When it comes to picking a vacation destination, we almost always choose the mountains or beach over a city break. Plus, if we’re honest, neither of us really gave Toronto a second thought. However, the opportunity to getaway for a weekend in Toronto presented itself, and we figured, why not.
With a super relaxed atmosphere, great street art, incredible food options, quirky markets and interesting architecture, Toronto really impressed. Most of all, we loved all the amazing skyline viewpoints, from all over the city.
Don’t overlook this underrated, it’s likely to impress you too. Here’s an easy to follow itinerary for a weekend city break to Toronto.
St. Lawrence Market
We started the first day of our weekend in Toronto at St. Lawrence Market. Primarily a food market, there are several places to grab a bite to eat. The most famous is probably the Carousel Bakery for their Peameal Bacon Sandwich. Similar to the bacon butty in the UK, it consists of thick pieces of salty bacon on a soft bun.
Exploring Toronto On Foot
Instead of taking the trams, we decided to walk across the city to our next destination. An interesting mixture of old and new, Toronto felt like a blend of culture between Europe and the U.S.
Our walk took us past Graffiti Alley, where we stopped for a peak at the local artistry. Then through Toronto’s Chinatown district, just a block over from our intended destination.
Just about everywhere we wandered the CN Tower seemed to peak through the buildings.
We enjoy walking, but Toronto has a convenient tram system. Instead of walking to Kensington Market, you can use the King Street tram. Switch at Spadina Ave, then get off at Dundas St.
After a lovely walk across the city, we made it to Kensington Market. Greeted by a “Garden Car,” we immediately knew this was not going to be a typical marketplace. This funky bohemian area is loaded with small, independent, quirky shops and restaurants.
With so many great places to try, it took us ages to finally decide on Otto’s Berlin Döner for a late lunch, definitely the right choice.
Evening In Toronto
After popping back to our hotel at the Kimpton St. George, we met a friend for dinner in the city. As my friend knows me from my days in Japan, he took us to the fantastic Gyubee Japanese Grill. This yakiniku restaurant is spot-on and transported us back to our days in Japan.
Of course for dessert we had to pop into Uncle Tetsu for a Japanese cheesecake. It is well worth giving these squishy, melt-in-your-mouth cakes a try if you’ve never had one.
Taking our dessert to go, we finished our first day at the parks along Lake Shore Blvd for amazing views of Toronto at night.
Toronto Weekend: Day 2
On the second day of our Toronto weekend we used the metro to head outside the city center for Casa Loma. Built in 1914 as a private residence for Sir Henry Pellatt, this unique attraction takes about 2.5 – 3 hours for a visit.
As you follow the audio guide through the mansion you may recognize some of the rooms from famous movies. Be sure to check out the special exhibitions, including the tunnels leading from the house to the garage and stables.
You’ll also find that the home allows fantastic views of the city.
To finish up our weekend in Toronto, we booked dinner at the CN Tower. Besides the fantastic views, there are a few benefits to booking a meal at the 360 restaurant.
- We were able to skip the outrageous line going up to the tower.
- Access to the lookout floors are included with the Prix Fixe meals.
A little tip, make sure to request a window table. These are the tables with the best unobstructed views.
Have a question, or did we miss out on your favorite Toronto attraction, leave us a message in the comments.