The Best Outdoor Activities in Toronto

Ok, the weather might not always allow for outdoor activities in Toronto, but when it does there are many great outdoor things to do here!

So, put on your best sneakers and let me share with you a detailed list of things to do outdoors in Toronto.

Tip: do you know Decathlon yet? In Europe it has long been my go-to shop for good and inexpensive outdoor gear and I am happy they are in Canada now as well! From running shoes to camping gear, you can find almost anything in their online store.

Table of Contents

The Best Outdoor Activities in Toronto, Ontario

1. Go Kayaking or Canoeing Around Centre Island

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Instead of renting a kayak you can also bring your own inflatable kayak

The best way to enjoy the water without getting wet is to take a ferry to Centre Island and rent a kayak or canoe for the day.

Enjoy the crackling sounds of the lake either with friends or make it a peaceful day by yourself.

The Boat House on Centre Islands rents out kayaks and canoes. Get there early if you want to make sure you get the kayak or canoe of your choice.

Oh and if you plan to go to Centre Island with the kids, there is a fun amusement park for the little ones to enjoy here as well.

2. Spend the Day at Riverdale Park East and Riverdale Farm

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Enjoying Toronto’s skyline from Riverdale Park East – photo credit: Wyliepoon

Riverdale Park East is an 18-hectare park that lets you enjoy the outdoors, with a stunning view of Toronto’s skyline.

It’s a popular spot for picnics or to watch the sunset.

But there are also many opportunities for different sports here. The park features two ball diamonds, three multipurpose sports fields, a running track, seven tennis courts, an artificial outdoor ice rink, an outdoor swimming pool, and a children’s playground.

So yes, a perfect place for outdoor activities in Toronto!

Stop at the Riverdale Farm next to the park to get a first-hand taste of farm life. Riverdale Farm features livestock (cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens), flower, vegetable and herb gardens, as well as nice wooded areas and ponds.

Riverdale Farm is especially great as an outdoor activity with the kids, and admission is free.

3. Visit Rouge National Urban Park

Adventurous things to do in toronto
A beautiful sunset at Rouge National Urban Park – photo credit: Thanujan

Another park worth mentioning to enjoy Toronto’s outdoors is Rouge National Urban Park.

Bring your hiking shoes because this park has some great hiking opportunities!

Meet with one of the guides to learn more about the park or bring a canoe to drift through the marsh.

Take pictures of the sun glowing in the golden fall leaves. Then come back in the winter to listen to your boots crunch on the freshly fallen snow.

Rouge Park also boasts Toronto’s only campground, and it has a nice beach at Lake Ontario.

Human history here dates back over 10,000 years and the park holds some of Canada’s oldest known Indigenous sites.

4. Take a Cruise on a Traditional Tall-Ship

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a sailor to hop aboard this classic, 3-masted 1930s schooner. But, if you want, you can help the crew raise the sails!

Or just sit back and relax en route from Toronto Harbour to shimmering Lake Ontario. Enjoy panoramic views over Toronto’s islands and skyline.

Listen to ancient sea shanties as your crew coil the ropes, and marvel as they fire the ship’s mighty cannon!

You can book this cruise here.

5. Go Stand-Up Paddleboarding on Lake Ontario

Adventurous things to do in toronto
SUP is popular in Ontario – photo credit: Dennis Jarvis

Stand-up paddleboarding is calm, meditative, and easier on the muscles than canoeing or kayaking.

It makes for a perfect start of your day, or if you’re not a morning person, end your day paddling into the sunset.

With secluded beaches, bird sanctuaries, washrooms, picnic areas, a cottage-country feel, and many waterways to paddle and explore, the Toronto Islands in Lake Ontario are the perfect place for paddleboarding.

You can find several water sports companies on the islands that rent paddleboards and offer lessons. But you can of course also just buy your own paddleboard and go for a paddle whenever the weather allows it.

The Beaches is another popular area for paddleboarding, as pictured above.

And if you are looking for even more places to paddleboard in Toronto, this list is helpful.

6. Try Windsurfing at the Toronto Windsurfing Club

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Photo credit: Toronto Windsurfing Club

Do you want your outdoor activities in Toronto to be more challenging? Then go to the Toronto Windsurfing Club to try your hand at windsurfing!

The club offers lessons for adults and children at different lessons.

They also organize races and different events, and if windsurfing has you hooked you can become a member of the club to windsurf as often as you can. 

If you’re new to the city and are looking to meet people, joining this club (and any sports club of course) is also great for that!

7. Try Kitesurfing

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Photo credit: Toronto Kite Club

Another great outdoor thing to do in Toronto is kitesurfing.

It takes a couple of weeks to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it’s the ultimate adrenaline rush!

We Love Kiteboarding and the Toronto Kite Club are two places in Toronto where you can take kitesurfing lessons. And if you already know how to kitesurf they are also a great place to help you get the right gear and to meet other kitesurfers.

The water of course can get chilly, so make sure you wear the right clothes for the time of year.

8. Go Horseback Riding at Toronto Equestrian Downtown

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Photo credit: Toronto Equestrian Downtown

If you’d rather stay on land go horseback riding at Toronto Equestrian Downtown.

Fun fact: did you know that horses can smell confidence, much like dogs?

Learning how to ride takes some time but once you get the hang of it, it can be relaxing or exhilarating, depending on what you want.

