I've Lived In Toronto For 2 Years & These Are My 8 Favourite Attractions In The City

There's so much to do!

Madeline in a kayak. Right: Madeline at the Rosé Picnic.
Associate Editor

Madeline in a kayak. Right: Madeline at the Rosé Picnic.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

As a large and vibrant city, Toronto has so many fun attractions to offer, and I've been lucky enough to experience quite a few of them. I moved to the 6ix two years ago, and since then, I've enjoyed thrilling rollercoasters, explored unique exhibits, and, best of all, visited magical Christmas events.

When it comes to my favourite attractions in the city, these are places that never fail to captivate me and have left me with incredible memories.

If you're wondering what to do in Toronto, I suggest you hit up these eight spots for some unforgettable experiences.

The Toronto Islands

Price: $9.11 ferry fee per adult

Address: 9 Queens Quay W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Visiting the Toronto Islands is like having a city escape without really leaving the city. The islands have become one of my top summer destinations in Toronto, and the best part? They offer an affordable day trip with the ferry fee costing under $10.

There's no shortage of things to do on the islands. You can visit Centreville Amusement Park, stroll over an enchanting bridge, lounge on the beach, visit Gibraltar Point Lighthouse and grab a bite to eat.

I suggest renting a vehicle from Toronto Island Bicycle Rental. You can get single bikes as well as quadricycles and tandem bikes. It's such a fun experience to enjoy with friends and is a great way to take in the scenery.

Toronto Islands website

Casa Loma

Price: $40 per adult

Address: 1 Austin Terr., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Casa Loma is like a little piece of England right here in Toronto, and it's the perfect spot to unleash my inner princess. The majestic mansion is brimming with history, and I always learn something new each time I visit.

From hidden passageways to underground tunnels, there is so much to see at this Toronto attraction.

My favourite time to visit is during the Christmas season. The castle transforms into an all-out holiday wonderland complete with glowing garden trails, themed rooms, and a little Christmas market.

I've made it a tradition to grab a cup of hot chocolate and explore the festive attraction, from the rooms lit with majestic trees to the underground tunnels that have been decked out in holiday cheer.

Casa Loma website

Canada's Wonderland

Price: $49.99 + per adult

Address: 1 Canada's Wonderland Dr., Vaughan, ON

Why You Need To Go: While Canada's Wonderland is technically located in Vaughan, it's still worth a little trip outside the city to experience this massive amusement park.

I'll admit I'm not the bravest when it comes to rollercoasters, but there is still so much I enjoy at Wonderland, such as the less-intense rides and Splash Works waterpark.

I especially love going to Wonderland at Christmastime for its WinterFest event. Millions of twinkling lights transform the park into a different world, and there are endless festivities to participate in.

Some highlights are skating on Snow Flake Lake, feasting on holiday-themed funnel cake, watching carollers, and dining inside igloos.

Canada's Wonderland website

Illuminated Escapes

Price: $60 + per rental

Address: Multiple locations

Why You Need To Go: I tried this illuminated kayaking experience last summer, and it was one of the highlights of the season. I visited the Woodbine Beach location, and the soft sandy shores and cotton candy-pink sky made me forget I was in the city.

The kayaking adventure was so serene and such a beautiful way to escape the bustle of everyday life. I drifted into the sunset while watching the waves rise and fall around the transparent vessel. The kayaks come with Bluetooth speakers, so I put on some Lana del Rey and enjoyed the beach views. As the sun set, the glowing lights around the kayak shone brighter, making it a truly unforgettable night.

Illuminated Escapes website

The Thirsty Elf

Price: $17 + per cocktail

Address: 100 Front St. W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Christmas may not be in the air, but I'm still dreaming about this twinkling holiday-themed bar in the Fairmont Royal York. The Thirsty Elf has become one of my top holiday traditions, and it feels like I'm stepping into Santa's workshop.

For someone as Christmas-obsessed as me, this bar is a must-see in Toronto during the holidays. The boozy drinks are all festively themed, and you can sip things like Gin-gle All The Way, Polar Punch, and Christmoose Vacation.

Even the glassware is holiday-themed, and last year, I got to enjoy drinks from dazzling ornaments and the iconic moose mug from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

The Thirsty Elf website


Price: $26 per adult

Address: 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: The Royal Ontario Museum is an iconic Toronto attraction, and I never get tired of this spot. Whether it's visiting the massive remains of dinosaurs, venturing through the bat cave (this always gives me the shivers) or checking out one of the unique exhibits, the ROM never fails to captivate me.

Some of my favourite exhibits I've seen include Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, Winnie the Pooh: Exploring A Classicand Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Plus, the museum hosts ROM After Dark parties where you can spend a boozy night listening to music, indulging in food, and watching the museum come to life in a whole new way.

ROM website

The Rosé Picnic

Price: $49.95 + per ticket

When: June 24, 2023

Address: 111 Princes' Blvd., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Bubbly cocktails, flower crowns, and pink everything — this festival has my name written all over it, and it's one of my top summer attractions to visit in the city.

The Rosé Picnic is an all-out pink party where you can spend the day sipping boozy drinks and soaking up with sunshine with friends.

There are so many unique vendors and treats to enjoy, as well as music and more. I loved seeing everyone's pink and white outfits and getting lost in the summer vibes.

Rosé Picnic website

The Distillery Winter Village

Price: To be announced

Address: 51 Gristmill Lane, Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: As a Christmas fanatic, I had to add this iconic attraction to my list. The Distillery Winter Village, previously known as the Toronto Christmas Market, always gives me those holiday feels.

The charming market transports me to Europe, and there are so many mouth-watering treats and boozy drinks to try. I also love snapping Insta-worthy photos by the installations and visiting the massive Christmas tree.

Distillery Winter Village website

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Madeline Forsyth
Associate Editor
Madeline Forsyth is an Associate Travel Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Toronto, Ontario.