Toronto Culture & history

Our most recommended Toronto Culture & history

Toronto: Casa Loma Entry Ticket

1. Toronto: Casa Loma Entry Ticket

Step back in time to a period of European elegance and splendor at Canada's majestic castle, Casa Loma, located in midtown Toronto. Your entry ticket includes a documentary experience on Sir Henry Pellatt and access to the castle’s café and other features. Completed in 1914 by Sir Henry Pellatt and spanning over 200,000 square feet, Casa Loma is a must-see when visiting Toronto. Today, Casa Loma is one of Toronto’s top tourist attractions. Its unique architecture has also made it a highly desirable location for film, television, and photoshoots. Casa Loma features permanent installations such as the Dark Side of Toronto photo exhibit and the Classic Car Collection in Casa Loma’s stables. Casa Loma also curates special exhibits on a regular basis, pertaining to early Toronto and Canadian history. The Dark Side Tunnel ExhibitThe stables and carriage house are connected to Casa Loma by an 800-foot tunnel that runs 18 feet below Austin Terrace. The tunnel features an exhibit of Toronto’s dark side, which tells the story in archival photographs of Toronto’s darker days, such as the Prohibition Era, the Great Depression, the plague, the Great Fire of Toronto, and Toronto’s first plane crash. Antique Car DisplayThe garage and carriage room feature an exhibition of vintage cars from the early 1900s, the period in which Sir Henry Pellatt would have inhabited Casa Loma. The collection includes a 1910 Maxwell Model Q Standard, 1924-1925 Ford Model T Touring, 1910 Maxwell Model Q Standard, and more. The RoomsYou’ll also get to explore the former estate of Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, the prominent Toronto financier, industrialist, and military man behind the origins of the castle. Sir Henry asked the architect E.J. Lennox to help him realize a life-long dream – the creation of a medieval castle overlooking Toronto. Casa Loma features nearly 98 rooms, many of which exemplify the Edwardian era and are decorated with authentic period furnishings and antiques. Group of Seven CollectionLocated on the third floor of Casa Loma, this collection is comprised of artwork by various members of the Group of Seven. Active from 1920 to 1933, the Group of Seven (which eventually grew to ten members) was comprised of Canadian landscape painters. Hollywood Film GalleryLocated in the basement level of Casa Loma, the Hollywood Film Gallery highlights the castle as a prime location for major motion pictures, revealing glimpses behind the scenes. For over 30 years, Casa Loma has been a popular location for use in film and television. The Queen’s Own Rifles of CanadaThe Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Museum occupies a major part of the third floor of the Casa Loma.

Royal Ontario Museum: General Admission Ticket

2. Royal Ontario Museum: General Admission Ticket

No trip to Toronto is complete without a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum—Canada’s largest museum. Explore stunning galleries of dinosaurs, Indigenous art and culture, ancient Egypt, minerals and gems, and more. Explore each of these 16 Must-See Treasures with the aid of bilingual multi-media kiosks. Discover an exceptional array of themed galleries throughout the Museum, spanning both world cultures and natural history. Must-See Treasures at the Museum include:  • The Nisga’a and Haida totem poles • The Death of General Wolfe painting • The Chinese Temple Art mural The Paradise of Maitreya  • The Tomb Mound of General Zu Dashou (“Ming Tomb”)  • The rare Southern White Rhinoceros • The Barosaurus (“Gordo”), Canada’s largest dinosaur on display  • The duck-billed hadrosaur Parasaurolophus walkeri • The exceptionally well-preserved fossils from the Burgess Shale  • The 900-carat Light of the Desert Cerussite gem • The Tagish Lake Meteorite • The Bust of Cleopatra VII • The Statue of Sekhmet — one of the oldest known Egyptian deities  • The Egyptian Book of the Dead • Earl of Pembroke’s Armour • Kunti Sculpture (“Blue Lady”)  • The Striding Lion Terracotta Relief 

Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Special Exhibits Ticket

3. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Special Exhibits Ticket

Visit the Royal Ontario Museum, where jaw-dropping dinosaurs, glittering gemstones, and mysterious mummies are just a few of the treasures on display. Your ticket includes general admission and access to one or more of the special exhibits. Enjoy the freedom to explore the museum at your own pace and visit the exhibits and galleries that interest you most. There’s plenty to see and do at the museum, with exhibits to interest the whole family. The special exhibits currently featured at the Royal Ontario Museum include 'Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature': 'Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature' explores the links between the magical creatures of the wizarding world and the remarkable animals in our natural world, encouraging a greater connection to our planet and empowering us all to be advocates for its care. Be awed by the powerful combination of science, nature, and imagination as you explore fantastic beasts in all their forms and learn how these animals inspired some of the world's most incredible stories and folklore.

