Having a fun weekend or vacay doesn’t have to take a lot of planning or travelling — a drive to Toronto is all it takes to experience a whole new roster of exciting activities (along with places to stay and eat).
If you love visiting the city but find yourself doing the same things over and over and again, Destination Toronto is challenging you to discover your "Never Have I Ever" moment.
Sure, you’ve had Greek food, but have you ever tasted your way through a festival thrown by the biggest Greektown in North America?
It’s those kinds of moments that Destination Toronto is talking about, and with their free mobile passport, Pass TO Savings, you can save up to 20% on a bunch of experiences you’ve probably always wanted to try for yourself.
Whether you’re looking for a new “office” to work from for the week or want to take the family out for a road trip, Toronto’s got you covered.
And if you’ve never been to these seven neighbourhoods, here’s what you’ve been missing out on (plus, a quiz at the end to help you choose where to stay).
Seek Thrills In The Entertainment District
Why You Need To Go: Maybe you’ve passed by the CN tower (and snapped an obligatory pic or two) while driving through the city, but have you ever been inside?
If you love to get your adrenaline pumping, you can take in an epic view of the city with a CN Tower Edgewalk before heading to Ripley’s Aquarium, where you can check out some of the ocean’s most heart-stopping species. Get it pumping again as you watch a Blue Jays game right from your hotel room window at the Marriott City Centre.
Finish your night off with a trip to The Ballroom for some drinks and bowling, and you’ll find out for yourself why it’s called the Entertainment District.
Never Have I Ever… gotten up close and personal with a shark.
Eat & Shop Your Way Through Kensington Market
Why You Need To Go: Kensington Market is famous for its seriously good food and awesome flea markets. If you fancy yourself a culture vulture but you’ve never been to Kensington, it’s high time that changes.
Walking through the vibrant backsplash of graffiti art on Pedestrian Sundays is a surefire way to boost your mood. Keep the spirits up by scoring a one-of-a-kind find at shops like Courage My Love and One Heart.
It’s one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto when it comes to food. You can start your day with coffee at Fika, a Scandinavian-style café, order some frybread at Pow Wow Cafe for lunch and finish off with the Jerk Chicken Lasagna from Rasta Pasta for dinner.
Never Have I Ever… tried Ojibway-style tacos.
Dance The Night Away At The Danforth
Why You Need To Go: Also known as Greektown, this neighbourhood is home to plenty of tasty restaurants and cafes full of Mediterranean flavours.
You can head to The Danforth Music Hall to catch a concert from your favourite lowkey or big-name artists.
On a more relaxing day, pick up some Greek sweets (and, if you were out late the night before, some much-needed coffee) at Athens Pastries. Walk over to the Chester Hill Lookout, one of Toronto’s best-kept secret viewpoints of the city and watch the city bustle from afar.
Never Have I Ever… tasted my way through Greektown.
Ride Through The Distillery District
Why You Need To Go: Anyone from Ontario knows this spot, even if it’s just from IG posts of the Victorian industrial architecture. This summer, spend some time in this old-timey neighbourhood trying artisan eats, checking out galleries and sipping through the menu at craft breweries.
Never Have I Ever… attended an underground opera show in the Distillery District.
Hit All The Trendy Spots In Little Portugal
Book a few nights at the iconic Drake Hotel, an iconic boutique stay featuring funky rooms, complimentary spin or yoga classes, and on-site restaurants that are pretty much Toronto musts.
As for nightlife, keep your eye out for the convenience store lights of Mahjong, behind which you’ll find a cozy bar and hangout spot.
Never Have I Ever… been to a bar tucked behind a convenience store.
Slow Down In The Annex
Why You Need To Go: This laid-back neighbourhood is the perfect place to spend a week WFH-ing away from home if you need a change of scenery.
Take in the architecture on the University of Toronto campus and buckle down in one of the many cafes that students love to study at before watching a documentary at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
Opt for a stay at the pet-friendly Kimpton Saint-George, a gorgeous boutique hotel with complimentary bikes, hosted wine nights and a yoga mat in every room.
Never Have I Ever... worked remotely in another city.
Soak Up The Sun On Toronto Islands
Why You Need To Go: You’ve heard about the different islands on Lake Ontario, but have you visited them all? If you want to feel like you’re on a beach vacation without hopping on a plane, grab a ferry ticket and go island hopping right in Toronto.
You can rent a bike and explore the landscape or a stand-up paddleboard to navigate the waterways. Spend the afternoon sun tanning on the sandy shores of one of the four beaches.
The Centreville Amusement Park is full of rides and food. Plus, it’s even next to a petting farm, making it the perfect spot to bring the whole family.
Never Have I Ever… seen the Toronto skyline from the water.
Whether you’ve been putting off these iconic activities for a while or you’d never heard of them until now, Toronto’s neighbourhoods are packed with activities that you need to check off your "Never Have I Ever" list this summer.
Still unsure where you want to go first? Take the quiz below to find out which neighbourhood you should head to based on your vibe goals for the city’s sunny season.
Now that you know your perfect neighbourhood match, you have no excuse not to plan a sweet getaway that’ll check off that “Never Have I Ever” list in no time.
Pro tip: remember to use your Pass TO Savings (it’s free), and you can also sign up for the Stories from the 6ix newsletter to stay up to date with all of the new offers around the city.
For more stories from the T.O. Uncovered series, visit the Destination Toronto hub.