Toronto is a massive city that spans over 630 kilometres and holds almost 3 million people. It's no surprise with this many people in such a huge amount of space that there are bound to be some pretty cool spots to explore.
Toronto is known for having an impressive foodie scene, bustling nightlife and a surprising amount of nature. 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 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 TO history!
16. The Monkey's Paw
Where: 1067 Bloor St. W., Toronto
This adorable book store in the Bloordale area has a unique feature. 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., Toronto
Spadina Museum is a historic property that lets you see what Toronto was like back in the early 1900s. The museum site includes six buildings, including a house that was built back in 1866, a two-storey garage and a chauffeur's residence that was built in 1909.
14. Jacked Up Coffee
Where: 136 Yorkville Ave., Toronto
Most people don't know that there's 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. You can sit and enjoy a coffee and treats at their cozy tables.
13. Thompson Hotel Rooftop Lounge
Where: 550 Wellington St. W., Toronto
The Thompson Toronto is definitely a well-known hotel in the city, but what a lot of people don't know is how breathtaking 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 Plant Shop
Where: 1086 1/2 Queen St. W., Toronto
If you love plants, then you've got to check out the plant paradise that is Dynasty Plant Shop. Located in the Queen West area, this adorable house plant shop sells everything from massive house plants to hanging ones to mini succulents to liven up your space. They also sell accessories like planters.
11. Mira Restaurant
Where: 420A Wellington St. W., Toronto
This delicious Peruvian spot is tucked away in a small alleyway that's lit by lanterns and twinkly lights. 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., Toronto
Hidden inside U of T's Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research is a forest made up of real bamboo trees. This secret hideaway is the perfect place to hang out with a good book or a cozy spot to enjoy a coffee indoors on a rainy day.
9. The Vog Vault
Where: 686 Queen St. W., Toronto
This 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. The store has transformed it into a cool illusionist room with a love seat where you can take fun pictures!
8. Kintaro Izakaya
Where: 686 Church St.,Toronto
If you're looking for Japanese food in a warm and welcoming environment, then Kintaro Izakaya has got you covered. They specialize in traditional tapa-style dishes, as well as ramen and sushi.
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's the site of where Toronto's first lighthouse keeper was murdered in 1815 and is said to still be haunted by him. This spot will definitely show you a creepier side of Toronto's history!
6. Chester Hill Lookout
Where: Don Valley Parkway, Toronto
This is probably one of the best spots in the city to view the downtown skyline and yet it remains a hidden gem unknown to many. If you walk up Cambridge Avenue 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, Toronto
The lush Crothers Woods near the Don River is home to the "staircase to nowhere." It technically doesn't lead anywhere because it was made to provide a quick way to get to higher ground in case of flooding. It's the perfect place to take in the natural landscapes this area has to offer all year round.
4. Sky Yard Rooftop Patio
Where: 1150 Queen St. W., Toronto
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. Ben McNally Books
Where: 317 Adelaide St. E., Toronto, ON
Ben McNally Books calls itself "Toronto's most beautiful bookstore," so expectations are high. This charming spot is the host of regular public and private events and prides itself on finding "what you are not looking for."
2. Underpass Park
Where: 29 Lower River St., Toronto
Sitting under where three overpasses unite is the colourful 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 place to hang out during the warmer months.