5 Great Reasons to Visit Toronto

Five reasons to visit, and ten things you can do in Toronto on a fun long weekend trip.


Visit the Neighborhoods

Toronto is known for having very authentic neighborhoods. For example, Toronto houses the largest population of Italians outside of Italy. Added to that is the fact that over 50% of the population of the city is first generation immigrant. That makes for a very, very authentic Little Italy neighborhood along College Street. Same goes for the Greek area on Danforth, Chinatown on Dundas West, and many others.

But the many ethnic sections of the city aren’t the only neighborhoods that are famous in Toronto. Here are a few of our favorite can’t-miss leisure-focused neighborhoods:

5 Great Reasons to Visit Toronto

5 Great Reasons to Visit Toronto

Me, hanging out in Kensington Market (dress by Calypso)

Bargain Hunt in the Kensington Market

Declared as a National Historic Site of Canada, the Kensington Market is not just your ordinary neighborhood market. It’s more than a collage of different shops. It’s a multicultural neighborhood where you might end up wanting to people watch more than shop. I love looking at the outdoor art and buying artisanal cheeses and spices in this market.

5 Great Reasons to Visit Toronto

5 Great Reasons to Visit Toronto

Outdoor dining (and drinking) is popular in Toronto’s Distillery District

Grab an Artisanal Beer (or two) in the Distillery District

Toronto’s Distillery District is the place to go to spend a couple of hours gallery-hopping or shopping at the area’s creative and high-end shops. This historic district is known for being 100% cobblestone streets with brick buildings. Once you’ve had your fill, settle in at one of the many rustic bars or restaurants in the area. As the name suggests, it’s the best place in the city to find artisanal beers (and as any beer lover knows, Canada is the birthplace of many of the best beer breweries).

5 Great Reasons to Visit Toronto

5 Great Reasons to Visit Toronto

A gorgeous view of Toronto’s skyline can be seen from the Beaches area

Be a Beach Bum for a Day

Yes, Toronto has beaches! It may not be as exotic and pristine white as those Caribbean or Asian beaches, but for the city people who need a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, this is summer heaven. The Beach, or “Beaches” as many locals call it, is a charming, laid-back neighbourhood with a relaxed small-town vibe. In fact, the Beach looks and feels more like a lakeside resort town than a big city. Just 15 minutes east of downtown Toronto along Queen Street (you can take a streetcar there), the area has two main attractions: the beach and Queen Street, with its eclectic mix of shops, sidewalk cafés, pubs and restaurants. If you are sporty and would not mind a busy beach, go to Woodbine. But if you want a quieter one, go to Kew. But if you’re looking for something serene, then Balmy is for you. Oh, and if you want to go nude, Hanlan’s point allows for this.

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 24 Comments

  1. All I know about Toronto is it’s in Canada, It has an NBA team called raptors. And that’s about it. This is quite refreshing for me and informative. Will try and visit sometime thank you for this.

  2. Nadia Lawrence

    Globe Bistro is suggested by my friend.She says That pub/restaurant/ I don’t know has the most authentic global cuisine with local ingredients.

  3. The Windsor Arms hotel looks simply amazing! I love that there was a guitar in your suite — what a way to make the place a bit more edgy. I love the tea rooms too. I wish I could decorate my townhouse like that!

  4. Jae Medina

    I love Toronto — I’ve been twice. It’s a very livable city… easy to get around. I love Yorkville… the next time I go I’ll definitely stay at the Windsor Arms. Good tips 🙂

  5. Linda Collie

    Yes, another informative Travel Article by the talented Hilary. I stayed at the Windsor Arms over 20 years ago because my parents stayed there in the late ’40’s, nice ambiance. Toronto does have a great deal to offer both vacationer & locals, a very popular major city that is cleaner than most American ones. You touch some nice highlights.

  6. Wendy Hearn

    Toronto looking fabulous place to visit!!!! I will make plan to go there 🙂 Thanks for sharing the article!!!!

  7. Handy Orten

    Great article! Whether you’re an international jetsetter or on a cross-Canada excursion, travelling within Ontario or just looking to be a tourist in your own hometown, there are literally thousands of compelling reasons to visit Toronto.

  8. Hannah Meyers

    Thanks to Hilary’s guide I just convinced my whole family to check it out this coming weekend. Super excited.

  9. Toronto is a great weekend getaway! I’ve been to the CN Tower, Chinatown and Casa Loma Mansion. Definitely will check out more restaurants and festivals when I visit again.

  10. I’ve only passed by Toronto once and only been to the CN tower. Amazing views, btw.

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