Things to Do
The Art Gallery of Ontario — Leading art museum in Toronto. Usually something fantastic on. Interiors designed by Frank Gehry, including a smashing cedar staircase.
Kensington Market — Not a covered market at all, but a neighborhood full of vintage and multi-cultural shops. Fabulous and sensory place to walk around for a taste of Toronto’s rich immigrant diaspora. Terrific restaurants and bars tucked here and there, too.
The Power Plant — Amazing contemporary gallery & space in Harbourfront.
Gallery hop on Queen Street W — Go west on Queen W from Trinity Bellwoods & end in the happening Parkdale neighborhood, anchored by the Gladstone and the Drake, which also has a good bar scene.
Hockey Hall of Fame — Awesome museum dedicated to Canada’s national pastime. Worth visiting for the room of goalie masks alone.
Distillery District — Converted whiskey distillery warehouses, now filled with cafés & cute shops.
The ROM — Stands for “Royal Ontario Museum”. Occasionally has interesting special exhibits but the dinosaur collection is the real reason to go (I loved this place as a kid.)
Bata Shoe Museum — The vast collection of shoes here grew from the personal collection of Sonja Bata, whose husband’s company, the Bata shoe company, was an important Canadian footwear purveyor.
Aga Kahn Museum — If you’re feeling super ambitious, this newish museum devoted to Islamic arts is really worth seeing. The catch is, it’s far—especially on public transit.
Shops & Markets
St. Lawrence Market — Often tops lists of the ‘world’s best markets’, for good reason. Set in a historic building that dates back to the 1800s, purveyors sell everything from gourmet cured meats to handcrafted jewelry. ☞ Saturday has the most action.
Holt Renfrew — The Bergdorfs of Canada (not as good, but you get the gist).
Swipe Design — Independent bookstore with an A+ collection of design books.
Glad Day Bookshop — The world’s first LGBTQ+ bookstore opened in Toronto in 1970. ☞ The airy space includes a bar & often hosts a drag brunch.
Harry Rosen — Toronto’s bespoke men’s suit maker is just down the street from Holts. Flagship carries his house brand & others. Service is A+ too.