Toronto is well-known for all it's popular hot spots and tourist destinations. People flock to the city in the summer to bask in all its greatness when the weather is finally nice enough to do so.
There are plenty of spots in the city that are nowhere near as well known, but just as interesting! These 30 cool secret spots will take your Toronto adventure from typical to extravagant in no time!
1. Check out Gibraltar Point Beach and Lighthouse
This tiny and secluded beach on the Toronto Islands has quite the back story from it's origin in 1808, but today it's just one of the many hidden gems the city has to offer.
2. Indulge your inner geek at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy
With some of the world's largest collections of science fiction novels, graphic novels and fanzines, this place is a must this summer.
3. Tour the streets for Toronto's must see neighbourhood watch signs
Toronto is home to some of the most interesting neighbourhood protectors including Yoga, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the cast of Kindergarten Cop. You can check them all out in varous neighbourhoods across the city.
4. Embrace the macabre at the SkullStore Oddity Shop
This unique store dedicated to morbid curiocity has a collection of human and animal remains and other preserved specimens for browse and sale.
5. Get your selfie on at Rainbow Tunnel at Moccasin Trail Park
A teenager painted the rainbow mural in the 70's as a memorial to a friend who passed away and it was painted over. It still stands today, though, because after repainting it several times over, the city decided to embrace it's beauty.
6. Be one with nature by visiting this seriously old Redwood
The Dawn Redwood at Edward Gardens is considered one of the oldest deciduous conifer trees in Toronto and its unique and stunning look is a seriousy cool find.
7. Climb the Redway Road Staircase
The most interesting staircase in the whole city is the Redway Road Staircase in Leaside. It runs down to the through Crother's Park and is a must see hidden gem in the city.
8. Get yourself a new page turner from the Biblio-Mat
Tucked in the corner of the Bloor West bookstore The Monkey's Paw is this adorable vending machine that dispenses books. It costs 3 dollars to buy a token and you get a rare book that you can disappear into for a few days.
9. Check out a cult classic at this super intimate movie theatre
When we say movie theatre, what we really mean is the Cineforum. It's a theatre set up in Reg Harrt's living room that shows alternative films for a donation. The house is decked out with movie memorabilia and a really cool experience.
10. Watch the sunset on a paddleboard with Toronto Islands SUP
It doesn't get much better than getting some exercise while watching the sun set over the Toronto skyline on a warm summer night!
11. Take in some art at the Super Wonder Gallery
There's no shortage of art and culture in the city, but if you're looking for a hidden gem in that department than check out The Super Wonder Gallery. It might be smaller than you're typical art stop in Toronto, but it sure is mighty full of beautiful pieces of work.
12. Wander by this Toronto literal Half House
This architectural marvel on St. Patrick Street is definitely one of the coolest houses in the city. Take in all its halfhouse glory and debate how only half the house can stand so flawlessly.
13. Indulge your morbid curiocity at Toronto Necropolis
This historic cemetery in Toronto's Cabbagetown is a sight to see if you're willing to indulge in the creepiness of visiting the final resting place of so many people.
14. Embrace your inner rebel at this "speakeasy" style pub
The Cloak Bar on Wellington is inside a stairwell beside Marben's Bar and Kitchen and has such speakesy vibes it's like a step into the past.
15. Enjoy the view at Chester Hill Lookout
With perhaps one of the very best views of the Toronto skyline, Chester Hill Lookout is a hidden gem like no other. The sunset from here is stunning, but what's even more amazing is the stargazing!
16. Become a brewmaster at Pioneer Village
Instead of just going out to your local pub to crush some brews, head over to Pioneer Village. They teach you how to brew like they did in the 1800's and you'll spend the day becoming a good ol' timey brewmaster.
17. Visit this tropical garden tucked away on Richmond Street
The Cloud Gardens Conservatory is a real life tropical oasis in the heart of downtown. You can enjoy the jungle-like spot to escape the concrete jungle.
18. Check out this less popular alley full of street art
When you think of Toronto street art you probably think of Graffiti Alley, but the less popular Milky Way has a ton of cool art for you to soak in without having to fight through the crowds.
19. Check out this gravity-defying room in the back of a shoe store
A former bank turned shoe store in Toronto is home to the Vog Vault, a "gravity-defying" room that used to be the bank's vault. This optical illusion room is open to the public and great for taking grammable shots.
20. Enjoy a local floral paradise at Centennial Park Conservatory
This Etobicoke oasis is one of the most serene places you can visit without leaving the city. With 3 greehouses and over 12,000 square feet of plants to enjoy, its raw beauty is a must see.
21. Visit this posh park in Rosedale
Craighleigh Gardens is underrated to say the least. It's gated off by gothic-style gates and since it's overlooked, it's pretty private once you're inside.
22. Hit up this small gallery for a change of art scenery
The Division Gallery is the perfect place to soak in some art without having to fight through the tourist scene that the ROM and AGO have. It's always adding new exhibits and installations and is a great place to get your art on.
23. Hunt for ghosts at Humber College Lakeshore Campus
It may be a bustling college campus now, but before it was full of students it was full of mental patients. The Lakeshore Campus is now said to be haunted because of it's history as a mental asylum.
24. Take in the views at R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant
The name doesn't make it sound too exciting but the location of this water treatment plant is what makes it a must see this summer. Located along the shores of Lake Ontario in the Beaches, the art-deco building plus the lake view is perfect for photos.
25. Hike your heart out at Humber Arboretum
The traverse 6 kilometre trails of Humber Arbortorum are truly a hidden gem in the city. The area is home to some stunning plants and wildlife for you to see while you're getting your walk on.
26. Take a romantic stroll through The Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat
Located in Humber Bay Shores Park, this ecological restoration project provides home to different species of butterflies and provides a one-of-a-kind experience in the city.
27. Get some peace at the Toronto Public Labyrinth
This public spot at Trinity Bellwoods Square is the perfect place to kick back and relax. The treelined labyrinth makes for a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Toronto living.
28. Have a picnic at the lesser known Ireland Park
There's no shortage of amazing parks to chill at in Toronto, but if you're looking for something a little less populated than look no further than Ireland Park. Located on Queens Quay West, this small park has lots of artwork and sculptures to check out.
29. Get some serious views at The Leslie Street Spit
This man-made headland is a 5 kilometre long marvel of natural habitat along the city's harbour. The views of the skyline from the spit are breathtaking and you can get the perfect sunset insta while you bask in all its glory.
30. Take in the rich history at Guildwood Inn Park
Located on the shores of Lake Ontario near the Scarborough Bluffs, this public park used to be artists colony but now it's just full of beautiful architecture and saved relics to enjoy.