We’re all looking for things to do in Toronto these days. With travel restrictions in place, it seems that this summer you’ve got a staycation or two in store. But what should you do to fill your time? Well, this list’ll tell ya! There are tons of ways to feel like a tourist in your own home, especially in a place like Toronto. So read this list, take your pick, and let the adventure begin!
Here are 8 of the best staycation activities to make you feel like a tourist in Toronto.
Note: Some of these locations are at least partially closed to the public at the current time. Be sure to call ahead or check the websites to get all the information on access and opening times that you need.
THOMAS FISHER RARE BOOK LIBRARY
This hidden gem of a library is tucked away at the University of Toronto. It’s an extension of their famous Robarts Library and it’s where you’ll find all the oldest and rarest collections. The books are even protected by a glass casing and you have to wear gloves and masks if you wanna touch them. Also, that rule has been in place since well before COVID-19. So ya know it’s real. Anyway, if you like that worn-out-book smell, this is the spot for you.
Where: 120 St George St
TORONTO SCULPTURE GARDENS
This little garden is one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets. It’s located just outside of St. Lawrence Market and it doubles as a garden and art exhibit. Every six months they change up the exhibit but right now, you can stop by to check out Lou Sheppard’s audio work Dawn Chorus/Evensong. It’s basically an immersive musical experience that’ll take you to another world.
Where: 115 King St E
This cool museum is exactly what its name suggests. An entire place dedicated solely to textiles. When you visit here you can peruse their collection of patterns and materials. Plus, there’s loads of history behind these textiles, so you can really make a whole day of learning out of this place. If you’re into fashion, we recommend checking it out.
Where: 55 Centre Ave
This stellar spot is one of Toronto’s worst kept secrets. It may be well known now, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t super cool to visit. The alley is just off of Queen Street. And it features work from some of the city’s best local artists. Plus, it’s just been updated with a ton of anti-racist artwork in honour of the peaceful protests going on around the world right now. So it’s pretty much a must-see these days.
Where: 513 Queen St W
BATA SHOE MUSEUM
This museum is perfect for the shoe lovers of the city. Cause that is literally all that it is about. You can learn some interesting history behind shoes from around the world. Plus, they’ve even got some high-value collector shoes on display. The place definitely makes for an interesting afternoon.
Where: 327 Bloor St W
HANLAN’S POINT BEACH
There are loads of great beaches in Toronto. But this one’s just a little different. Hanlan’s Point is located on the Toronto Islands. And it’s completely clothing optional! So we don’t recommend bringing any children on a visit here. But it is a place to check out if you’d like to mix up you’re beach experience. So keep an eye out for when the ferries resume service to take you to this cool spot.
Where: 9 Queens Quay W
CRAZY DOLL HOUSE
Okay, this spot definitely takes the cake for the weirdest Toronto destination. It’s a house located in Leslieville that’s completely covered in dolls. We’re not sure the rhyme or reason behind all the dolls. But it’s been a popular spot for folks to stop by for years. So check it out next time you’re in the Leslieville area!
Where:35 Bertmount Ave
TORONTO’S HALF HOUSE
And speaking of strange houses, we’ve gotta mention Toronto’s famous half house. The history behind this place is pretty interesting. It basically is the result of a homeowner’s refusal to sell their property to developers. And through some pretty wild legal loopholes, half of the house is what remains. It’s still standing today, so check it out next time you’re out and about in the city!
Where: 54 ½ Saint Patrick St
Happy staycation, Toronto! We hope these destinations bring you all the joy of a tourist visiting the city for the very first time.
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