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  • Writer's pictureSamina Batyrova

A Toronto Must-Visit Checklist for First-Time Visitors

A view of Toronto from the CN Tower
A view of Toronto from the CN Tower

Welcome to Toronto, Canada's vibrant and multicultural metropolis! If you're a first-time visitor to this incredible city, get ready to immerse yourself in a rich tapestry of landmarks, shopping districts, activities, and cultural experiences. In this guide, I'll take you on a journey through Toronto's must-visit places that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the city's diverse offerings. So, let's dive in and explore the best of Toronto together!


Toronto boasts a remarkable skyline dotted with iconic landmarks. Start your exploration at the CN Tower, an architectural marvel that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. Next, head to the historic Casa Loma, a majestic castle that will transport you back in time. Don't miss out on exploring the Distillery District, a charming pedestrian-only area filled with Victorian-era buildings, trendy boutiques, and art galleries.

Make sure to add these places to your itinerary for landmarks:

  • CN Tower

  • Nathan-Phillips Square

  • Yonge-Dundas Square

  • St. Lawrence Market

  • Hockey Hall of Fame

  • Toronto Music Garden

  • Distillery District

  • Harbourfront

  • Ontario Place

  • Toronto Islands (Centre Island)

  • Casa Loma

  • Spadina House

  • Rogers Centre

  • St Michaels Cathedral

  • Cathedral Church of St James

  • Gooderham Building

  • Sugar Beach

  • Graffiti Alley

  • Humber Bay Arch Bridge

  • Princes' Gates

  • Roundhouse Park

  • Gibraltar Point Lighthouse


Toronto is a shopper's paradise, catering to all tastes and budgets. Begin your shopping spree at the Eaton Centre, a massive mall in the heart of downtown, housing hundreds of stores and dining options. For a more eclectic experience, visit Kensington Market, a vibrant neighbourhood known for its independent boutiques, vintage shops, and international cuisine. Yorkville is another must-visit destination, offering high-end fashion boutiques and designer labels.

Make sure to add these places to your itinerary for shopping:

  • CF Eaton Centre

  • Yorkdale Shopping Mall

  • Yorkville

  • Square One (Mississauga)

  • College Park


Immerse yourself in Toronto's vibrant cultural scene by catching a show at the renowned Royal Ontario Museum or the Art Gallery of Ontario. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Harbourfront, where you can enjoy outdoor concerts, festivals, and beautiful lake views. If you're a sports enthusiast, be sure to catch a game at the Scotiabank Arena, home to the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and the Toronto Raptors (NBA).

Make sure to add these places to your itinerary for activities:

  • Little Canada

  • Sandbox VR

  • Ripley's Aquarium

  • CityCruises Sightseeing Harbour Tour

  • Blue Jays Game

  • Raptors Game

  • Rec Room

  • Canada's Wonderland

  • Toronto Zoo

  • Cirque Du Soleil

  • Kayaking at Centre Island

  • Mini Zoo at High Park

  • Indoor Skydiving (Mississauga)

  • Activate (Burlington/Scarborough)

  • Helicopter Tour

  • Clifton Hill (Niagara Falls)

  • Ziplining (Niagara Falls)

  • Whirlpool Aero Car (Niagara Falls)

  • WildPlay Whirlpool Adventures (Niagara Falls)


Toronto's multicultural makeup is one of its greatest strengths. Visit the colourful neighbourhoods of Chinatown and Little Italy to indulge in authentic cuisine and immerse yourself in different cultural traditions. Explore the vibrant neighbourhoods of Queen West and The Annex, known for their lively arts scene, street art, and independent galleries. Don't forget to visit the Aga Khan Museum, which showcases Islamic art and culture.

Make sure to add these places to your itinerary for culture:

  • Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

  • Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

  • Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA)

  • Massey Hall

  • Casa Loma

  • Spadina House

  • Kensington Market

  • Aga Khan Museum

  • Chinatown

  • Greektown

  • Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

  • Koerner Hall



Toronto is a city that captivates visitors with its diverse offerings. From its awe-inspiring landmarks and bustling shopping districts to its engaging activities and rich cultural experiences, this city has something for everyone. Whether you're wandering through its vibrant neighbourhoods or taking in the views from atop the CN Tower, Toronto is sure to leave an indelible mark on your travel memories. So, pack your bags, prepare your itinerary, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Toronto's must-visit places!


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