around the world!

It’s such a fun and groovy time with so many different performances to enjoy. Funk, swing, hip-hop, Big Band, and R&B are just a few of the musical genres you can appreciate. The festival is held in the Bloor-Yorkville area, and the outdoor performances are free to attend, so bring a picnic blanket and enjoy some great music while snacking on food and sipping a beverage from the vendors. There are also a few ticketed concerts that happen around the city, so be sure to look ahead to see who is performing!

6. Go on a food tour

Cheese curds on a food tour in Toronto
Mmm, cheese!
Tacos cook on a grill on a food tour in Toronto
Did someone say tacos?

We just love digging into a city’s food scene, and Toronto’s got some seriously awesome spots. It’s the most diverse city in Canada, so doing a food tour here is like a tasty trip around the world with all the different cuisines you can try.

This walking food tour is hands down one of the coolest things to experience in Toronto and is perfect for a warm summer day! You get a real feel for the city’s diverse vibes and get to chow down on some local favorites like butter tarts, sushi, pierogies, and a peameal bacon sandwich. And the cherry on top? A secret dish is waiting for you at the end, plus a delightful maple syrup tasting!

What sets this tour apart is that it takes you off the usual tourist track and into the heart of local hidden gems, such as the iconic St. Lawrence Market. Throughout the 3.5-hour adventure, you’ll discover the fascinating culinary traditions that thrive in Toronto. The cost is $88 CAD per person, but if you’re feeling fancy, you can upgrade to a private experience. So get ready to dive into Toronto’s food scene and book this food tour online here!

Another option is this international food tour that explores the diverse and trendy Kensington Market. Here you’ll try different cuisines from all over the world, like Tibet and Jamaica. A guide will show you around, taking you to at least six of the best food stalls so you can try a variety of delicious treats without waiting in line. The market itself boasts a fascinating history, and your guide will share details as you go, making this tour a great way to learn about Toronto’s rich culture and diversity!

7. Wander the 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

Toronto’s Distillery District is one of the most visited areas of Toronto and for good reason! It once played a major role in producing over 2 million gallons of whiskey annually. However, as the late 20th century rolled in, it fell into a state of disrepair. Fortunately, 47 well-preserved Victorian buildings that comprised the original distillery complex were redeveloped and transformed the area into the unique part of the city it is today!

The Distillery District was redesigned to be pedestrian-friendly, with many roads closed to cars. It’s a delightful spot for a summer stroll, offering a chance to appreciate Victorian architecture. The place has a charming vibe, with plenty of street performers and frequent special events adding to the lively atmosphere.

You won’t spot any chain stores in this area – all the buildings are dedicated solely to independent boutiques, cafés, restaurants, and art studios! When it comes to dining, a spot Dan and I really enjoyed is BOKU Japanese Eats + Drinks, known for serving exceptional ramen. I couldn’t resist trying their unique Tokia Old Fashioned cocktail, served in a teapot!

A Tokyo Old Fashioned at BOKU Japanese Eats + Drinks in the Distilery District of toronto
A Tokyo Old Fashioned at BOKU Japanese Eats + Drinks in the Distillery District of Toronto
A boutique shop in the Distillery District in Toronto
A boutique shop in the Distillery District in Toronto

The Spirit of York Distillery stands out as the sole distillery actively producing spirits in this area. If you’re into vodka or gin, like Dan and me, it’s worth a visit. They offer a variety of fruity flavors that add a special touch to the experience. For just $15 CAD per person, you can take a self-guided tour of the distillery. This includes a flight of three delightful spirits served in their luxury tasting room. I suggest booking this in advance to secure your spot!

You can also grab a craft beer at the Mill Street Brewpub (Daniel’s go-to spot!), indulge in luxurious ice cream at Scooped (my personal favorite spot), or savor a pastry and coffee at the delightful Brick Street Bakery. Honestly, there are so many fantastic spots to try it can be hard to know where to start! As such, and we’re not surprised it’s a top destination on many Toronto sightseeing tours.

If you’d like some more guidance and are curious about the Distillery District’s history, check out this walking tour. There is a ton of fascinating history in this neighborhood, so if you’re a history buff you will really enjoy this tour. For $24 CAD per person, your guide will lead you around the district for about an hour while filling you in on the history and architecture of the area.

The tour wraps up in the Distillery District, giving you the freedom to explore on your own afterward. You can check the details and book the tour here!

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.
  • 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, read our complete Viator review to learn more about what we think about Viator.

8. Visit Algonquin Provincial Park

Beaver lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Beaver Pond in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
A moose in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
A moose in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

Algonquin Provincial Park is Canada’s oldest provincial park and is an ideal Toronto day trip for outdoor enthusiasts. With its abundance of rivers, lakes, and forests, the park provides ample opportunities for activities such as watersports, hiking, swimming, and even cliff diving!

Did you know that Algonquin Provincial Park is home to over 3,500 moose? Summer is one of the best times to spot one as moose like to graze on the aquatic plants that flourish in the park during this season. Despite being known for moose, it’s actually uncommon to encounter moose in Canada, but Algonquin offers your best chance in our opinion! Moose can be found throughout the park, but for optimal viewing, the Highway 60 Corridor is a top spot, thanks to the moose’s attraction to the salt-rich waters in the roadside ditches.