From New York City: 5-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & White House

4. From New York City: 5-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & White House

Embark on a 5-day trip to Niagara Falls, Toronto, the 1000 Islands, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and the Amish Country in Lancaster from New York City. Witness the magnificent Niagara Falls, visit the Arlington National Cemetery, and enjoy the convenience of included accommodation and entry tickets. Day 1: NEW YORK – FINGER LAKES – NIAGARA FALLS Depart from the Big Apple heading north where you will pass the beautiful Delaware Water Gap to Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Walk through Watkins Glen Canyon to visit the beautiful waterfalls and then continue to Niagara Falls passing Seneca Lake, arriving in the late afternoon. Tour the US side of Niagara including the American Falls, Goat Island, and Luna Island. Experience the power of Niagara aboard the Maid of the Mist. At night, you can appreciate the colorful lighting of the waters. Stay at the Ramada by Wyndham. Day 2: NIAGARA FALLS – TORONTO – 1000 ISLANDS Start with the magnificent Horseshoe Falls view followed by the visit to the picturesque village of Niagara on The Lake. Continue to Toronto, the financial capital of Canada. Visit the HTO Park, Brookfield Place — home of the Hockey Hall of Fame — City Hall, and The Distillery Historic District. Towards the evening, depart Toronto east along the world-famous Lake Ontario for an evening arrival to the 1000 Islands area (in April, based on weather conditions the tour may return to Niagara Falls for overnight). Stay overnight at Gananoque – Comfort Inn (April, Niagara Falls – Ramada by Wyndham). Day 3: 1000 ISLANDS – NEW YORK Start the day with a cruise through the amazing 1000 Islands along the St. Laurence River. See the houses of the rich and famous built atop private islands — such as Boldt Castle and Heart Island. Enjoy a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way. Arrive at your hotel in New Jersey at the La Quinta Inn and Suites. Day 4: NEW JERSEY – PHILADELPHIA – WASHINGTON DC Depart from New Jersey to Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Visit the famous Liberty Bell, Constitution square, and Congress Hall. Continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia, and more. See the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Enjoy an authentic Amish Buggy ride through the Amish farm country. In the late afternoon, depart east for an evening arrival in Washington DC where you will stay at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Alexandria. Day 5: WASHINGTON DC – NEW YORK Start the day with a visit to Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded by famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the Changing of the Guard, and the Kennedy family gravesite. The next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (while the Air and Space Museum is closed due to renovations) before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, depart for an evening arrival in New York.

Toronto: Best of Toronto City Tour with Entry Tickets

5. Toronto: Best of Toronto City Tour with Entry Tickets

Experience the best of the best on this complete Ultimate Toronto Tour. This small group tour will have you experience first-hand some of Toronto’s must-see attractions and learn about the history behind them.  Once this tour is completed, you will walk away with wonderful memories and a head full of amazing facts and tidbits about Toronto's history.  Your adventure in Toronto starts with a quick trip up to the observation deck of the CN Tower – one of the world’s most popular tourist spots. On the observation deck, you will have the opportunity to walk out and be 1,151 feet above the ground. Being so high up will allow you to get amazing views of the surrounding city. Don’t forget to bring your camera because there will be numerous opportunities to take amazing photos. Next, hop aboard a seasonal cruise where you will be able to see breathtaking views of Toronto’s skyline, the bustling waterfront, and the nearby Toronto Islands. When the cruise is unavailable, explore the cobblestone streets and old industrial buildings of Toronto's Distillery District instead. Other highlights of the tour will include a narrated driving tour of Eaton Centre, Dundas Square, Queen’s Park, and a short stop at the St. Lawrence Market (Closed Sundays and Mondays).  The Ultimate Toronto Tour will be ideal for first-time tourists to Toronto who are looking to experience it all or veteran travelers to the area who want to experience something new.

Toronto: Haunted Night Walking Tours

6. Toronto: Haunted Night Walking Tours

Ghosts, graveyards, hangings, and haunts. Hear some of the most spine-tingling ghost stories from the earliest days of Toronto. You will never look at the city in the same way again.  Choose between 4 unique tour options. After hearing about the ghostly encounters that took place in the area, your cloaked guide can walk you back to the start location, or leave you to enjoy a sleepless night in the city.  The Original Haunted Walk of Toronto (75-Minutes) Depart from the courtyard in front of the Hockey Hall of Fame to walk from the heart of the financial district into the old town. Listen to chilling tales and see a darker side to Toronto's history including haunted theaters, unsolved mysteries, and the terrifying encounters at Mackenzie House. The entrance fee to Mackenzie House is not included.  Campus Secrets and Spectres (75-Minutes) Discover the grand architecture and tree-lined paths of the University of Toronto downtown campus filled with a dark history and ghostly tales. Your tour guide will lead you through the haunted campus and the Ontario Legislative Assembly.  Spirits of the Distillery (75-Minutes) With tales of gruesome accidents, the world of whiskey-making, and War of 1812, you’ll quickly see why this is the area known as one of Toronto’s most haunted spots. Black Creek Pioneer Village (90-Minutes) Explore the supernatural side of Toronto’s historic pioneer village in the dark. Featuring some of the oldest buildings in the city, Black Creek Pioneer Village is the perfect, creepy backdrop for a night of spine-tingling ghost stories.

