Toronto is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. As the capital of Ontario and Canada’s largest city, Toronto borders the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. Toronto offers many things to see and do in town. With warm Canadian summer weather and scenic views, visitors to the city find plenty to see and do. If you’re planning a vacation to Toronto, the city has many outdoor activities and leisure destinations to enjoy for the entire family.
The Canadian National Exhibition
If you’re in Toronto in late summer, check out the Canadian National Exhibition, Canada’s largest annual fair. The event runs from mid-August through September and features many attractions and shows for the whole family.
There’s acrobatics and ice skating shows, air shows, comedy shows, gardening shows, shopping, casinos, and interactive exhibits. The rides include roller coasters, a zip line, swing towers, and spinning coasters, as well as hundreds of prize-winning games. And expect random special appearances from your favorite cartoon characters.
For animal lovers, the Canadian National Exhibition showcases a farm and petting zoo with cows, ducks, goats, and even ostriches! Special demonstrations include cow milking and sheep shearing. Cat and dog lovers will get a kick out of the animals’ talent shows and contests.
Horse enthusiasts have a lot to see and learn about horses. Besides horse performance shows, visitors can engage in the interactive horse program that features petting and feeding horses, wagon rides, grooming and shoeing, and learning about horse behavior and race horses. Horse events include contests, games and prizes.
Children will get a kick out of Kids’ World, an entire entertainment setting just for kids. Kids’ World features a petting zoo, circus workshops, Craft Centre for hands-on arts and crafts activities, the Pizza Nova Pizza Making workshop, and interactive aquarium exhibit, music making and shows.
Parents can take advantage of the Canadian National Exhibition baby care centres. There, moms and dads can find a cool and comfortable place to change and feed their babies.
Visit the Canadian National Exhibition’s website for details on the shows, exhibits and events.
The Luminato is a special festival in Toronto that celebrates the creativity of artists around the world. The Luminato experience features performances, displays, presentations, and hands-on interaction in many artistic expressions including music, dance, theatre, film, visual arts and literature.
Visit the Luminato website for more information on dates, events and locations.
TD Toronto Jazz Festival
June through July is the time to visit Toronto’s Jazz Festival. Music lovers will bask in the entertainment of over 1,500 musicians performing over 350 concerts of live music. The festival runs for 10 days.
Visit the Toronto Jazz Festival website for more information on the artists and performance schedules.
For a taste of the islands, summertime in Toronto is the time to take in the sounds and culture of the Caribbean. The whole family will enjoy the Annual Caribbean Carnival Gala, the Carnival Art Exhibition, calypso, soca, the King and Queen Competition and Show, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade and the live music of Pan Alive, hosted by the Toronto Caribbean Carnival Festival and the Ontario Steel Band.
Visit the Toronto Caribana website for more information on events, shows, food and activities.
The Harbourfront Centre is a place to enjoy many activities throughout the day. The Centre offers year-round activities including visual arts, film, dance, crafts, food, music and fun activities for the family. These include the Craft Department, HarbourKIDS, NextSteps, World Stage, The PowerPlant, Skate Culture, Summer Music in the Garden and Summer Festivals.
Visit their website for more information of the Harbourfront Centre’s year-round and seasonal events and activities.
Toronto’s Beach Destination
After taking in all that Toronto has to offer, head over to the shores of Lake Ontario to enjoy a day of sunshine and cool waters. Take a swim in the water, paddle boat, and even surf. Visitors can slow down and sunbathe or take a walk along the beach or boardwalk, bicycle, rollerblade, and jog in the early morning or late afternoon.
The beach is also where visitors will find festivals, carnivals and events in the summertime. On-stage performances, rides, good food, and even fireworks are some of the things to see and do along the beach.
There are many places to eat and shop along the beach. Have breakfast, lunch or dinner at any one of Toronto’s cafes and restaurants. After taking a swim, head over to the spa or hair salon for the relaxing pampering you need while on vacation.
Visit Toronto’s Beach Business Improvement Area website for a calendar of events and things to do at the beach.
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