It’s easy to see why Toronto is the crown jewel of Canada’s east. Exciting cuisine concoctions are conjured up in the depths of the exciting, multicultural foodie scene, recognisable skyscrapers loom above you (the TV series Suits was filmed here!), and the diverse neighbourhoods that sprawl around the city are destinations in their own right. Plus, its proximity to cities like New York, Boston and Pittsburgh make it ideal for a weekend getaway. So what are you waiting for? Once you’ve arrived at Toronto International Airport and hopped into your pre-booked airport transfer to your hotel, here’s how to make the most of 48 hours in Canada’s largest city.
Rise and shine! Saturdays in Toronto mean visiting the St Lawrence Markets; both the farmers’ market and ‘South Market’ operate from 5am each Saturday and are the perfect way to start your weekend in Toronto. Operating for more than 200 years, St Lawrence Markets is one of the city’s most-loved attractions. You’ll find everything from artisan cheese and fresh coffee, spices, preserves and seafood, to organic fruit and vegetables in the lower levels, plus baked goods, handmade greek food, bagels, chocolates, and vegan fare at one of the many cafés, so fuel yourself for the day ahead with a delicious market breakfast. Then head on up to the second level of the market; this is known as the Market Gallery and houses rotating art exhibitions.
Time to take in the view of the city from above from one of Toronto’s most recognisable icons; the CN Tower. Named after the railway company that built the tower, Canadian National, the tower stands at an impressive 553 metres, offering spectacular 360-views across the city from its viewing platform. For adrenaline junkies, take your experience to the next level and book the EdgeWalk; the ‘world’s highest hands free external walk on a building’. You can purchase tickets for general admission and the EdgeWalk on the CN Tower website.
Once your feet are firmly back on solid ground, head over to the nearby Roundhouse Park; it’s home to the Toronto Railway Historical Association and features a fully restored locomotive turntable and miniature railway. Grab a coffee and bite to eat at the Rec Room, or enjoy a tipple at the Steam Whistle brewery.
The evenings are about indulging in a class Toronto pastime; sport! You can see the Toronto Maple Leafs skate across the hockey field, the Toronto Raptors slam dunk on the courts, or the famous Toronto Blue Jays take to the baseball pitch. Toronto loves its sport, and a trip here wouldn’t be complete without watching a professional game. Check out what’s on while you’re visiting here.
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down though; Toronto is home to many comedy clubs, live music venues, jazz clubs and cocktail lounges. Check out The Reservoir Lounge or Poetry Jazz Café for some smooth jazz sounds, catch a stand-up show from an up-and-comer at Comedy Bar, or enjoy a creative cocktail at BarChef or Civil Liberties.
Start your Sunday morning with the most important meal of the day – brunch! And boy, Toronto sure knows how to tempt your tastebuds. Make your way down to Queen Street West; you’ll know where the good places are by the lines trailing out the door as eager brunch-goers wait in anticipation for golden buttermilk pancakes at Mitzi’s, Mexican-inspired breakfast burritos at Easy Restaurant, or pancake pork burgers at the rock-n-roll decked out Lisa Marie… delicious!
Once you’ve devoured your morning meal, it’s time to see first-hand why this strip is known as Toronto’s art and design district. Potter around art galleries, thrift through vintage stores, and pay a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art.
This afternoon make your way via ferry to Toronto Islands, a group of 15 small islands connected by bridges and paths in Lake Ontario, just 13 minutes from downtown. If the weather is warm, pack your swimmers and head to one of the fantastic beaches (research which one first though… Hanlan’s Point has a ‘clothing optional’ beach!). You can rent a kayak or canoe and explore the island from the water, or opt to cycle around on a rented bike. There are a number of cafés and restaurants on the island to fill your boots, or pack a picnic and enjoy lunch on the grassy green spaces.
Once you’ve made your way back to the ‘mainland’, it’s time to visit the Distillery District. Don’t let the name fool you; this popular Toronto district offers far more than just alcoholic beverages. The pedestrian-only section of downtown Toronto is filled with converted warehouses, chic boutiques, galleries galore, artisan studios, farm-to-table dining, and handsome 1800s-era architecture. You’ll have no trouble finding something delicious to dine on for dinner; simply wander the cobblestone streets until you find something that whets your appetite. Of course, it would be rude not to finish a visit to the Distillery District without a nightcap; whether you’re after a wine at Archive Wine Bar, craft beer at Mill Street Brewery, or any type of spirit, from sake to vodka, you’ll find it in abundance here.
If you want to learn more about the history of the district, and aren’t too afraid of spooky tales, then you can also book a ghost tour and wander the cobbled streets by lamplight.
Phew, that’s just a taste of what this exciting city has to offer. If you’re lucky enough to be spending a weekend – or more – in Toronto, ensure your trip gets off to a great start with a pre-booked airport transfer on Jayride.com. Whether you want a private transfer or shared shuttle, there’s an airport transfer to suit your style and budget.