Whether you are new to the sport and just want an introduction to see if this is for you or you are an experienced rider, Toronto Equestrian Downtown caters to both.

Riding boots and hats can be found here.

9. Bike Around Toronto

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Toronto’s bike share system

One of the nicest places for a leisurely bike ride in Toronto is on the islands. And, you can take your bike on the ferry, at no extra cost.

The city of Toronto is working on making the streets more bike-friendly, which means biking around the city is becoming more and more popular. Don’t forget to wear a helmet though!

If you don’t have a bike you can find bike rental places throughout the city. And Toronto also has a bike share system offering both short term passes and annual memberships.

Toronto’s city website has a map of all the cycling infrastructure of the city.

If you want to explore a part of Toronto by bike and prefer not to go alone, then check out this downtown Toronto bike tour and this evening bike tour on the islands.

10. Go Rollerblading and Skateboarding

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Skateboarding and rollerblading in one of Toronto’s numerous parks or BMX tracks are excellent options for outdoor exercise.

There are various skateparks around the city, with Beach Skatepark at Ashbridges Bay being the largest one.

This link gives more information about the best places for both skateboarding and rollerblading.

And both skateboarding and rollerblading are of course also a great way to get around the city.

11. Walk Around the City

Adventurous things to do in toronto

We often forget that walking is a great outdoor activity as well. And it’s a great way to get to know different parts of the city.

Start in the pedestrian-only distillery district, then pass the trendy shops on Queens street, sample the aromas in Chinatown, and end up in colorful Kensington market.

And if you want to learn more about Toronto while exploring it on foot, then check out this Distillery District walking tour and this fun haunted night walking tour.

12. Go Hiking 

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Cherry blossoms in High Park – Photo credit: City of Toronto

An easy way to enjoy the outdoors in Toronto is by going on a hike.

High Park, Toronto’s version of New York’s Central Park, is a great option with good hiking trails. But, there are many more trails in and around the city, for all levels.

Check out this handy list for the most beautiful and accessible trails in and around Toronto.

Fewer feelings are more rewarding than reaching the destination of your hike and admiring the beauty and diversity of nature. Followed by a picnic or a well-deserved drink of course.

Be sure to choose your shoes according to the intensity of your hike.

13. Play Volleyball at Ashbridges Bay

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Photo credit: Loozrboy

If you’re looking to play a fun sport with some friends then just grab your volleyball and go to Ashbridges Bay.

Or if you want to play volleyball regularly and join a club, you can find a list of volleyball clubs in and around Toronto here.

14. Play Soccer With Toronto Soccer Connection

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Photo credit: Toronto Soccer Connection

Soccer is another great team sport to play outdoors when the weather allows it.

And the best parts (in my opinion at least): it’s inexpensive and you don’t have to be good at it to enjoy it.

The Toronto Soccer Connection has various teams, ranging from amateur to experienced. Being part of one is a fun way to stay in shape and meet new people.

15. Enjoy Some Outdoor Yoga

Adventurous things to do in toronto

For those of you who prefer a more mindful outdoor activity, consider joining an outdoor yoga class in Toronto.

When the weather is good there are tons of outdoor yoga classes organized throughout the city.

Just Google your neighborhood + outdoor yoga and you’ll probably find some results nearby. Otherwise, this is a good list of outdoor yoga classes in Toronto.

Or of course just bring a yoga mat to a park or beach and practice some yoga on your own. There are plenty of online yoga classes you could do outside!

Final Thoughts About Outdoor Activities in Toronto

Whether you are visiting Toronto or living in Toronto, I hope this list has given you a good range of ideas for outdoor things to do in Toronto.

If you need any gear for your outdoor activities, check out Decathlon’s webshop.

Also Read:

  • What to Bring on a Hike: Hiking Essentials You Should Never Forget
  • Interview About What It’s Like to Move to & Live in Toronto
  • 15 Things to Know Before Traveling to Canada
  • Visiting Banff National Park – The Best Places to See & Things to Do

 
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Adventurous things to do in toronto

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— Update: 04-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article The Best Things to do in Toronto – A Guide to the Top Attractions from the website theplanetd.com for the keyword adventurous things to do in toronto.

There are so many things to do in Toronto it can be difficult to know where to start. Being one of the most multiculturally diverse cities on the planet, there is something for everyone. It’s our hometown but we’ve also experienced Toronto as a tourist. It is the largest city in Canada, and in our humble opinion, it’s the most exciting!

Read more  Free Things to Do in Sonoma County

If you are visiting Toronto, our comprehensive Toronto guide will help you find the best places to visit in Toronto for first-time visitors and return.

Top Things to do in Toronto

1. CN Tower Edgewalk

Adventurous things to do in toronto
One of the Best Things to do in Toronto is the EdgeWalk at CN Tower

The CN Tower is Toronto’s most iconic landmark and the most popular thing to do in Toronto. Built in 1975, it reigned as the world’s tallest building until 2007 when it was taken over by the Burj Khalifa in 2008. While the CN Tower is a top Toronto Attraction unto itself, it’s the Edgwalk that makes it special.

  • Location: 301 Front Street. Directions – TTC to Untion Station, then walk East on Front Street

CN Tower Glass Bottom Floor

2. Casa Loma

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Did you know Toronto has a castle? Casa Loma was built in 1911 by Sir Henry Pellatt; a local financier to be used as his private residence. It was a lavish house with 98 rooms at 64,700 square feet (6,011 m2).

  • Location: 1 Austin Terrace – Take the Subway Line 1 to St. Claire Station and then walk West to Casa Loma

3. Ontario Science Centre

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Located north of the city, the Ontario Science Centre has been a favourite for decades. There are great hands-on science exhibits and spectacular displays. Walking through the Living Earth exhibit feels like you are walking through a real rainforest. It has Toronto’s only Planetarium and there is an OMNIMAX Theatre showing new films regularly.

  • Location770 Don Mills Road North York:  Subway Line 2 to Pape Station, transfer to Bus 25 North to Don Mills at St. Dennis. Or grab an Uber, or ride a bike!

4. Hockey Hall of Fame

Adventurous things to do in toronto
outside the Hockey Hall of Fame

Canada loves its hockey and Toronto is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame located in downtown Toronto at the foot of Yonge and Front Street. It houses the Stanley Cup and it’s on display when it’s not touring the country. It also houses the world’s largest collection of hockey memorabilia, there are interactive displays and two theatres.

5. Ontario Place

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Ontario Place, Toronto, Canada

Located at the CNE Grounds on the Lakeshore, Ontario Place an excellent place to spend an afternoon. It has one of the best outdoor festival stages in Toronto at Budweiser Stage attracting big names performing in an intimate setting. And there’s an IMAX theatre. Enjoy the excellent trail for cycling or rollerblading that goes around 7.5 acres of green space.

  • Location: 955 Lakeshore West BLVD – Hop on the 514 Streetcar out to Dufferin Gate Loop. Or ride a bike along the waterfront trail.

When planning your Toronto sightseeing excursions you must include museums in your Itinerary.

Watch this Toronto City Tour we took with Tours by Locals. The Best of Toronto in One Day. Read the full article here at Toronto Tours by Locals

6. Royal Ontario Museum

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Beautiful architecture of Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is Canada’s largest museum of Natural History and one of the top 10 cultural institutions in North America and Canada s largest museum. Located in downtown Toronto at the corner of University and Bloor, this popular Toronto attraction melds old and new. The contemporary design of the Royal Ontario Museum is a beautiful addition. The ROM houses 13 million artifacts and artwork featured in 40 different exhibition spaces and galleries.

  • You can purchase advance tickets to the ROM Get Your Guide for $20.
  • Location: 100 Queens Park – at the corner of Yonge and Avenue Road. Line 1 or 2 Subway to Museum Station.

7. Art Gallery of Ontario – AGO

Adventurous things to do in toronto

The AGO went through a huge transformation in 2008 with a spectacular design by Canadian artist Frank Gehry. The art gallery houses permanent collections like the Group of Seven, The Thomspon Collection and Contemporary Art. It also has a lovely cafe where locals like to meet for a drink or coffee. Its no wonder this is one of the best places to visit in Ontario, let alone Toronto. Located downtown Toronto on Queen Street, it is a central location that is easy to walk to from the Entertainment District, China Town or Front Street.

  • Location: 317 Dundas Street West – Line 1 Subway to St. Patrick Station
  • There are several private art galleries along this street.

8. Fort York

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Before Toronto became the mega city that it is, it was once called York. And this fort stood on the shores of Lake Ontario to protect the city during the War of  1812. This National Historic Site is open year-round offering guided tours, demonstrations, and exhibits. You’ll have fun interacting and learning about history.

9. Bata Shoe Museum

This is one of the most unique museums we’ve experienced with displays of footwear through history. But you’ll also see celebrity footwear like Elton John’s platform boots and Elvis’ Blue Suede Shoes. Canadian legend Terry Fox’s running shoe is on display from when he attempted to run across the country for cancer research. He eventually succumbed to the disease, but he is a true Canadian hero.

  • Location: 327 Bloor Street West. Subway Line 1 or 2 to St. George Station
  • Advance tickets can be purchased through Get Your Guide 

10. Aga Khan Museum

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Opened in Sept 2014, the Aga Khan Museum is one of Toronto’s newest attractions. This museum features a collection of Islamic, Persian and Muslim Art.

It is North America’s first museum dedicated to Islamic Art and was started by the private collection of the late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan. The museum houses 1000 objects dating back 10 centuries housed in an impressive eye-catching building.

  • Location: 77 Wynford Drive – Subway Line 2 to Broadview Station then transfer to Bus #100 to the museum.

11. City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square

Adventurous things to do in toronto

It’s a gathering spot for tours and meetups. It probably attracts the most visitors to Toronto due to the iconic City Hall Building. It is a popular spot for events, art displays, and celebrations. This is where we celebrate New Year’s Eve and the fountain turns into a skating rink during the winter months.

  • Location100 Queen Street West – Subway Line 1 to Queen Street.
  • Book a walking tour of Toronto to see all the major sites of Toronto

12. Graffiti Alley

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Graffiti Alley is picking up steam as the most popular place in Toronto for Instagram. Located at Queen and Bathurst offers 1 km of walls covered in street art and graffiti along Rush Lane. Canadian commentator Rick Mercer shot his Rants along Graffiti Alley over the course of his 15-year show. It’s located in the city center on Queen Street making it an easy walk to get to.

