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The Perfect One Day in Toronto Itinerary For 2024


Having lived in Toronto for 20 years, we have explored every corner of the fourth largest city in North America. While traveling full-time, we had the opportunity to pop in and visit Toronto as tourists, getting a different point of view. While this beautiful city on the shores of Lake Ontario can’t be fully explored in 24 hours, we understand that a lot of people only have one day in Toronto. So, we’ve created the perfect one day in Toronto itinerary to help you see the best of the city while having a few adventures to make the most of your short stay.

1 Day in Toronto Itinerary

one day in toronto itinerary

Getting around Toronto for this itinerary is easy with the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission), the city’s public transit. You will either walk or hop on the streetcar or subway. If you really want to see a lot, Ubers are readily available. Make sure to get a PRESTO Card so you can easily use public transport during your one-day stay in Toronto. It is good for the Subway, Streetcars, and Buses. We have a map at the bottom of this one-day Toronto Itinerary that you can download and follow along with.

Morning

This itinerary is going to take you to the top Toronto attractions that tourists will want to see. Since it is only a one day itinerary for people coming into Toronto for a day trip or for people who have a short time, we’re sticking to the downtown core and most popular attractions. If this is your first visit to Toronto, you are going to want to see all of these places before you branch out.

Explore the Distillery District

one day in toronto distillery district

Starting in the East End of Toronto, head to the nearby Distillery District, a pedestrian-only village filled with Victorian-era buildings, art galleries, boutique shops, and charming cafes. Grab a coffee to go at Balzac’s And enjoy a leisurely stroll, photography, and trying some of the treats such as Soma Chocolatemaker for handmade chocolates.

one day in toronto distillery district dave and deb

The Distillery District is one of the top year-round tourist attractions in Toronto, with an awesome Christmas Market in the winter and plenty of restaurants, boutique shops, and breweries to enjoy. When you visit Toronto, this is not to be missed. Morning is a nice to visit before the crowds get too busy.

When you finish in the Distillery District, start walking into town along the Esplanade where you care going to enjoy your next stop and to grab some breakfast.

Start with a Coffee at St. Lawrence Market

one day in toronto st lawrence market

Who doesn’t love starting at a market? I think wherever we go in the world begins at a local market. St. Lawrence Market is one of the world’s great markets and a historic landmark that is located on Front Street East. Open since 1803, it is currently undergoing an expansion, but it is still open for business. The indoor market offers an array of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and delectable breakfast options. Grab a coffee and a pastry from Carousel Bakery, which is famous for its peameal bacon sandwich.

Flatiron Building

Toronto Tourism needs help

Continuing West along Front Street is a really cool walk by some fun landmarks, such as Toronto’s Flatiron Building and the cute dog fountain in Berczy Park. Take a closer look, and you’ll see all the dogs looking up with drooling mouths at a giant bone. This is a pleasant walk (although it is under construction at the moment)

Front Street

one day in toronto front street with cn tower

Keep on walking because there are more stops along the way. Starting at Union Station, you can pop inside to see its beautiful architecture. Across the street is the Hockey Hall of Fame where sports fans may want to go inside for a quick visit to see the Stanley Cup or walk toward Bay Street to see Scotiabank Arena, which is home to the Toronto Raptors and Maple Leafs.

If you continue along Front Street, you will see the famous Fairmont Royal York Hotel, The Roger’s Center, which is home to the Toronto Blue Jays, and finally, the CN Tower. Here is where you are heading next.

CN Tower EdgeWalk

one day in toronto cn tower view

No trip to Toronto is complete without a visit to the CN Tower. Standing at 553 meters, it was once the highest tower in the world. Although it has lost that title, it is still impressive, overlooking Lake Ontario, the city, Toronto Islands, Centre Island, and right over Roger’s Centre. If the dome is open, you may even see a Toronto Blue Jays game playing.

CN Tower

one day in toronto cn tower edgewalk

If you’re feeling adventurous, try the EdgeWalk, an outdoor walk on a 1.5-meter ledge encircling the top of the tower. This is the best way to see the CN Tower as it gives you entry to the observation deck, glass floor, and restaurant while allowing you the awesome adventure of walking around the entire outside and seeing Toronto from high above. Read about our full experience CN Tower Edgewalk – Taking on The World’s Highest Sky Walk

Toronto Railway Museum

one day in toronto railway museum

Even if you aren’t a fan of trains, the Toronto Railway Museum at Roundhouse Park is worth taking a stroll through. Located just south of the CN Tower, you can walk through Canada’s railway history.

