3 day Toronto itinerary
Toronto is a great city and there is so much to see, do and eat.
I created this perfect 3 day itinerary for Toronto to make sure you hit the best spots.
If you want to explore Toronto like a local here’s a handy guide that’ll take you off the beaten path.
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How to get around Toronto
To pack your Toronto itinerary full of goodies you need to know some basics about how to get around. There is three subway lines today with extensions and another line planned to be operational in 2023. It’s a quick and simple way to get around. Just buy single tickets, tokens or passes if you plan on taking public transit most of the time.
Tokens are tiny little coins that look like currency. You can use them to pay for a ride on the subway, streetcar or bus. When buying tokens you can get single ones or multiples, they’re cheaper when you buy more. You can get them at any subway station and have to use one token every time you hop on public transit. The good thing, if you switch between streetcar or bus, is that you can ask for a transfer the first time you get on. Then you can use it for your continuous journey for up to 2 hours.
If you don’t want to buy tokens or passes you can pay the fare in cash every time you get on the streetcar or bus. But if you plan on taking public transit a lot during your stay it’ll work out cheaper if you buy tokens or passes.
You can get different passes from multiple days to weeks to months. There’s machines for that at any subway station and you can pay either cash or by card.
Toronto is divided into east and west by Yonge Street which is the longest street in Canada.
Sightseeing with the Toronto City Pass
Now that you know how to get around Toronto let us tell you where to actually go.
There is so much to see and do in the city that you could easily spend weeks and months there. Or, you know, just move and live there already.
We have packed 3 days full of sights, food and entertainment to make the most of your stay. There are always cool events happening in Toronto and we’ve created this handy little guide so you can plan the best time to go (coming soon). Because let’s face it, Toronto is a destination for every time of the year.
Since you’ll be hitting all the major sights during your stay, the best thing is to get a Toronto City Pass. It gives you access to the top 5 sights (CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum and Toronto Zoo/or Science Center) and you save 34% compared to buying tickets at every place. You can buy the pass online or at one of the sights. The Toronto City Pass is valid for 9 days after first use.
Day 1 - Explore downtown Toronto
The first thing on your Toronto itinerary is a decadently delicious breakfast at School, a cool little place off King Street West. It’s super popular so be there when they open as they don’t take reservations.
After stuffing your belly with bacon omelets take a walk up to Queen Street West and make your way downtown. Queen Street West has great little shops, cafes and bars. It also has Trinity Bellwoods Park which is a nice place for a picnic or beer after work.
If you don’t feel like walking take the streetcar and get off at Queen Station. You’re right at the Eaton Center, Toronto’s biggest shopping mall. Head north towards Yonge-Dundas Square and catch the subway north from there.
Toronto is set up in a grid system like most other North American cities.
Once you know that Yonge Street divides Toronto into east and west it’s pretty easy to figure out north and south.
Get off at Bloor-Yonge Station and walk west through Yorkville, Toronto’s fanciest and most expensive neighborhood. Here you have brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and other high fashion names.
At the edge of Yorkville is the Royal Ontario Museum, or ROM, which has really cool exhibitions. You can wander around the museum for hours and visit the different exhibitions. Even if you’re not into museums, the exterior architecture is still interesting because it merges the old building with a modern glass façade, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal.
After a cultural morning make your way to Kensington Market, a cool and quirky neighborhood of Toronto. Try Ronnie’s Local 069 or Cold Tea for lunch.
Head south through Chinatown to get to Ripley’s Aquarium featuring North America’s longest underwater tunnel. With your Toronto City Pass you don’t need to purchase tickets and can skip the line giving you more time to explore.
While you’re in the area check off another thing of your list, the CN Tower. It’s the tallest structure in the northern hemisphere with an amazing view over the city and the Toronto Islands. There’s also a glass floor where you can look down 346m or, if you feel adventurous, you can book an EdgeWalk around the outside.
Also check out the Fairmont Royal York on Front Street West, a stunning luxury hotel with hand painted ceilings.
To celebrate your decision to visit one of the coolest cities in North America make a reservation at 360, the CN Tower’s revolving restaurant.
Day 2 - Enjoy the view from the Toronto islands
The second day of your Toronto itinerary is a Mexican brunch day so head to La Cubana on Roncesvalles Avenue and enjoy their delicious sandwiches, served with rice and beans.
Make your way south to Sunnyside beach and go for a swim, tan or some paddle boarding. Try Ed’s Real Scoop for the best ice cream inside home-made waffle cones. Or swing by Glory Hole Doughnuts to stuff your face with huge delicious sweets. But be warned, locals know and love Glory Hole so they sell out fast. And once they do that’s it for the day.
It’s time to head east to St Lawrence Market where you’ll find artisanal foods in an industrial warehouse. Fill your picnic basket with antipasti, cheese, wine or beer and fresh bread. Head to the ferry terminal and take a ferry boat to one of the three Toronto Islands. A ticket is around 8 CAD and includes your return from the islands.
Save time in your fully packed Toronto itinerary by deciding beforehand which island you want to see. If you need help choosing here’s some pointers:
All islands are connected so if you get off at one you’re able to walk or bike to the others.
Hanlan’s island has a lovely sand beach with a clothing optional area, as well as Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
It faces south-west so you won’t get to see much of the skyline.
If you take the ferry boat to Centre Island you’re close to the Centreville Theme Park which also hosts concerts during the summer.
Get off at Ward’s Island and you have lovely parks, Ward’s Island Beach and some cute cafes and B’n’Bs.
Walk around the peaceful and beautiful nature of the islands and have a picnic. Maybe rent a canoe and admire the stunning view of the Toronto skyline.
When you’re ready to make your way back head to the Distillery District, a cool spot with old breweries turned into bars, restaurants or artisanal shops.
For dinner try WVRST on King Street West, a gourmet hot dog place with a great beer selection and Octoberfest style interior.
Day 3 - Toronto Zoo, Casa Loma and poutine
Your Toronto itinerary is not complete without stopping at Tim Horton’s. So for today’s breakfast try an everything bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese and a double-double (coffee with double cream and double sugar) or French vanilla.
Have it on-the-go to make it to the Toronto Zoo for opening. The zoo is massive, with lovely walkways, a botanical garden and of course lots of animals. If you’re not the zoo type of person you can visit the Ontario Science Center instead, it’s also included in the Toronto City Pass.
Head back to the city for lunch at Kotta Japanese on King Street West for some seriously amazing sushi. Get the crispy Philadelphia roll, it’s insanely good.
It’s time to visit Casa Loma, a grand 18th century mansion. Stroll through the vast and decadent rooms and wander through the beautiful lush garden.
For an extra special experience check out their website before you go because there’s always events like concerts or art exhibitions. Tickets for those events are sold separately and are not included in the Toronto City Pass.
No visit to any Canadian city is complete without trying poutine. It’s a delicious greasy snack of fries smothered in gravy sauce and topped with cheese curds. You can find the best one in Toronto at Smoke’s Poutinerie on King Street West.
To dance the night away try The Drake Hotel, a cool hotel and restaurant on Queen Street West. It turns into a nightclub after 10 pm.
Hi, I’m Nadine
Part-time traveler with full-time wanderlust.
I explore the world one weekend and one vacation at a time and share my experiences, travel and photography tips, and food recs on this blog.
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