The only drawback of a day trip to Algonquin Provincial Park from Toronto is the distance – it’s 276 kilometers (171.5 miles) away, equating to about a 3-hour drive. For a more enjoyable experience, we strongly recommend opting for a guided tour instead of driving yourself, as it can be quite exhausting!

Elevated View of Lake and Fall Foliage - Ontario, Canada
So beautiful!

During the summer, you can take this small group tour to explore all of the park’s key attractions. The well-crafted itinerary includes a stop at a scenic viewpoint above Ragged Falls, guided hiking and canoeing experiences, and even some swimming and cliff diving if you’re feeling adventurous!

Priced at $230 CAD per person, the tour covers all expenses except for meals. Although it’s a full-day excursion with an early morning pickup, we believe it’s definitely worth it. Algonquin Park offers so many outdoor adventures that any nature enthusiast will love! So if you’re ready to escape the city and go on an adventure, you can book your spot here!

9. See Toronto from the sky

Bailey in a helicopter about to fly over Toronto City in Toronto, Canada
Ready for takeoff!
View of Toronto city from a scenic flight in Toronto
Such incredible views!

The view from the CN Tower is pretty spectacular, but if you want an even better bird’s-eye view, a scenic flight is the way to go.

We love exploring new cities from the sky, and soaring over Toronto’s skyline is truly something else. Admittedly, it’s a bit pricey and might not fit everyone’s budget, but we think this aerial tour is a great deal at $119 CAD per person (plus an additional $30 CAD fee for fuel).

Soak in the stunning views of Toronto’s urban and natural landscapes during this 18-minute flight. The journey covers iconic landmarks such as the CN Tower, Rogers Center, the Toronto Islands, and Lake Ontario. Plus, there are no bad seats because there are only 8 people per plane! You can even hang out in the VIP lounge before take-off.

For a more exclusive experience, consider taking this 14-minute helicopter flight instead. The journey spans from the Toronto Islands to downtown Toronto, High Park, and the Lake Ontario waterfront. With a maximum of 3 people per helicopter, it has a definite VIP feel. As a bonus, you’ll receive a complimentary digital and printed photo to commemorate your experience!

This helicopter ride is priced at $269 CAD per person, with an additional $14 CAD ferry fee if you drive to the meeting point at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Alternatively, pedestrians can ride the ferry over to the airport free of charge.

Related Read: Another great way to see the skies is aboard a seaplane! We took a seaplane flight in Vancouver and it was so much fun!

10. Take a tour of the city

View looking down a walking street in the Distillery District of Toronto
View of Toronto’s Distillery District
Toronto city skyline on a City tour
It’s easier to explore with a local guide!

Exploring Toronto on a guided tour is an excellent way to orient yourself and cover key highlights in a single day. We recommend taking this specific tour on your first morning in Toronto, so you can get to know the city better before venturing out on your own.

Over the span of 4 hours, you’ll visit the CN Tower observation deck, go on a summer harbor cruise, and stop at the renowned St. Lawrence food market (recognized as one of the best in the world)! The market is closed on Mondays though, so on that day, you’ll explore the vibrant Distillery District instead – which is just as neat!

Limited to a group of 9 people, this tour offers a personalized experience, making it an ideal opportunity to connect with fellow travelers and ask all the questions you’d like! The package includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, eliminating any concerns about finding designated pick-up points. The cost is $189 CAD including all your transportation plus skip-the-line access to attractions.

This guided tour is perfect for people who want to make the most out of a short visit to Toronto. It is very popular and often sells out, so be sure to book in advance here!

11. Drink local craft beer

Bailey drinks craft beer from Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto
Nothing better than a cold beer on a hot summer day!
A cold beer from Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto
Trying out Amsterdam Brewery- what a view!

We’re big on craft beer and love trying out different breweries wherever we go. Toronto’s craft beer scene is blowing up, so checking out the city’s pubs and breweries is a definite must for any beer lover visiting the city. In fact, taking a brewery tour is one of our favorite things to do in Toronto. To help you decide which ones to check out, I’ve listed some of our favorite breweries and tours below!

Amsterdam Brewery

When it comes to snagging a prime waterfront spot in Toronto while savoring some delectable brews, the Amsterdam Brewery (also known as the Amsterdam Brewhouse) is easily the best choice! Nestled in a picturesque location right along Toronto’s waterfront, it boasts an abundance of seating choices, both indoors and outdoors on its four patios!

And let’s not forget the stellar array of craft beers offered! All concocted at their in-house brewing facility, you can try anything from pale ales to IPAs and more. A personal favorite of mine is the Amsterdam Blonde, with its refreshing crispness – a perfect companion for basking by the lake on a hot summer’s day.

The Brewhouse doesn’t just stop at great beer; it also flaunts an extensive food menu. This makes it an ideal spot to swing by for a satisfying lunch or catch the evening vibes while watching the sunset with a couple of craft beers in hand. It’s open daily from 11 am to 11 pm and stays open until 1 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Mill Street Brewery

Yet another hotspot on Toronto’s brewery scene, with the added charm of being conveniently close to the waterfront, is Mill Street Brewery. Nestled in the heart of the Distillery District, I’d suggest embarking on a leisurely stroll to take in the local sights before ending your exploration with a delightful pint or two. That’s what Dan and I did, and it made for a great end to our day!

Now, onto the subject of beer – Mill Street Brewery boasts an intriguing organic selection, featuring everything from pilsners to amber lagers and more. During my last visit there, I opted for their raspberry wheat beer, which was so fruity and refreshing – the perfect antidote for a scorching summer day!

Mill Street Brewery also offers brewery tours with multiple options to choose from like a 16oz beer and tour combo for $15 CAD, or just the tour for $7 CAD. Or you can just have some beer and food – the choice is up to you! Tours are offered daily at 4 pm and can be booked online here.

It’s open Monday to Wednesday from 12 pm -10 pm or until 11 pm on Thursdays. If you’re planning a weekend visit, Friday’s hours are 12 pm until midnight and they open at 11 am on Saturday/Sunday and close at midnight on Saturday nights and 10 pm on Sundays.

Bailey enjoys a craft beer along the water in Toronto in summer
Cheers!

Bandit Brewery

In contrast to the busy spots like Mill Street and Amsterdam Brewery, Bandit Brewery is a smaller place not too far from High Park. But don’t think the beer here is any less tasty. Especially in the busy tourist season, this microbrewery offers a nice break in the bustling city!

Their outdoor seating area feels like a classic German beer garden away from the city noise. It’s a little peaceful spot, perfect if you’re looking for some quiet time to sit back and enjoy a delicious brew!

They’ve got some unique beers too, from the dark Hazelnut Coffee Stout to the light Meadow Farmhouse Ale. When I heard about their pale ale with watermelon and hibiscus (called Mr. Pink), I had to try it – and I’m happy I did! It was the perfect patio refreshment on a hot summer day!

Bandit Brewery is open daily around suppertime on weekdays and opens earlier at 12 pm on weekends. They are also open late every night if you’re looking for a fun place to visit on a summer night! You can check updated hours on their Facebook page.

Our favorite craft beer tours

This local beer walking tour gives you a real taste of Toronto’s craft beer scene. Visit three popular pubs to sample some top-notch local brews, including a stop at the famous Mill Street Brewery in the Distillery District. It also includes a visit to the St. Lawrence Market, where you can indulge in delicious treats from artisan food stalls, followed by a tour through the historic Distillery District where you’ll dive into the fascinating history of beer in Toronto and its impact on the city.

Priced at only $99 CAD per person, this tour keeps it intimate with a maximum group size of 12, ensuring a personalized experience without feeling like part of a herd. For an even more exclusive adventure, consider upgrading to a private tour at $143 CAD per person. You can explore the options and book online here!

For those eager to explore the intricacies of craft beer production, we highly recommend going on this brewery tour. It includes tasting sessions at three breweries as well as guided brewery tours. You’ll even receive a handy beer-scoring card to keep track of your favorites. As you journey through the breweries, you’ll enjoy snacks along the way, and as a keepsake, you get to take home a Belgian beer glass and bottle opener!

Keep in mind that this tour is only offered on Friday and Saturday, so be sure to fit it into your Toronto itinerary! You can book this brewery tour in advance here for $125 CAD.

12. Explore the Toronto Islands

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

The Toronto Islands consist of a network of 15 interconnected islands, easily accessible through bridges and walkways, allowing you to navigate from one to another with ease. This picturesque destination offers a multitude of activities, such as hanging out at the beach, paddleboarding, cycling the boardwalk, or visiting the amusement park. It’s basically a fun island playground with something for everyone to enjoy!

Getting there

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

The most convenient way to access the Toronto Islands is the City of Toronto ferry service. Throughout the summer season, boats embark from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal to Centre Island, Hanlan’s Point, and Ward’s Island. The choice of disembarking at any of these three islands doesn’t really matter since they are all easily explored on foot.

During summer, ferry departures are every 20 to 60 minutes, starting at 6:30 am and concluding at 11:30 pm. The last ferry back to the mainland departs at 11:45 pm. Just make sure to check the current ferry schedule for specific pick-up and drop-off times for when you visit. The ferry schedule changes seasonally, so it may not go to all the Islands listed above year-round.

The ferry pricing is quite reasonable – around $9 CAD for an adult return, $6 CAD for seniors or youth, and $4 CAD for children aged 2-14. Considering the journey takes only 20 minutes each way, it’s not only affordable but also a swift and enjoyable ride! 

Things to do on the Toronto Islands 

Bailey and Daniel pose for a photo at the ferry terminal on the Toronto Islands with a view of Torontos skyline in the background
Epic views of Toronto from the ferry!

Admire the Toronto skyline 

As you cruise over to the Toronto Islands on the ferry, you can soak in the amazing city skyline views. Once you arrive, even the ferry dock itself offers an awesome view. There are also great vantage points throughout the islands, but my favorite is the Toronto Islands Lookout. It’s located near the Centreville Amusement Park and provides seriously breathtaking city views!

