If you’re planning a trip to Toronto you’ve got to pick and choose which neighbourhood is best suited for you — and that’s not always easy. The city boasts so many diverse neighbourhoods and each has its own unique offerings.
Or maybe you’re a local looking to explore the city more or a tourist. Either way, you’ll want to know exactly where to go based on what you want that day.
We asked Destination Toronto for the best neighbourhoods to visit in Toronto depending on your vibe and they helped us break down the top Toronto neighbourhoods. Start planning that city adventure!
If you’ve come to the city for a shopping spree then Bloor-Yorkville is the place to be, according to Destination Toronto. The neighbourhood is known as “Toronto’s Fifth Avenue” and boasts tons of stores, chic boutiques and more, including designer shops.
You can stroll down Bloor Street and visit several popular stores, including Aritzia, Tiffany and Roots. You can also enjoy a personal shopping experience at the Holt Renfew flagship. Or, head to Majesty’s Pleasure and get pampered on the rooftop patio.
Yorkville and Cumberland Avenue offer a quieter experience than Bloor Street and you’ll find smaller boutiques here such as Pink Tartan and Kimina Fashion.
You can also head to the Yorkville Village Shopping Centre for a mix of fashion and lifestyle brands, some of which are only found in Toronto.
Aside from shopping, you can enjoy the vibrant art scene in the neighbourhood. The area is home to over 40 art dealers and galleries as well as Yorkville Murals, an annual art and muralism festival with interactive installations, exhibitions, a block party and more.
When it comes to food, Yorkville will not disappoint. There are many upscale dining spots where you can enjoy a meal. The renowned Ristorante Sotto Sotto has received shoutouts from celebs and is Drake’s favourite restaurant in the city.
You’ll also want to stop by Eataly. The multi-level Italian food emporium features shopping, cafes, and restaurants that will whisk you away to Italy. During the summer, you can sip Italian drinks on the patio and fill up on pasta and pizza.
Sight seeing: Old Town
Old Town is Toronto’s “first named neighbourhood” and it’s home to historic sites, delicious eateries, and more. For those interested in sightseeing, this area is a must-visit, says Destination Toronto.
It’s home to “one of the largest concentrations of 19th-century buildings in Ontario,” much of which can be seen on Queen Street East.
One of the highlights of this area is the St. Lawrence Market, which is home to over 120 vendors. You can shop for items like jewelry, flowers and coffee, or grab some dishes like seafood or the famous peameal bacon sandwiches from Carousel Bakery.
Another renowned spot to visit in Old Town is the Distillery District. This historic spot is known for its European vibes and features cobblestone streets and local boutiques. It’s also home to some delicious restaurants, including El Catrin Destileria and Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie. During the holiday season, the district transforms into a twinkling Christmas wonderland for the Toronto Winter Village event.
Other sites to visit include Corktown’s community parks, Berczy Park and Fountain and the Gooderham Building.
Food: Queen Street West
Every Toronto neighbourhood has delicious food to offer, but if you’re looking for a more specific neighbourhood, we suggest Queen Street West as a good place to be for foodies.
The neighbourhood is brimming with diverse restaurants, bars and eateries that will satisfy all of your cravings. There are also lots of boutiques and shops to explore during your visit.
Some restaurants you’ll want to check out for Thai food are Nana and Queen Mother Cafe. If Italian is what you crave you can head to The Good Son, Terroni, Noce, or Osteria Du.
As for cafes, White Squirrel Coffee Shop, Dispatch Coffee and HotBlack Coffee are all good options.
For all the brunch lovers out there, Hello 123 , Café Neon and The Good Son are worth waking up for, according to Destination Toronto.
Other neighbourhoods with amazing food scenes include Little Portugal and Kensington Market.
Nature: Toronto Islands
Destination Toronto suggests nature lovers head to The Toronto Islands. Located just a short ferry ride from downtown, the islands are filled with attractions and fun activities.
Not only can you enjoy some incredible views of the Toronto skyline, you can also stroll along the many walking trails, kayak in the shining waters and lounge on a beach.
The Toronto Island Bicycle Rental has several different vehicles including single bicycles, quadricycles and tandem bikes. You can pedal around the island and take in the sights with your loved one, friends or family members.
There are several beaches to visit, including the clothing-optional Hanlan’s Point and the secluded Gibraltar Point Beach.
Other highlights of the island include Centreville Amusement Park and Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.
If you get hungry, you can take a trip to the Toronto Island Cafe on Ward’s Island which serves up locally-sourced food and drinks.
The Toronto Island Yoga Centre offers some one-day retreats that are a great way to rejuvenate.
Nightlife: King West
If you’re looking for a night on the town, King West has you covered. The neighbourhood is home to some of the city’s “buzziest nighttime haunts” according to Destination Toronto and there are endless spots to check out, whether you’re into dancing, drinking or fine dining.
If you’re in search of some boozy drinks, popular bars in the area include Ruby Soho, Belfast Love, The Parlour, Coffee Oysters Champagne and Baro.
When it comes to restaurants, there are a lot to choose from. Añejo Restaurant is the place to go if you’re craving tacos, while Pink Sky is a drool-worthy spot for all things seafood.
Oretta, Buca Osteria & Enoteca, Gusto 101 and The Parlour are good options if you’re looking for Italian food. Lapinou has a dreamy patio and delicious French fare.
Lavelle is a happening rooftop venue with Brazilian and Japanese food, upscale cocktails and sweeping city views.
Family-friendly: Entertainment District
Destination Toronto says this is the place to be if you’re visiting with your family. The area has so many attractions that people of all ages will enjoy.
One of the most notable places is the CN Tower. This iconic landmark is a must-see and you can travel up the tower to the glass floor or even brave the EdgeWalk.
Ripley’s Aquarium is another popular attraction to check out. You can see tons of colourful fish and even wander through a tunnel surrounded by sharks.
Another iconic Toronto experience is to head to the Rogers Centre and catch a Blue Jays game. If hockey is more your vibe, you can take a trip to Scotiabank Arena and see a Maple Leafs game.
When it comes to restaurants, there are a few good spots to enjoy. Figo has Italian fare in an elegant setting and PAI is a popular place for Thai food.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.