Every city is defined by some sort of iconic landmarks. Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London has Big Ben, New Jersey has the Statue of Liberty and Toronto has the CN Tower.
Surely, even new visitors to Toronto will recognize the iconic free-standing structure. But those looking for the quintessential tourist experience may not know where else in the city to explore. If you're visiting Toronto for the first time, here's a standard list of the major landmarks you must visit during your stay:
The CN Tower stands 553 metres tall and offers the best panoramic views of Toronto. It features a stunning restaurant that rotates 360 degrees, as well as a glass floor.
The Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose stadium in Toronto that is known for being the first stadium to be equipped with a fully retractable and motorized roof. Formerly called the SkyDome, the facility is the main location for sporting events like Blue Jays games.
Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum consists of a wide range of interesting exhibits that take visitors on a journey through history and a variety of world cultures. Perhaps its most distinct feature, other than the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton inside it, is its crystallized projections that stick out on its side.
Casa Loma is a grand, 18th-century castle that offers regular tours. In the spring time, its gardens are a perfect location for a romantic walk.
Hockey Hall of Fame
The Hockey Hall of Fame features several legendary hockey artifacts, memorabilia and interactive installments. There are also some urban legends claiming the building to be haunted by a few lingering spirits.
Art Gallery of Ontario
The Art Gallery of Ontario showcases the best Canadian art collections and European art masterworks. It recently received a major renovation by visionary Frank Gehry.
The Distillery District
The Distillery District is more than just a hub for beer - it serves as a commercial and residential area that features several hip cafes and restaurants.
St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence Market has been voted the best food market in the world on multiple occasions. The market consists of over 100 merchants, bakers, butchers and artisans that offer quality goods to the public.
Toronto Eaton Centre
The Eaton Centre is one of the city's top shopping malls, featuring many brand name stores inside a beautifully designed building.
Union Station is a historic transit hub that opened all the way back in 1927. Other than its transportation services, it also has a few shops and eateries inside.
Toronto City Hall
Toronto City Hall features a unique architectural design that is said to represent an all-seeing eye. The complex houses the mayor's office and offers tours throughout the week.
The Spadina House is a heritage building that gives guests an idea of what it was like living in the 1920s and 30s. It features historic architecture and pieces, as well as a beautiful Victorian-Edwardian garden.
The Gooderham Building is a gorgeous flatiron building that was built in 1892. It is built of beautiful red bricks and also features a trompe l'oeil mural.
Roy Thomson Hall
Roy Thomson Hall is the concert venue where the Toronto Symphony Orchestra plays. Aside from its characteristic exterior glass paneling, the venue is also known for its renowned acoustics.
Sugar Beach is an urban beach park that is most known for its pink umbrellas. While the beach is not a location for swimming, many people still make the trip for a relaxing time by the waterfront.
The Brookfield Place is an office complex where guests can shop, dine, and even go ice skating. The interior of the building is visually pleasing in particular and is often photographed by visitors.
Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum has a distinct contemporary architectural design themed in bright white. The museum showcases exhibits that relate to Islamic culture.