Walk across the islands

Strolling across all of the Toronto Islands is totally doable in just a few hours. You can complete a 14.6-kilometer (9-mile) loop that starts from the Hanlan’s Point Ferry Dock, goes all the way to Ward’s Island Dock on the opposite end of the island chain, and then back again. It’s a super chill, flat walk that should take you around 3.5 hours – a great way to enjoy this special island chain and take in the awesome views.

For those who prefer a different pace, consider renting a bike for a more efficient mode of exploration (more on this later!).

Centreville Amusement Park 

Centreville Amusement Park is the ultimate family hangout on the Toronto Islands. Picture this – over 30 rides and plenty of open green space for the kiddos to run wild. There’s a carousel, mini golf, and even bumper cars, nothing too scary so it’s the perfect kid-friendly spot on the Islands!

Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on the Toronto Islands
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
Bailey and Daniel enjoy a coffee from River Cafe on the Toronto Islands
River Cafe on the Toronto Islands

Visit Gibraltar Point Lighthouse 

Hidden at the southwestern tip of the Toronto Islands stands one of Canada’s oldest lighthouses, Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.

Now, here’s the fascinating (and slightly eerie) tale that’s widely known among Toronto locals: Back during the War of 1812, J.P. Rademuller, the lighthouse keeper, was supposedly running a bootlegging beer side hustle for the soldiers. The legend goes that one fateful night, just before the war’s end, two soldiers purchased beer from Rademuller. However, things took a dark turn, leading to a dispute that ended in the tragic killing and dismemberment of the lighthouse keeper. Legend has it that he was laid to rest nearby, and his ghost continues to linger around the building – spooky, right?

Grab a bite to eat

Exploring all the awesome spots on the Islands can really work up an appetite! Luckily, there are a few spots to grab some grub and a refreshing drink. During our recent visit, we swung by The Riviera on Ward’s Island and were pleasantly surprised. We got a much-needed coffee and relaxed in the charming courtyard before continuing our adventures.

They’re open from 12 pm to 8 pm Monday to Thursday, and on Fridays to Sundays, they are open a bit later till 9 pm. Now, if your stomach’s growling, they’ve got a small yet tasty menu, complete with vegetarian and vegan options. Most dishes fall in the $18-$20 CAD range – I personally went for the Island Smash Burger, and let me tell you, it was absolutely delicious!

Drop by the petting zoo

Exploring Far Enough Farm is an absolute must, especially if you’ve got little ones tagging along! Boasting a collection of over 40 farmyard animals and exotic birds, the cuteness overload ranges from mini pot-belly pigs to rabbits, llamas, and peacocks. Conveniently located just a short 9-minute walk from the Centre Island Dock, it’s easily accessible.

The petting zoo welcomes visitors from 9 am to 4 pm, and the best part? Entry is entirely free! It’s among our favorite free activities in Toronto – especially for families. Now, if you’re feeling generous and want to contribute, the kind folks managing the petting zoo happily accept donations, all of which directly benefit the well-being of the animals.

Visit Hanlan’s Point Beach

Nestled near the Hanlan’s Point ferry dock, Hanlan’s Point Beach is a picturesque spot, known specifically for its stunning sunsets. We suggest bringing a cozy blanket and some snacks to watch the sunset on the beach before hopping on one of the later ferries back to the mainland. Just a heads up, though – this happens to be a nude beach. While you don’t have to bare it all, it’s worth noting that others around you might choose to do so!

Ward’s Island Beach 

Ward’s Island Beach offers a secluded and serene spot, perfect for a refreshing swim. As part of the more residential area of the Toronto Islands, Ward’s Island tends to be quieter compared to the busier Centre Island or Hanlan’s Point, which attract more tourists. In a nutshell, if you’re in the mood for a peaceful and laid-back place to swim and soak up the sun, this stretch of sand on Ward’s Island is a great choice!

Kayaking or paddleboarding

The tranquil waters surrounding the Toronto Islands create an ideal spot for kayaking and paddleboarding/SUP. During the summer months (June to September), Toronto Island Sup offers rental services. Renting a SUP board will set you back $30 CAD for an hour or up to $70 CAD for a 5-hour rental, with the hourly cost decreasing the longer you decide to keep it. The same pricing structure applies for kayaks, and if you’re looking for some guidance, lessons are also available!

Toronto Islands Bike Tours 

Bailey rides a bike along a boardwalk on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Canada
Bailey rides a bike along a boardwalk on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Canada

Did you know that the Toronto Islands network is the largest car-free community in all of Canada? This makes it the perfect place to go cycling! Exploring the Toronto Islands is a breeze due to their small size, making a bike tour from Toronto an ideal way to discover the area in just a few hours.

We really enjoyed this morning bike tour of the islands that takes you to must-see spots like Gibraltar Point Lighthouse and the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. You’ll weave through residential areas and take in panoramic views of Toronto’s renowned skyline. Plus, you get lots of insider information about the islands from a local guide – making this tour even more interesting! This 3.5-hour bike tour is $113 CAD per person.

Another option is an evening bike tour. It’s basically the same tour as above but is set against the backdrop of a setting sun. And this adventure comes with an extra treat – a complimentary dessert at a local cafe. Yum! This tour is also 3.5 hours but only $110 CAD.

