summer vacation toronto

8 essential things to do on a Toronto summer vacation

Toronto truly comes alive during the summertime, making it a great time to spend a few days here whether as a tourist or as part of a staycation. While mainstream attractions like the CN Tower, St. Lawrence Market and the Aquarium might seem like obvious choices, there are plenty of other unique spots to check out.

Here are some essential places you need to go while on summer vacation in Toronto.

Go on a brewery crawl

Toronto's craft beer scene is blowing up. While there are plenty of breweries on the city's west side, check out some of our new arrivals in the east, such as Eastbound Brewing Company, Radical Road Brewing, Left Field and Rorschach Brewing, which is located in a 100-year-old mansion.

Dine at one of Toronto's hot new restaurants

Toronto's a haven for food lovers, so come hungry. Head to Parkdale for an Eastern European feast at the just opened Tennessee Tavern. Take in the California vibe at the Italian spot La Palma or fill up on Thai food at Kiin.

Explore the Junction Triangle

This west side neighbourhood might be tiny, but there's lots to do here. Take a stroll down Sterling Road and visit Henderson Brewing and then soak up those suds with food from the Drake Commissary. Afterwards, visit a contemporary art gallery and then stop at yet another place for beer, Halo Brewery or refuel with some Station Cold Brew.

Take a tour of Toronto's outrageous ice cream parlours

Ice cream is a big deal in Toronto, meaning you can travel all over the city with a cone in your hand. Try some activated charcoal-infused ice cream if you dare, grab a massive chimney cone or trek to the beautiful Beaches for a cake batter cone.

Sweat it out at fitness class

If you just need to spin, check out Toronto's new SoulCycle or hit up Ride Cycle Club, which is loosely affiliated with lululemon. To really see the city and get to know some of the people who live here, join a run club for a day and explore as you zoom down sidewalks and through parks.

Hunt for a new food truck

Toronto's food truck scene has welcomed a number of new entrants this year. There are now trucks serving up awesome dumplings and sushi burritos as well as some doling out arepas, pierogis and Cuban-style coffee.

Go green

It seems silly to leave off our parks when our slogan is "A City Within A Park." Check out some of Toronto's green spaces and escape from the concrete jungle. Take a stroll through High Park and visit the zoo, get lost in nature at Tommy Thomson Park or make like a local and picnic in Trinity Bellwoods Park on a warm, sunny afternoon.


The Toronto Islands might be off limits but there's still plenty of places to go for a dip. Get a day pass at one of these hotel swimming pools or save your money and take it outside at Sunnyside, Christie Pits, Donald D. Summerville or one of the many outdoor pools.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Brett's Ice Cream

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