If you’re wondering how to spend a weekend in Toronto, this guide covers the hot spots for dining, shopping, and cultural experiences.
There are many exciting possibilities for your weekend in Toronto. From the stunning view at the top of the CN Tower to the shores of the Toronto Islands, and the old-time vibes of the Distillery District to the delicious dishes at diverse restaurants, you can expect a one-of-a-kind getaway.
Your 72 hours in Toronto begin with an easy 25-minute ride on the UP Express train from Pearson International Airport to downtown Union Station. You’ll land in the middle of the city and have your choice of trendy and luxurious boutique hotels.
One King West Hotel is located in a heritage building in the Financial District. Maintaining the glory of the opulent bank that once resided in the building, this elegant hotel offers upscale restaurants, luxurious rooms, and a rooftop gym. Just steps outside, you can explore the Canadian Walk of Fame.
If you want something a little more hip, head west to The Drake Hotel. The Drake is one of the city’s most sought-after night spots. Enjoy your first night out with a cocktail at the funky rooftop bar, Drake Sky Yard, while overlooking the hip Queen West neighbourhood. After you’ve sampled the menu, hit the basement for more drinks and local live music at the Underground.
Hop out of bed on Saturday morning and indulge in a hangover-curing brunch at Portland Variety. Portland Variety’s trademark breakfast includes Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Steel Cut Oatmeal, and Fried Eggs Brava with spiced potatoes, Canadian classic bacon lardons, and homemade tomato sauce.
Just a short walk to the north finds you in the trendy Queen West neighbourhood, where you’ll discover one of the highest concentrations of boutique shops in any major North American city.
Take a shortcut through Toronto’s lively Chinatown to reach the artsy Kensington Market. This hot spot of multi-culturalism is the place to lunch with Toronto’s bohemian crowd. You can munch on Jamaican jerk at Rasta Pasta, wolf down authentic Tijuana-style Mexican food at Seven Lives, or share a plate of classic Canadian poutine at The Dirty Bird Chicken + Waffles.
Start your Saturday night with a taste of Toronto’s high life from the top of the CN Tower. Shoot to the stars in the enclosed glass elevator and get jaw-dropping views of the sparkling city from the LookOut Level or the Outdoor SkyTerrace. Select a bottle of wine from the world’s highest wine cellar while dining at the rotating 360Restaurant.
At the foot of the tower, you’re minutes away from Toronto’s cultural events, whether it’s a concert at Roy Thompson Hall, an opera or ballet at The Four Seasons Opera House, or a lively musical at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
The historic Distillery District is the perfect place to wind down the evening with a stroll through charming cobbled streets and art galleries. Then, settle in at one of many boisterous patios to sip on drinks, craft beer, or cocktails.
If you prefer a more vibrant nightlife, it’s all about the Entertainment District, where you can enjoy pulsing music, dancing, and drinks until the wee hours of the morning.
Start your last 24 hours in Toronto with a satisfying Sunday morning breakfast of chicken and waffles smothered in maple bourbon coffee sauce or brunch-time chilli at Joe Bird by the Toronto Harbourfront Centre.
At the lakefront, you’re minutes away from the ferry docks, and you can head over to the Toronto Islands. You’ll discover the perfect place to chill, whether you lounge on lawns shaded by mature trees and admire the city skyline, or you sun on the sprawling white sandy beaches overlooking Lake Ontario.
Enjoy your ferry ride back to the mainland and head north up University Avenue to tour the Art Gallery of Ontario or wander the halls of the Royal Ontario Museum. Shop the designer boutiques of Yorkville before indulging in a classy lunch and a few “Sherry Cobblers” at Holt Renfrew’s Holts Café.
After lunch, visit historic Casa Loma, a Gothic-style mansion built by a local millionaire in the early 1900s.
If you’re not all shopped out, hit Toronto Eaton Centre before the stores close.
Sunday night calls for a slow roast dinner at Richmond Station. Mouth-watering meals and eclectic, highly flavorful sides have made the slow roast a much-anticipated, weekend-only menu item for Richmond Station regulars.
After dinner, head to Liberty Village to sample some locally made craft beers at The Craft Brasserie & Grille, or sit on the patio for drinks at Williams Landing. You can also visit Toronto’s historic High Park, with its rolling hills, well-manicured lawns, formal gardens, and natural woodlands. The park also offers pleasant views of Lake Ontario and Grenadier Pond, a favourite spot for Canadian geese, regal swans, and other local waterfowl. This is also one of the best places to watch the sun set over your final night in Toronto.
Now that you know what you’re missing, it’s time to book a weekend in Toronto!