Why Toronto is the Perfect Place for Your Friends’ Vacation

In search of bright lights and big weekends, memorable meals and beachy vibes? This city has it all – made for you and your friends on vacation.

Attention: sports fans, foodies, artsy and outdoorsy types, and everyone in between. Fun comes in all sizes and colours in Canada’s most vibrant city. The Best. Trip. Ever. is in Toronto. So gather your BFFs for the ultimate friends vacation and let the city do the rest.

Campfire on Toronto Islands

Campfire on Toronto Islands

Go Outside and Get Wild

“Wild” means different things to different people but Toronto has you covered no matter how you define the word. Spend the day hiking and hanging out in urban parks like the super-wild Rouge National Urban Park or pack a picnic and head to the slightly more tame (in terms of actual animals) but always popular Trinity Bellwoods Park. In the city’s west end, High Park hits that sweet spot right in the middle. If your version of “wild” happens after the sun goes down, it’s Dundas West, Parkdale, or Ossington Avenue where you’ll want to head to sample the city’s best nightlife.

DON’T MISS

How can you follow up a big night out in the big city? With a perfect night on Toronto’s Ward Island. Grab a blanket and some marshmallows (or s’mores ingredients if you’re fancy) and hop on the Queens Quay ferry (don’t forget to call for a fire pit permit). Bonus: the Islands are the best place in the city to take in the Toronto skyline.

See Your Favourite Artists and Discover New Ones

Home to mega-venues like Scotiabank Arena, the Budweiser Stage, Meridian Hall (formerly the Sony Centre), and Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto pulls in the biggest names in music spanning every genre. If your favourite artist is touring, they’re playing here. But it’s the city’s network of small clubs that support our unrivalled local music scene — and the place you’ll discover the Next Big Thing.

DON’T MISS

Toronto’s big music festivals like Veld, the CBC Music Festival, NXNE, and the Beaches International Jazz Festival host names you know while one-of-a-kind venues like Queen Street institution Velvet Underground and relative newcomer Burdock (a performance space, restaurant, and microbrewery with an impossibly perfect patio) will introduce you to new ones.

Dine In or Eat Out

Hit the town to try food from all over the world at every price range, from Ethiopian on Bloor West to Sicilian on King Street. If there’s one thing that Toronto is rich in, it’s our endless options for where and what to eat — and it isn’t limited to our excellent restaurants. Weekly farmers’ markets and specialty food shops can be found all over the city. Drop in to one of the city’s markets to pick up all the makings of a perfect late-night hotel room cheese plate or charcuterie platter.

DON’T MISS

Toronto’s food meccas — St. Lawrence Market, Wychwood Barns market, Evergreen Brickworks, and specialty food shops like Swansea Village’s Cheese Boutique and Yorkville’s upscale Pusateri’s.

All of the Arts and the Art of Shopping

As Canada’s capitol of high culture, Toronto is home to some of the country’s best and biggest galleries while supporting a lively independent art scene, too. The AGO is a must-see for arts scene afficionados and only a block away from Queen Street West, a serious shopping and small gallery destination.

DON’T MISS

A stop at the newly opened Museum of Contemporary Art in the up-and-coming Junction Triangle neighbourhood. Next, head south to browse Ossington’s cluster of curated vintage specialty stores.

Take in a Show with 50,000 or 50 New Friends

From the Raptors to the Rock, from the Rogers Centre to BMO Field, there’s no place like Toronto to cheer on a major league Canadian team with a few thousand of your fellow sports fans. If it’s the stage you’re interested in, you’ll find major drama (and musicals, too) in the city’s Theatre District. Think: CATS, Come From Away, and Hamilton. More intimate experiences are also on offer. Unearth artistic gems at cozy venues like Buddies In Bad Times in Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village or the Fashion District’s Factory Theatre.

DON’T MISS

All year long, Toronto offers up major action at minor league prices. Take in smaller-scale sporting events at Christie Pits’ Dominico Field where Toronto Maple Leafs baseball games are free all summer long or get some low-cost ice time at Coca-Cola Coliseum, home of the Toronto Marlies hockey club.

About the Author

Corrina Allen-Kiersons is a Toronto-based travel, film, and pop culture writer who has covered destinations ranging from El Paso to Tokyo. She’d happily live in a hotel full-time if it wasn’t for her 90lb dog.

10 Inspiring Pop-Ups, Exhibits and Performances

The constant happiness is curiosity.

Alice Munro
Nobel Prize-winning short story writer

8 Over-The-Top Toronto Experiences

See it. Snap it. Share it. In every neighbourhood, around every corner, through every door there's something that begs to be discovered in Toronto.

#OPENYOURCURIOSITY

More Insights & Ideas from Locals

Food & Drink

See & Do

Holidays, Christmas & Winter

Funding Provided By

  • City of Toronto
  • Government of Ontario
  • Greater Toronto Hotel Association

Lead Partner

  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Premium Partners

  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Beanfield
  • Casa Loma
  • CN Tower
  • Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre