Toronto Holidays & City Breaks

Toronto Holidays & City Breaks

Deals from £1142 per person

Toronto holidays and city breaks offer an exciting mix of urban sophistication and cultural richness. As Canada’s largest city, Toronto boasts a skyline filled with iconic landmarks, a bustling arts scene, and an array of vibrant neighbourhoods. Whether you're a foodie, a culture vulture, or a nature lover, Toronto and the surrounding area has something for everyone.

History and Culture

Toronto's history is a vibrant mosaic of diverse cultures, resilience, and transformation. Originally inhabited by Indigenous peoples, including the Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee, the area later attracted French and British settlers in the 18th century, evolving into a vital trading post. As waves of immigrants from around the globe arrived, Toronto grew into Canada’s largest city, renowned for its multicultural neighbourhoods and dynamic arts scene. Today, the city blends its rich heritage with modern innovation, offering a blend of history, culture, and community awaiting your exploration.

Things to Do

  • CN Tower: Standing tall at just over 550 metres, the CN Tower is a landmark of Toronto and one of the tallest freestanding structures in the world. Unlike many newer skyscrapers the original plans didn't include a viewing area for visitors. However, today it features a glass-floor observation deck, the thrilling EdgeWalk experience, and the revolving 360 Restaurant, all offering breathtaking views of the city and Lake Ontario.
  • Royal Ontario Museum: As one of the largest museums in North America, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) offers an unparalleled journey through art, culture, and natural history. With its wide range of exhibits and interactive displays, the ROM provides an engaging and educational experience whether you're 8 or 80.
  • Ice Hockey Hall of Fame: Celebrate Canada's favourite sport at the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame, located in the shadow of the CN Tower. This museum is dedicated to the history of ice hockey, featuring an extensive collection of memorabilia, including jerseys, sticks and the iconic Stanley Cup. Interactive exhibits allow you to test your skills in a simulated rink and learn about the greatest players and moments in sporting history. 
  • Niagara Falls: One of the most famous set of waterfalls in the world are 130km from Toronto, with the journey time by car or public transport being under two hours. It’s actually three waterfalls which can be viewed from both Canada and the USA. A boat trip will take you right to the foot of the falls, where you’ll feel the spray from the falls touching your face. If you stay until after it gets dark you’ll have the opportunity to see the falls illuminated in all the colours of the rainbow.
  • Casa Loma: A gothic revival castle-style mansion and garden. It was built as the home of Henry Pellatt, who had the bright idea of using Niagara Falls as the main electricity source for Toronto. There’s numerous rooms open to the public, as well as a vintage car exhibition displaying many vehicles from the early 1900s.
  • Distillery District: This vibrant area is known for its beautifully preserved Victorian-era industrial architecture. Once home to the Gooderham & Worts Distillery, this pedestrian-only district now boasts a lively arts and culture scene with galleries, theatres and unique boutiques. Cobblestone streets are lined with an array of restaurants and cafés, offering everything from gourmet dining to casual fare. 
  • St. Lawrence Market: This culinary treasure trove is renowned for its diverse food offerings, providing everything from fresh produce and artisanal cheeses to gourmet meats and seafood. The market is a haven for food lovers, with an impressive array of international cuisine. You can savour Chinese and Korean delicacies like dim sum, or indulge in Polish and Ukrainian favourites such as perogies.
  • The Eaton Centre: Toronto's premier shopping destination boasts over 250 retailers under its striking glass galleria. This bustling urban mall is not only a shopper's paradise but is also home to an extensive range of dining options.

 

Hotels in Toronto

The city offers a diverse selection of places to stay to suit everyone's needs. If you're seeking luxury, the iconic Chelsea Hotel Toronto boasts a central location near major attractions and shopping districts. Meanwhile, the Hilton Toronto offers a blend of sophistication and comfort with its elegant rooms and proximity to cultural landmarks. 

Map of Toronto

world_map
20 ℃

Best time to visit: Spring and Autumn offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds, ideal for exploring the city's natural beauty and cultural attractions.

7.5 hours

Fly to: Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) is located in Mississauga, around 23km from downtown Toronto.

Toronto is best for...

History enthusiasts: Immerse yourself in Toronto's rich past with visits to Casa Loma and the Royal Ontario Museum. Explore Fort York National Historic Site, or delve into the cultural heritage of Toronto's diverse communities at the Aga Khan Museum.

Foodies: Indulge in Toronto's vibrant culinary scene with a visit to St. Lawrence Market. Discover the eclectic flavours of Kensington Market, a melting pot of international cuisines, and indulge in authentic dishes in Little Italy.