13. Harbourfront

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Harbourfront is an amazing entertainment area complete with theatres, museums, music venues, and festivals. There are plenty of dining options and it is an excellent place to stroll along Toronto’s waterfront, do some shopping in the Harbourfront Centre and enjoy the artisan workshops.

  • LocationLocated on Queens Quay – Subway to Union Station and Walk South to the water. Or ride the Spadina Streetcar all the way to Harbourfront.

14. Chinatown

Adventurous things to do in toronto

One of Toronto’s most vibrant neighborhoods in downtown Chinatown is located on Spadina Avenue. Pick up your favorite Asian vegetables for authentic cooking, eat incredible Chinese food and ask for “a pot of tea” after hours (meaning, a pot of beer)

You really fell as if you have stepped into an Asian city with the sounds, smells, and taste of Asia engulfing the senses at every turn.

  • Located along Spadina Avenue between Queen and College
  • Book a walking tour of China Town and Kensington Market.

15. Toronto Underground City

It’s true, Toronto has an entire subterranean world under the city known as The Path. It is one of the largest underground walkways in the world. Starting at Yonge and Dundas Square it weaves through 30km of the downtown core all the way to Union Station.

More than 200k daily visitors and commuters walk the path filled with restaurants, shopping, cafés connecting 75 skyscrapers, subway stations, department stores and hotels.

  • Located: in the downtown core. Just walk into any building and look for the Path sign. Visit Path.com for maps

16. Yonge and Dundas Square

Adventurous things to do in toronto

This popular public square in the heart of Downtown always has something exciting going on. Surrounded by billboards, shopping, movie theatres and City TV, it’s a happening spot. It’s Toronto’s version of New York’s Times Square and a place all travelers to the city should visit. There are always outdoor performances, festivals and even free movies in the summertime.

  • Location: At the intersection of Yonge and Dundas Street. Subway Line 1 to Dundas Station.

17. Entertainment District

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Entertainment District Toronto

The Entertainment district is a great place for travelers to make a base while exploring the top Toronto Attractions. Close to Union Station, it is easy to get to and it is where Toronto’s main nightlife venues can be found. With cocktail lounges and chic bars, this is one of Toronto’s most popular places.

No public vehicles are allowed on King Street West in the heart of the district, so it’s a great place to walk from Spadina to University to do some bar hopping. Here you’ll also find Steam Whistle Brewery, Toronto’s top theatres and it is home to TIFF. (The Toronto International Film Festival)

18. Distillery District

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Historic Distillery District

The Distillery is one of the most popular places in Toronto for travelers. Stroll through the pedestrian walkways along cobblestone streets as you browse the many boutiques, brew pubs, and art galleries. In the summer the streets come alive with outdoor street performers, music and stage performances. In the winter, the annual Toronto Christmas Market is in full swing.

  • Location: Located on Mill Street between Parliament and Cherry Street.
    • A Segway tour of the Distillery is a fun way to get around and learn of its history.

19. High Park

Adventurous things to do in toronto
High Park Cherry Blossoms

Located in the West End, the city’s largest park attracts visitors from afar during cherry blossom season, but there is a lot more to high park.

Visit the High Park Zoo housing domestic animals like bison, highland cattle, and llamas. There are plenty of picnic areas, hiking and cycling and in the summer Shakespeare in the Park begins with live performances from the Bard. There’s Grenadier Pond, the Historic Colborne Lodge and it is a short walk down to the Lake Shore to enjoy the Toronto Waterfront.

20. Evergreen Brickworks

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Evergreen Brickworks

With outdoor markets, art exhibits and cafés, the Evergreen Brickworks is a fantastic place to spend a couple of hours. Rent a bike from one of the city’s bike share locations and peddle out to the quiet district to grab some fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market. This reminds me of those cool districts you find in New York City.

  • Location: 550 Bayview Avenue. It’s tricky to get to cycling or a car is the best way. By transit, Subway line 1 north to Davisville and then bus #28 to the Brickworks.

21. Toronto Islands

Adventurous things to do in toronto
The Toronto Islands are great city escape

You must go to the islands for the best view of the Toronto skyline. This is the view that everyone around the world recognizes. There is stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, and cycling. You can visit the beaches of the island including Toronto’s famous Nude Beach.

Kids will love playing at one of Toronto’s cutest amusement parks. We always enjoy a picnic on the islands and there’s even a small amusement park. The islands are a perfect getaway from the city.

  • Location: Board the ferry from Queen’s Quay.

22. The Beaches

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Who knew Toronto had such great beaches?

The Beaches have long been a favourite tourist attraction of Toronto. Starting at Ashbridges Bay, you’ll find beach volleyball, boardwalks, and parks stretching along the 3km trail along Lake Ontario leading to the R.C. Harris Filtration Plant. Traffic is a killer in the summer, so use a bicycle to get around. The Beaches Jazz festival takes place during the month of July.

  • Location: Toronto East – Queen Streetcar.

The Main Toronto Beaches are:

  • Cherry Beach is located at the outer harbour on the Martin Goodman Trail and is a popular spot for SUP, Kite Boarder and kayaking. Locals like the off-leash zone for dogs. On your way stop at Polson Pier for the best skyline view of the city outside the island.

