There is no doubt that Toronto is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and one of the best places to visit. Toronto is culturally diverse and offers its citizens and visitors the perfect balance between vibrant city life, quiet artsy atmosphere and serene nature attractions.
When visiting a well-known city, it is normal for many people to tour familiar places. But if you want to make the most of your trips, I suggest taking a little bit more of time to explore and find spots that no one would even think of visiting. I promise you it will be worth it. The feeling of getting to know a place and fully enjoying its hidden gems is more rewarding than jetting around the most famous spots and taking a bunch of selfies.
If you're reading this post, chances are you know all about Toronto's iconic landmark, CN Tower- the Western Hemisphere’s tallest free-standing structure soaring over the city at over 1,815 feet high- and the famous Royal Ontario Museum, but if you've been there and done that, having purchased a home among Toronto real estate or simply want to experience something more off the beaten path, consider these highly underrated spots.
Let's take a look at some of the best underrated spots you need to check out on your next visit to Toronto.
As Casa Loma is outside of the downtown core, many visitors don't think about putting it on their itinerary but it's really a must, with its lavish interior and imposing exterior.
The 98-room castle was built by Sir Henry Mill Pellatt who gained his immense wealth by founding the Toronto Electric Light Company in 1883 that brought electricity to the streets of Toronto.
Today, the city owns it and it serves as a museum that features many of its original attributes including a 10,000 book library, a conservatory with a stained glass ceiling, luxurious furnishings, and much more. The castle had three indoor bowling alleys, secret passageways, a built-in vacuum system, 30 bathrooms and a swimming pool that was never completed, now filled with gravestones.
While the St. Lawrence Market is the most well-known market in the city, Kensington Market is well worth a visit too. It lies just west of Chinatown in a funky neighborhood that's dedicated to festivities and diversity.
The market has had a "hippie" vibe for well over a half-century and includes vintage thrift shopping, markets with fresh organic produce, pubs, cafes, restaurants (many with vegan offerings) and unique stores.
On "Pedestrian Sundays" you can walk freely with vehicles prohibited, enjoying shopping and a host of street performers. If you're there on Winter Solstice, you can enjoy the lantern festival which features puppets, drumming, and other music.
The University of Toronto is home to a magnificent indoor bamboo forest that's known to students, but few others, like a well-kept secret that offers a fantastic place for peaceful contemplation and photos.
It reaches heights of up to 30 feet, providing a tropical escape in a city that gets rather frigid in the winter, but it's worth visiting any time. There are benches placed throughout to enjoy unwinding here in the Terrence Donnelly Centre of Cellular and Biomolecular Research.
3030 Dundas West
Its name may not reveal what you'll find inside, but that's why 3030 has been one of the city's best-kept secrets. Located in the West End, it was once a furniture store but today the huge space offers a ton of fun, filled with board games, pinball machines and a stage for local bands. Enjoy it all with a cold pint of craft beer or a cocktail along with tasty upscale international cuisine.
The Half House
In the late 19th-century, six identical Victorian row houses were built on St. Patrick Street. They were all connected, some of which were given addresses like 52 ½ and 54 ½. The only one that remains is 54 ½ and it really looks like half of a building.
What makes it even more remarkable is that it took a near-miraculous feat to demolish its neighbors without tearing it down. But it was done with such precision that none of the original facade was disturbed.
The exterior wall had once been a load-bearing wall that was hidden inside, dividing the neighbors' living rooms and bedrooms from each other - just one slip and it would have all crumbled.
The unique character of the home makes it a must-see, and it makes an ideal backdrop for any selfie.
I hope you enjoyed discovering these little hidden gems in Toronto and that you add this beautiful city to your travel bucket list.
Please let me know in the comments below if you've ever been to Toronto and what are some of your favourite spots that everyone must visit. I would love to read your suggestions.
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Until next time.