Every city offers fun and attractions that are unique, and Toronto is no exception.
While some of these things to do in Toronto can be experienced at any time of year, summer is a great season to enjoy all that this city has to offer.
Here are 37 summer experiences that are unique to Toronto that you can enjoy with your family during your Toronto vacation this summer!
37 Summer Experiences That Are Unique To Toronto
Root, Root, Root For The Home Team
Take me out to the ball game! For sports fans of all ages, a visit to Toronto must include an afternoon, or evening, watching Canada’s only major league baseball team – the Toronto Blue Jays at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.
For those that love behind-the-scenes tours, book yourself on a Blue Jays Stadium Tour for a unique to Toronto look at “how a major sports complex operates ranging from how events are set up to where the media gather to invite the world into the home of the BlueJays.”
Staying at the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto? Be sure to leave your car at the hotel and enjoy a Jays shuttle from the Chelsea Hotel to the Rogers Centre on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (nominal fee).
The Hottest Place To Stay In Toronto
You all know by now how much I enjoy staying at the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto. This family-friendly hotel is SO close to all the action in the heart of downtown Toronto. Book a stay at the Chelsea this summer and your kids – big and small – will thank you.
For reservations made before June 21st, book a minimum 2-night stay at the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto and save 20% off the hotel’s best available rate of the day, with their hot “Cottage in the City” sale. Offer is valid for stays up until September 2, 2019.
Toronto is home to just about every type of festival you can imagine!
Summer is a great time to experience some of the best festivals Toronto has to offer including:
- Pride Toronto Festival
- Luminato Festival
- Toronto Carribean Carnival
- Honda Indy Toronto
- Taste of Danforth
- Fan Expo Canada
- Toronto International Film Festival
For a comprehensive list of Toronto festivals you can enjoy all year long, visit the Toronto Tourism website.
Experience The Wonder
This year, Canada’s Wonderland, Canada’s premier amusement park, has raised the stakes in the amusement park world with their newest addition – the Yukon Striker.
Featuring “the most exhilarating collection of rides and coaster in North America”, Canada’s Wonderland is home to a kids area full of fun and rides for the little ones, Splash Works water park, shows, special events, and so much more.
A full day of fun for the whole family!
Be An Exhibitionist
One of Toronto’s greatest annual tradition’s, the Canadian National Exhibition has been entertaining visitors every summer since 1879!
Known as “Canada’s largest community event and one of the top 5 agricultural fairs in North America”, the CNE takes place over the 18 days leading up to Labour Day and includes:
- amusement rides
- shows and concerts
- air show
Let’s go to the Ex!
Slide On Down
Experience the only 130 ft indoor waterslide in downtown Toronto at the Chelsea Hotel Toronto!
Warning: Parents may find it very difficult to pull the kids away from this fun waterslide located in the Family Fun Zone at the hotel.
Run Away In Toronto
As their tagline says “Sweat and See Simultaneously”.
Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you want to miss your daily work out, right?
Get your workout in AND enjoy a Toronto running experience with Toronto City Running Tours. Book a running tour or customize your own route with the help of their runcierge service.
This experience brings a whole new meaning to seeing Toronto on foot!
A 360 View Of Toronto
Because, why wouldn’t you want to dine 1, 150 feet high in the air over Toronto? Unless, like me, you are afraid of heights!
Featuring Canadian cuisine, the “world’s highest” wine cellar (with a 9,000 bottle storage capacity!), and a 360-degree view of beautiful Toronto, dinner at 360 Restaurant, in Toronto’s iconic CN Tower is surely an experience unique to Toronto!
Brave the height and go! This one’s on my “face my fears” bucket list!
A Canadian Castle
Built in 1914, Casa Loma, is a treasured heritage landmark castle located in midtown Toronto.
Known as one of Toronto’s top tourist attractions and hospitality venues, Casa Loma offers visitors the chance to tour this magnificent castle to enjoy exhibits, events, a charming cafe, a gift shop, and more.
Walk Amongst The Stars
Walk amongst the Canadian stars, as you stroll along Canada’s Walk Of Fame, Canada’s version of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Celebrating the best-of-the-best of Canada’s beloved icons, inventors, philanthropists, and celebrities, Canada’s Walk of Fame can be found along King Street West (between John Street and Simcoe Street) and Simcoe Street (between King Street West and Wellington Street) in downtown Toronto.
It’s All An Illusion
Featuring over 80 illusions, holograms, installations, and exhibits, the Museum of Illusions “fuses fun and entertainment with education and learning”.