Ready to seize the morning with a cycling tour? You can book it here. Prefer the enchanting evening adventure? Secure your spot here!

13. Go on a wine tour

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at Niagara College Teaching Winery on a tour from Toronto to Niagara Falls
Cheers!
A glass of wine at Niagara College Teaching Winery on a tour to Niagara Falls
Does it get any better than this?

Just 129 km (80 miles) from Toronto is the Niagara Wine Region, Canada’s largest winemaking region! You can find some of the country’s oldest and most well-known wineries here, so you know that it’s going to be good. Visiting this beautiful area and sipping on some wine is the perfect way to spend a summer day.

Famous for its exquisite Chardonnays, Rieslings, Pinot Noirs, and icewine, this region is known for its diverse wine selection. Icewine is something you must try here. It is made from frozen grapes which gives the wine a sweet and fruity taste – perfect for dessert!

The Niagara Wine Region is quite large and made up of many different towns, so we recommend choosing just one to visit such as St. Catharines or Niagara-on-the-Lake. While Niagara-on-the-Lake is often considered a quick stop for those on a tour to Niagara Falls, we firmly believe it deserves a dedicated visit. It is more than just a picturesque town, it’s home to some of the most exceptional wineries in the entire region!

If you’re renting a car, you can certainly drive yourself out to the Niagara Wine Region – but let’s be honest, no one wants to be the designated driver while going wine tasting! The best way to fully experience this region is by taking a wine tour like this one from Toronto. They take care of all the transportation and details so you just get to relax, sip, and have fun!

We had the best time on this full-day luxury private wine tour! It picks you up from your Toronto accommodation and visits 4 different wineries, including Peller Estate (where you can sip icewine in an ice lounge!). The tour also includes a 3-course lunch and all tasting fees. Plus, our guide, Jim, was so knowledgeable and made the day so fun! Priced at $449 CAD per person, this exclusive tour promises a truly unforgettable day! You can book this experience here.

Related Read: If you love visiting wine regions, you should check out these amazing wineries around Kelowna, British Columbia!

14. Explore Toronto’s parks

Sheep at Riverdale Farm in Toronto
Sheep at Riverdale Farm in Toronto
A statue in Queens Park, Toronto
A statue in Queen’s Park, Toronto

While Toronto boasts nearly 3 million residents, it’s anything but a bustling concrete jungle! The city has numerous green spaces spread throughout, providing havens of peace away from the urban hustle. Among our top picks are Riverdale Park, Queen’s Park, and High Park, each offering a unique and refreshing atmosphere. Additionally, if you crave stunning views of Lake Ontario, HTO Park and Sugar Beach are two spots you definitely shouldn’t miss!

Riverdale Park

Riverdale Park spans 85 acres (34 hectares) and offers an ideal setting for outdoor enthusiasts or those seeking a tranquil spot to leisurely pass some time. Notable local attractions include the Don River and the charming Riverdale Animal Farm. For dog owners, the West Riverdale Dog Park is a must-visit, being the largest off-leash area in Toronto.

Operating every day of the week, all year round, Riverdale Farm is a cost-free attraction. Catering to families, it provides a delightful experience for children, who thoroughly enjoy interacting with the adorable inhabitants (of the furry variety!). The farm boasts a variety of animals, including sheep, chickens, and pigs, making it an awesome and fun interactive experience!

Queen’s Park

Although smaller than Riverdale Park, Queen’s Park is still quite sizable and equally enchanting. Situated in the city’s center, it enjoys proximity to the Royal Ontario Museum, the University of Toronto, and numerous downtown shops, ensuring no shortage of activities and sights in the area!

Right in the middle of the park, you’ll find the most notable landmark, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Offering free tours (more details to follow!), it’s an activity that can’t be missed when exploring Queen’s Park.

High Park

High Park stands out as Toronto’s largest public park, embodying an inclusive space for everyone. With features ranging from kids’ playgrounds and a zoo to hiking trails and a dog park, it truly mirrors Toronto’s friendly and diverse spirit.

Visitors fortunate enough to be in Toronto in late April or early May might catch the enchanting sight of cherry blossoms (sakura) near the duck pond and Hillside Gardens. However, this spectacle is short-lived, lasting just a week and a half at most – so if you’re visiting in the summer you will sadly probably miss this.

But there are still many reasons to visit High Park during the summer. We love hikes and walks and enjoyed doing the High Park Loop. Covering a distance of 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles) with consistently flat terrain, it offers a leisurely stroll around the park suitable for almost anyone. However, if a relaxing picnic is more your speed, High Park offers an ideal setting to unwind and just enjoy the outdoors!

15. Take a Tall Ship Boat Cruise

Toronto Tall Ship Boat Cruise in Toronto
Tall Ship Boat Cruise in Toronto

Embark on a nautical adventure by stepping onto a 1930s ship for a captivating 2-hour cruise from Toronto Harbour on Lake Ontario. This immersive experience includes singing sea shanties while the crew fires a mighty cannon!

