There are some pretty surreal places in Toronto. For city rats who thoroughly refuse to leave the 6ix, it's great that beautiful spots like this exist nearby. But don't worry — at some of these places you won't even feel like you're near the city.
It's nice to spend day trips roaming around and finding hidden gems, especially in a city where something is always happening. Toronto definitely has some of the most interesting buzz in Canada around local food and beverages, fashion, film and picturesque havens.
Here are some of the most surreal and beautiful places in Toronto that don't even feel like Toronto:
Of course, Toronto's majestic CASTLE was going to be on this list! Casa Loma is one of Toronto's top tourist attractions and event venues. The castle and beautiful estate gardens are the perfect social backdrop for fancy events and special occasions.
It's not a surprise this gorgeous castle is also a highly desirable location for photoshoots and TV or film shooting. I can attest that the exteriors and interiors of the castle are absolutely stunning and it will make you feel like a princess (or prince).
The Great Library
When was the last time you actually went inside Osgoode? Never been? This is one of Toronto's most prestigious and important buildings in the heart of the city but somehow weirdly lacks our praise. Probably because Osgoode's gated black fence tends to discourage people from exploring their lovely grounds.
Located at the busy trifecta of Queen, University and York, Osgoode Hall is actually a peaceful quarter with well-tended gardens and completely bewitching libraries. The Great Library looks like something out of Harry Potter. Makes sense, because this study space is actually a private space for lawyers to study up, but the public can still access it during normal operating hours.
Tommy Thompson Park
Located on the Toronto waterfront, Tommy Thompson Park is a rare ecological gem just minutes from downtown! This enchanting park in Toronto is located on a man-made peninsula (the Leslie Street Spit) and it extends onto beautiful Lake Ontario.
This park has dreamy wildflower meadows, cottonwood forests, coastal marshes, cobble beaches and even sand dunes. You'll feel like Snow White at this park because there is an abundance of wildlife, especially birds, that flourish here. It's one of the best spots in the city to nature-watch and will have you feeling transported to another land in a heartbeat!
This stylish neighbourhood is a must-visit in the city. Maybe it's the stunning Hazelton Hotel or the scattered designer boutiques on Bloor West. It could also be because Yorkville is home to a giant Homesense where anyone can happily spend hours wandering around, looking for beautiful stuff for your home.
Yorkville is also a tight-knit neighbourhood. It's the perfect place to people watch. The best part is that everyone's polished from head to toe, looking like legit movie stars, even when they've just run from of a spin class at SoulCycle.
One Eighty Rooftop Lounge
One Eighty at Manulife Centre is a swanky place with killer cocktails and an even better skyline view. This spot is of my favourite resto-bars to unwind and grab some girly cocktails at happy hour and enjoy the sunset.
It's serene out on the lounge patio, and then loud and bustling inside the bar. The perfect mini getaway!
Toronto Reference Library
The views of this library are insane. The library is pretty much a landmark here in Toronto because it has undeniably one of the most visually appealing interiors of any building downtown.
It's a stunning spot to get work done or escape from reality inside a good book. Why not step inside and take a few minutes to just relax, meditate and unwind?
Toronto’s Very Own Flatiron Building
This impressive architectural piece called the Gooderham Building sits at the intersection of Church, Wellington and Front Streets. It was built to house offices for the Gooderham family, who ran a successful empire in distilling, milling and banking. Most people call it the Flatiron because it reminds them of NYC's impressive Flatiron Building.
This distinctive building owes its appeal to more than just its interesting shape — the building's rich colours and copper roof express the utter wealth of the historic family. There's also a beautiful tromp l’oeil painting on the rear of the building, which has become an attraction!
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
This hotel is the essential Toronto experience. It's right in the downtown core beside Union Station and also minutes from city attractions like the CN Tower, Ripley's, Scotiabank Arena and Meridian Hall.
This luxury hotel has multi-million dollar guestrooms that are so elegant you won't know what to do with yourself. From award-winning restos, to casual locales for drinks and bar bites, to classy business meetings or an intimate staycation in the city, the Fairmont has it all.
Humber Bay Arch Bridge
This beautiful bridge is a pedestrian and bike path with a clear view of the Humber River. This arch bridge is picturesque, especially during sunset, and was also the recipient of numerous local architectural, design and engineering awards!
The bridge is situated at the mouth of the Humber River. It's part of the Martin Goodman Trail and is one of the most popular pedestrians and cycling routes in the city. It's a great place to people watch with a coffee in hand.