To-Do in Toronto

We're going to go ahead and assume that Transformations 2014 isn't the only thing you'll want to do when you visit us in February. If you've never been to the Big Smoke, then this page will be a great resource for you. And even if you're familiar with our big city, hopefully you'll discover something that you haven't seen or experienced before. Without further ado:

Getting Around Toronto:

Toronto's a city that needs to be walked around to fully experience, but Transformations 2014 is in February and it'll probably be cold, so here's how you can get around without getting frostbite:

Public Transit - Despite the ongoing debate and seemingly constant frustration over service, expansion, and funding, Toronto's public transit system is still one of the world's most reliable and efficient. If you're going to be spending most of your trip downtown, then this is the way to go. You can purchase weekly or daily passes as well for unlimited rides.

Taxis - Unlike some other cities around the world, Toronto's tax companies are on the straight-and-narrow. New companies HAILO and Uber are also hoping you'll use your smartphones to book a cab in advance.

Bixi Bikes - Still in its fledgling days, Toronto's bike-sharing system still has a ways to go to be on par with Montreal's Bixi system, Paris' Velo, or London's Barclay's Bikes. But if it's an unseasonally warm February then renting a Bixi bike might just be the way to travel around Toronto's streets.

 For the Flaneurs:

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods, so a list of things to do wouldn't be complete without a guide to Toronto's neighbourhoods. They've all got something to offer and our city is incredibly walkable, so pick and choose the areas you'd like to see, hop on a subway or streetcar, walk or rent a Bixi bike and get exploring.

BlogTO's Neighbourhood Guide

Tourism Toronto's Neighbourhood Guide

 For the Culterati:

Royal Ontario Museum - Canada's largest museum holds thousands of artifacts and objects of scientific interest including one of the world's largest collections of East Asian antiquities. Recently renovated, the Michael Lee Chin Crystal is one of Toronto's most controversial architectural statements. Fridays are cheap nights too, just $9 for students.

Art Gallery of Ontario - Another recently renovated instiution, you have to check out Frank Gehry's undulating facade and gorgeous naturally lit interior. The AGO has art from across Canada and the world and often has a great special exhibit for a little extra admission price. Wednesday nights are free.

Soulpepper Theatre - A perfect way to finish or start a night out. Located in the heart of the Distillery District, the Soulpepper has a great line up of shows and rush tickets are especially cheap for students, starting at $5. Make sure you take a wander of the District, one of Toronto's great industrial reclamation stories.

Harbourfront Centre - A hub of world culture and art on Toronto's Waterfront, the Harbourfront Centre always has shows and exhibits that enchant the soul.

 For the Explorers:

Evergreen Brickworks - One of Toronto's coolest spaces, the Brickworks is a park, presentation centre, restaurant and green living market all in one. Reclaimed from an old clay quarry, the Brickworks is now a native species conservation area and a beautiful recreational space in the heart of the city.

High Park - Toronto's largest urban park, High Park has a zoo, kilometres of trails, and the delightful Grenadier Pond where you can skate if it's cold enough. Go for a winter stroll or have a snowball figh here.

Recreational Trails - Whether you're biking or walking, Toronto has a wealth of recreational trails spanning the city's five watersheds. One of our favourites is taking the Don River Trail to Leslie Street Spit, a landfill urban park where you can see the rubble of Toronto's past.

For the Gourmands:

St. Lawrence Market - The city's largest indoor market, St. Lawrence Market is a heritage building in the downtown core. We recommend the Peameal Bacon Sandwiches. Just make sure to go early or be willing to put up with a press of people.

Chinatown - Not much needs to be said here. Tonnes of delicious food at the right price. You like Dim Sum? Dumplings? What about Vietnamese? Eat to your heart's content at all hours of the day.

Food Trucks - Toronto is currently experiencing a love-hate relationship with food trucks. We love them, apparently our city's bureaucracy hates them. But if you want a burrito served from a truck, here's your chance. There's even an app for finding them.

For the Unabashed Tourists: 

CN Tower - We're surprised if you don't know what this is. Toronto's most iconic landmark and a monument to our Modernist past. The restaurant's only so-so, but the view is indescribable. The glass floor and elevator ride is also pretty neat.

City Hall - With an innovative green roof and sci-fi-esque architecture, Toronto's City Hall is a great place to stop to check out the beating heart of our city's municipal government. Old City Hall right next door and Nathan Phillip's Square are also great places for a photo-op.

Casa Loma - Our city's eccentric castle. Sitting above the city on a glacial ridge, you can explore this castle and it's secret doors and halls to get your Harry Potter fix.

Skydome (Roger's Centre) and the Air Canada Centre - If you're a diehard hockey or basketball fan, Transformations 2014 might be a perfect time to catch a game. Prices can be high, but the experience is more than worth it.

For the Shopaholics:

Queen West - Toronto's old garment district is now a strip of indy boutique's and great antique stores. Some say it's too hip for it's own good, some say it's passe, and some say it's been co-opted by the "man", but we still think it's a great strip to experience some of the best retail Toronto has to offer.

Yorkville - Chi-chi boutiques and fancy restaurants cluster in Toronto's former bohemian enclave. Bring your plastic, though, because these places will hurt the wallet. Holt Renfrew, Gucci and Burberry are just some of the brands represented here.

Eaton Centre - Toronto's largest mall, you can find virtually anything you want. Visiting will also give you a chance to experience Yonge-Dundas Square's neon glow. Mostly brand retail, but some great public scupltures and ambience.

Kensington Market - If you're into vintage clothes, a low-key vibe and some of the city's most eccentric and interesting characters, you should make a stop in Kensington Market. Just a block away from Chinatown, Kensington is one of Toronto's neighbourhood gems.






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