Indulge in a delicious meal during the cruise, with the menu featuring a must-try Canadian delight – poutine! You can also relax with a cold cocktail in hand. The cruise is available daily during the summer and sets sail every 2 hours from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm. I personally recommend doing the sunset cruise – nothing beats watching the sun dip down while out on the water!

Tickets are priced at $43 CAD, which isn’t bad for all it includes! Whether it’s a celebration of a special occasion or a delightful family outing on the water, we believe this pirate cruise offers a fun and memorable experience. Secure your spot on this high-seas adventure by booking online.

16. Go sailing 

Sailing in Toronto
Sailing in Toronto is such a unique way to experience the city’s beauty!

Set sail on an exciting maritime journey with this captivating sailing tour that, while not quite the high seas, provides a delightful exploration of Toronto Harbour, Lake Ontario, and the Eastern Gap. Revel in the picturesque views of the coastline and Toronto Islands during this fun 2-hour tour.

Whether you choose to unwind on deck on a bean bag or take the helm for a hands-on experience, this tour is a fantastic way to absorb the city’s coastal beauty. With a maximum of 12 passengers, the boat never felt crowded and had a very social vibe. Plus the crew was amazing, ensuring everyone had a memorable and enjoyable time.

Priced at $189 CAD per passenger, this sailing tour offers a perfect blend of romance and fun, making it an ideal outing for couples, families, or groups of friends. It’s a great way to get a unique and lasting perspective of the city and its natural surroundings. To secure your spot and check availability, simply book this sailing tour online.

17. Visit Bruce Peninsula National Park

Bruce Peninsula, Toronto, Canada
Bruce Peninsula, Toronto, Canada

Nestled 3.5 hours north of Toronto, Bruce Peninsula National Park is a hidden gem with breathtaking turquoise waters, jaw-dropping cliffs, and epic hikes. I know it’s a bit far from Toronto, but if you have the time, it makes for a great summer day trip!

Explore the stunning coves and beaches, including the popular Sauble Beach, and tackle a stretch of the Bruce Trail – Canada’s oldest marked footpath, stretching a whopping 890 kilometers (553 miles) in total!

Now, driving from Toronto to the Bruce Peninsula and back in one day might sound like a bit much. That’s why we recommend opting for a guided tour like this one. Let someone else handle the driving while you catch some Zs in the back!

This tour offers a fantastic overview of the area in just one day. You’ll get to visit many highlights such as a visit to the charming Tobermory fishing village and a guided hike to Inglis Falls. Plus, visiting in the summer means you can kayak to the Big Tub Lighthouse, constructed in 1885!

This full-day adventure costs $282 CAD per person, covering transport to and from Toronto, a guided hike with snacks, water, and lunch. The tour lasts around 13 hours, so it’s a long day, but trust us, the stunning beauty of the Bruce Peninsula makes it totally worth it! You can also opt to add kayaking to the excursion, bringing the price to $324 CAD for the day – but I’m a sucker for kayaking so I’d say go for it! Check the details and book this tour in advance here.

18. Stroll the Toronto Botanical Garden

Tulips at the Toronto Botanical Garden
Tulips at the Toronto Botanical Garden

The Toronto Botanical Garden is a lush oasis sprawling across 4 acres (1.6 hectares) with themed gardens and features over 4,000 plant and flower varieties. Throughout the year, there are cool learning experiences for both kids and adults that you won’t want to miss. And the best part? It’s free to visit!

On top of that, you can visit the Bloom Cafe during the summer months – the perfect spot to kick back with a drink and some cake while soaking in all the natural beauty. This cafe is open on weekends in April and daily from May to October.

19. Relax at Woodbine Beach 

Woodbine Beach in Toronto
Stunning views at Woodbine Beach!

Woodbine Beach takes the crown as Toronto’s largest beach and is a hotspot loved by both locals and tourists alike. It’s the go-to place for swimming, catching some rays, picnicking, or even a game of beach volleyball.

And during those hot summer days, you won’t be short on treats – ice cream vendors line the beach, and you can even rent kayaks, SUP boards, or canoes for some on-the-water fun.

Tucked away in the charmingly named “The Beaches” neighborhood, east of downtown, Woodbine Beach is a summer haven with a fantastic vibe. Need to beat the heat? The water temperature hovers around a comfy 20°C (68°F) – not too chilly, just perfect for a refreshing swim on a hot day.

20. Hike in Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area
Oh, the views!
Flat trail through Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area
The trails are so peaceful!

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area is the perfect place to go if you love to get out in nature and hit the trails! It’s a gorgeous area with stunning limestone cliffs and canyons that provide the perfect summer hiking and rock climbing spot.

Located 45 minutes from Toronto, this area is easy to get to if you are renting a car. It can be a busy place to visit in the summer, so we recommend reserving your spot online in advance. The online platform allows you to select your entry time and provides information on the expected level of congestion during your visit. Plus, you’ll save some money on entrance fees by reserving in advance – only $10.50 CAD per adult instead of $12 CAD!

The park features 3 main hiking trails of varying difficulty levels as outlined here. One of the shortest is the Vista Adventure Trail, a mostly flat loop spanning 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) that offers breathtaking viewpoints along the way. Since it’s a loop, you can start the hike in either direction and can park in either the upper or lower parking lot.