Set in the historic John Street Roundhouse, it is an amazing display of vintage railway cars and locomotives with an awe-inspiring backdrop of the Toronto skyline. It is a short trip, so you can easily add it to your one-day in Toronto itinerary without wasting any time.

Ripley’s Aquarium is down here, but we don’t recommend going to an aquarium. Fish deserve to have freedom two swim in their natural habitat.

Enjoy a Lunch at Kensington Market

one day in toronto kensington market

It’s time to hop on the Spadina Streetcar and make your way to Kensington Market for lunch. Get off at Queen Street to walk through Toronto’s Chinatown and enjoy one of Toronto’s neighborhoods. Toronto has many neighborhoods, such as Little Italy, Little India, several Chinatowns, and even Greek Town in the East End. You won’t be able to see them all, but Kensington and Chinatown are two cool ones.

Located in downtown Toronto, which has an eclectic mix of food from around the world, vintage shops, and people-watching to attract visitors all summer long. Kensington Market is a huge city block spanning from Spadina to Bathurst Street and Dundas to College

Whether you’re in the mood for Mexican, Middle Eastern, or vegan fare, you’ll find something to delight your taste buds. Seven Lives serves some of the best tacos in the city, while Rasta Pasta offers a unique fusion of Italian and Jamaican cuisine. With other places like Tibet Café and Bar, and Dirty Bird Chicken and Waffles, there is something for everyone.

Afternoon

Nathan Phillips Square Toronto

After lunch, you are just a couple of blocks from Queen Street, so make your way back to add a few more fun activities to your list before leaving the entertainment district and fashion district of Toronto. Don’t worry, you’ll be back.

Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario

one day in toronto ago

When visiting Toronto, it is worth checking out the Royal Ontario Museum or the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Since you will already be in the Queen Street West area, we suggest going into the AGO. What makes this unique is its Group of Seven exhibit, which is a permanent exhibit of Canada’s most revered artists.

One of the largest art museums in North America, the AGO boasts an impressive collection of over 90,000 works spanning from the first century to the present day. The gallery’s extensive Canadian collection, featuring works by the Group of Seven and Indigenous artists, is a highlight. The modern architecture by Frank Gehry is itself a work of art, making the AGO a must-visit for art lovers.

Stroll Through Grafitti Alley

one day in toronto grafitti alley

A visit to Graffiti Alley is a must for any Toronto itinerary, especially if you’re spending just one day in the city. Located in the heart of downtown, Graffiti Alley stretches for several blocks along Rush Lane, between Spadina Avenue and Portland Street, and it is full of street art that winds through the alleyways just south of Queen Street.

This ever-evolving outdoor gallery showcases some of the most impressive street art in Toronto. You’ll find a dazzling array of murals, tags, and large-scale graffiti pieces created by local and international artists. It’s perfect for photography buffs and art lovers; Graffiti Alley offers a unique and colorful glimpse into the city’s thriving urban art scene. Don’t miss this hidden gem while exploring Toronto’s downtown core.

The Toronto Sign at Nathan Phillips Square

one day in toronto itinerary nathan phillips square

As you start to make your way north, walk up to Nathan Phillips Square to snap a photo at the Toronto sign. Located right in the city centre, it is home to Toronto City Hall and New City Hall at the intersection of Queen Street West and Bay Street. There is always something going on here, such as ice skating in the winter and outdoor festivals and markets in the summer. When visiting Toronto, it is mandatory to get your selfie in front of the Toronto sign.

Yonge and Dundas Square

toronto in one day dundas square

As you continue along Queen Street, walk towards Yonge and Dundas Square, the heart of the city centre. It is Toronto’s answer to Times Square in New York. It’s not as big, but it is lively. It’s surrounded by great restaurants, fantastic shopping at the Eaton Centre, City TV stands proudly overhead, and there’s always an event taking place. You could easily have dinner here, or you could hop on the subway to see another Toronto neighborhood.

Yorkville

toronto one day itinerary

To really say that you’ve seen Toronto, you will want to make your way to Yorkville. From Dundas, it’s just three stops on the subway to Bloor Street. We used to live right here, so when you come out of the subway, look up at the high skyscraper on the corner of 1 Bloor Street, and you’ll see our condo on the 63rd floor!