Read more  Top 30 FREE Things to do in Branson, Missouri

  • Kew Beach is another great spot for Canoe and Kayaking plus our favourite SUP. It’s home to the balmy beach club and there’s outdoor fitness equipment to play with. Kew Beach basically blends into Balmy Beach and Woodbine Beach and there’s an outdoor swimming at the Donald D. Summerville Olympic Pools including 5 and 10-metre (15-30 feet) diving boards!
  • Ashbridges Bay is one of the more popular spots for beach lovers in Toronto. The waterfront trail runs through the Bay area that has green parks and walkways, beaches, a skateboarding park and picnic sites. This is Toronto’s main spot for fireworks during Canada Day and Victoria Day.

23. Riverdale Farm

Adventurous things to do in toronto

You heard me correctly, there is a farm in the middle of Toronto. Located in the East End of downtown Toronto, this is an actual working farm that allows visitors. Its 7.5 acres contain vegetable gardens, farm animals, and a farmhouse and barns. It’s a great representation of rural Ontario farming community and a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

24. Toronto Zoo

If you want more wildlife viewing, the Toronto Zoo is a popular attraction. We’re not huge on zoos, but there is an argument that zoos help promote sustainability and awareness about wildlife. And if you are going to visit a zoo, the Toronto Zoo isn’t too bad.

The animals all have for the most part large enclosures and seem to be treated quite well. When I was working at YTV, we went to the Toronto Zoo a lot and the people who work there are very passionate about animal conservation and animal welfare.

24. Toronto Bike Trails

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Endless bike trails off the main roads throughout Toronto

Toronto has some excellent bike trails away from the city traffic. You can use the bike share program to cycle around the city, or you can rent some bike. Some of the best cycling trails are the Waterfront Trail, Leslie Spit Trail, The Don Valley Bike Path, Key Garden Belt Line, Taylor Creek Park and High Park.

  • Locations: For a complete list of Toronto, Bike Trails visit Toronto.com
  • There are plenty of cycling tours that will take you to see the top Toronto attractions.

25. Scenic Flight Over Toronto

Adventurous things to do in toronto

For a birds-eye view of the city, take a scenic flight from Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island. Travelers shouldn’t miss the chance to see Toronto from above. Fly along the waterfront and circle around the skyscrapers of this spectacular international city.

26. Mountain Bike the Don

Toronto has some amazing mountain biking with more than 70km of intermediate to advanced singletrack. They are well maintained by local volunteers and it’s popular for hikers, runners and dog walkers too. So be careful when riding!

27. SUP Bluffers Park

Adventurous things to do in toronto

There are plenty of spots to Stand Up Paddle Board in Toronto but the most scenic spot is Bluffers Park just off of Bluffers Beach. Blue waters mixed with the white Scarborough Bluffs make a perfect setting and the water is usually calm for paddleboarding.

Located in Scarborough just east of the other Toronto beaches, it is one of the more scenic beaches of Toronto with the lovely Scarborough Bluffs towering overhead at 65 metres high. (180 feet) There’s a restaurant at the marina and spots for picnics. Bluffers Beach has become a popular Instagram spot.

28. Kayak the Humber River

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Sure the Beaches and Islands are popular for Kayaking, but Toronto has a beautiful river that offers a quiet alternative. Here you can paddle down the calm waters to spy wildlife like egrets, turtles, and hawks.

  • The Humber River can be accessed at Old Mill Station in the West End of the city.

29. Harbourfront Cruise

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Head down to the Harbourfront and book a sunset harbour cruise for a fantastic sunset view of Toronto. There are all kinds of cruises planned to show off the Toronto skyline from dinner cruises, daytime cruises, and cocktail cruises to special Luau Cruises and holiday events. It’s a beautiful way to take in the Toronto Scene and witness the Toronto Islands. Book a cruise in advance

30. Roy Thompson Hall

Adventurous things to do in toronto

For the best orchestra, opera and musical performances, Roy Thompson Hall is the top classical music venue in Canada. Home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra it is the premier concert hall in the city with outstanding acoustics. It is also a popular venue during the Toronto international film festival.

31. Ed Mirvish Theatres

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Ed Mirvish was a beloved businessman in Toronto from the 1960s to the 1990s. His love for the theatre basically single-handedly revitalized the Toronto theatre scene. He opened the Princess of Wales Theatre, Royal Alexandra Theatre and & Ed Mirvish Theatres all of which still showcases the most popular Broadway shows of the day.

  • Check out Mirvish.com for all theatre listings and showtimes.

32. Rogers Centre

Adventurous things to do in toronto
View of the Rogers Stadium from the CN Tower

This is the ultimate entertainment complex with the largest retracting roof in North America. Home to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rogers Centre is a huge stadium seating 53,000 people. When the Jays aren’t playing, you will find the hottest musical acts in the world playing in their stadium tours.

33. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

It is the largest soft-seat theatre in Canada making for a very comfortable experience. There’s always something playing here including concerts, films, live shows, and festivals.

  • Check out their calendar for show details. Anyone under 30 Years old receives $15 tickets!

34. Scotia Bank Arena

Adventurous things to do in toronto

It is our second-largest stadium and is home to the Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA Champions, the Toronto Raptors. In between the two major sporting seasons, the Scotia Bank Arena opens its doors to more music acts.

35. Massey Hall

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Massey Hall is an intimate music venue that has seen acts perform from all around th eworld. If you are looking for a rock and country acts or comedians to watch, chances are you’ll find someone at Massey Hall. And there is exciting news! Massey Hall has reopened and is hosting musical acts in its newly renovated space.

