Things to do in Toronto
This wonderfully cosmopolitan city is more than a busy economic centre. When the six municipalities were amalgamated together in 1998, they formed a new "mega-city" made up of a mix of unique neighbourhoods, beautiful parks, sports facilities, and cultural centres. Whether it is summer or winter, there is much to do in Toronto!
Waterfront and Beaches
The waterfront and beaches are situated on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario and the lakefront and harbourfront offer a 46-km long waterfront shoreline in the downtown core that is ideal for biking, walking, or roller-blading. These trails are also the perfect spots to enjoy the view of the Toronto skyline.
Toronto has three main sections of beach along Lake Ontario that offer escape from the city on hot summer days. The nicest and most popular is in the aptly-named The Beaches neighbourhood, a great location for sunbathing, boating, or kayaking.
The Toronto Islands are not to be missed either. Accessible from downtown by ferry, the islands offer a stunning view of the city’s skyline. For cycling, walking, picnicking, or just relaxing a moment away from the bustle of the city, the Toronto Islands are hard to beat.
With miles and miles of parkland around the streams and rivers that flow through the city, Toronto is known as "the city within a park". Edwards Gardens and the Toronto Botanical Gardens in the North York neighbourhood might be the place to start exploring this natural environment. With its 17-themed gardens, Toronto Botanical Gardens offer a real educational experience by providing demonstration gardens and hands-on training for gardening lovers.
There are many large downtown parks including Grange Park, Moss Park, Allan Gardens, and Little Norway Park as well as larger ones in the outer areas such as High Park, Humber Bay Park, and Centennial Park. These natural settings are great location for all sorts of outdoor fun.
Toronto is the only Canadian city with representation in seven major sports leagues with teams in the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Canadian Football League, Major League Soccer, Canadian Women's Hockey League, and USL W-League. The city also has major sports venues including Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre, Ricoh Coliseum, and BMO Field.
The CN Tower defines the Toronto skyline. At a height of 553 meters, it was the world's tallest freestanding structure until 2007, but is still the tallest tower in the western hemisphere.
As the provincial capital of Ontario and largest city in Canada, Toronto offers all the advantages of an exciting urban centre. Each neighbourhood has something special to discover. Victorian and Edwardian-era residential buildings can be found in enclaves such as Rosedale, Cabbagetown, the Annex, and Yorkville. Wychwood Park is historically significant for the architecture of its homes and for being one of Toronto's earliest planned communities. Then head to Little India to get a vibrant sense of the South Asian community or to Little Italy which gathers the western Mediterranean communities. The Chinatown area is now one of the largest Chinatowns in North America.
Surrounded by extensive fertile farmlands, Toronto also has an abundance of farmer's markets.
Arts and Culture
When it comes to culture, Toronto abounds in quality and diversity. Toronto is a major centre for the performing arts with more than 50 ballet and dance companies, six opera companies, two symphony orchestras, and a host of theatres. The city is home to the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, and the Canadian Stage Company.
The Royal Ontario Museum is a major museum of world culture and natural history. The Art Gallery of Ontario, redesigned by architect Frank Gehry in 2008, contains a large collection of Canadian, European, African, and contemporary artwork and also hosts exhibits from all over the world. The Gardiner Museum of ceramic art is the only museum in Canada entirely devoted to ceramics. The Ontario Science Centre always has new hands-on activities and science displays particularly appealing to children. The Toronto Zoo, one of the largest in the world, is home to over 5,000 animals.
Toronto has numerous opportunities for shopping and nearly every section of the city has unique places to find deals. Shopping fanatics will love one of the poshest shopping streets in North America. Dubbed the "Fashion Mile", the area of Bloor between Yonge Street and Avenue Road is often compared to Fifth Avenue in New York, Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles and Chicago's Magnificent Mile. There are also several mid-priced shops and ample spots to grab a coffee or a bite to eat.
Places to Volunteer in Toronto
Volunteering is an excellent way to gain valuable work experience while
making a positive impact in your community. Here are a few Toronto
organizations that may need the help of volunteers.
- Altogether Arts Connection
- Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum
- Muhtadi International Drumming Festival
- St. Felix Centre
- St. Christopher House
- Toronto Military Family Resource Centre
- JVS Toronto
- Alexandra Park Neighbourhood Learning Centre
- Seniors' Aboriginal Literacy Project
- Live Green Toronto Volunteers
- Evergreen (Environmental Organization)
- West Park Healthcare Centre
- Millennium Support & Care Group
- Toronto and Central Ontario Regional Hemophilia Society
- Hazel Burns Hospice
- Geneva Centre for Autism
- ALS Society of Ontario
- CAMH Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
- Distress Centres of Toronto Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario
- Second Harvest (Food Support Committee)
- Starlight Children's Foundation Canada
- YES! International
- Ernestine's Women's Shelter
- Toronto Vegetarian Association