6 Toronto Tourist Traps That Are Just A Poor Man's Version Of New York
Times Square or Yonge-Dundas Square? 🤔
Toronto is often referred to as the New York of Canada, and it's no coincidence.
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
New York is basically Toronto's older, rich aunt that we happen to take after. The two massive metropolitan cities have it all – incredible food scenes, live music and culture galore.
So it's no surprise that a lot of Toronto's tourist traps are basically just a poor man's version of NYC.
Here are six Toronto tourist attractions to hit up if you want a taste of the big apple on a Toronto budget.
Yonge-Dundas Square & Times Square
Yonge-Dundas Square. Right:Times Square.
Chu-wen Lin | Dreamstime, Luciano Mortula | Dreamstime
Yonge-Dundas Square lures tourists in just like New York Times Square. The only difference is Yonge-Dundas is just a little smaller, a little less bright and bustling, and instead of rats, you'll find raccoons wandering aimlessly.
But one thing is for sure you won't catch any locals idly hanging out in either one of these tourist locations.
AGO & MoMA
AGO. Right: MoMA.
Mira Agron | Dreamstime, Littleny | Dreamstime
Art and culture are pivotal in any big city, with young creatives flooding the streets, so while NYC has the Museum of Modern Art, Toronto has the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Which is better is only for the artists to decide, but one is free, and the MoMa Costs $25.
TTC & MTA
TTC. Right: MTA.
Typhoonski | Dreamstime, Spiroview Inc. | Dreamstime
Transit is a grungy treasure every tourist wants to experience, so whether you're in NYC exploring their massive and infamously complicated Metro system MTA or riding Line 1 on the TTC, you'll probably see at least one person taking an impromptu photo shoot.
The only difference between these two rat-infested transportation systems is that New York's MTA is one of the largest in the world.
CN Tower & The Empire State Building
CN Tower. Right: Empire State Building.
Chon Kit Leong | Dreamstime, Markus Gann | Dreamstime
These two towers both have sweeping views of their respective cities, but one has a thriving TikTok channel and is the backdrop for countless romantic cinema moments.
If you haven't guessed, the CN Tower does not have the same clout as the Empire State Building - but hey, we have Drake on that one album cover.
Toronto Island & Staten Island
Toronto Island. Right: Staten Island ferry.
Pongsakorn | Dreamstime, Markusbeck | Dreamstime
Staten Island is a quiet reprieve from downtown life, just like the Toronto Islands are here in Toronto.
They both have housing and beaches, and while Staten Island has a zoo, Toronto Islands has a petting zoo.
City Sightseeing Toronto & Big Bus Tours
City Sightseeing bus in Toronto. Right: Big bus in New York
Michel Bussieres | Dreamstime, Bumbleedee | Dreamstime
No matter what big city you're in, you'll probably be able to find a tour bus to show you around the city's hottest attractions.
Toronto has the City Sightseeing Toronto bus that will take you around Yorkville, Casa Loma, Yonge-Dundas Square and the CN Tower, and New York has the Big Bus Tours that will take you to see Times Square, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty.
- 6 Tourist Attractions In Toronto That Are Super Underrated & 2 That Pretty Much Suck ›
- Top 10 Tourist Traps In Toronto ›
- 8 Toronto Spots Locals Say Are Absolute Tourist Traps But Visitors Can't Get Enough Of ›
- We Asked ChatGPT What Tourist Traps To Avoid In Ontario & It Had Some Controversial Hot Takes - Narcity ›