For a little bit more of a challenge, the Buffalo Crag Trail is a 3.2-kilometer (2-mile) loop hike accessed from the lower parking area in Rattlesnake Point. The trails take you past the Nassagaweya Canyon and Buffalo Crag Lookout all while giving you views of majestic cedar trees along the way – some are over 800 years old!

For those seeking an even longer trek, the Nassagaweya Canyon Trail is an out-and-back trail extending 7.2 km (4.5 miles). It provides stunning views of the Nassagaweya Canyon and leads to Crawford Lake Conservation Area. This trail is moderate in difficulty and requires approximately 4-5 hours round trip. It is also accessed from the Rattlesnake Point lower parking area.

With so many trail options, Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area makes a great summer activity for every level of outdoor explorer!

21. Eat at 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
Refreshing juice on a hot day!

Kensington Market is undeniably one of Toronto’s most trendy neighborhoods. It radiates an edgy Bohemian vibe that attracts visitors from all corners of the world. This “market” actually spans a full block of streets, teeming with vintage stores, specialty grocery shops, delis, and an array of global culinary delights.

When it comes to satisfying my taste buds in downtown Toronto, Kensington Market is my top choice. For an explosion of flavors, the Latin American food court is my go-to. It was here that we discovered and fell in love with Birria Tacos – a delicious Mexican stew stuffed inside a taco shell (you’ve got to try it)!

On warmer days or when you’re feeling thirsty, a visit to Ton of Juice is a refreshing treat. They offer 100% fresh fruit juice blends that are simply on another level. I couldn’t resist going back for seconds after trying their mango-orange blend.

Exploring the Kensington Market area is a fantastic experience, especially during lunchtime when you can indulge in the diverse culinary delights. And if you are looking for some souvenirs or gifts for friends back home, this is the place to shop around for unique local finds!

If you’d prefer a more in-depth and structured visit to the Market to make sure you don’t miss out on the best stores, stalls, and cafes, then you can join this walking tour. It takes you around both Kensington Market and Chinatown while providing insights into the history of these captivating Toronto neighborhoods. You’ll also have the opportunity to discover vibrant street art and explore hidden alleyways that you might have overlooked on your own.

This walking tour lasts for 3 hours, giving you a great overview of the city and a chance to sample some tasty treats. You can book this tour in advance for $79 CAD.

22. Go to the Toronto Zoo

A gorilla lays down at Toronto Zoo
So cute!
People look at a giraffe at Toronto Zoo in Ontario
Giraffe!

The Toronto Zoo isn’t just the biggest zoo in Canada. It’s practically a wildlife wonderland where you can view over 300 species and around 3,000 animals. Yep, you heard it right – it’s like a bustling animal metropolis perfect for animal lovers!

Now, imagine wandering through 10 km (6 miles) of walking trails, exploring various habitats that make you feel like you’ve traveled the globe. And get this, it’s not your typical zoo experience where you just stare at critters from a distance. You can participate in fun interactive activities as well such as a kangaroo walk, ziplining through the forest, or catching breathtaking panoramic views on the Tundra Air ride.

Weekends at the Toronto Zoo are a blast, especially for little ones. There’s face painting, a gorilla ropes course, and in the summer, there’s a Splash Island wet playground to beat the heat. You’ll need at least 4 hours here to experience all the seven zoogeographic regions!

The zoo’s hours of operation change with the seasons, so make sure to check what the hours are for the precise time you are visiting. Prices range from $21-$36 CAD for adults and $15-$25 CAD for the kiddos aged 3 to 12, while children under 2 are free.

Pro tip: We recommend going to the zoo on a weekday. Ticket prices are cheaper during the week, and the zoo is less busy. Also, the further in advance you book on the Toronto Zoo website the more money you will save on admission prices!

Located in the lush Rouge Valley, just a 35-minute drive from downtown, the zoo is easily accessible by car or bus. If you’re driving, there is a $15 CAD parking fee, so don’t forget to snag a pass at the admission booth and scan it on your way out. As for the bus, you can hop on the 86A, 85 Sheppard East, or the 200 Toronto Zoo bus routes to get there.

23. Day trip to Muskoka

Beautiful views over the lake in Muskoka, Ontario
It’s a stunning region!

Ah, Muskoka – the iconic region earning its stripes as the “Hamptons of Canada.” It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting lakes, forests, and a stunning shoreline. Oh, and let’s not forget those sprawling mansions, golf resorts, and country clubs that draw in A-listers like the Beckhams, Steven Spielberg, Cindy Crawford, and Tom Hanks!

All of this makes Muskoka the ultimate day trip from Toronto during the summer. Whether you’re into scenic hikes, paddleboarding on the water, or soaking in the local art scene at galleries and museums, Muskoka’s got you covered. It’s like stepping into a dreamy escape where the city chaos fades away, and you can embrace a more leisurely pace.

Muskoka sits 219 kilometers (136 miles) to the north of Toronto, roughly a two-hour drive each way. Sure, there are public transport options, but let’s face it, they can be a bit of a time suck for a day trip, and train tickets might dent your wallet. So the best way to make the most out of your time is by taking a guided tour.

