A popular financial and economic hub, often dubbed ‘New York North,’ Toronto has so much to offer visitors. If you have three days in Toronto, Canada, this exciting itinerary covers several iconic spots and is bound to excite you.
One of the best ways to get around the city is to utilize the fantastic public transport system – The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The TTC is available in three modes, namely bus, subway, and streetcar. You can also enjoy significant cost savings if you purchase a day pass (single or for families.) Alternatively, you can catch an Uber or Lyft or hire a car.
Day 1- Culture, history, and entertainment
Day one is all about getting your bearings and exploring some of the city’s top attractions – oh and enjoying many tasty treats. Pop on some comfy clothes, charge your camera or phone, and get ready to explore this vibrant city.
What to do and see in Toronto?
Start your morning bright and early and grab breakfast at one of Toronto’s most famous diners – Fran’s Diner. This delightful spot has been around since the 1940s and offers guests an unforgettable 80s-style aesthetic. Enjoy piping hot coffee, the Monte Christo grilled French Toast sandwich, or the coconut cream pie! Once you’ve fuelled up at Fran’s, it’s time to explore some iconic sites:
• Meander along College Street and check out Ontario’s Legislative Building, Queen’s Park.
• Spend a couple of hours at the Royal Ontario Museum (with its huge collection of fossils and fascinating exhibitions.)
• Visit the Kensington Market for a bite of lunch or pop to the trendy Yorkville Neighbourhood with its numerous eateries.
• Next, it’s off to the city’s largest building – the famous CN Tower. If you’re feeling brave, take the glass elevator till you reach the LookOut Level. You can also visit the SkyPod, which sits 447 meters above the city. If you are a total adrenaline junkie, try the Edge Walk and stroll around the tower’s perimeter.
• There are several exciting attractions near the tower; visit the Ripley’s Aquarium and the Canadian Train Museum, or enjoy some craft beer at the Steam Whistle Brewery.
• Spend your evening at the King Street West Entertainment District in downtown Toronto with its numerous theatres, bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
Where to eat in Toronto?
• Fran’s diner: For a fantastic breakfast or snack at any time of the day.
• The Kensington Market: A foodie paradise with all sorts of cuisine (from waffles and ramen to burgers and ramen.)
• The Rec Room: For craft beer, arcade games, entertainment, and pool
• Canoe Restaurant and Bar: For fantastic views, adventurous Canadian cuisine, and lip-smacking flavors.
• Sotto Sotto: For incredible Italian dishes, delectable Tuscan wine, and the famous seafood risotto.
Where to stay in Toronto?
- $$$ – The Hazleton Hotel, Shangri-La Toronto, and The Ritz-Carlton
- $$ – The Drake Hotel, Sheraton Centre Hotel, Hyatt Regency Toronto
- $ – The Rex Hotel, the Only Backpackers Inn, Victoria’s Mansion Guest House
Day 2 – Markets and old neighbourhoods
Start day two bright and early and grab a coffee and a snack at the delightful St Lawrence Market – which has been voted many times as the world’s best market by National Geographic! Once you’ve had brekkie, it’s time for another day of exploring.
What to do and see?
- Visit Toronto’s Chinatown along Spadina Avenue. Here you will find find an array of stalls in an open-air setting, selling fresh produce, herbal medicines, and various souvenirs. There are also several Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, and Chinese restaurants. Whether you fancy Pho, dimsum, or Asian fusion foods, there are plenty of options here.
- Tour the Art Gallery of Ontario (with over 95 000 local artworks, many by indigenous artists).
- Spend time time in Canada’s very own Time Square – Yonge-Dundas Square – and enjoy some shopping in Eaton’s Center.
- Visit the historic Distillery District (which was once home to a large whiskey distillery). With its quaint cobbled streets, 19th-century buildings, and various entertainment hubs, you can spend a few hours here. Try some delicious beers at the Millstreet Brew Pub and if you’re visiting in December, experience the Christmas market.
- Spend your evening painting the town red. Toronto has a thriving night scene and there is so much to do in terms of bars, clubs, restaurants, live shows, and theatre.
Day 3: Harbour walk and Centre Island
The final day in Toronto will be spent exploring the harbour and Toronto Islands. Pack your cozzie!
What to do and see?
- After breakfast, catch the Queen Streetcar to Toronto’s Old City Hall. Then head south till you hit the waterfront. You can also spot the New City Hall nearby.
- Meander along the harbor by following the harborfront trail to Fork York. There are some lovely restaurants along the waterfront, so stop for a snack or a drink. Boxcar Social and Amsterdam Brewery have some gorgeous outdoor areas, perfect for taking in the views.
- Next, head to the Toronto Ferry terminal, and catch a ride to Centre Island. This is a fantastic way to escape the bustle of the city and catch up on some relaxation. Walk or cycle around the island, and spend the afternoon swimming in Lake Ontario (if the weather allows), visiting the amusement park, or renting a kayak or canoe. There are also several restaurants and cafes and numerous picnic spots.
- Eat dinner on the island and catch the gorgeous sunset over the skyline. Then head back to the city for your final night on the town.
Three days in Toronto is enough to get a taste of this fantastic city and see some of the main attractions. If you have more time to spend here, there is plenty more to do! If you want to explore more of Canada, checkout this amazing 3-day itinerary for Vancouver.