Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and it comes alive during the summer. After a long, cold winter, Torontonians are eager to get outside and have as much fun as possible before autumn rolls around. When visiting during the summer, there are lots of things to do in Toronto, from beach days to adrenaline-pumping adventures.
Most people’s adventure will begin at Toronto Pearson International Airport (where there are hotels close by for anyone staying overnight). From there, it’s easy to take the UP Express to downtown, where there are many fascinating Toronto hotels to choose from. So, from checking out the best tourist spots in Toronto to see in summer to the various activities and attractions, here’s a rundown of the top things to do during one’s vacation in this amazing Canadian city.
10 Do The Exhilarating CN Tower EdgeWalk
The CN Tower in Toronto from above
Visiting the CN Tower in Toronto is a must. It’s one of the most famous attractions in Toronto and among the most recognizable landmarks of the city – there is nothing more likely to get the adrenaline pumping hard than standing on the top of the tower and looking down at the city below. This is the premise of the EdgeWalk, the highest full-circle hands-free walk in all of North America. Travelers will walk along the platform at the edge of the tower, secured by nothing but a harness, as they see the sprawling city below.
9 Visit The Toronto Islands
Toronto Skyline from Ward’s Island
The Toronto Islands are a collection of 15 islands in Lake Ontario. The three main islands with tourism infrastructure are Ward’s Island, Centre Island, and Hanlan’s Point. These are reachable by ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal in downtown Toronto. Families with kids will enjoy the activities at the amusement park on the center island, while adults and couples will love the beaches on Ward’s Island and Hanlan’s Point.
From $9.00 (ferry ticket)
Where It Is:
Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, 9 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2H3
8 Attend A Food Truck Festival In Toronto
A woman selling food out of a food truck
Toronto is all about festivals in the summertime, and the food festivals are a highlight of visiting the city during this season. Specifically, the love of food trucks here is unmatched. In the East End of Toronto, the biggest summer food truck event is the Toronto Food Truck Festival which sees hundreds of trucks gather at Woodbine Park for a weekend in August.
Fri, August 4–Mon, August 7, 2023
Where It Is:
Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St E, Toronto, ON
7 See Sunrise At The Scarborough Bluffs
The Scarborough Bluffs are a gorgeous natural attraction in Toronto’s far East End. Visiting any time is a treat, but at sunrise, there are no crowds, and the views are stunning. Be cautious, and never get too close to the edge of the bluffs. The dramatic white cliffs overlooking the blue waters of Lake Ontario are also beautiful midday, a perfect time to hang out at the beach in Scarborough Bluffs Park.
6 Have A Picnic In High Park
View of the water in High Park, Toronto
High Park is located in Toronto’s West End, near the Junction neighborhood. While especially famous for being a spot to view cherry blossoms during spring, it’s also gorgeous in the summer, with hiking and running trails, a restaurant, and lots of open green space for relaxing with friends and family. As such, relaxing at this spot is one of the best things to do in Toronto during summer, when the weather is at its finest.
5 Get Out On The Water At Lake Ontario
Beach in Toronto, Ontario
Toronto is built on the shore of Lake Ontario, a vast Great Lake that doesn’t always get a good reputation for being somewhere to swim. However, although the water near the shore in Toronto can be questionable at times, it’s still possible to get out on the water in the summer heat without swimming. Renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard is the perfect way to cool off and appreciate the city from a new vantage point.
Varies by rental facility
Where It Is:
Sunnyside Park (Address: 1755 Lake Shore Blvd W), Woodbine Beach (1675 Lake Shore Blvd E, Toronto)
4 Attend Pedestrian Sundays At Kensington Market
Kensington Market, Toronto
Kensington Market is a Toronto neighborhood that is known for its artsy vibes, pedestrian-friendly streets, and fantastic gastronomy scene. Pedestrian Sundays are a recurring event on the last Sunday of the month from late May to early October when the streets are closed to vehicles, so Kensington Market is super pedestrian-friendly.
3 Have Dinner On A Patio
Restaurant patio at King and Portland in Toronto
Patio season is a big deal for Canadians, so no summer visit to Toronto is complete without having this experience. When the good weather rolls in (usually around late May), restaurants and bars in Toronto open up their outdoor patios, streetside dining, and rooftop patios to allow guests to enjoy the sunshine over a meal or drinks – easily one of the best summer activities in Toronto.
Best Outdoor Patios In Toronto:
Lavelle, Hemingway’s, Bandit Brewery, Grape Glass, and many more.
2 Take Part In Doors Open Toronto
Aerial view of Toronto, Canada
Doors Open Toronto is an annual event that allows people in the city to get free admission to a variety of attractions that normally charge entry over the course of a single weekend. The massive event is lots of fun and takes place from Saturday, May 27, 2023, to Sunday, May 28, 2023.
1 Book A Guided Food Tour In Toronto
Fine dining and food tasting
Travelers visiting Toronto in summer are certain to fall in love with at least one thing: Toronto’s diverse food scene. There is every type of authentic cuisine from around the world that one can possibly think of in this city. That is one of the best parts of visiting Toronto – eating. Indeed, there’s no lack of excellent places to eat in Toronto, but to learn more about the best spots and famous restaurants in Toronto, consider booking a guided food tour.