Water adventures: Escape the city buzz with a boat trip to the Toronto Islands, where you can rent kayaks or paddle boards to explore the serene waters of Lake Ontario. Enjoy a leisurely ferry ride to Ward's Island Beach for a relaxing day by the water, or embark on a sailing adventure from Harbourfront Centre.

Fast facts for Toronto

Language: The main language spoken in Toronto is English. Although, being a multinational city many people don’t speak it as their first language so you’ll likely hear many languages spoken including French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Ukrainian, Chinese and Korean.

Currency: The currency used in Toronto is the Canadian Dollar.

Local time: Toronto is in the Eastern Time Zone, which is usually 5 hours behind UK time. Note that Canadians put their clocks forward and back on different dates to Europe, so for a few weeks of the year Toronto is just 4 hours behind UK time.

Fly to: Toronto Pearson Airport is located in Mississauga, around 23km from downtown Toronto. The fastest way to reach the city centre is using the ‘UP Express’ train, with a 25 minute journey time.

Flight time from the UK: The flight time is at least 7.5 hours. 

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at the official website for tourism in Toronto

Visa / Health: British nationals don’t usually require a visa to visit Toronto but do need to complete an electronic travel application prior to departure. The latest advice can be found on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.

Getting around Toronto

By subway: Line 1 Younge to University is the route most useful to tourists, as it goes to Union Station - close to numerous attractions, as well as an interchange for train and streetcar services.

By streetcar: Most streetcar routes go west-east (line 1 of the subway goes north-south), meaning the streetcars get to places not accessible by the subway. Despite the name the harbourfront service is partly underground.

By rented bike: Explore Toronto at your own pace by renting a bike, ideal for navigating the city's cycle-friendly paths and waterfront trails. Enjoy pedalling through picturesque neighbourhoods like The Beaches or along the Martin Goodman Trail, which offers stunning views of Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto.

Events in Toronto

Doors Open Toronto: Each spring you're invited to explore the city's architectural treasures with free access to over 150 buildings of cultural and historical significance, including iconic landmarks and hidden gems.

Toronto Caribbean Carnival: This lively festival, held annually in July, features colourful parades, vibrant costumes, and pulsating music that fills the streets of Toronto with a carnival atmosphere. Join in the festivities and enjoy culinary favourites, live performances, and cultural exhibitions.

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF): Every September, Toronto becomes a hub for film enthusiasts and industry professionals. The event is renowned for its premieres of award-winning films from around the globe.

Toronto safety and security

Should I get travel insurance?

We always recommend that you purchase travel insurance for your holiday. That way, you’ll be covered for any medical expenses or emergencies while you’re away. Make sure to thoroughly check what is included in your policy, especially if you plan to take part in excursions and activities that require you to be insured.

Toronto weather

Toronto’s climate can be confusing to Europeans. In January and February the city experiences a similar climate to Scandinavian countries, with daytime highs rarely getting above freezing point. However, in summer temperatures are similar to what you’d experience in the south of France. So depending on when you travel you might need a strong SPF, or you may need extra thick clothing. There’s usually 6-9 wet days in any given month, but due to very low temperatures in winter this falls as snow, rather than rain.

Best hotels in Toronto

FAQs
FAQs
Can you visit Niagara Falls from Toronto?

Absolutely! It’s under 2 hours journey time from Toronto, so makes an ideal day trip. You can even take advantage of your body not having adjusted to the time difference to set off early and beat the queues for boat trips. Do note there are two places called Niagara Falls - one in Canada and the other in the USA. It’s not possible to walk across the border, so if you make a restaurant reservation ensure it’s in Niagara Falls, ON (Ontario) and not Niagara Falls, NY (New York State)!

How much does it cost to have dinner at the CN Tower?

360 The Restaurant, is a revolving eatery based at the CN Tower offering fantastic views as you eat, including the city skyline and the islands. In order to dine here you must spend a minimum of CA$75 per person (as of 2024). However, diners get free admission to the CN Tower's Main Observation Level, normally costing at least $43. The prix fixe menu offers two courses for $75, which is effectively just $32 extra if you’re already planning to visit the CN Tower. Do be warned there are some extravagant wines on offer, so don’t presume there’s a missing decimal point when making your selection - you can buy a $1600 drink or a $11,500 bottle of wine! But don’t worry there’s a choice of alcoholic drinks available for under $15 too.

Is Toronto a walkable city?

Toronto is largely walkable, especially in its vibrant downtown core where many of the attractions, shops and restaurants are conveniently clustered together. Exploring areas like Kensington Market and Queen Street West on foot offers a chance to immerse yourself in the city's energy and charm. However, you’ll likely need to use public transport, a rented bike or taxis as well. For example, Casa Loma to the Harbourfront is approximately 5.5km.