Bring the whole family and get ready to play some mind games! You won’t believe your eyes!
Get Away To The Islands
Only in Toronto can you stay in the middle of a hustle and bustle world-class city yet be transported to the peace and quiet of an offshore chain of islands – in a matter of minutes.
Hop aboard a Toronto Island Ferry and head over to the Toronto Islands for a day of fun and relaxation.
Beach lovers can spend time at Chelsea Beach enjoying a refreshing swim in Lake Ontario. Families can spend time having fun at Centreville Amusement Park and Farm Enough Farm petting farm on Centre Island. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a hike with Toronto Islands Walking Tours.
Tip: Coming soon! An app to help you navigate the Toronto Islands!
Walk On The Wildside
Touted as “Toronto’s Original Free Walking Tours”, the Tour Guys offer a variety of walking tours, however, most notably unique is their Downtown Graffti Tour.
This family-friendly, 1 1/2 hour walking tour helps visitors “gain a unique understanding of the complex graffiti subculture while discovering a vibrant neighbourhood full of colourful graffiti-lined streets.”
We’re Not Bluffing
Featuring trails, beaches, gardens, sports and recreation facilities, the Scarborough Bluffs, in Toronto’s east end, provide a great respite from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Nature lovers can enjoy the outdoors along this 15km stretch of Lake Ontario shoreline while enjoying spectacular views of the lake and surrounding area.
A PATH well travelled
Where will you find the largest underground shopping complex in the world? In Toronto of course!
Toronto’s PATH features over 30km of shopping experiences, restaurants, office buildings and tourist attractions.
He Shoots! He Scores!
This is one attraction true hockey fans won’t want to miss!
The Hockey Hall of Fame is home to Canada’s Stanley Cup and the largest collection of hockey memorabilia in the world. Call your own play-by-play, go one-on-one against a life-sized, animated hockey great, and pick up some team merchandise in one of the best hockey-influenced shops you’ll ever find.
Living On The Edge
Experience a whole new “high” next time you are in Toronto at the CN Tower’s Edge Walk – Toronto’s most extreme attraction – and the first of its kind in North America.
This hands-free walk, 116 stories over downtown Toronto, is not for the faint of heart.
Go ahead! Put this white-knuckle adventure on your Toronto bucket list! You can be sure this is another experience on my “face my fears” bucket list!
Have A Heli Good Time
There are helicopter tours, and then there are helicopter tours over Toronto!
Enjoy a breathtaking view – from behind floor-to-ceiling windows – of one of the world’s most recognized skylines from the inside of a helicopter with Toronto Heli Tours.
Solo traveller? Be sure to check the Toronto Heli Tours website for last-minute deals for single seats. You could save up to 40% off your flight!
So Close And Yet Safari
Providing visitors with a 2-hour fun-filled learning experience, Toronto Photo Safari combines beginner photography classes with walking tours of downtown Toronto.
Learn some new photography skills while you enjoy a walking tour of Toronto’s City Hall, Distillery District, or the waterfront.
See Toronto Now From A Whole New Perspective
“Mariposa Cruises is Toronto’s largest hospitality cruise operator with a fleet of six uniquely-styled and well-maintained vessels. Offering Toronto’s most comprehensive cruise schedule, Mariposa Cruises hosts private events, sightseeing tours, public Brunch, Lunch and Dinner Cruises, as well as Sip & Sail and signature special event cruises on Toronto’s waterfront.”
A boat cruise in Toronto harbour is one of my favourite things to do. It’s one of the best ways to see Toronto’s stunning skyline.
A New SPIN On Toronto
Pick up a paddle and enjoy this unique space in downtown Toronto!
At SPIN Toronto, you can enjoy “events, tournaments, private ping pong instruction can be made available, dj’s, bar and kitchen specials, and general pong party vibes 7 days a week.”
Interested in trying something unique to do in Toronto? This ping pong social club just might just be the “match” you are looking for!
Go Medieval on Me
Toronto’s Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is a 2-hour “epic battle of steel and steed” featuring a 4-course meal, 6 competing knights, real weapons, beautiful horses, and a live flight of the royal falcon.
This unique Toronto show features “heroic knights on spirited horses displaying the astounding athletic feats and thrilling swordplay that have become hallmarks of this unique entertainment experience. Enjoy a “hands-on” feast as the dynamic performance unfolds before you.”
Ultimate Indoor Playground
Kids will love discovering the Legoland Discovery Centre featuring 14 family attractions and activities, MINILAND, Master Model Builder Workshops, and more!
Everything is kid-sized at this fun LEGO playground designed for kids aged 3-10 years.