36. Sugar Beach

Adventurous things to do in toronto
Sugar Beach

It’s a tiny beach but has fast become one of Toronto’s most popular spots for photography. Located on Corus Quay right beside the Redpath Sugar Factory, Sugar Beach is a quiet spot just at the east end of Queens Quay. It’s a small patch of sand with Muskoka Chairs and a pink umbrella installation.

37. Sunnyside Park

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Located in the West End of Toronto, Sunnyside Beach is a quieter stretch of beach located near Sunnyside Pool. There’s a lovely pavilion that’s popular for weddings and events and you can grab some lunch while you are here.

It’s an excellent place for running and cycling and there are plenty of stops along the Waterfront Trail. This trail takes you out through wetlands, over the Humber River and Mimico Creek and into West Etobicoke.

38. St. Lawrence Market

Adventurous things to do in toronto
St. Lawrence Market is one of the top things to do in Toronto

St. Lawrence Market was once voted as the #1 Food Market in the World by National Geographic. It’s been operating for more than 200 years at the foot of Front and Jarvis Street. 120 vendors take pride in their goods operating stalls that have been passed down for generations. Take a walk through St. Lawrence Market and buy some fresh cheese, meats and bread to take on a picnic to

39. Queen West

Adventurous things to do in toronto
The OCAD building in Queen Qest

This is where the hippest of the hip hang out in Toronto. Queen West is known as the Art and Design district and if you’re looking for some trendy styles, this is the place to go. Queen Street is lined with shops and stores selling everything from makeup to menswear.

You can even buy sewing and material goods here as well as jewelry making supplies. It’s got it all. Once the shops close, the food scene begins and the live music starts at venues like The Horseshoe, the Rivoli, and the Rex.

40. Bloor/Yorkville

Adventurous things to do in toronto

It’s home to the Mink Mile – One of the world’s most expensive shopping streets. For shopping, you’ll find every high-end sort you can think of including Gucci, Chanel, Kate Spade, and Burberry. The top salons make their home in Yorkville and some of the city’s best dining is here. If you want to people-watch and keep an eye out for celebrities in Toronto, this is the place to be.

41. Eaton Centre

Adventurous things to do in toronto

The Eaton Centre has been the heart of Toronto Shopping since the 1970s. Located at Yonge and Dundas Square, this shopping mall spans from Dundas to Queen with flagship stores like The Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom helming the ends. There are high-end boutiques and thrifty dollar stores. It has everything you’d want under one roof.

42. Kensington Market

Adventurous things to do in toronto
The Kensington Market Sight

For the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Kensington Market is a funky shopping district with second-hand clothing and vintage style. Located just off Spadina in the heart of China Town, you’ll find cheese boutiques, fresh vegetable markets, microbrews and vintage clothing. It is the funkiest place in the city and a must stop for anyone coming to Toronto. For a local vibe and funny atmosphere, make sure to visit Toronto’s Kensington Market.

43. Best Instagram-Worthy Spots in Toronto

Adventurous things to do in toronto
  • Sugar Beach – Located at Lower Jarvis Street beside to the Redpath Sugar Factory just down from Queens Quay.
  • Polsen Pier – Polsen Pier is an excellent waterfront attraction with entertainment and fantastic views of the Toronto skyline.
  • Brookfield Place – This beautiful piece of architecture located in the city center on Yonge Street. When you enter this entertainment center, you are treated to stunning views of the Allan Lambert Gallery which is a 6 story enclosed courtyard.
  • Humber Bay Bridge – The Humber Bay Bridge is a pedestrian and cycling walkway connecting downtown Toronto with The Lakeshore.
  • Museum Subway Stop – located in the heart of the city center, the Museum Subway Stop is an easy place to grab beautiful photos of the museum columns adorning the platform.
  • Graffiti Alley – This isn’t only a great instagram spot, Graffiti alley is one of the best places to visit in Toronto.

44. Best Toronto Festivals

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Toronto is a city of festivals and some of the not to miss events are:

  • Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) – Sept
  • Toronto Pride – June
  • Toronto Summer Music Festival – July
  • Luminato – June
  • Beaches Jazz Festival – July
  • Toronto Caribbean Carnival – July

Getting Around Toronto

Adventurous things to do in toronto
  • There is the UP Express that leaves from Toronto Pearson Terminal 1 every 15 minutes and takes you directly to Union Station.
  • Get Your Guide offers airport limousine transfers in style that will take you to your downtown hotel.
  • Uber and Lyft can now answer calls at Toronto Pearson Airport.
  • By Train, you arrive in Toronto at Union Station from all major hubs.

Hop on Hop Off Bus – If you want to get around the city, a great way to explore is the Toronto Hop on Hop off Bus.  A 48-hour pass lets you explore Toronto’s main attractions as you hop on hop off at major tourist sites. Cost $49/It will help you see the highlights quickly and take you to some of the top sights in Toronto like Casa Loma, and a free harbour cruise.

Public Transit – Fares cost $3.25. If you buy tokens or a Presto Card it is $3. You can buy Presto Cards in advance here.

Bike Share Toronto is good for short rides. A day pass is only $7. It’s important to note is that a pass is for 24 hours, but includes unlimited 30-minute rides. So after 30 minutes at a time, extra fees apply. So it’s best to use them to get from point A to point B. The good news is that rental stations are close to most attractions.

Car rentals – Toronto itself can sometimes be very spread out depending on where you are going. If you want to do day trips from Toronto, a rental car is a good option.

  • RentalCars.com is a good comparison website to find the right car rental for you.

Parking – Use Green Ps when parking in Toronto, they are the best deal and you can download the app.

Uber – In America Lyft is cheaper, but in Toronto Uber is cheaper and the drivers we’ve talked to say they prefer Uber over Lyft. (it’s the opposite of what we’ve heard from drivers in America. Interesting eh?

Day Trips from Toronto

These day trips from Toronto are just two of the day trips that we recommend for first time visitors and people from out of country. But there are countless day trips from the city that you can explore. Read our complete list of the best day trips from Toronto: 25 Day Trips from Toronto to Escape the City

Read more  Things to do in Boston on a rainy day

45. Niagara Falls

Adventurous things to do in toronto
A Great DAy Trip from Toronto is Niagara Falls

You can get to Niagara Falls on a full day tour, by bus or by renting a car. Check car rental prices here.

46. Niagara on the Lake

Niagara on the Lake is another great day trip from Toronto. You can combine a trip with Niagara Falls, or go on your own for a day of wine tasting and exploring some of the top vineyards in Canada. Niagara on the Lake definitely deserves more than one day, but if you only have a short time, it is at least worth checking out to see its historic downtown, Fort George or watch a show at the Shaw Festival. Check out more things to do in Niagara on the Lake here.

  • Where to Stay in Toronto – A Guide to the Best Neighborhoods
  • Things to do in Niagara Falls – What to do, Where to Eat & Where to Stay
  • 35 Iconic Places to Visit in Ontario, Canada
  • Toronto to Niagara Falls by Bus -It’s Easy with Busbud
  • 19 Most Epic Things to do in Ontario

And there you have it. Our ultimate guide for things to do in Toronto. If you are visiting Toronto, this guide should have you covered with all the amazing things to see and do! What did we miss?

Adventurous things to do in toronto

— Update: 04-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article The Art of Backpacking & Adventures to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone from the website www.outofyourcomfortzone.net for the keyword adventurous things to do in toronto.

Last Updated on by Lohanna Reis

Though Ontario isn’t the first place many people think of when it comes to outdoor adventures in Canada, there are so many hidden gems that make this place special.

Adventurous things to do in toronto

The first thing that comes to mind about Ontario is typically the big city of Toronto. Even though there are countless things to do in Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal as soon as you venture outside the bustling metropolis though, you’ll be greeted by incredible hikes, gorgeous lakes, and powerful rivers.

There is no better time to get outside and explore, so these outdoor adventures in Ontario are the perfect way to feed your wanderlust.

At the end of the article, I included a map showing the destinations, so you can have an idea of how close they are to Toronto…..and even to Ottawa and Montreal! And if you’re in doubt about where to venture out, check out this article on Montreal Vs. Toronto – Which One Should I Visit. I’m sure it will be useful!

If you still have doubts and have time on your side, visit them all! Canada is an amazing place and transportation can be easily done like taking a train to Montreal from Toronto or taking a road trip through Ontario.

    1. Exploring Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney is absolutely one of Canada’s most beautiful parks. It’s about a four-hour drive from Toronto so it is easily accessible for a weekend road trip, but far enough away that you won’t have huge crowds.

Killarney is made up of multiple lakes strung together by portages and is the perfect place for a canoe or hiking trip. These are the most popular activities in the park with camping coming in at a close third.

If you are into hiking, then be sure you try The Crack or Silver Peak. The Crack is a moderate-strenuous hike that will take around 4 hours and Silver Peak is strenuous as well and will take a full day.

There are tons of canoe routes in Killarney that you could take but here are a few of my favourites. These are all overnight trips!

If you have plenty of time you can see all of Killarney Park by putting in at Johnny Lake and taking out at George Lake. This will take about 8 days and you get to see all the highlights of the park.

For a shorter paddle, you can try George Lake to OSA Lake where you should try to stay at Campsite #29 (it’s on an island!). Bell Lake to David Lake is also just a 3-day paddle. The trailhead to Silver Peak is off of David Lake so be sure to hike it on your rest day.

Make sure to book your campsites well in advance, especially for George Lake as it is the most popular spot. Try to book 5-6 months in advance.

Adventurous things to do in toronto

    2. Backpacking in Algonquin Provincial Park

Algonquin is known throughout the world for its incredible canoe camping opportunities. For those of you who don’t canoe there are also three different backpacking trails in the park.

I backpacked the Highland Backpacking Trail and there are two others called The Eastern Pines and Western Uplands.

Backpacking the Highlands Trail takes two nights and three days, so it is perfect for a long weekend. The total distance you’ll cover is 35km but there is a shorter loop you can take that is only 19km.

There are multiple campsites along the route, and you’ll pass lakes, a waterfall, and many lookouts. The trail is well-maintained and well-marked, but I would not recommend the longer route for beginners. If it’s your first time take the shorter route.

The hike is pretty challenging and takes a good level of fitness, but it is incredibly rewarding as well!

Typically, you need to pick up a permit at the Visitor’s Center, but during the pandemic it has been closed. You will also need to book your campsites in advance for this trip.

Adventurous things to do in toronto

    3. Camping in the Bruce Peninsula National Park

There are so many different camping options at Bruce Peninsula that it makes it the perfect destination for novice campers.

