If there’s one city where I spent the most layovers, it’s probably Toronto (followed by my forever love: New York). While many of my colleagues would never request a rotation to Toronto, I spent at least one day in Toronto every month during the last two years. As you can tell, I spent plenty of time exploring the city and its surroundings, so I think it’s about time to share my favorite things to do on a quick stopover in town.
As with any other city, there is more to explore than only the spots I’ll be talking about. The following attractions and places will give you an excellent overview of Toronto so you can decide what’s your vibe for your next visit 🙂
One day in Toronto, Canada Itinerary
Morning @ Toronto Islands
Very unpopular opinion here, but I think the best way to start your day is by going to the Toronto Islands. Let me tell you why:
The peaceful and calm vibes on the Islands in the morning are great to start the day. While the fresh air during the ferry ride across lake Ontario will kickstart your brain, the views once you arrive are stunning. I love the scenery of tiny houses, beaches, and the skyline of Toronto.
I usually grab a large cup of coffee before I board the ferry and grab a snack once I finish my walk. This place is one of my favorites on earth and one of the most iconic ways to start the day.
This screams hot girl morning walk, right?!
Toronto has some great brunch spots. Once you make your way back to town, I’d highly recommend checking out one of the following places:
I’d recommend making a reservation beforehand, especially on the weekend.
It’s about time to explore the main sights in Toronto. Since we’re also adding the CN Tower to this Itinerary, I’d plan the rest of the spots around/according to your tower tickets. The following sites are all within walking distance in downtown Toronto (we love that) and are mainly free:
If you want to skip one of these and need more Toronto attractions to fill your one day in Toronto Itinerary, you could also check out Kensington market or Lawrence market. If you’re looking for another place to shop besides Queen street west, you should check out Eaton Centre on Yonge street.
Rainy day alternatives
We probably all know the feeling of sightseeing plans drowned in the rain. But don’t worry, I got you covered. While The Hockey hall of fame and CN tower are inside anyway, you probably want to switch the neighbourhood walks for another option.
Visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario is a great alternative for one of these days. You could spend hours in this fascinating gallery with the iconic wooden staircase. I love everything about this and have visited it multiple times already. 10/10!
Another great spot would be the Royal Ontario Museum and its impressive exhibitions. Being Canada’s largest museum and rated among the top 10 cultural institutions in North America, you won’t get bored there for sure.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada would be another excellent option for those interested in sea life.
Sunset @ Polson Pier
Sunsets are great. But sunsets are even better with a stunning view! Polson Pier is one of the best spots to enjoy the end of the day, admiring the Toronto Skyline. If you’re in the mood for drinks, you can check out Cabana Poolbar on the weekends.
If you’re looking for a downtown alternative, you could also check out Kōst’s rooftop bar for a great view.
Dinner and Drinks @ Distillery District
Our one day in Toronto Itinerary wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Distillery district. This entertainment district is not only scenic but also offers a variety of restaurants and bars to end the day. Undoubtedly, the distillery district is a great spot all day, especially when looking for more galleries and unique shops. However, the night hours are just another vibe.
PS: My favorite spot for dinner in the Distillery District is Boku. Great Japanese cuisine!
One day in Toronto Itinerary Summary
I hope you enjoyed this Itinerary and have a great time exploring Toronto in one day! 24 hours aren’t much, but it’s enough to dive into this beautiful city.
As always, stay happy and healthy, and enjoy visiting Toronto!
See you soon,