Toronto’s social playground can be found at Roundhouse Park in downtown Toronto, just steps from the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre.
At The Rec Room, Canada’s premier “eats & entertainment” hot spot, guests can enjoy “over 40,000 sq. feet of great games, mouth-watering eats and amazing entertainment, all packed under 1 roof!”
It’s ON At Ontario Place
A favourite attraction from my childhood, Ontario Place is still a great place to relax and unwind along Toronto’s waterfront.
Enjoy a movie at the iconic Cinesphere, the world’s first permanent IMAX movie theatre and largest IMAX theatre in Ontario.
You can also take part in special events, free yoga in Trillium Park, live music, festivals, a walk in Trillium Park, or a hike along the William G. Davis Trail.
Farming In The City
Visit Riverdale Farm – a real working farm – in the heart of the city!
Admission to the farm is free. This unique Toronto experience is open 7 days a week, including holidays.
Visit the barns, see the animals, watch the daily farm activities, and explore the trails.
The Resting Place Of Pioneers
Here’s something very unique to Toronto! Located very close to Riverdale Farm you will find the Toronto Necropolis, one of the city’s oldest and most historic cemeteries.
“The Necropolis is also the final resting place of Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie; journalist George Brown; John Ross Robertson, founder of the Toronto Telegram; former NDP leader Jack Layton; Anderson Ruffin Abbot, the first Canadian-born black surgeon; and world-champion oarsman Ned Hanlan.”
It’s All The Rage
I can’t believe this is a “thing”. But it is.
Had a bad week at the office before vacation? Let Battle Sports “Rage Room” help you release all that pent up rage in one of their rage rooms, “an effective and unique alternative technique for stress relief”.
There are plenty of options to choose from: Bad Day Package, Office Space, Date Night, Super SMASH, Rage Booster, and more!
It’s A Rare-ity
Bibliophiles rejoice!! Toronto University’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, one of North America’s leading research libraries, “houses the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections including books, manuscripts and other materials.”
This unique to Toronto library is open to the public and features different monthly exhibitions. Check their website for hours of operation.
Love behind-the-scenes tours? Did you know that Canada’s busiest airport, Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, has one?
Toronto Pearson Airside Tour gives visitors the chance to learn all kinds of fascinating things about the daily operations of this airport.
Discover where your baggage goes after check-in. Learn how wildlife are controlled, how they clear a snowy runway, and so much more!
The “King” of Markets
Home to a charming and diverse mix of vintage shops, bakeries, specialty grocers, trendy bars, cafes, and boutiques, Kensington Market is the perfect place to spend an afternoon on foot exploring everything this great Toronto neighbourhood has to offer.
A Village Of Historic Proportions
Transformed from a derelict collection of Victorian Industrial buildings to today’s exciting and unique village in downtown Toronto, the Distillery Historic District is “an internationally acclaimed village of one-of-a-kind stores, shops, galleries, studios, restaurants, cafes, theatres and more.”
“Widely regarded as Canada’s premier arts, culture and entertainment destination” a visit to Toronto’s Distillery District is one you won’t want to miss!
Going To Market Since 1803
A Toronto institution since 1803, today the St. Lawrence Market features 120 specialty vendors, merchants, and artisans “known for the variety and freshness of their fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, grains, baked goods and dairy products, as well as for the uniqueness of the non-food items for sale.”
On Sundays, antique hunters can enjoy browsing the wares of over 80 antique dealers, from dawn until 5pm.
Sit And Giggle
The theatre that spawned Canada’s legendary “SCTV” television comedy show, Toronto’s Second City Theatre opened its doors in 1973 to a very small audience and little acclaim.
Today at the “largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world”, visitors can tickle their funny bones enjoying theatre productions and can even take part in drop-in workshops.
On The Sports Field
Toronto has a thriving professional sports scene. Baseball, soccer, and football, Toronto has it all during the summer months!
Go-Karting Makes An Ap-PIER-ance In Downtown Toronto
Open daily, drivers can zip along the 3/4 km Polson Pier track at speeds of up to 40 km/h.
Toronto is full of Instagrammable locations. You don’t have to look far to find one.
In case you want a little inspiration, here are a few suggestions:
- Chester Hill Lookout
- Polson Pier
- Grafitti Alley
- CN Tower
- Gooderham Building (also known as the Flatiron)
- Nathan Phillips Square
- Various rooftop restaurants/patios/pools – including at the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
Do you know of any other unique to Toronto experiences that should be mentioned? Share them in the comments below!