Toronto, Ontario: It’s the provincial capital of Ontario, populated as the fourth largest city in North America, and known for a diverse portfolio of arts, culture, entertainment, and sports.

If you’re looking for a few more reasons to visit one of Canada’s beloved capitals, consider the incredible stretch of beaches neighbored alongside city skyscrapers, adventurous islands accessible by ferry, and a country-wide celebration of hockey history.

With so much to see, do, and eat in this popular city where should you start? Right here, with this quick guide to exploring downtown Toronto.

Jellyfish viewing at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. FWT Magazine.

Jellyfish viewing at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada © Lori A. May.

Toronto: Must-see attractions

For family adventure, wander through Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada to learn about sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and jellyfish. Then challenge your vertigo with a sky-high trip up the CN Tower. The interior observation deck offers the best views of the city and lakeshore.

If you plan on visiting multiple attractions in Toronto, pick up a Toronto CityPASS for packaged savings.

Toronto’s Eaton Centre is a popular destination for shopaholics. Here you’ll find brand name retailers alongside a selection of boutiques. For an outdoor shopping adventure, visit downtown’s luxurious Yorkville neighborhood. Stroll twinkle-lit streets and take in an artistic array of window displays. Fashion lovers will also want to visit Bata Shoe Museum for a cultural exploration of footwear history.

Eustache de Saint-Pierre by Auguste Rodin at AGO. FWT Magazine.

Eustache de Saint-Pierre by Auguste Rodin at AGO © Lori A. May.

Even among locals, Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is considered one of the city’s best art institutions. You’ll find a stunning collection of Canadian art as well as iconic international pieces such as a collection of Auguste Rodin bronze sculptures.

Toronto: What to eat

After perusing art at AGO, head to award-winning AGO Bistro for fresh Ontario Pickerel with saffron fumet, braised baby fennel, charred vine tomato, green beans, and black olive tapenade. Like the gallery, the AGO restaurant was designed by the world-renowned, Toronto-born Frank Gehry.

Ontario Pickerel at AGO Bistro © Lori A. May

Ontario Pickerel at AGO Bistro © Lori A. May

For grab-and-go options, take a stroll through St. Lawrence Market and try the classic lobster roll at Buster’s Sea Cove. Across the street, head to local roaster Balzac’s Coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try flaky raspberry croissants at Danish Pastry House. You’ll sample plenty of reasons why Toronto is a beloved food city!

Toronto: Downtown accommodations

For a restful retreat in the heart of Toronto’s arts and culture district, book your getaway at Chelsea Hotel Toronto. The subway line is steps away for convenience, but Chelsea Hotel Toronto is within walking distance to endless galleries, shops, and eateries.

Chelsea Hotel Club Room. FWT Magazine.

Chelsea Hotel Club Room © Chelsea Hotel Toronto.

Chelsea Hotel Toronto is a family-friendly venue with rooms and suites for all sizes. If you’re enjoying a romantic weekend away, settle into a Club Room for a large suite with complimentary breakfast and access to a private lounge offering nightly appetizers and stunning city views.

Unwind at the adult-only Deck 27 Pool, or entertain the kids in the Family Fun Zone Pool with a corkscrew waterslide.

Deck 27 Pool. FWT Magazine.

Deck 27 Pool © Chelsea Hotel Toronto.

Centrally located between New York City, Chicago, and Montreal, you’ll find direct flights and easy connections to Toronto, Ontario from most major airports. Use the UP Express train connecting Pearson International Airport with Toronto’s downtown.

Visit for more travel planning ideas.

A portion of this itinerary was made possible by Tourism Toronto.