If you’re visiting Toronto for the Toronto Caribbean Carnival festival this year, you may be looking for some off-the-beaten-path experiences that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s culture. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, Toronto has plenty of hidden gems that offer unique and authentic experiences. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best things to do off the beaten path in Toronto while you’re in town for the Caribana weekend. From exploring vibrant neighbourhoods to indulging in delicious Caribbean cuisine, there’s something for everyone to discover. So, if you’re looking to escape the crowds and discover a different side of Toronto, here are 16 Best Things To Do In Toronto that will take you off the tourist track.
Explore the street art in Graffiti Alley
Graffiti Alley is a hidden gem located in the heart of downtown Toronto in the Fashion District. To get here you’ll need to search for “Rush Lane & Augusta Ave.”. This vibrant and colourful alleyway is a haven for street artists and is filled with colourful and intricate murals. Take a stroll through the alley and snap some Instagram-worthy pictures.
Visit the Toronto Islands for a day trip
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a ferry to the Toronto Islands. A short ferry ride from downtown Toronto, this peaceful oasis offers stunning views of the city skyline, beaches, and parks for a perfect day trip. Enjoy a picnic on the beach, rent a bike and explore the island, or take a dip in Lake Ontario.
Check out the Kensington Market neighbourhood for unique shops and cafes
Kensington Market is a vibrant and eclectic neighbourhood that’s home to a range of vintage shops, specialty food stores, and cozy cafes. Spend a lazy afternoon wandering the streets and discovering vintage clothing stores, record shops, and delicious food stalls.
Tour the historic Distillery District and sample local beers at the breweries
The Distillery District is a pedestrian-only area filled with beautiful Victorian-era buildings that are now home to a range of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. While you’re there, be sure to stop by the local breweries for a taste of Toronto’s craft beer scene.
Visit the Allan Gardens Conservatory for a botanical escape in the heart of the city
The Allan Gardens Conservatory is a peaceful retreat in the heart of downtown Toronto. With six greenhouses showcasing a range of exotic plants and flowers, including tropical palms and exotic cacti, this is a great place to unwind and recharge.
Hike the trails at Rouge National Urban Park
Rouge National Urban Park is Canada’s first national urban park, and it’s located just outside of Toronto. The park offers over 40 kilometres of hiking trails through forests, meadows, and wetlands. It’s a great place to get some exercise and connect with nature.
The Drake Hotel
This trendy boutique hotel hosts a popular poetry slam on Monday nights, where local poets compete for cash prizes. The event draws a diverse crowd of poetry enthusiasts and is a great way to experience Toronto’s thriving arts scene.
Bata Shoe Museum
If you’re looking for a quirky and unique museum experience, the Bata Shoe Museum is definitely worth a visit. With over 13,000 shoes in its collection, the museum tells the story of footwear throughout history.
Aga Khan Museum
This museum showcases Islamic art and culture and is home to one of the largest collections of Islamic artifacts in the world. The museum’s stunning architecture and beautiful gardens make it a must-visit destination in Toronto.
Leslie Street Spit
This man-made peninsula, located on the eastern edge of Toronto, is a unique urban wilderness experience. It’s a popular spot for birdwatching and is home to over 400 species of birds, as well as other wildlife.
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
This cultural center offers a glimpse into Japanese history and culture in Toronto. With exhibits, events, and workshops, this is a great place to learn about the city’s Japanese community.
CN Tower EdgeWalk
If you’re feeling adventurous, the CN Tower EdgeWalk is a unique way to experience the city. Participants are harnessed to a safety rail and walk around the outside of the tower’s main pod, 356 meters above the ground.
David Dunlap Observatory
Located in Richmond Hill, just north of Toronto, this observatory is a great place to go stargazing. The observatory hosts public viewing nights throughout the year and offers guided tours of its telescopes and equipment.
Toronto’s underground network of shops and tunnels is a great way to explore the city without having to go outside. With over 30 kilometres of walkways, the PATH is the largest underground shopping complex in the world.
This stunning castle is located in the heart of Toronto and is a great place to explore Toronto’s history. With over 98 rooms and beautiful gardens, this is a great spot for a day trip.
Evergreen Brick Works
This former brick factory has been transformed into a sustainable market and community space. With a farmer’s market, bike rentals, and other events, it’s a great place to explore Toronto’s commitment to conservation.
Leave a little room for a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience while you’re in town for the Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade, and explore all the city has to offer.