Toronto is Canada’s largest and most populous city and is located along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. The capital of Ontario, Toronto is a diverse, multicultural city that has no shortage of ways to spend a day. Whether you are looking for some excitement, culture, or just a relaxing afternoon taking in the sights, there is something for everyone. We have put together a list of just a few of the different things to do in Toronto when you have a free day.

Toronto is the traditional territory of many First Nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Anishinaabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat. It is covered by Treaty 13 signed with Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa Bands.

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The cosmopolitan metropolis of Canada

Taking in the Sights

The city’s landscape is just as diverse as its cultural background and offers a variety of unique experiences

Take in the cityscape 346 metres above the ground from the Main Observation deck, or 447 metres from the SkyPod observation platform. The SkyPod is the highest observation platform in the Western hemisphere, and on a clear day, you can see up to 160 km, or 100 miles. You can also dine at the 360 Restaurant while taking in the views. For those who are a little more daring, you can brave the EdgeWalk, where you can walk around the main observation deck outside on a 5-foot-wide ledge.

A great place to go for a walk and people watch, the Harbourfront Centre is an international centre for contemporary arts. A registered, charitable not-for-profit cultural organization, it is located on a 10-acre campus on Toronto’s central waterfront. You can plan to go to one of the events at the Centre or take a stroll along the pier.

The CF Toronto Eaton Centre is downtown Toronto’s only urban shopping centre, with over 230 retailers, restaurants, and services. This is the perfect place to go for some retail therapy.

First built in 1914 by Sir Henry Pellatt, this heritage landmark is in midtown Toronto. It is the only true castle in North America and has been featured in several movies throughout the years. Today it is available to the public to enjoy as a historical museum and tourist attraction.

One of Toronto’s most vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods, this walkable bohemian district is filled with indie shops, vintage boutiques, art spaces, and authentic hole-in-the-wall dining options. From May to October, they also host Pedestrian Sundays, where on the last Sunday of every month the streets are closed off and you can find performers, food vendors, and even dance parties.

About 15 minutes from the downtown core, Toronto Island Park is a great place to visit in the summer, especially for families with children. Toronto Island Park is made up of several islands, including Ward’s Island, Centre Island, and Hanlan’s Point, and can be accessed by ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. Some of the highlights of the park are the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, Canada’s oldest standing lighthouse at over 200 years old, and Centreville Amusement Park and Far Enough Farm. You can also rent canoes and kayaks at the Boat House or take a tram tour around the park.

The Love of Learning

They say that anyone who keeps learning stays young, and Toronto has some great options for those looking to stay young at heart

Founded in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum showcases art, culture, and nature from around the world. One of the largest museums in North America, and the largest in Canada, you can learn about cultural treasures, explore one of the revolving exhibitions, or just marvel at the beauty of the museum itself.

Encompassing 287 hectares, and in operation since 1974, the Toronto Zoo is home to over 3,000 animals, representing over 300 species, and has 10km of walking trails. The park is divided into seven different geographic regions and is the third-largest zoo in the world. The Toronto Zoo strives to connect people, animals, and conservation science to help fight extinction.

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One of the first interactive science museums in the world, since 1969 the Ontario Science Centre has been a space where visitors of all ages can learn through play. Learn about your world with hands-on exhibits, live science shows and demonstrations, an indoor rainforest, and an IMAX Dome theatre. You can explore anything from psychology, biology, weather, nature, physics, space, and engineering.

Looking for a Thrill

Not everyone wants to spend their afternoon wandering around museums or meandering through a park and Toronto has you covered

Home to the Blue Jays since 1989, the only Canadian major league baseball team since 2004, during their season you can find tickets from as low as $33 per person. Although you can purchase more than just your peanuts and beer at the Rogers Centre, for those looking to experience a classic ball game day I recommend getting a ballpark hotdog from one of the street vendors before heading into the stadium.

Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons under the license agreement: License details

Located approximately 50 minutes outside of the city, Canada’s Wonderland is the largest amusement park in the country. Open daily from May to August, and on weekends in September and October, you can take a spin on the antique carousel or get your adrenaline going on one of the 18 roller coasters.

A Relaxing Afternoon

When exploring a new city, sometimes you need a break from all the excitement, while still being able to take in the sights

Open Tuesday to Sunday, and hosting a Farmers Market on Saturdays, the St. Lawrence Market is a great place to connect, share stories, and discover new food. Named the world’s best food market by National Geographic in 2012, the market has been in operation since 1803 and is comprised of three buildings. The South Market will be where you’ll want to head to find what the 120 specialty vendors offer.

Toronto’s largest public park, High Park, is a mixed recreational and natural park. You will find hiking trails, sports facilities, gardens, playgrounds, eateries, and a zoo. From late April to early May, you can come to see the Cherry Blossoms, or Sakura, in bloom, and year-round you can see the rare black oak savannah.

Open from Tuesday to Sunday, the Art Gallery of Ontario presents a wide range of exhibits and programs, with a collection of more than 120,000 artworks. Experience and understand the world in new ways by learning and engaging with their extraordinary collections.

Open since 2003, this pedestrian-only district, that once housed a large whiskey distillery, has been transformed into an area for arts, culture, food, and entertainment. The Victorian Industrial buildings have been renovated to house restaurants, bars, and boutiques. This is a great place to dine and shop, or to just explore and check out the different art installations.

If you would like any other suggestions on what to do on a free day in Toronto you can contact us at [email protected]

Tours In and Around Toronto

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