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Best Things To Do in Toronto with Family

Most people know the CN Tower is a great family activity in Toronto but there is so much more. As the most diverse cities in Canada, there are a lot of fun family things to do in Toronto. It can be difficult to narrow it down. From exciting attractions to breathtaking sight-seeing, there's something for everyone. But don't get overwhelmed with planning your family vacation in Toronto. Tickets, hotel bookings, and planning the itinerary—we can take care of all the details.

A team of Canadian insiders with a love for travel, Canadian Train Vacations can make your family vacation in Toronto memorable. We created this list to help you find the best things to do while you are in Toronto. You will also find information on the best hotels and restaurants. Let us help plan your family vacation in Toronto and make your trip memorable for everyone.

Experience the city's rich culture and scenic beauty. It will be sure to keep you and your family entertained. Here's the list of the 17 best places to visit in Toronto with family.

1. Visit the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is one of Canada's national landmarks. It is home to global artworks, culturally significant artifacts, and natural history specimens. Its close ties with the University of Toronto have made it a hotbed of research expertise. It features more than 13 million exhibits in over 40 galleries and is one of the world's top-class field research centers.

You can reach the Royal Ontario Museum by bus (127, 13, 26, 97), train (BR, LE, UP), and subway (1 & 2). The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 05:30 pm. The entry fee is $ 23 for adults, $14 for children aged 4 to 14, and $18 for students and senior citizens aged 65+. It takes 3 to 4 hours to tour the museum.

Exterior of the Royal Ontario Museum entrance during the evening

2. Visit the CN Tower

The Canadian National Tower (CN Tower) is the center for Telecommunications in Toronto. At a height of 1,815 feet, it was the world's tallest building until 2007. The tower is one of the distinctive landmarks of the country.

The CN Tower houses an observation deck, a revolving restaurant, and an entertainment complex. On a clear day you can get a panoramic view up to Niagara Falls and New York state from the Skypod. Adventure lovers should try the Edgewalk — a thrilling walk around the outer rim of the main pod on the 116th floor.

To reach the CN Tower, you can use all public transportation modes, including the TTC, GO Transit, and UP Express. Union Station is the nearest stop to the CN Tower. You can also hire a Toronto taxi, limo, or rideshare. The tower is open to visitors from 09:00 am to 09:00 pm. You can pre-book each attraction for a guaranteed entry. You can book more than one attraction at a discounted rate. The entry fee ranges from $14 to $74, depending on the visitors' age group.

Edge Walk ticket prices start from $195 and cover Edgewalk and access to the main observatory level and Skypod.

Toronto city skyline with CN Tower in the centre

3. Explore Kensington Market

Kensington Market is one of Toronto's most notable commercial/residential neighbourhoods. It has an independent culture of its own. The vibrant-coloured shops and Victorian-styled homes give a sense of its history. The market is a popular spot for locals and tourists for shopping and hanging out. It is also a hub for many family-friendly events. The open-air market houses more than 240 small businesses, and you can find all types of goods here.

Kensington Market is located near downtown Toronto. It is accessible by walking, bike, or subway(TTC). Five street car lines provide access to the market: Spandina Stn, St. Patrick Stn, Dundas West Stn, Queens Park Stn, and Bathurst Stn. The market is open throughout the week, except on Christmas and New Year. The best time for shopping is between 11:00 am to 07:00 pm, as most businesses are open.

People walking along a busy street corner in Kensington Market neighbourhood

4. Shop along Queen Street West

It is an eclectic neighbourhood known for its boutiques and art galleries. You can purchase top-notch fashion clothing and accessories. With some of the finest restaurants and indie-music bars, Queen Street West is a perfect amalgamation of culture and shopping in Toronto.

Queen Street West lies between Simcoe and Bathurst streets. You can easily get to Queen Street West by car or public transport (TTC). Set aside at least three to four hours to explore the neighbourhood.

A person walks past boutique shops and red brick buildings on Queen Street West

5. Enjoy the Sandy Beaches

Relax or enjoy the activities on the sandy beaches in Toronto. If you are looking to relax and spend some quiet time with family, Hanlan's Point Beach, Toronto Beach, Sugar Beach and Gibraltar Point Beach are some options. Here, you can enjoy nature, stroll on the sand, and sunbathe.

If you are an adventure-loving person, you can indulge in kayaking, swimming, hiking, and biking at Kew-Balmy Beach and Marie Curtis Park Beach. Marie Curtis Park Beach has a park where your kids will have a great time. Beaches are the most fun things to do with the family in Toronto. Get to know each waterfront and how to reach the beach.

People sitting under pink umbrellas at the Sugar Beach waterfront area in Toronto

6. Take a Tour of City Hall

The Old City Hall served as a civic building and housed the City Council until 1966. It was declared a National Historic site in 1984. During its completion in 1899, it was the largest Civic building in North America. Appreciate the Romanesque architecture of the building, with its distinctive clock tower. The interior and exterior of the building carry several intricate stone carvings.