From here, you are going to walk along Bloor West, taking in the high-end shops, which are known as the Million Dollar Mile, all the way to the Royal Ontario Museum at Bloor Street West and Avenue Road. You won’t have time to visit the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), one of the top Toronto attractions, but seeing it from the outside is a must. After doing a quick tour of the museum, take a walk through Yorkville in search of a place for dinner.

toronto itinerary one day bloor yorkville

Evening

It’s been a big day and I bet you are hungry.

Dine in Yorkville

things to do in toronto video
Watch our video about the best things to do in Toronto

Dining in Yorkville is a treat. Our favourite is the Cibo Wine Bar or Trattoria Nervose if you are looking for Italian restaurants. Sassafraz is on the corner of Cumberland and Belair, and it is a Yorville Staple. Hemingways is our favourite rooftop bar where you can also grab dinner or you can make your way to the Pilot. There is no shortage of dining in this Toronto Neighborhood.

Night

There are so many options for nighttime in Toronto. It is a world city with professional theatre performances at places such as the Royal Alexandra, Princess of Whale and Mirvish Theatre. There are countless live shows at Massey Hall and Roy Thompson Hall, and you can catch live music at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern on Queen Street West, Lees Palace on Bloor West, Cameron House, or the Opera House on Queen Street East. Byt let’s highlight a few options for those visiting from out of town.

Experience Toronto’s Nightlife

Top things to do in Toronto

End your perfect day with a nightcap at one of Toronto’s stylish bars or clubs. The AP Restaurant is the highest rooftop in Toronto, located at the Manulife Centre, which overlooks the downtown core and is very close to Yorkille. This is a great option if you want to stay in the same neighborhood you’ve just explored. So is the One Eighty, which also has one of the best views of Toronto, just a little south.

If you want to head back down to the Entertainment District to party, BarChef in the Queen West offers innovative cocktails that are both delicious and visually stunning. For another city skyline at night, visit the Rooftop Lounge at the Thompson Hotel.

Relax at Harbourfront

toronto in one day itinerary harbourfront centre

If you prefer a quieter end to your day, take a stroll along the Harbourfront Centre. There are plenty of indoor activities at Harbourfront Centre. There is a craft studio where you can watch glass blowing, live music, and events happening. It’s a hot spot in the summertime. It’s a fun place to hang out day or night. You can go for a walk from Sugar Beach in the east end to Toronto Music Garden in the west. There are also plenty of great restaurants.

If you have more than one day in Toronto, Harbourfront is an amazing place to hang out. It is the gateway to the Toronto Islands, and if you hop on a short ferry ride, you can be worlds away from the hustle and bustle. The Toronto Islands are also one of the best places to get that iconic photo of the Toronto Skyline.

How to Get to Toronto

toronto in one day itinerary union station

Getting to Toronto is convenient whether you choose to travel by train, plane, or bus. If you’re flying, Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is the city’s primary airport you can take the Up Express to Bloor Street or Union Station. Taxis and Ubers are available as well.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) on Toronto Island offers regional flights and is just a short ferry ride from downtown.

For train travelers, VIA Rail provides comfortable and scenic routes from various Canadian cities, with Union Station serving as the central hub in downtown Toronto.

Bus options connect Toronto to numerous North American destinations, including Niagara Falls. The bus is affordable and easy to use if you plan to visit Niagara Falls. If you are planning a trip to Niagara Falls read our guides to Niagara at The 30 Best Things to Do in Niagara Falls, How to Get From Toronto to Niagara Falls, Where to Stay in Niagara Falls

Where to Stay in Toronto

If you are not heading home, or have had a cocktail too many, you may want to stay in Toronto to top off the night. We recommend booking way in advance for the best prices. Toronto hotel prices are getting out of control, but if you can plan ahead, you can get some good deals.

If you are looking for a different kind of day trip and want some outdoor options, popular spots include the Toronto Islands, where you can take a water taxi out of the center island to enjoy a picnic or views from Hanlan’s Point. High Park is popular for cherry blossoms and most locals prefer to enjoy the laid back life in Trinity Bellwoods Park.

For more planning of your Toronto Travels, Read These informative travel guides



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