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Top 10 Toronto Tourist Attractions and Highlights

Find the best Toronto Tourist Attractions and Highlights

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Toronto Day Trips | Toronto Hotels | Toronto Travel Guide

The top Toronto tourist attractions draw millions of visitors a year.

Toronto tourist attractions span the modern to the historical and the cultural to the commercial.

These 10 attractions are all easily accessible (within a 20 minute walk or 5-15 minute public transit ride away) from Union Station in downtown Toronto.

If you're planning to visit a few attractions, the Toronto City Pass offers half price admission and VIP entry.

1. The Eaton Centre

The Eaton Centre
yashrg/Flickr/CC By 2.0
The Eaton Centre is a bright and airy shopping mall in the heart of Toronto's downtown that houses more than 250 stores. The stores will appeal to the budget conscious and spendthrifts alike.

Along with the CN Tower, the Eaton Centre is the most popular tourist attraction in Toronto.

More than just a place to shop, the four-level, glass domed Eaton Centre is of architectural interest and features a huge Canadian geese mobile, Flight Stop, designed by artist Michael Snow.

2. The CN Tower

Photo Courtesy Tourism Toronto

Stick a really tall building in the middle of a city and they will come.

At 1,815 feet the CN Tower has lost its title as the tallest free standing structure in the world, but still attracts millions of tourists looking for a bird's eye view of Toronto and the surrounding areas. A glass elevator whisks you to the 1,122 foot high indoor/outdoor observation deck where a portion of the floor is transparent. Instead of buying your admission ticket, you could also make a reservation at the tower's top-floor restaurant to get the view.

See 15 Fascinating Facts about the CN Tower or visit our CN Tower Visitors Guide for details.

3. Casa Loma

Photo courtesy Wikipedia
For history or architecture buffs, Casa Loma is an interesting visit. Built by wealthy Toronto businessman Sir Henry Pellatt in the early 1900s, Casa Loma, similar to Hearst Castle in Calfornia, represents one man's architectural dream. In the case of Casa Loma, however, Pellat's dream went awry and contributed to his downfall.

Notable for its location proudly overlooking the city, the "House on the Hill" boasted many modern-day conveniences, such as central vac and an elevator. The Casa Loma building also was used as a location shoot for the 2002 movie Chicago.

4. Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Image: finest-images, © ROM 2007. All rights reserved.
Even if you don't step inside the ROM , it's worth checking out the bizarre, jagged glass exterior that tends to either delight or offend.

With more than 40 galleries of art, archaeology and natural science, the ROM offers up a world of interest and fun. The diverse ROM galleries feature one of the world's finest collections of artefacts from China, a more than six-storey tall totem pole and much more. A discovery gallery at the ROM and other interactive exhibits mean everyone's senses get a workout and kids stay interested.

5. Centre Island

Photo courtesy Hanif Bayat Movahed
Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto to lakeside charm. Centre Island is one of a series of small islands that comprise the largest urban car-free community in North America (some service vehicles are permitted). Centre Island, also called Toronto Island, offers a place for recreation and relaxation and features an amusement park, recreation areas, beaches, a yacht club, and restaurants.

Centre Island is a 10 minute ferry ride away from downtown Toronto.

6. The Distillery District

The Distillery Historic District is a great place to spend a few hours if you're in downtown Toronto and want to get away from the usual downtown stuff: there's not a Starbucks or McDonalds in sight. This pedestrian-only village is set amidst fabulous heritage architecture and is devoted to promoting arts and culture. The area also features a wellness centre, plenty of cafés, restaurants and pubs.

7. Yorkville

Yorkville is a charming anomaly amidst Toronto high rises and shopping malls. Tucked into a pocket of downtown, the quaint Victorian architecture in Yorkville houses dozens of restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. The dining and shopping is upscale and the galleries represent some of the finest Canadian and international artists. Many celebrities have been spotted strolling the sidewalks of Yorkville, especially during the Toronto International Film Festival.

8. Hockey Hall of Fame

Photo Courtesy Tourism Toronto
Not everyone is a hockey fan (a fact that Canadians find hard to believe), but the Hockey Hall of Fame is an outstanding facility, full of interactive exhibits that put kids or adults in the heat of NHL action. The Broadcast Pods let you call the action of some of the most famous hockey games, including the 1972 Canada / Russia series: "Henderson shoots, he scores." Also featured is a replica NHL dressing room (minus the smell), a trophy room, and of course a gift shop.

9. Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

Photo courtesy AGO
The AGO houses an impressive collection of more than 40,000 works, making it the 10th largest art museum in North America. The AGO is a superb document of Canadian art heritage but also features masterworks from around the world, spanning 100 AD to the present and housed in a stunning Frank Gehry building.

10. Chinatown

Photo courtesy Tourism Toronto
Toronto has the second largest Chinatown in North America. People will find bargains on exotic trinkets, jewellery, clothing and household items. Plus, of course, where there's a bustling Chinatown, there's delicious food, and Toronto's Chinatown is no exception. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of restaurants serving not just authentic Chinese, but also Vietnamese and other Asian fare.

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