The New City Hall, near Nathan Phillip Square, is one of the most distinctive landmarks. It has housed the Municipal Government of Toronto since 1965. The bustling place is perfect for a picture.

Toronto sign and water feature at Nathan Phillip Square near the New City Hall

7. Shop at St. Lawrence Market

Located in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood, this large public market has three main buildings. The South Market, the North Market, and St. Lawrence Hall each serve unique purposes, as indicated below.

Exterior entrance of St Lawrence Market

When is it open?

What is its main purpose?

South Market

  • Tuesday to Friday - 9 am to 7 pm
  • Saturday - 7 am to 5 pm
  • Sunday - 10 am to 5 pm
  • Monday - closed
  • 120 specialty vendors on the first floor (Food and non-food items)
  • Market Gallery on the second floor

North Market

  • Saturday - 5 am to 3 pm
  • Sunday - dawn to 5 pm
  • Saturday Farmers' Market (seasonal produce)
  • Antique dealers display their wares on Sunday
  • Monday to Friday - Showroom space available for rent

St. Lawrence Hall

Available for rent on pre-booking.

  • Retail businesses on the ground floor
  • City offices on the second floor
  • Great Hall on the third floor is available for rent (Marriages and special events)

8. Explore Evergreen Bricks Works

Evergreen Bricks Works' aim is to promote and showcase green design. It houses public markets, conferences, and events. You and your family can enjoy outdoor learning and explore Toronto's public art. You can contribute or learn about sustainable practices that enable cities to flourish.

TTC services are available from the Davisville subway station. A free Evergreen Bricks Work Shuttle bus is scheduled to depart every 30 minutes from Broadview subway station. You can also walk, bike, or use private or public transportation. The Evergreen Garden Market is open any day of the week from 10 am to 5 pm. Young Welcome Centre is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm.

 Person walks her dog past a large outdoor living map at Evergreen Brick Works

9. Hang Out at Distillery District

This 13-acre historic district comprises more than 40 Victorian-era buildings on ten streets. These antique buildings house numerous cafes, shops, and restaurants and host several events. Once you enter the Distillery District, you get to witness 21st-century art and design in a Victorian-styled setting.

Below are the hours of operation:

  • Monday - 10:00 am to 09:00 pm
  • Tuesday - 10:00 am to 09:00 pm
  • Wednesday - 10:00 am to 09:00 pm
  • Thursday - 10:00 am to 09:00 pm
  • Friday - 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Saturday - 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Sunday - 10:00 am to 09:00 pm
Outdoor courtyard with brick buildings and large sculpture in Toronto’s Distillery District

10. Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame preserves and exhibits the largest collection of hockey treasures. Artifacts, printed materials, multimedia exhibits, and art are displayed here. It is the perfect place for hockey fans. The Photo Gallery exhibits more than 3 million photographs (historic to current-day). It also houses an audio-video vault. Kids will love the NHLPA Be a Player Zone where they get to play with digital NHL players.

The admission fee ranges from $15 to $25 for various age groups. Entry is free for kids below 3 years of age. It is open all days of the week from 10 am to 5 pm. You can get to the Hockey Hall of Fame using public and private transport.

A display of colourful hockey masks in the Hockey Hall of Fame museum

11. Have Fun at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Toronto is an indoor version of the LEGOLAND theme park. Families and kids can enjoy rides, LEGO-themed play areas, 4D cinema, and LEGO Canada Miniland. Plan your day and pre-book your tickets for guaranteed entry into the Discovery Centre. It is one of the best things to do with the family in Toronto.

A display at Legoland

12. Visit Casa Loma

This Gothic castle-style mansion perches above midtown Toronto. The castle now serves as a museum and is a popular location for television and movie filming. The castle includes a library, the Great Hall, private rooms, and underground tunnels. These tunnels lead to the stables. A stroll through the garden in the summer is charming and relaxing.

You can reach Casa Loma by taking public transit (TTC) or by private cars or taxis. It is open all days of the week between 09:30 am and 05:00 pm. The admission fee ranges from $20 to $30 for visitors of different age groups. Entry is free for children below 3. You can also book the castle for weddings and other personal and corporate events.

Visitors walk past the exterior entrance of Casa Loma, a castle-style mansion

13. Pique Your Curiosity at Ontario Science Centre

The Science Center delivers hands-on learning to kids about multiple facets of science. Explore space, rainforests, the human body, corals, and more. Try out various fun and interactive science activities as a family and have fun. The IMAX Dome theatre features science-based films with state-of-the-art sound systems.

The Ontario Science Centre is open Wednesday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and until 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Book your tickets and avail discounts by booking for the Science Centre and the IMAX film as a combo.

