The Ultimate Guide to Toronto

If you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you’ll know that I lived in Toronto Canada in 2013. Toronto is an incredible city and if I am honest, I miss it every day. With that in mind, it seemed the perfect fit for my next The Ultimate Guide series. In this post you will learn about where to stay, what to do, where to eat and more. Here is The Ultimate Guide to Toronto!

the-ultimate-guide-to-toronto

Things to do in Toronto

There is lots to see and do in Toronto! Some of the best attractions include:

  • CN Tower
  • CN Tower Edgewalk (I’ve done this and you can read my review HERE!)

CN Tower

  • Casa Loma
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Distillery District
  •  Toronto Islands
  • Catch a Game – Rogers Center or the Air Canada Centre
  • Visit High Park
  • Toronto Zoo
  • Visit Dundas Square
  • The Beaches
  • Brookfield Place (this is where I worked and its beautiful!)
  • Niagara Falls

niagara-falls-canada

 Where to Shop in Toronto

Toronto is an expensive city and it wouldn’t be somewhere you’d go for bargain hunting. In saying that though, its home to some fantastic shopping malls and stores. The two main shopping malls are the CF Toronto Eaton Center which is in the heart of the city and located at Dundas and Yonge. The other brilliant mall is called Yorkdale and this is a more upmarket mall. Yorkdale is located North of the city and is a short subway ride from Downtown. You’ll also find lots of great souvenir shops and more throughout the city.

toronto-canada

Where to stay in Toronto

Throughout Downtown you will have options for many hotels and hostels. I’m a hotel girl myself and I’ve seen and stayed in some of the Downtown hotels. Some of the best located / nicest hotels include:

      • Chelsea Hotel 3*
      • Hilton Toronto 4*
      • Sheraton Centre Toronto 4*
      • The Fairmont Royal York 5*
      • Bond Place 3*

All of these hotels are centrally located and are within walking distance to all of the Downtown attractions. They are also located near TTC stops / entrances including  the Subway and Street Cars. Be weary of booking hotels outside of the main Downtown area as some are located in rough areas.

toronto-skyline

Where to Eat in Toronto

One of my favourite things about Toronto is the food. Unlike its American neighbour, Toronto food is quite gourmet and living there for the year introduced me to foods I’d have never eaten here in Ireland! I’ve even become a burger snob since living there because no one does burgers like Toronto does! While there be sure to also try Poutine – the Canadian speciality. My personal favourite is BBQ pulled pork Poutine at a hockey game! So Canadian!! 🙂

Some of my favourite places to eat in Toronto include:

      • The Stockyard
      • Holy Chucks
      • Jack Astor’s
      • Springrolls
      • Milestones
      • The Works
      • Marche
      • Fionn McCools
      • Big Daddy’s
      • Dunnes
      • Urban Eatery Food Court (Eaton Centre)

Squidgy Moments

When is the cheapest time visit toToronto 

Toronto is pretty great value year round but you will get the best rates during the colder months such as January and February. Be warned though, temperatures can be very low and we experienced lows of -25 degrees in January! The Summer months are the most expensive months along with September as the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes place in September.

toronto-downtown

Top Tips for visiting Toronto

      • This may sound obvious for some, but Canada does have its own currency so be sure not to purchase American dollars for your trip, its Canadian Dollars you need!
      • Taxi men in Toronto are not good with addresses so make sure to have an address and zip code at hand if needed.
      • Tipping is appreciated and expected but not as much as in the USA. Wages in Canada are higher and some restaurants do pre-include a tip in their cheques so keep an eye out for that.
      • Toronto is an expensive city and is probably on par with NYC so be sure to bring plenty of spending money.

winter-in-toronto

      • The TTC will be your best friend. This is the transit system and it consists of subway, streetcar and bus routes. This is really affordable and much better to get around rather than getting taxis. The subway isn’t complicated and is very safe.
      • If you have a few days to explore, venture outside of the Downtown area and explore Toronto’s incredible neighbourhoods! During the summer months, many of the neighbourhoods run festivals such as the Greek festival so keep an eye out for information on those as well!
      • For the best views of the city, take the ferry over to the Toronto Islands for the day. It costs approx $7 and its gorgeous over there. A lovely escape with the amazing Toronto skyline as your backdrop.
      • Check out St Lawrence’s Market, a favourite with locals for some delicious, ethic food and quirky stalls.
      • Take in a sporting event for a true Torontonian experience! Toronto are big into their sports and one of our favourite things to do was catch a game, whether it be a hockey game, a baseball game or a basketball game!
      • Walk down in front of the CN Tower and Rogers Centre and check out all of the cool old train engines!

Squidgy Moments

      • Most don’t know that below the city of Toronto lies a whole under-city as such called the PATH! The PATH is a network of walking routes, shops, subway stations, hotels and office blocks that are all interlinked. The PATH is the perfect way to avoid the cold, snowy streets in the cold!
      • If you’re an Instagram fan, be sure to get the perfect Toronto photo and visit the Gooderham Building which is Toronto’s own Flat Iron building! While there, be sure to get the right angle for your shot and you will get the CN Tower in your backdrop!

If you haven’t gathered from this post, Toronto is one of my absolute favourite places in the world. Its an amazing city with amazing people and its so worth a visit! I can’t wait to go back and eat my way around it again lol! 😀

Would you visit Toronto? Tell me in the comments below.

You can check out The Ultimate Guide to New York City HERE!

Always Wandering,

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things-to-do-in-toronto

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4 comments

  1. Danielle Loftus

    I’ve always wanted to go and nearly went about 10 years ago!!! It’s still on my bucket list and hope that I do get to go. Great guide Kathleen definitely something to print out and have before anyone goes.

  2. We just moved to the Niagara region from Ireland with lots of plans to visit Toronto. There is a chance I’ll end up working here too. Great tips to get started with

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