One Day Sighseeing in Toronto
So, in this blog post, I’m going to share our day of Toronto Sightseeing and give you some ideas of how much there is to do in this fabulous city. We started and ended our day in Toronto at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
We had a stopover at the airport en route from Quebec City to London and so originally only planned to visit Niagara Falls. However, our flight to London was cancelled just before takeoff due to a cracked windshield. WestJet were excellent and put us up in a hotel overnight so we got a bonus day to spend sightseeing in Toronto.
Getting into the city from the Airport
After leaving our bags at the luggage storage place at the airport we then headed to the train station. In fact, there are several ways of getting into downtown Toronto from the airport. The Union Pearson Express train is not the cheapest option but it is quick and easy and so we chose to use it. It takes you directly from the airport to Union Station in downtown Toronto so you can literally just walk out to all the sights.
Tickets are $24.70 return for adults but there are discounts for seniors and students. Also, children 12 and under ride free. You can do it cheaper using public transport but there is no direct route so it will take a lot more time as it involves changing buses. On the other hand, a taxi would cost you around $60 each way.
The Union Pearson Express takes just 25 minutes to deliver you to downtown and trains run every 15 minutes. So it’s very convenient and we felt that it was worth the cost. Onboard you’ll also find free wifi and charging points which is handy.
Afterwards, we walked from Union Station straight to the CN Tower which his nearby. Of course, you can’t miss this famous landmark as it’s visible from pretty much anywhere in the downtown area. We visited Toronto once before many years ago and we went up the tower then. However, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to get some great views across the city again so it was top of our list of things to do during our Toronto sightseeing.
There are 3 observation levels at the CN Tower. Firstly, a general admission ticket gets you access to the LookOut Level which sits at 346 m (1,136 ft.) and the Glass Floor which is just below at 342m (1,122 ft.) You really do get some fabulous views across Toronto on these levels from the floor to ceiling windows.
If you want to go a bit higher still then buy a ticket which includes the Sky Pod. You take a separate smaller elevator to reach the pod so not many people go up at once. At 1,465ft above the ground, they say you can see as far as Niagara on a clear day. On the day we went up it was quite windy so the elevators run more slowly. I always like to go up as high as possible but I’m not sure you see anything more really. After all, you’re already pretty high on the main levels.
CN Tower Practical Information
Ticket Prices: Tickets for the main Observation Levels are $39 for adults / $29 for children.
To visit all 3 observation levels and also the Sky Pod costs $54 for adults / $44 for children.
Check out the official website for the various ticket options including front of line passes.
Opening Hours: 9 am until 10.30 pm
Official Website: https://www.cntower.ca/intro.html
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
You’ll find the Toronto Aquarium right next to the CN Tower so you don’t need to go far for some watery fun. Inside you can enjoy several themed galleries such as Canadian Waters and Rainbow Reef. Don’t forget to check out the sharks in Dangerous Lagoon. Inside is the aquarium’s largest exhibit with around 2.9 million litres of water! As well as the sharks you’ll find other sea creatures such as green sea turtles and sawfish.
After you’ve enjoyed looking at the various sea life you can also enjoy the interactive exhibits in the Discovery Centre. It’s particularly great for kids who want to touch and get their hands wet.
Toronto Aquarium Practical Information
Online Timed Tickets
Youth (6-13) $23
Child (3-5) $10
Check out the official website for details of express and anytime tickets.
To visit all 3 observation levels including the Sky Pod costs $54 for adults / $44 for children.
Check out the official website for the various ticket options including front of line passes
Opening Hours: 9 am until 11 pm
Official Website: https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada/
Salmon Run Fountain
I love it when I find something really cool to view which is totally free. Make sure you take a look at some of the cool fountains while sightseeing in Toronto. This fabulous fountain is in Bobbie Rosenfeld Park and is called Salmon Run. The sculpture was created by artist Susan Schelle in 1991 using both black and green granite together with bronze. If you follow my sightseeing trail you’ll pass the Salmon Run on your way down to the lakeside.
Toronto Railway Heritage Centre
Just across the road from the CN Tower, you’ll find this extensive display of railway engines. Although these exhibits are part of the museum you are free to walk around this area at your leisure. You only need to pay if you go inside the museum.
It’s a great opportunity to get a close-up view of some of the engines and rolling stock that were once part of the Canadian Rail System. You can also see the large turntable where engines were turned around and various railway buildings.
We spent quite some time just wandering around looking at the different exhibits. You can also take a ride on a miniature train for a fee. If you like trains then you’ll love it here. In fact, I was really surprised at how much you could see for free. However, I do recommend going inside to support the museum if you can.
Toronto Heritage Railway Museum Practical Information
Youth (4-13) $3
Under 4 Free
Youth (4-13) $5
Under 4 Free
Miniature Train Ride:
Children (under 14)
Opening Hours: 12 pm to 5 pm
The Museum is only open Wed-Sun outside Summer
Official Website: https://torontorailwaymuseum.com/
Afterwards, continue your tour of downtown Toronto by walking down to the lakeside area. Here you’ll find the HarbourFront Centre which hosts festivals, art exhibitions and other activities.
We also took a walk along the lakeside which is a great way to enjoy Lake Ontario. It’s so big that it looks like the sea. Well, of course, Lake Ontario is one of the Five Great Lakes with over 1000km of shoreline.
We enjoyed looking at the boats in the harbour. There are also boat trips on offer if you want to get out on Lake Ontario yourself. It was very windy while we were there but a cruise on the lake sounds nice.
Relax on the Beach
Unfortunately, it wasn’t really beach weather while we were in Toronto. However, I did stop for a while to enjoy Lake Ontario from these colourful beach chairs. As you can see I had a thick sweater on but it was still quite sunny and I bet this is lovely in the summer.
As can be seen in the photo, the beach is really close to downtown. And of course, you can see the CN Tower from here too.
Steam Whistle Brewing
Then just a quick pitstop for some refreshments after our walk along the lake. The Steam Whistle Brewing bar and restaurant is conveniently placed near the lake.
It was a bit early for lunch but we were tempted by the beer flights. We shared one between us.
Subsequently, our walking sightseeing tour of downtown Toronto continued inland. We were just walking along when these fire engines appeared and firemen rushed inside a nearby building. Luckily, all seemed well as they soon returned to their engine and headed off.
Toronto Blue Jays
Finally, on our way back to the station we passed the home of the Toronto Blue Jays. This is where Toronto’s Major League baseball team plays. I was particularly fascinated by the sculpture over the entrance. Created by an Ontario artist, Michael Snow, the sculpture shows baseball fans enjoying a game. It’s called The Audience.