A family explores an indoor garden exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre

14. Enjoy the Rides in Canada's Wonderland

Canada's Wonderland is a world-class amusement park for families. It features more than 200 attractions. The park has rides suitable for adults and kids. Enjoy your level of heart-pounding rides in the Big Thrills and Kids Area. Beat the summer heat with the 20-acre water games, including a lazy river, a wave pool, water rides, and cliff jumping. Numerous events like Thrill Circus, Fall Out stunt dive shows, dance parties, and more.

You can arrive at Canada's Wonderland by car, GO Transit, TTC, and YRT. Since the amusement park is seasonal, book your tickets with information from their calendar.

Leviathan rollercoaster at Canada's Wonderland amusement park

15. Visit the Toronto Zoo

Explore the animal world based on their geographic location. You can take the broad pathways and stroll around the zoo or hire wagons for rent. In addition, your kids can also enjoy a splash pad, animal rides, rope climbing, and carousels.

Toronto Zoo is located on Meadowvale road and is accessible by car and public transit. TTC, Durham Transit, and GO are some of the available options. The zoo is open throughout the year from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. The time varies during the holiday season.

A Siberian tiger at the Toronto Zoo looks at the camera

16. Take a Ferry Ride to the Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands are located in Lake Ontario just off the Toronto Harbour. A quick 15-minute ferry ride gets you there. A short distance from the bustling city, you can experience the calm of island life. There are three islands: Centre Island, Hanlan's Point, and Ward's Island, which are connected by bridges and walkways. You can hike or bike to explore all three islands.

The Jack Layton Ferry Terminal operates a ferry every 15 minutes. The ferry terminal is located on the corner of Bay Street and Queens Quay. Ferry services are usually crowded during the weekends. Pre-booking, either from the terminal or online, is the best option.

A Toronto Islands ferry sails past the Toronto city skyline and CN Tower

17. Visit Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

This amazing aquarium features both freshwater and marine creatures. It is Canada's largest indoor aquarium and is located at the base of the CN Tower. Its various exhibits include: Canadian waters, Rainbow reef, Discovery center, Dangerous lagoon, Ray Bay, and Planet Jellies.

Watch the predators up close in Dangerous Lagoon. Enjoy the Shoreline Gallery, where you can touch four species of stingrays. Also, get a glimpse of the awe-inspiring technology behind the aquarium's equipment.

You can reach the aquarium by car or take public transit (TTC subways or streetcars). The ticket prices vary from $12.50 to $44, depending on the visitor's age. Booking your online tickets in advance is the best option. You have to select the date and the required time slot. You get a 60-minute arrival window and stay as long as you wish.

A senior woman sits in an interactive exhibit and points at clownfish in an aquarium

Where to Eat in Toronto With Family?

Toronto is known for its diverse population and hence, features diverse cuisines. Here are some family-friendly restaurants.

  • Spring Sushi - One of the best restaurants that serves delicious Japanese seafood. Located at 10 Dundas Street E, Toronto.
  • Ed's Real Scoop - Try some of Canada's best ice cream and gelato. Located at 224 Queen St E Leslieville, East end, Toronto.
  • Cafe Polonez - Considered one of the restaurants serving the best Polish food outside of Europe. Located at 195 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto.
  • Wilbur Mexicana - Consistently voted the best Mexican food in Toronto. Located at 552 King St W, Toronto.
  • Benares - Taste some of the best North Indian food in Toronto. Located at 49 Front St E, Suite 001, Toronto.

Where to Stay in Toronto?

Some of the best hotels for families in Toronto are listed below.

  • Intercontinental Toronto Centre - One of the best stay options for families with a swimming pool, restaurant, and bar/lounge. They are pet-friendly.
  • Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel - It is a pet-friendly hotel with a pool, gym, bar, and restaurant. You can choose between rooms facing the city, a pool, or a city landmark.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Toronto Downtown - The hotel features a restaurant, bowling site, tennis court, convenience store, and conference halls.
  • Town Inn Suites - The pet-friendly hotel houses a business center with Wi-Fi, a bar, and a vending machine.
  • Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre - Swimming pool, gym, restaurant, bowling offsite, and tennis court are some of the amenities provided at the hotel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Toronto a good city for families?

Toronto is one of the best places in Canada for families and kids. The city houses some of Canada's best-known attractions. Plus, its waterfront location means there are great outdoor activities. Families can enjoy a great vacation here.

Which part of Canada is best for families?

Cities like Toronto and Vancouver are great for attractions and museums. The Canadian Rockies are ideal for exploring nature.

Where is the friendliest place in Canada?

Radium Hot Springs, Digby, Niagra-on-the-Lake, Baddeck, and Drumheller are some of the top-rated friendliest places in Canada.

What is the prettiest part of Canada?

Toronto and Ottawa in Ontario, Vancouver, Quebec City, and Montreal are some of the prettiest cities in Canada.

Are 4 days in Toronto enough?

Yes, four days are enough to explore Toronto.

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