We opted for this private tour, tailor-made for active explorers eager to discover Muskoka’s best spots. The day started with an 8-km (5-mile) guided hike through the serene trails of Hardy Lake Provincial Park, which leads to a charming little island nestled in the heart of the lake.

Come afternoon, the adventure continued with the Huckleberry Rock Lookout Trail, a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) journey to a breathtaking vantage point offering a panoramic view of Lake Muskoka. Next, was a refreshing swim at the base of High Falls, aka “the Niagara of the North.” Okay, let’s be real – it’s not exactly Niagara Falls, but it’s undeniably one of the region’s standout waterfalls and well worth the visit!

The tour includes return transport from Toronto and costs $185 CAD per person. We thought it was worth the price to have a local showing us around (thanks, Javier!). So if exploring the beauty of Muskoka sounds appealing to you, make sure to book this tour in advance here!

24. Walk the waterfront

Waterfront boat harbor in Toronto, Canada in summer
Toronto is beautiful in the summer!
Daniel poses for a photo along the waterfront in Toronto
Just explore!

Another great activity to do during summer in Toronto is to walk the waterfront! The Toronto Waterfront Trail is split into three sections: Etobicoke (west), Toronto (central), and Scarborough (east). It extends 5.3 km (3.3 miles) across the city offering gorgeous views along the lake all while passing by some of Toronto’s best highlights!

The trail is paved and relatively flat, making it accessible for many people wanting to go for a scenic summer stroll, run, or bike ride. It also has facilities such as washrooms and drinking fountains available throughout. You can go for a sunset walk or easily make a day out of walking the waterfront while making stops along the way.

We recommend starting the day early so that you aren’t out walking in the hot midday sun and to avoid the summer crowds! You can start wherever you like along the trail as there is parking all along Lake Shore Blvd, but we prefer to start west of downtown and then walk east past Toronto’s downtown core.

Exhibition Place makes for a great starting point for your stroll! There are many options for getting here, and there is an abundance of parking spots in the area if you are driving. From here, you can just walk toward the waterfront to start your stroll. There is always something fun happening at this event center, so make sure to check out their website to see if there are any events on while you’re in the area!

Alternatively, you can start at Ontario Place (or walk here from Exhibition Place). Located on 3 artificial islands southwest of Toronto’s downtown, it is home to an event center, IMAX, and a beautiful marina- making for a great scenic start to your day! You can then walk east along the waterfront through Coronation Park where you will find the Victory Peace World War II monument.

As you continue to wander east, you’ll come to the Toronto Music Garden. This enchanting park and garden is inspired by Bach and was made to flow like a river while you walk through. Next, you can make a stop at HTO Beach to relax on a Muskoka chair with your feet in the sand. You can’t swim here, but it makes for a good rest stop with gorgeous lake views!

You can continue to wander the Harbourfront area, but we recommend stopping to have a bite to eat at one of the many wonderful waterfront restaurants such as Amsterdam Brewhouse, Pie Bar, or Joe Bird. This makes a great ending point, but you can always keep going if you’d like! Just remember you’ll have to turn around at some point to go back and get your car if you drove!

25. Go for a bike ride

Bailey rides her bike in downtown Toronto on a tour
Off we go!
bailey smiles at the camera while riding her bike in downtown Toronto
Such a great way to explore!

Calling all bike enthusiasts! Did you know one of the easiest and most fun ways to get around Toronto is on a bike? With so much to see in Toronto, it is so much more time-efficient to hop on a bike and pedal your way through the city instead of walking or getting stuck in traffic.

Toronto is such a bike-friendly city, you’ll find ample bike lock-up spots as well as many bike lanes. It’s easy to find a place to rent a bike downtown, or you can even use the Bike Share program. You can explore the city by yourself, but I prefer to do one of the many great bike tours in the city to eliminate the stress of navigation in a new city.

We did this small-group downtown bike tour and had so much fun! We got to pedal around while learning all about the city’s history and culture. We visited all of the downtown highlights such as the CN Tower, Chinatown, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Kensington Market just to name a few! There were definitely some off-the-beaten-path areas that we visited that we never would have known about had we not had a guide.

The bikes were comfortable and the guide went at a leisurely pace making sure everyone stuck together and was safe. They even provided granola bars and water bottles to everyone! The tour lasted about 3.5 hours and cost $102 CAD each. This is a very popular tour in the summer months, so make sure to secure your spot in advance.

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 $250 CAD per night in the summer, 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 Booking.com 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!

Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!

We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.

They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.  

We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!

Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on a ride through Toronto while on a downtown bike tour
Thanks for reading!

Wow, what a list! As you know, Toronto is a huge city and there is just so much to see and do! I hope this blog has helped you to decide what interests you most and keeps you busy during your summer visit to Toronto.

While you’re trip planning, have a look at our other blogs about Canada and the USA. We’ve traveled to a lot of different destinations and love sharing our travel tips so you can find the best tours, restaurants, and hidden gems in each city.

12 Things to KNOW Before Visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame

The 3 BEST Niagara Falls Tours from Montreal

How to Spend ONE DAY in New York City: 1-Day Itinerary