A complete guide to visit Toronto, Canada
Toronto has a special place in my heart. The city is where I moved when I left Germany, it’s where my boyfriend Peter went for a job, and it’s where we met and fell in love.
If Toronto is not on your bucket list, put it on there, and put it at the top!
Toronto has an incredibly positive vibe; despite the hustle and bustle of 2.7 million people it has peaceful and laid back areas.
For those of you who don’t have much time I’ve created the perfect 3 day itinerary for Toronto. And if you want to explore the city like a local we created this guide for the best things to see, do and eat off the beaten path.
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Toronto for starters
Located in the south-east of Canada, on the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto is Canada’s largest city. Its motto is Diversity Our Strength and it is home to people of over 160 different nationalities.
I like to joke that if you find a Canadian in Toronto, you’re lucky.
Everyone in Toronto speaks English, one of the two official languages in Canada. The other one is French (actually, it’s called Quebecois) which is only spoken in Quebec and quite different from the French in France.
The currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD) and credit cards are pretty much accepted anywhere.
How to get around Toronto
Today Toronto’s subway system is not the best but it’s faster than taking the streetcar or bus. However these two are the best way to get around Toronto because there is a stop almost anywhere. You get to see the city and, if you’re traveling alone at night, the drivers will drop you off outside of their regular stops if you ask them to.
For more freedom you can also take a taxi or an Uber if you download the app.
Toronto has many sightseeing buses and you can book them online or at Yonge-Dundas Square right beside Hard Rock Café.
You’ll find the most amazing (and authentic) food from all over the world and can spend entire days eating your way through Toronto.
A Canadian institution – Tim Horton’s
Things to do in Toronto
Visiting Toronto in the fall or winter
You might be afraid that visiting in the winter is too cold but if you’re prepared it’s not that bad. Don’t get me wrong, it can be freezing cold and snowy, but the city looks magical, especially the parks or the Distillery District during Christmas time. They have a German Christmas market with mulled wine, Bratwurst and beautiful Christmas decorations.
Also, it being Canada, you can of course rent a pair of skates and take a spin around the frozen fountain right outside of city hall. It’s a great way to have a very Canadian experience while seeing some great architecture too.
If you’re visiting around October make sure to look up Nuit Blanche. It’s an art festival that covers the whole city with exhibitions of all kinds, from light installations over statues to theater productions or street interactions.
Visiting Toronto in the summer
If you visit in the summer it can get really hot but then you can hang out by the beach. Yes, Toronto has sandy beaches being on the shore of Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes in Canada.
Sunnyside Beach in the west end is a more quiet and relaxing area than The Beaches neighbourhood in the east end.
From there you’ll have an amazing view over the Toronto skyline, especially during sunset. The Beaches neighbourhood is hip and trendy, with beach bars and volleyball fields. It’s usually really crowded but if you want that beach party feeling this is where you have to go.
If you’re intrigued by the Toronto skyline view here’s the only tip I’ll give you outside of my Toronto like a local guide. And that’s because it’s one of my favourite things to do in the summer.
Go downtown to St Lawrence market, fill a picnic basket with delicious antipasti, cheese, wine or beer and freshly baked baguette, head down to the ferry terminal and take any ferry boat to the Toronto Islands.
It’s gorgeous, it’s quiet and you can tan by the beach or go swimming. And you will get hands down the most beautiful view of the Toronto skyline!
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.
I believe the answer to (almost) any question is traveling.
Have you tried it?
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