Art Gallery of Ontario: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Admission

7. Art Gallery of Ontario: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Admission

Fully accessible and conveniently located in downtown Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the most important art museums in North America. The AGO Collection features more than 100,000 great works of art, from cutting-edge contemporary works to classic European masterpieces. Always on display are iconic paintings by the well-known Group of Seven, as well as other Canadian artists. Explore amazing art by established and emerging Indigenous, Inuit and Métis artists. See sculptures, photographs, prints and drawings, and so much more, on display in the beautiful Gallery building. Explore the building itself, which is a work of art, with design details created by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Toronto: Bata Shoe Museum Entrance Ticket

8. Toronto: Bata Shoe Museum Entrance Ticket

Marvel at a stunning collection of shoes from around the world with an entrance ticket to the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Discover footwear of every description collected by the museum's founder, Sonja Bata. As one of Toronto's foremost cultural landmarks, and a world-renowned institution with a reputation for global excellence, the Bata Shoe Museum features one of the world's largest and most impressive footwear collections. Housed in a building shaped like a shoebox, to a design by the Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama, the museum welcomes you with its distinctive and spacious contemporary architecture filled with light. The museum collects, researches, preserves, and exhibits footwear from around the world. Explore the beautifully designed exhibitions and experience 4 innovative gallery spaces with rotating artifacts and shows. Take a fascinating journey through 4,500 years of footwear history in "All About Shoes."  2019 Exhibitions:  • Want: Desire, Design and Depression Era Footwear • The Gold Standard: Glittering Footwear from Around the Globe • Art and Innovation: Traditional Arctic Footwear from the Bata Shoe Museum Collection

Toronto: Local Craft Beer, History and Culture Tour

9. Toronto: Local Craft Beer, History and Culture Tour

Learn about the city of Toronto through its long history of beer on this unique tour. Since the early 1800's when Toronto was known as York, to the modern metropolis it is today, the citizens of this city have used beer for refreshment and merrymaking. Walk through the streets of old Toronto and learn about Canadian beer. The focus will be on beer made in Toronto and regional craft brews. Hear anecdotes about the role beer played though the decades in helping Torontonians cope with cholera, fire, war, depression, rebellion, muddy streets, and general Victorian stuffiness. Visit a few unique and historic pubs which cover the early history of Toronto and give a new perspective on the city. Afterwards, stop by Saint Lawrence Market and finish up in the Distillery District; an old industrial park and whiskey factory converted into a hub of art, culture, and cafes. At 2 pub stop, beer will be included, but you are welcome to purchase more.

Toronto: Luxury Small Group City Tour

10. Toronto: Luxury Small Group City Tour

Join our award-winning small group tour as we explore Canada’s vibrant cosmopolitan city straddling beautiful Lake Ontario. Toronto is known for soaring skyscrapers, a lively arts scene and unique cultural attractions. See Toronto from the sky in an eyepopping visit to the iconic CN Tower and revel in the gothic splendor of Casa Loma (admissions included). Relax in our spacious executive vehicle with a certified driver at the helm and our experienced tour guide on hand to reveal Toronto’s local hotspots and hidden gems. Anticipate ample time for photo stops and leisure time to have lunch on your own. Our Gems of Toronto Tour is a showcase of outstanding attractions. A distinct tour highlight features the historic beauty of Casa Loma, a castle like no other. We’ll then make it to the top of the world with a lofty vantage point from the CN Tower. Essential viewing, it’s one of Toronto’s most celebrated and recognizable landmarks. On a clear day you can see all the way to Niagara Falls! Known as a “city of neighborhoods,” Toronto is packed full of outstanding modern and heritage architecture. We ensure our guests experience essential viewing of Toronto’s impressive array of museums, theaters, markets, and waterfront attractions. Join us for the best of Toronto in this authentic, wholly satisfying tour.

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Frequently asked questions about Toronto

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Toronto?

The best day trips and excursions from Toronto are:

Niagara Falls, Canadian Side

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Other Sightseeing Options in Toronto

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What people are saying about Toronto

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 640 reviews

The museum is fantastic and the special exhibit was cool if you are a Harry Potter fan

There is so much to experience, see and explore; invest 2 days to enjoy!

Wear good walking shoes! You won't want to miss anything!

great scary stories and leaned a lot about the history

Wonderful place it’s very full with a great history.