From exciting theme parks and incredible zoos to spectacular gardens and festivals, attractions in Toronto offer a daily adventure. Situated on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is a dynamic, cultured and prosperous city. It is the largest urban centre in Canada and the economic engine of the country. According to the United Nations, Toronto is the world’s most ethnically diverse city. It is home to people from 169 countries and 80 ethnic groups who speak more than 100 different languages. A diverse economy and a flourishing arts scene mean that there is something for everyone in Toronto.
Throughout the city – from Scarborough to Etobicoke, North York to the waterfront – you will find Toronto’s Historic Sites. Visit a War of 1812 fort, a Victorian mansion that interprets the inter-war years, the last home of Toronto’s first mayor (Mackenzie House, shown here), and much more. There’s something for everyone at these interesting places and each one shares a different story from Toronto’s exciting history. From drop-in family fun and hands-on craft workshops to March Break and summer camps for kids, the historic sites offer engaging entertainment and a great taste of Toronto’s past. Visit www.toronto.ca/museums for details.
Day or night – always something going on!
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is the largest museum in Canada for world culture and natural history. With its main entrance facing Bloor Street in Downtown Toronto, the museum is situated north of Queen’s Park and east of Philosopher’s Walk in the University of Toronto. Founded in 1912, the museum has maintained close relations with the university throughout its history, often sharing expertise and resources. The museum remained under direct control and management of the University of Toronto until 1968, when it became an independent institution.
Containing more than six million items and forty galleries, the museum has notable collections of dinosaurs, Near Eastern and African art, East Asian art, European history, and Canadian history. It also houses the world’s largest collection of fossils from the Burgess Shale with more than 150,000 specimens.
Famous for its retractable roof, the Rogers Centre is home to the Toronto Argonauts football team and the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, 1992 and 1993 World Series Champions. Crouched beside the soaring CN Tower, its round silhouette forms an unmistakable part of the Toronto skyline. Located minutes from Union Station in downtown Toronto, Rogers Centre is home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. The popular venue also plays host to large concerts, trade shows and other major events.
Divided into geographic regions, the zoo’s 710 acres feature more than 5,000 animals in their natural environments. Visit the award winning African Savanna, New Great Barrier Reef, and the award-winning Gorilla Rainforest, Eurasia outdoor exhibits, home to the Prezwalski foals, Snow leopard and Siberian tiger cubs, and Zellers Discovery Zone featuring Kids Zoo, Splash Island and Waterside Theatre.
The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s premier zoo with over 5000 animals representing +460 species in various Regions and Pavilions based on geographical locations. Select a Region or Pavilion below to see a list of species that are native to these areas.
Must Sees: Visit the incredible 10-acre Tundra Trek featuring an amazing 5-acre Polar bear habitat complete with underwater viewing area, the Gorilla Rainforest home to our Western Lowland Gorilla troop and newest addition Nassir, the Great Barrier Reef, and Zellers Discovery Zone* featuring Kids Zoo, Splash Island and Waterside Theatre. 2010 Special Exhibit Sharks at Stingray Bay – A Touching Experience. This unique and interactive exhibit runs from May 22, 2010 to October 11, 2010, special exhibit admission applicable (ages 3 and under free)*
Guest Services: Strollers, wagons and lockers are available to rent at the Main Entrance. Wheelchairs are available at no cost. ATM bank machines are located outside the Main Entrance and in the Africa Restaurant.
Ontario Place offers hours of entertainment and over 30 rides and attractions that heat up the City’s waterfront from spring till fall. This waterfront paradise has something for everyone to enjoy, including, Froster Soak City®, Toronto’s only downtown waterpark, Cinesphere, home to the world’s first permanent IMAX® theatre, and the Treehouse Live! Stage, where kids can catch live performances from their favourite entertainers. Ontario Place is an internationally acclaimed cultural, leisure and entertainment complex located on three man-made islands along the Lake Ontario waterfront. It features a large concert venue, as well as a wide array of rides, exhibits and activities for children and adults. Cool down at the water park, test yourself in mini-putt golf or thrill your senses with a legendary IMAX screening at the famous Cinesphere.
Defining the Toronto skyline, the CN Tower is Canada’s most recognizable and celebrated icon. At a height of 553.33m (1,815 ft., 5 inches), it is the World’s Tallest Building, an important telecommunications hub, and the centre of tourism in Toronto. Each year, approximately 2 million people visit the CN Tower to take in the breathtaking view and enjoy all the attractions it has to offer.
In 1995, the CN Tower was classified as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The World’s Tallest Tower shares this designation with the Itaipu Dam on the Brazil/Paraguay border, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Panama Canal, the Chunnel under the English Channel, the North Sea Protection Works off the European coast, and the Empire State Building.
