Visiting Toronto

Archived Q&A and Reviews

5/00 kim

My nine year old son and I will be spending two weeks in Toronto Canada in August. Any recommendations on where to stay, eat and what to see would be welcomed.

Toronto and the surrounding areas have lots of fun things to do. The science museum is wonderful, and the Royal Ontario Museum has a good dinosaur exhibit (or did several years ago anyway) as well as a good variety of other exhibits. You can take a trip to the top of the CN tower. The waterfront - Queens Quay - is also worth a visit: art galleries and outdoor antique fairs, etc. The islands off of Toronto (can't think of the name right now) include beaches and amusement parks. The zoo used to be good, although I have heard that it has gone downhill recently. For day trips outside the city, Niagara Falls (to the west) and Upper Canada Village (to the east) are well worth seeing. If you like living museums there is one in Toronto too (name?). The Canadian National Exhibition is on some time in August - basically a county fair with a Canadian flavor. Public transportation is extensive and easy to use. There is lots of shopping. The weather in August is hot and muggy. I don't know much about places to stay or eat, sorry. Have a great time.

The Ontario Science Centre is great, with lots of hands-on science and technology exhibits. The Royal Ontario Museum is also very good, especially if your child is into the Franklin the Turtle books. They are a Canadian series (with a tv show on Nicholodean). The ROM has a section for under 5's that is Franklin's house, etc. It is great. Also, if you have read the book Franklin's Class Trip, they visit the ROM on the trip in the book, so you can see the same exhibits. There is also a place at the museum for kids to try on costumes, dig for dinosaurs, etc. I visited the museum without kids last year, but know my son would have loved it. The Bata Shoe Museum is near the ROM, in a building designed to look like a shoe box. It has shoes from ancient times to present. The Black Creek Pioneer Village is a living-history village outside the city. Fort York depicts buildings from the war of 1812, with demonstrations in the summer. The Hockey Hall of Fame might be of interest, or Blue Jays games at the Sky Dome (the retractable roof is fun when it closes). Ontario Place has a children's village, rides, concerts, etc. Centreville Amusement Park, on Centre Island, has rides. Canada's Wonderland is a theme park, (like Paramount's Great America). Plus trips to nearby areas: Niagara Falls, the Shaw festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Shakespeare in Stratford, etc. AAA has a good guidebook for Ontario, with a big section on Toronto. You may want to stay downtown somewhere, to be close to things. There is good transit. I don't know anywhere off-hand to stay with kids; I've only visited recently for business. Again, the AAA guidebook for Ontario can help. Toronto is known for its ethnic neighbourhoods, with lots of great restaurants, festivals, shops, etc. There are lots of good, less expensive restaurants near the University of Toronto, downtown. Have fun.