The Weekend Jaunt Guide to Toronto

By Helen Hatzis,

EAT, PLAY, CHILL and STAY in Toronto. Read on for the Weekend Jaunt‘s guide to Toronto to plan your perfect Toronto weekend.

Weekend guide to Toronto

The beautiful Toronto skyline and CN Tower. Photo courtesy of Tourism Toronto.

Toronto is an exciting destination within a 90-minute flight for over half the U.S. and Canadian population. It’s the largest city in Canada and the 4th largest in North America. Over 140 languages are spoken here, making it home to a diverse population of approximately 2.8 million people, and the most multicultural city in the world. It’s a global center for shopping, business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable and safest cities.

8016446940_f966c28f8a_k

Queen Street West houses. Photo by marc falardeau CC BY.

Toronto has four seasons, so depending on the weather; you can walk, bike, drive or, for a nominal fee, take the local transit called the TTC (aka the Red Rocket) to travel around the city. Toronto is a huge metropolis with lots to do and see thus, we have provided an overview on where to EAT, PLAY, CHILL and STAY to help you, plan your perfect weekend. Happy travels!

EAT

Where to Eat in Toronto

The St.Lawrence Market. Photo by Doug Brown.

Toronto has enough options to fulfill even the most discriminating taste buds. When it comes to authentic food from around the world, this city has it covered hands down. Toronto has established neighbourhoods reflecting  vibrant communities like China Town, Corso Italia, Greek Town (aka The Danforth), Koreatown, Little Jamaica, Little India, Little Portugal and Roncesvalles. And, no matter your budget, with approximately 8,100 restaurants in the city, street vendors and food trucks, finding a place to EAT comes down to what you are craving! There are also year round and seasonal markets at your disposal. And, if you happen to be visiting during one of their many Food and Drink Festivals, you are in for a treat! Have a look at some of the local favourites to help you get started! Bon appetite!

PLAY

CN Tower Edge Walk Toronto

Balance off the edge of the CN Tower. Photo courtesy of the CN Tower Edge Walk.

When it comes to having fun, this city has something for everyone. From an adventure in the park, to braving the CN Tower Edgewalk to nightlife in the Entertainment District and everything in between, there is never a dull moment. And no matter the season, you can trek around the city above ground or below ground using the PATH – the largest underground shopping complex as recorded by the Guinness World Records! We have made a list of suggestions for you, and if you are willing to take a short jaunt just outside the city, a day trip to Canada’s Wonderland is fun for all. Have fun!

CHILL

Toronto beaches

The quiet Sugar Beach in Toronto. Photo by Toronto Wide.

Toronto is a fast-paced metropolitan city, however the locals know how to take it down a notch to get a little rest and relaxation. From chilling at one of the many Blue Flag beaches to their world-renowned museums and galleries to the largest shopping center in the downtown core or even a day at the spa, there are so many options for you to enjoy a slower pace in this bustling city. Check out some of our favorite chilling options.

STAY

Toronto skyline

The skyline lights at night. Photo by Toronto Wide.

Welcoming over 25 million visitors annually, Toronto is the leading tourism destination in Canada. There are new and historical hotels in the city ranging from budget, boutique and luxury. And, no matter where you decide to stay, you are within a quick jaunt to a tourist destination as there is a large concentration of sites downtown alone.

To help you get started, here are a few options to consider in your price range starting from low to mid and high. In the low range we suggest either booking a stay at the Bond Place Hotel which is conveniently located close to the Toronto Eaton Centre, Dundas Square, the entertainment district and Yonge Street (the longest street in North America) or staying at the Cambridge Suites Hotel, also located close to the Toronto Eaton Center, Dundas Square and great restaurants. The large suites make this accommodation ideal for a group of friends traveling together or for families.

View the Cambridge Suites

Drake Hotel Toronto

Hanging out at the Drake Hotel. Photo courtesy of the Drake Facebook page.

 

In the mid range, book a stay at the Drake Hotel. This cool vintage inspired hotel located in the trendy and hip Queen Street West neighbourhood is ideal for trendsetters and the eclectic who do not mind partying at the bar inside the hotel -it can get a bit noisy. Great shopping, restaurants and Trinity Bellwood Park is on offer. In the same neighborhood is the Gladstone: this Victorian centenarian is the city’s oldest continuously operating hotel; with only 37 rooms that have been decorated by local artists, each room is entirely unique unto itself.

View the Gladstone

3166481873_5d79dfc87d_o

Dundas and the AGO in winter. Photo by Eric Parker CC BY.

In the high range, we recommend Four Seasons Hotelthis newly built hotel is located in the heart of Toronto’s posh Yorkville neighborhood which offers great shopping and restaurants. You could also check-in to the Shangri-La Hotela luxury hotel located in the Financial District just a short jaunt away from the stunning Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Canadian Opera Company and the Theatre District. Goodnight!

View the Shangri-La

TRAVEL TIPS

  • An affordable way to travel around the city is by the Toronto Transit System (TTC).  You can either buy a family day pass or a single day pass, either way; it’s your pass to hop-on, hop-off endlessly that day.
  • Buy a CityPASS and cover off 5 Toronto attractions saving 45% off the combined price total.