Since the Tower opened, Canadians and tourists from around the world have made the trip to Toronto to celebrate this marvel of civil engineering. Besides serving as a telecommunications hub, the Tower provides world-class entertainment and a wide range of unique attractions, exhibits and food and beverage venues.
Canada’s Wonderland is also a leader in the live show entertainment industry, casting up and coming Canadian stars in high-energy song and dance revues for 25 years. Paramount Canada’s Wonderland Paramount Canada’s Wonderland is Canada’s premier theme park. It features over 200 attractions, including 65 rides, exciting live events, a 20-acre water park and North America’s greatest variety of coasters.
This season, back by popular demand is Endless Summer Ice Show! World class skaters whip up a confection of twirls, jumps and spins to hot music, getting you in the mood for summer fun! 2009 also brings the début of two new shows! Relive the magic of the 50’s and 60’s through the songs that you forgot you loved in Sign, Sealed, Delivered, playing daily at International Showplace! For those traveling with children, join us at Putz Headquarters for Marty’s Party where the wacky inventions of boy genius Marty and the outrageous outfits of Fiona the fashion queen take over the Playhouse Theatre in KidZville.
Currently, the Park employs over 4,000 seasonal staff annually to assist with its operation. Predominantly students, Canada’s Wonderland is Canada’s largest single location employer of youth and York Region’s top employer.
With over 200 attractions, more than 65 rides, Splash Works, great live shows and more, Canada’s Wonderland is the perfect summer destination!
Toronto has a diverse and lively performing arts scene, with some 75 productions on stage each month. There is truly something for every taste – glittering Broadway musicals, mid-size dramas, stand-up and sketch comedy, opera, dance, symphonies and festivals to satisfy even the most devoted theatre-goer. Toronto is the third-largest theatre centre in the English-speaking world, after London and New York City.
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.
Over its ten-year history, Air Canada Centre has been recognized with more than 25 industry awards and as of February 2009, it has hosted over 26.8 million fans at close to 2000 events including Leafs, Raptors and Rock games, as well as concerts and live events. Air Canada Centre is a state-of-the-art arena that is home to the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association and the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. In addition to housing professional sports teams, the ACC hosts some of the biggest events that happen in the city, including major concerts and shows. It is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, just steps from Union Station.
The Ontario Science Centre pioneered the concept of interactive science museums, and has attracted 37 million visitors since opening on September 27, 1969. A favourite of students of all ages, it has displayed a wide variety of fascinating exhibits covering all branches of science as well as explorations of behavior, technology and the universe. While also playing host to many international exhibits, the Centre is a leading developer of interactive exhibitions for science centres around the world. It is currently undergoing a $40 million renovation and expansion.
Centreville Amusement Park is located on the islands that jut out into Lake Ontario just south of Toronto’s city centre. Ferries from the mainland shuttle visitors across Toronto Harbour to the islands every 15 minutes. Stroll around and admire the view from over 600 acres of parkland, or take advantage of over 30 rides and attractions and a variety of food outlets.
Centreville opens daily at 10:30am from June 5th to September 6th and all weekends in May and September, weather permitting. Hours subject to change without notice. All Rides and Attractions are subject to intermittent closures due to weather conditions, maintenance or other operational issues.
Founded in 1900 by a group of private citizens, the Art Gallery of Ontario is now one of the ten largest art museums in North America. The AGO currently has more than 40,000 works in its collection, documenting over 2100 years of human creativity. It also houses major traveling exhibits from around the world. A complete transformation of the gallery has begun, designed by renowned Canadian architect Frank Gehry, which will thrust the AGO into the world spotlight when it opens in 2008.
Built in 1793, Fort York National Historic Site is the birthplace of urban Toronto. It is best known as the location where the Battle of York came to its violent climax in 1813 during the War of 1812. The Fort served as the city’s primary harbour defence between the 1790s and the 1880s, and was the home of a military garrison until the 1930s. Every year, thousands of people visit the site to explore its fascinating history and enjoy its public programs.
Today, Fort York is home to Canada’s largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. The Fort is open year round and offers a number of services, including tours, exhibits, period room settings and seasonal demonstrations. During the summer months, the site comes alive with the colour and the pageantry of the Fort York Guard. The Fort also provides a wide variety of education programs for groups of all ages.
For the past 130 years, the 18-day Canadian National Exhibition, which runs from mid-August until Labour Day weekend, has traditionally signified the end of summer to two million visitors from across Canada and throughout the world. The “Ex”, as it is better known, is the largest annual exhibition of its kind anywhere.
Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, the Ex is a 350-acre carnival of entertainment, rides, buildings, sports and agriculture. It is also the site of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair held each November. Always a favourite family activity, it features all kinds of games, rides, shows, special events, demonstrations, performances, food and shopping.