04:25 AM

Toronto: A traveler's top 10 checklist

Editor's note: Author Olivia Cadrecha, a Communications Intern at TPA, has been dreaming of travel for a while, just like many who hunkered down during most of 2020 and 2021. We asked her to target one of TPA's nonstop international destinations and build a fun itinerary so she and others have a guide when they visit … one day. 

Toronto: A traveler’s top 10 checklist

Toronto has been on my travel bucket list for a while. As someone who didn’t travel much before the pandemic, it’s safe to say I haven’t made much progress when it comes to checking off some of those boxes. But with COVID-19 cases dissipating and a nonstop route to Toronto from TPA practically begging me to book, I figured it might be time to start planning. Here are my top ten things I'd like to do in Toronto.

1.  First, of course, Toronto is home to the iconic CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. A must-see, it's a true sight for any architecture enthusiast, as well as being an unmistakable identifier of this great Canadian city. 

2.  Keeping along the architectural vein, the Royal Ontario Museum is also on my list. Located in downtown Ontario this stunning external structure and an even more impressive interior is home to more than 6 million objects and specimens. The museum is one of North America’s most renowned cultural institutions.

3.   Grey Gardens, acclaimed by foodies from all over the world, has a light and inviting feel. Guests can choose to dine in the intimate dining room and watch the open kitchen or enjoy small plates at the walk-in wine bar.

4.  While I love architecture and culture, there’s something about taking a trip that makes you want to branch out and unwind, to get out of the city for a bit. What better way to do that than with a Full-Day Niagara Winery Tour from Toronto? This is an all-inclusive wine tasting tour that covers everything you can think of, so you don’t have to worry about driving or where to go next. Three wineries and one chocolate factory are included in the tour, as well as a stop at Niagara on The Lake for lunch and shopping.

5. PATH – Toronto’s Downtown Pedestrian Walkway is a mostly underground network that houses 1,200 restaurants, shops and other services. This unique underground footpath is 30 kilometers long – or 18.7 miles -- providing links to some of Toronto’s most popular entertainment attractions, including the Hockey Hall of Fame.  

6.  Included in a top 10 checklist must be Hanmoto. Hanmoto is a prime example of Toronto’s thriving snack bar culture, serving small plates and cocktails. With its casual feel, Hanmoto is the home of Dyno Wings, which are a local legend.

7. Next up is the famous Kensington Market, known for its numerous vintage shops, great food and fruit stands and diverse culture. The best way to reach the market if you’re staying downtown is by foot due to the limited parking.  Because of the artsy nature of the market you’re bound to run into a performance happening in the streets. From sketch artists to characters like Peter Parkour, a vlogging and skateboarding spiderman, the art scene is distinct and flourishing. The same goes for the murals, public sculptures and art fairs chock full of artisanal treasures found throughout the Kensington Market.

8.  While the Victorian era has long passed, there are still relics of it today in Toronto, one being the Allan Gardens Conservatory. This Victorian-Era greenhouse complex dating back to 1858 is open to the public 365 days a year and houses a multitude of tropical greenery. Spanning over 16,000 square feet, the conservatory feature six greenhouses as well as a park and a playground.


9.   Bang Bang Ice Cream and Bakery not only has the most Instagram worthy ice-cream sandwiches, but this place can serve up just about anything you can dream. The over-the-top deserts are a sweets lover’s dream come true, making it the perfect place to stop after a day of sightseeing. 


10.   As a major fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning and hockey in general, I’d be remiss if the Hockey Hall of Fame wasn’t included in this checklist. Housing the world’s largest hockey collection dating back to the game’s origin, the Hockey Hall of Fame has it all with interactive exhibits and theaters for you to watch footage from the video vault.

This, of course, is just my top 10 must-dos for Toronto. With many other options to choose from, including Niagara Falls tours, iconic landmarks like graffiti alley and public parks, there seems to be something for everyone. If Toronto isn’t on your list, TPA has nonstop flights to 90 destinations in 10 countries, which means your dream destination is just one flight away. Here’s to checking a few boxes off your travel bucket list in 2022.

To see all of TPA's nonstop destinations and the airlines that serve them, go to https://www.tampaairport.com/nonstop