16 Little Known Spots That Will Show You A Side Of Toronto You've Never Seen Before
Hidden gems to explore.
Toronto is a massive city which spans over 630 km and holds over 2.8 million people. Those stats are almost mind boggling to read. It's no surprise with this many people in such huge amount of space there's bound to be some pretty cool spots to explore.
Toronto is known for having an impressive foodie scene, a bustling nightlife and a surprising amount of nature all within it's city limits. But by now we've all heard of those 'cool' spots that everyone talks about all the time.
Now is the perfect time to discover the lesser known hidden gems in this city that might not get as much hype over social media or in the press, but are just as good. These hidden gems include everything including book shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, nature spots, and pieces of Toronto history!
16. The Monkey's Paw
Where: 1267 Bloor St W
This adorable book store in the Bloordale area has a super special feature that's completely unique. They have a book vending machine that gives out rare books for just $3 each! All you have to do is purchase a token and the vending machine will randomly select a book for you.
15. Spadina Museum
Where: 285 Spadina Rd
Spadina Museum is a historic house and gardens that will offer a glimpse of what Toronto was like back in the early 1900s. The museum site includes 6 buildings, a house that was built back in 1866, a 2 storey garage and chauffer's residence built in 1909 and a gardener's cottage from 1850, a greenhouse from 1913 and more!
14. Jacked Up Coffee
Where: 144 Yorkville Ave
Most people don't know that there's actually a hidden vintage coffee truck in the Yorkville area that serves up some of the best coffee in the city! It's tucked away in a little courtyard down a short alleyway in the heart of Yorkdale and you can sit and enjoy a coffee and treat at on their cozy tables.
13. Thompson Hotel Rooftop Lounge
Where: 550 Wellington St W
The Thompson Toronto is definitely a well-known hotel in the city, but what a lot of people don't know is how breath taking the view is from their rooftop lounge! In the warmer months they open up the outdoor patio and pool to offer stunning views of the city skyline while you sip on a cocktail.
12. Dynasty Toronto
Where: 1086 1/2 Queen St
If you love plants than you've got to check out the plant paradise that is Dynasty Toronto. Located on Queen West is this adorable house plant shop that sells everything from massive house plants to hanging plants to mini succulents to liven up your space. They also sell plant accessories like planters.
11. Mira Restaurant
Where: 420A Wellington St W
This brand new restaurant serves up some seriously unique and delicious Peruvian food right here in the city. But there's something special about this spot, it's hidden down a secret alleyway that's lit by lanterns and twinkly lights, then on the other side of an unmarked door you'll find a neon llama leading you downstairs to the foodie paradise that awaits you!
10. U of T Bamboo Forest
Where: 160 College St
Hidden inside U of T's Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research is forest made out of real bamboo trees! This secret forest is the perfect place to hang out with a good book or a cozy spot to enjoy a coffee on a rainy day indoors.
9. The Vog Vault
Where: 686 Queen St W
This super unique illusion room is hidden in the back of the Fluevog shoe store on Queen West. The building used to be a TD Bank with a big vault in the back and since, the shoe store has transformed into into a cool illusionist room with a love seat where you can take fun pictures!
8. Hana Sushi & Cafe
Where: 21 Grenville St
Hana Sushi & Cafe is home to Toronto's very first monorail conveyor belt sushi! All you have to do is order the sushi you want from an iPad at your table and then it zooms straight to you on the cool monorail conveyor belt system. It's a totally unique way to enjoy sushi that we've never experienced here in Toronto.
7. Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
Where: Toronto Islands
This historic lighthouse was built all the way back in 1807 and carries a whole lot of mystery with it, even today. It is the sight of where Toronto's first light keeper was murdered in 1815 and is said to be haunted by him still. This spot will definitely show you a creepier side of Toronto's history!
6. Chester Hill Lookout
Where: Don Valley Pkwy
This is probably one of the best spots in the city to view the downtown skyline but yet it still remains a hidden gem unknown to most! If you walk up Cambridge Ave. from the Danforth you'll eventually see the stunning skyline beyond the Don Valley in the heart of the city!
5. Redway Road Staircase
Where: Crothers Woods
Located inside the lush Crothers Woods near the Don River is the Redway Road Staircase or 'staircase to nowhere' these stairs technically don't lead anywhere because they were made to provide a quick way to get to higher ground in case of flooding inside of the Don Valley. It offers a perfect place to view the beautiful nature in this area all year round.
4. Sky Yard Rooftop Patio
Where: 1150 Queen St W
Located on the roof of The Drake Hotel is this cozy year-round rooftop patio! You can enjoy drinks under the stars during any season with their outdoor heaters and covered sides. It's decorated like a boho paradise and is the perfect place to enjoy some after work drinks on a sunny day.
3. CutiePie Cupcakes & Co.
Where: 235 Spadina Ave #2
This adorable bakeshop in downtown Toronto sells unicorn everything! They have white lavender melted hot chocolate, unicorn ice cream cones topped with cupcakes, unicorn lattes, and sooo much more! Anyone who loves colourful desserts needs to check this place out ASAP.
2. Underpass Park
Where: 29 Lower River Street
Sitting under where 3 overpasses unite: Adelaide Street, Eastern Avenue, and Richmond Street is this unique Underpass Park. It's a public space filled with stunning street art that is a popular spot for photoshoots. Tons of people use this as a public skate park, dog walking area and just a cool spot to hang out during the warmer months.
1. Centennial Park Conservatory
Where: 151 Elmcrest Rd
You may have already heard of and been to the popular downtown conservatories like Allan Gardens and Cloud Gardens but the Centennial Park Conservatory is a great, lesser known alternative! It's free admission and open everyday of the year.