Toronto island

Toronto island

Small port at Toronto Island

View from the Toronto Island

Center Island

The Toronto Islands are a must see for me. There are several small islands with different activities on them, where you can easily spend the day there. To get there, take the Ferry at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. The boats go to the different islands, it’s up to you to choose which way you want to arrive. I advise you to start with one that is at the end in order to walk in one direction and come back via another island.

  • Ward’s Island has a super cute village, with little houses. It looks nice. You can walk through the alleys to discover these beautiful dwellings.
  • Center Island is the island where there is the most animation. There are several activities available including an amusement park for children, and several food stalls. This is where there is a famous view of the Toronto Skyline that you can admire from the colorful chairs.
  • Hanlan’s island is another island where there is the Gibraltar lighthouse and an old Toronto bus. A nice island to walk too.

I have described to you there the 3 main islands that I preferred. But you have others to discover as well. And the best way to do that is to go for a walk. On all the islands you have immense plains very pleasant to walk there or to rest for an afternoon. It is also possible to rent bicycles to go around the islands. The walk between the islands is very nice to do on sunny days. On one side you have a view of this huge lake where you can’t even see the end of it, you have the impression of being at the edge of the ocean. On the other side, there is a great view of the entire Toronto skyline. Honestly a nice walk! It will take you a good half day, even a day, it all depends on what you are doing on the islands.

Round-trip ferry price: CA$8.50 – €6,32


Financial District

Center of Toronto

Distillery Historic District

Financial District

Graffiti Alley

Lawrence Market

Nathan Phillips Square

Yonge-Dundas Square

City center

A district that you cannot miss is the Financial District composed of several huge buildings, including the CN tower which dominates all the skyscrapers (553 m high). It is a district with business appearances but which also has apartments. The atmosphere remains pleasant and we do not feel the stress of these types of neighborhoods.
Not far from this district, there is Nathan Phillips Square which has the letters of Toronto. After your photo in front of the letters, take a stroll around the neighborhood, for example to Yonge Street and Queen Street West to do some shopping. Then you’ll come to what they call a “little times square” at Yonge-Dundas Square. Certainly a small resemblance with the giant screens, but still not really the same with the real times square obviously. A North American atmosphere on this place.
If you like street art, there is a small neighborhood that has it, it’s Graffiti Alley. I will not lie to you that the street does not look very welcoming during the day but in reality it is fine. The street art is generally on the facades of the buildings of 2/3 streets. Some I found very beautiful, others not, each to their own taste. It’s up to you to find your favorite.
A district that is in all major cities is obviously Chinatown! I didn’t walk through all the streets of the neighborhood but from Avenue Spadina, you go through part of this neighborhood and you notice it right away thanks to the shops, the decorations, and the atmosphere.
Not far from the Chinatown district, there is the Kensington district. Go down the perpendicular streets of Spadina Avenue, on the left. You will see several small restaurants and original shops. It’s not very big but very nice to walk around.
The Distillery Historic District is a neighborhood not to be missed, one of my favorites. It is actually an old distillery transformed into a super cute little neighborhood. The red brick facades give a lot of charm to the district. There are many restaurants, some works of art and shops which give a good atmosphere. I really liked this neighborhood! And not far, you have the Lawrence Market, in the same architecture, kind of.


Toronto Railway Heritage Center

Casa Loma

Hockey Museum

The must-see museum in Toronto for me is the Hockey Museum, which is located in the beautiful Allen Lambert Gallery. The museum is not that big but there is so much information and interactive games that you could stay there for 3 hours! Not necessarily knowing hockey, I loved it because we discovered a whole universe. Starting with the history of hockey in Canada and around the world! You can also discover the legends of this sport including Wayne Gretzky. There are several rooms with different subjects and lots of exhibits from different eras, such as goalkeepers’ masks, their jerseys… You can even admire the Stanley Cup, and take a picture with (depending on the time of the year of course). To please everyone, they also have some interactive games related to hockey, and a 3D cinema. The museum is very well done. And when I got out of there, I wanted to go see a hockey game. Unfortunately, it was not the right season, but if you are there when there are games, look on the site www.gametime.co for cheap tickets (possible to use only via wifi or card American or Canadian sim).
Another well-known museum in Toronto is Casa Loma. It is a large, castle-like house that was built in the early 1900s by Sir Henry Pellatt. The architecture is very beautiful, and it makes a big contrast with modern architecture. It’s quite pretty. In the museum you can discover the life of the founder of the casa as well as his family, through an audio guide. To start your visit, pick up your audio guide in the basement, and go to the room behind the stand to watch a short film about the family and the place. This will give you a good overview before going to see each room in detail. On the ground floor, you have access to the gardens which has a nice view of Toronto. There are also some nice fountains. Then, the first floor is composed of bedrooms and bathrooms with period objects. I really liked this floor because you can imagine what their lives were like back then. It was a family that loved entertainment and often had parties at their house. We feel it a lot through their history. The second floor deals with a completely different subject, the Second World War. From there, you can access one of the house’s towers for a great view of Toronto. Then return to the basement to cross the tunnel that leads to the stables. The building is in the same style as the main house. There are a few vintage cars on display and a wax museum. So for the wax museum, I admit that I didn’t really understand the connection… The visit to the whole museum can last between 3 and 4 hours depending on your interest. It is a rather unique and pleasant museum. To go there, I did not need to book in advance when I was in high season, and on weekends. But check before anyway because it is possible to privatize the place for events.
If you like to have a view from above, then I recommend the CN Tower, the tallest tower in Toronto. I didn’t do it because I had accommodation in the city center up high, right next to the tower. But already from the building where I was, the view was very beautiful, so I can’t imagine from up there.
The Toronto Railway Heritage Center is an open museum, right next to the financial district. On one square, you can discover several train carriages from different eras. Pretty cool to find.

Entrance to the Hockey Museum: CA$25 – €18.60
Entrance to casa Loma: CA$40 (cheaper to pay the entrance on site than on the website) – €29.75
Entrance to the CN Tower: CA$43 without taxes – €31.98
Entrance to the Toronto Railway Heritage Center: Free

Toronto is a big city that I really liked. There are so many things to discover and activities. We take the rhythm and the atmosphere of this city quite easily.


I was in Toronto at the end of July and had great weather. But sometimes it gets a little too hot.

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I think that 3 days minimum are enough to discover the city and its museums. It is a big city but the points of interest are quite close together. Do not hesitate to stay an extra day to make the round trip to Niagara Falls.

  • Take good shoes because the city is big and very pleasant to walk around.
  • Arrive during opening hours for the museums.
  • Go at the right times of the year for the weather.

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