Canada attracts students from all over the world, both at the high school and higher education levels. Toronto, in particular, is one of the biggest student destinations in the world. The city is highly multicultural and multilingual, which makes it easy for people from different ethnic groups to fit in.
But it would be such a waste if you spent all your time studying and didn’t get a chance to explore the beautiful and bustling city of Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America, and the capital of the province of Ontario. Depending on how far you want to travel from the city, from a few minutes to a couple of hours from Toronto, there are a multitude of places you can visit for a weekend getaway. Some of the most popular, budget-friendly destinations are listed below.
40 km northeast of the city centre, on the Red River, lies Toronto’s massive zoo that is home to thousands of animals. The panda exhibit is the biggest attraction, though you can also enjoy the different sections of the zoo representing major regions of the world, especially the Great Barrier Reef, the African Savanna, and the North American section.
Located only 45-minutes away from the big city by train, Scarborough Bluffs Park is one of many parks situated along the escarpments, one of Toronto’s major geographical features. Here you can enjoy the magnificent views of Lake Ontario and the flora in the meadows as you explore the trails bordering the buffs
If you don’t mind going a little further from the city, Niagara Falls, located 3-hours away using the bus or 2.5-hours away using the train, is well worth the trip. Enjoy the beauty of the falls, followed by a trip to the Clifton Hill district to checkout haunted houses, wax museums, and the SkyWheel.
There are multiple hikes along the rapids, as well as a variety of attractions at the Niagara Parks, including the famous Maid of the Mist boat tour that you can enjoy with your friends, before exploring the Bird Kingdom aviary.
This is one of the best hiking trails in Ontario. The hills and valleys along the Niagara Escarpment extend nearly 900 km to the tip of Bruce Peninsula. There are 9 main sections, so there are plenty of hikes to enjoy, no matter how much time you have to spend in the area.
This is one of the premier museums in Canada, and is internationally recognized for excellence. It boasts an exceptional collection covering many different periods from different regions across the globe.
The Stratford Festival is an internationally renowned festival of live theatre that runs from April through December. It features productions of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as many other famous playwrights.
Towering over the downtown core at a height of 553 m, the CN Tower is Toronto’s most famous landmark and one of the city’s most popular attractions. During construction between 1972 and 1976, it was the tallest freestanding structure worldwide, but it has since been surpassed.
The CN Tower is visible from almost everywhere in Toronto. You can marvel at the beauty of the building from the ground, or visit one of its several observation areas or restaurants to enjoy views of Lake Ontario and the city. If the building is not exciting enough, you can try the Edge Walk, walking on a 1.5 m wide ledge around the exterior edge of the pod at a height of 365 m. You’ll be attached to a rope and safety harness.
Located next to the CN Tower is this huge domed sports arena that features a unique roof design that slides back so it can be opened when there’s great weather. Rogers Center was built in 1989 to compete with the Olympic Stadium in Montreal. It is a popular venue for all sports, especially football and baseball, as well as pop and rock concerts.
This outstanding building is reminiscent of medieval castles. Originally built for Sir Henry Pellatt, one of the first entrepreneurs in Canada to exploit the tourism potential of Niagara Falls, the Casa Loma has nearly 100 rooms and over 30 bathrooms. Today, it is a museum with a beautifully kept 5-acre estate gardens, an 800-foot tunnel, secret passages, decorated suites, towers, and stables.
The short one km ferry trip from Queen’s Quay Terminal to the Toronto Islands marks the beginning of a magnificent and engaging outing. There are many activities on the islands including long walks, swimming, sailing, rowing, and so on. If you visit during summer, you can enjoy a myriad of open-air events hosted on the islands.
When to Visit
You can visit most of these venues at any time of the year, though outdoor attractions are best enjoyed between spring and fall.