They have a front country campground where you can drive up to the camping spots as well as other front country campgrounds just outside the park. If you would rather camp in the backcountry then they do have two backcountry campsites.

The front country campground is called Cyprus Campground and the two backcountry campgrounds are Storm Haven and High Dump. You will need to reserve sites in advance at each of these campsites.

While it tends to get crowded in the popular areas, I found that once I made it outside of The Grotto, I didn’t see many other people.

There are nine sites at each of the backcountry camping areas and all of them are a good distance apart. There are wooden tent platforms at each one and they even have a composting toilet.

These sites do not have running water so be prepared to get your water from the Georgian Bay.

In the front country at Cypress Lake Campground there are over 230 sites split between three sub-campgrounds. Here you’ll have a picnic table at your site and a fire pit.

There is also a washroom and shower house here but not electricity for a trailer hook-up. These sites are best for tent or car camping.

Adventurous things to do in toronto

    4. Canoeing the Petawawa River

If you are interested in whitewater canoeing, then head to the Petawawa River just north of Algonquin Park. This is an intermediate run, so I do recommend you or someone in your group have some whitewater experience.

If you would rather take a guided trip, then MHO Adventures is a fantastic outfitter. They provide the equipment, guides, and great food.

The put-in is on Travers Lake and take-out is at McManus Lake and the whole trip takes three to four days. There are Class I and II rapids and there will be some lake paddling on the trip.

The scenery is stunning with the tall pine trees that line the river and the night sky will leave you awe-struck at the number of stars you can see. If you are into dark sky photography, then be sure to bring your camera.

Oh, and Petawawa River is pretty close to Ottawa and Montreal as well if they are your starting point. 

Adventurous things to do in toronto

    5. Hiking & Swimming at McCrae Lake

McCrae Lake is the perfect day trip from Toronto. It’s less than two hours away, but you’ll want to get started early to take advantage of the most daylight.

The McCrae Lake Conservation Trail is what I recommend taking where you’ll start at a parking lot off of Highway 400 and venture through the forest, over Canadian Shield, and finally to McCrae Lake.

For those who aren’t familiar with Canadian Shield it’s the rocky granite terrain with pines growing from the crevices. Do watch where you’re going as it can be tricky to navigate when everything starts looking the same!

There are multiple lookouts along the trail that give you a view over McCrae Lake. Once you make it to the lake there are great spots to stop, have a picnic, and go swimming for a bit.

The trail is 14.5 km and it’s out and back so give yourself plenty of time.

Adventurous things to do in toronto

    6. Trekking in Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

This park is only an hour away from Toronto giving you even more time to explore! However, this park does get very crowded especially on weekends because of its close proximity.

This is the perfect place for an afternoon hike through and you can come and enjoy the deciduous forest and walking through towering rock walls.

The most popular hikes here are Cliff-Top Side Trail and Lookout Trail. While some of the trails have steep sections, most of them are wide and flat. They are perfect for beginner hikers and those with furry friends or kids. Not many people know it, but Canada is a great destination for kids! There are a number of things to do with your kids in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Mono Cliffs is for day use only which means that no camping is allowed. There are 20 km of hiking trails total so plenty to keep you occupied for a day.

Adventurous things to do in toronto

    7. Glamping in Georgian Bay Islands National Park

This national park is made up of 63 different islands in the southeast corner of the Georgian Bay. The largest and most visited of these is called Beausoleil Island.

To get here you have to drive to Honey Harbor Boat Club Marina and take a boat out to the island. The marina is about a two- or three-hour drive from Toronto depending on where you are coming from.

You can also take the Parkbus if you are going on a day trip. You need to register ahead of time for this, but it includes transportation to the marina as well as to the island.

If you don’t take the Parkbus then you have to arrange your own water transportation. You can either take the DayTripper (there are some restrictions) or get your own Water Taxi.

This park takes a bit of planning to get to because all of these require that you register ahead of time, but the planning is well worth the effort.

Instead of going on a day trip, I highly recommend that you camp here as the sunrises and sunsets are unbelievable. They also have glamping options if you would like to splurge on that.

Of course, you should hike on your visit to the park. My recommendation is to hike Fairy Lake. You can also swim at Honeymoon or Beausoleil Point or rent a bike from the Visitor’s Center.

Did I mention the sunsets are fantastic? Don’t waste a trip here by not seeing one of them!

Adventurous things to do in toronto

Map with Outdoor Adventures in Ontario, Canada, around Toronto

See below a map with all the adventures on our list, so that you can view and plan your itinerary more easily. (just click on the map below to zoom in).

Concluding…

If you were sceptical about the outdoor adventures that Ontario has to offer, I hope these options have changed your mind! There are so many wonderful things to do outdoors and gorgeous places to visit in this province that are not far from main cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal (last two cities are in the province of Quebec). 

Don’t be afraid to get out there and try some new things like whitewater canoeing or backpacking. If you’re more comfortable sticking to the easy day hikes though then that’s fine too.

What’s important is getting outside and enjoying the outdoors!

Bio

Mikaela at Voyageur Tripper has been canoeing, hiking, and camping for over ten years. She previously worked as a canoeing guide in Canada and spent a season guiding hiking and kayaking tours in the high Arctic. Mikaela is a Wilderness First Responder and Whitewater Rescue Technician. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

References

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About the Author: Tung Chi