Home to 2.8 million people, Toronto is the largest city in Canada. While Toronto is the city I was born and raised in, half of the residents are born outside of Canada, making Toronto one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.
If you google “things to do in Toronto”, Google will undoubtedly give you a nice mix of tourist attractions: the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma, Ripley’s Aquarium, the list goes on. But after visiting the “must-see” attractions of Toronto, what else is there to do in this city?
Here, I share with you 5 of the BEST hidden gems you have to visit in Toronto.
Plus a special giveaway at the end of the post!
1. Honest Ed’s
If you can only visit one place on this list, make it Honest Ed’s. This iconic discount store is scheduled to close forever on December 31st, 2016. In its heyday, Honest Ed’s attracted top musicians and movie stars from around the world. Their Christmastime turkey giveaways and their birthday parties giving free cakes and meals would draw crowds of Torontonians every year. Today, with theatre posters still lining every inch of the wall and great bargain items for sale, it still definitely makes for an interesting shopping experience. Plus no one comes up with slogans to sell products quite like Honest Ed’s… “Honest Ed’s no midwife — but the bargains he delivers are real babies!”
2. The Toronto Islands
To get a break from the busy pace of the city, simply hop on a ferry at Queen’s Quay Terminal and head over to the Toronto Islands. As North America’s largest car-free urban community, the Toronto Islands is a nice natural respite from the hustle and bustle. Wander past idyllic clusters of cottages, relax at the beaches, and make sure you pack a camera because this is the best place to capture Toronto’s stunning skyline.
3. Kensington Market
This National Historic Site of Canada showcases Toronto’s multiculturalism at its most authentic. The eclectic shops sell everything from vintage clothing to fresh produce to baked goods. Both hippies and hipsters walk the streets, and while there is a slightly intimidating feel to this place, it is rarely unsafe.
4. The University of Toronto
Is visiting universities a strange practice? Ever since I was young, my family and I would always stop by the local universities in the cities we visited and explore their campuses. (If you’re reading, thanks for starting this, Dad!) But, I mean, with Hogwarts-esque buildings like Soldiers’ Tower, how can you not pay the university a visit? Soldiers’ Tower is a bell and clock tower at the University of Toronto, making it the only Canadian university with a functioning carillon.
5. Scarborough Bluffs
It’s no secret that I love spending time by the water. So, of course, I had to include another water-related place on this list. The Scarborough Bluffs, also known as “The Bluffs”, stretch for about 15 km along the shores of Lake Ontario. This beautiful and tranquil place a real gem amidst the chaos of city life. With its awe-inspiring cliffs and stunning views, this place has one of the best beaches in Canada. My favourite times to come here are at sunset and sunrise. Come here early in the morning to enjoy the beauty all to yourself!
Which hidden gem do you want to visit most? If you’ve lived in Toronto before, do you have any hidden gems of your own that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!
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Travel App Giveaway: Celebrating 10,000 Followers!
Edit 04/02/16: Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered! An email will be sent out shortly to the 20 winners, so be on the lookout for that!
Edit 04/11/16: The promo codes have now been sent to the winners. I hope you enjoy the app! Be on the lookout for future giveaways and goodies!
We’ve reached 10,000 followers on Instagram!!! I want to give a big thank you to everyone who reads and continues to support my blog. My first three months of travel blogging have been absolutely amazing. I’ve loved sharing my experiences, getting to know so many of you, and I’ve learned so much along the way.
To thank everyone, I’ve partnered with GPSmyCity to give 20 of you (yes, 20!) a promo code for a FREE download of a full version City Walks App of your choice, normally valued at $4.99 USD. There are over 470 cities around the world to choose from, each containing a few to over a dozen self-guided walking tours. This app works on both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices.
I’ve been able to check out their walking tours for Toronto and am loving it. They have some pretty great recommendations that I definitely agree with, and quite a few more hidden gems that I haven’t even heard of. It has definitely given me some new ideas, and I can’t wait to explore more of these places. One thing that I love about the app is that it gives you the freedom to explore the city at your own pace and to see what most interests you. Below are some screenshots of the app for Toronto.
If you want to enter this giveaway, simply sign up for my monthly newsletter to get updates and highlights.
The contest is open worldwide and will end on March 31st, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST. I will then select at random 20 readers on my newsletter mailing list. The winners will be notified by email and asked to choose which city app they would like.
Thank you again to everyone who supports my blog! I hope you enjoy this giveaway!
Official Contest Terms and Conditions:
Giveaway is open worldwide from March 18th to March 31st, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST. Following contest closing, 20 readers on my newsletter mailing list will be selected at random. Winners will be notified via email and asked to choose the city app they would like. Each person has 48 hours to respond before a new winner(s) is selected. The promo codes will be sent to each winner within two weeks of contest closing.