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Strolling, window-shopping, and café-hopping will give you a good feel for the city, but schedule ample time to explore cultural attractions like the Royal Ontario Museum, the Casa Loma house, and the Distillery District.

Things to do in Toronto

Bloor Street

The roster of stores on Bloor Street, the preferred shopping area of the modishly well heeled, reads like a who’s who of the fashion world – Gucci, Chanel, and Prada exist alongside exclusive Canadian chains like Holt Renfrew and Lida Baday.

Bloor Street, from Yonge Street to Avenue Road, ON,
Tags: shopping | expensive | trendy | things to do | designer | walk | menswear

Casa Loma

This $3.5-million, castle-like home commissioned by stockbroker Sir Henry Pellatt was the largest private residence in North America when it was completed in 1914. Now operated by the Kiwanis Club, its suites, secret passages, towers, and gardens are open to public exploration.

1 Austin Terrace, ON, 416-923-1171,
Tags: family | historic | things to do | architecture

CN Tower

Rocket via high-speed elevator to the top of this 1,815-foot-high landmark for 360-degree city views (test your nerve by strolling the tower’s glass floor). Hint: make dinner reservations at the rotating restaurant to bypass long, high-season lines.

301 Front Street West, ON, 416-868-6937,
Tags: family | editor pick | views | landmark | dining | things to do | architecture

Distillery District

This charming complex is both impressively historic (its 40 buildings comprise North America’s best preserved collection of Victorian architecture) and decidedly modern – it shelters art galleries, funky fashion boutiques, and restaurants. Historical tours teach visitors about the former distillery’s 19th-century industrial processes.

55 Mill St., ON, 416-364-1177,
Tags: editor pick | historic | art | things to do | culture | architecture

Gardiner Museum

Not a ceramics aficionado? This museum might change your mind – their 3,000-piece collection, which ranges from the 4th millennium BC to 2006, includes thought-provoking sculptures, pots, and vases from South America, Japan, China, and Britain.

111 Queen’s Park, ON, 416-586-8080,
Tags: art | things to do | culture | architecture | history | museum | ceramics

Historical Walking Tour

Well-respected and charismatic historian Bruce Bell reveals Toronto’s colonial and 19th-century past on informative walking tours through the city he grew up in. Routes are tailored to guests’ interests, but must-see highlights like the 200-year-old St. Lawrence Market and the 18th-century St. James Cathedral are always included.

ON, 647-393-8687,
Tags: things to do | architecture | history | tour

Hockey Hall of Fame

Good luck scoring tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game – these quintessential Canadian games sell out months in advance. Instead, pay homage to the sport here by perusing everything from ’30s cards and historic trophies to modern jerseys and sticks.

30 Yonge St., ON, 416-360-7765,
Tags: family | things to do | history | sports

Royal Ontario Museum

Daniel Libeskind masterminded the ROM’s angular, über-modern $270-million addition, which expanded the original 1914 structure to 388,000 square feet, providing space for the museum’s 6-million-and-growing international collection of historic and cultural artifacts – everything from dinosaur fossils and Stone Age Chinese implements to 20th-century Canadian art.

100 Queen's Park, ON, 416-586-8000,
Tags: family | smart splurge | art | things to do | culture | history | museum

St. Lawrence Market

Over 120 merchants hawk their wares at this busy, eclectic market, which has been a neighborhood landmark since 1803. The main level features fresh local produce while the basement houses arts and crafts stands. Antique dealers crowd into the adjacent “North Market” space on Sundays.

Corner of Front St. and Jarvis St., ON, 416-392-7120,
Tags: shopping | editor pick | things to do | culinary | market | antiques

The Power Plant

Located in a renovated ’20s, harbor-front warehouse, the Power Plant has been devoted to contemporary visual arts since it opened in 1987. Its rotating exhibits span two floors and three galleries. Past artists represented include Steven Shearer, Aleksandra Mir, and Andrea Bowers.

231 Queens Quay West, ON, 416-973-4949,
Tags: art | things to do | culture | museum

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