Toronto is a bustling city with a mere 5.6 million residents. And you might be surprised to know that Toronto sees over 300 days of sun each year; I was! Anyone who has survived a Canadian winter will know that when the sun it out, you’ve really must make the most of it. In Toronto the temperatures rocket in July and August, and for those who haven’t been there in winter it’s actually hard to imagine the temperature ever plummeting to the double-digit minus figures, it’s that hot. So in the spirit of making every day sunny day in Toronto count, here are a few suggestions for the Top Things To Do In Toronto that will bathe you in sunshine and create long-lasting blissful memories.
Head out to Toronto Island
From downtown next to the lake you can catch a ferry that will take you out to Toronto Island. This is a classic spot that many people from the city choose to take a picnic to, and here you can wander through the parks whilst taking in the spectacular view of the Toronto skyline. This is particularly impressive at sunset and at night when it all lights up, so make a day of it until the sun goes down.
Take a trip to High Park
High Park is a famous spot in Toronto to go and stroll through the mass of cherry blossom trees when they are blooming, so if you’re in the city in early spring this suggestion still applies. The park is still well worth the visit in later months however, with its many gardens and green spots, an amusement park, sports facilities, and even a zoo!
Sunbathe on the Beaches
Yes that’s right, Toronto does have beaches. They might not be anywhere near like the white sand beaches of the Caribbean for example, but for a city on a lake they’re an adequate substitute and packed in the summer months with Canadians and tourists alike. There are a number of different spots where you can go try your hand at beach volleyball, simply lie in the sand and relax, or head towards the ‘clothing optional’ area if that’s your thing.
Taste the Flavours of Summerlicious
For a few weeks in July nearly 200 of the best restaurants in town open up their doors for Summerlicious, an annual festival celebrating all things culinary in Toronto. There are fixed price menus from anything as low as $15 up to just $45, giving the less wealthy access to some of the best places to eat in town when usually it would be far too expensive. Tuck in, try something new, and buy elasticated pants for the occasion, you’re going to need them!
Hang out on Queen and in Trinity Bellwoods
Queen West is hipster heaven in Toronto, and when they’re not working hard at arts school or deep in existential conversation, they’re probably at Trinity Bellwoods. This beautiful park is full to the brim on sunny days with young people and a collective zest for life, so go grab some drinks and kick back on the green grasses. Queen Street is right next door, so if you get bored of sunbathing then you can go and take a walk down to its many shops, cafes and bars, most of which are little independent joints where you can buy beautiful gifts and delicious food.
Join in with the Festivities of Caribana
Caribana is Toronto’s celebration of all things Caribbean, and the main event is a huge parade held downtown, filled with bright and colourful costumes and pride. The popularity of the festival seems to grow year on year, and in 2013 it is set to attract over one million people. This is Toronto’s version of the Rio carnival, and they make a very good job of trying to live up to that famous show. Tickets are between $20 and $25 and in some parts of town you can see the parade for free, making it a very affordable activity for any kind of traveler. But with its growing popularity you may want to book your flights early!
Hop on board the Bike Train
Finally, if you’re looking to get out of the city and into nature, definitely consider joining the bike train to get out to some of the greener places in Ontario. The concept it simple; rent a bike, get on the bike train which is designed to be specifically accessible to cyclists, and hop off at any spot you like to go for a cycle in the sun. You can explore the wine regions, Niagara Falls trails, or even just the number of routes just a very short ride away from downtown. This initiative hasn’t won two Ontario Tourism Awards for nothing – it’s a genius idea that should definitely be taken advantage of.
Which activities would you add to the list of Top Things To Do In Toronto?