One of the best breakfast joints in town, Café Crepe is a celebration of Toronto’s multicultural heritage. It’s a cheap and cheerful institution, and you can’t miss the huge red neon sign outside. Get your freshly made crepe with lashings of whipped cream and smothered with Nutella.
With sections dedicated to art, culture and natural history, containing ancient artefacts from every corner of civilisation, the Royal Ontario Museum competes with heavy-hitting collections around the world. Be sure to check out the Chinese pavilion, Egyptian mummies and full-size dinosaur skeletons.
Head underwater with 20,000 creatures in almost six million litres of water, and get up close to animals that would otherwise remain elusive in the wild. Glass tunnels mean you can see hammerhead sharks loom overhead and corals weave in the current, while jellyfish are illuminated in UV tanks and rays glide past your fingers in the shoreline gallery.
The newest exciting development on the Toronto food scene is Assembly Chef’s Hall, where 17 of the best chefs in the city congregate under one roof in a massive food emporium. The trend for street food has exploded recently, and here you can eat everything from fried chicken sandwiches to Texan BBQ brisket and crispy Neapolitan pizzas.
With more than 90,000 works of contemporary art, this is one of the largest galleries in North America featuring rotating exhibitions and a vast permanent collection. Time your visit with one of the after-hours museum parties, which often feature impromptu breakdancing and local Toronto DJs in the gallery space.
One of Toronto’s coolest institutions is this pair of fairy-tale theatres. Dating from 1913, they are the last surviving Edwardian stacked theatres in the world, with the Elgin theatre on the ground floor and the Winter Garden theatre seven storeys above it. Decorated with real beach leaves, pastoral watercolours and hanging lanterns, the lavish Winter Garden was featured in the 2017 Oscar-winning film The Shape of Water. Pick up tickets for an upcoming production or take a tour of the historic interiors.
For a real taste of the city, dine at indigenous restaurant Ku-Kum, headed by chef Joseph Shawana who fuses Canadian heritage with modern cooking. Expect to leave your comfort zone as you navigate a menu that includes bison, elk loin, pine needle and citrus sorbet, and wild boar (there are also more conventional dishes such as a delicious venison burger, and squash and barley risotto).
End your night at the top of the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere; it was once the tallest tower in the world, until 2009 when the Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower both pipped it to the post. Nevertheless, the views from the top are stunning and by night time, when the crowds have gone, you’ll have them (more or less) to yourself. It’s the perfect spot for a nightcap, and holds claim to the highest wine cellar in the world.
For the most central hotel in the city, head to the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel where the 43rd floor lounge overlooks the city and Nathan Philips Square where you can even spy ice skaters below in winter. For something a bit more scenic, the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, while still downtown, feels like a welcome escape from the city – you’ll get lakefront views as you enjoy a nightcap from the hotel’s bar. For the ultimate in high-end, luxury accommodations, try the newly opened St Regis, a stylish skyscraper with gleaming marble interiors.