When visiting a new city like Toronto, finding the best things to do near popular landmarks such as Union Station can be overwhelming. Without proper guidance, you might waste time and miss out on unique experiences.
Imagine arriving at Union Station, excited to explore Toronto, only to find yourself clueless about the nearby attractions and activities. You don’t want your trip filled with missed opportunities and regrets.
Discover the 10 BEST things to do near Union Station with our comprehensive guide. Whether you’re a foodie looking for trendy restaurants, a history buff interested in museums, or an adventure seeker craving thrilling experiences, we’ve got you covered. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, our curated list will ensure you make the most of your visit to Toronto. Don’t waste time searching aimlessly – let us be your trusted source for unforgettable experiences near Union Station!
The Best Things to Do in Toronto Near Union Station
1. Visit the CN Tower for Breathtaking Views of the City
The CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, is an iconic landmark and a must-visit tourist attraction. Standing at a staggering 553 meters (1,815 feet), it held the title of the world’s tallest freestanding structure for over three decades. One of the most popular features of the CN Tower is its observation deck, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline.
The “LookOut Level” observation deck is 346 meters (1,136 feet) above ground level. Visitors can take high-speed elevators to reach this level and marvel at the stunning vistas stretching beyond Lake Ontario. You can even catch glimpses of neighbouring cities and landmarks on clear days.
The CN Tower’s glass floor is another highlight that captivates visitors. It allows you to walk on transparent glass panels and experience the thrill of seeing the city directly beneath your feet. The views from this vantage point are truly awe-inspiring and offer a unique perspective on Toronto’s urban landscape.
For those seeking an even more exhilarating experience, there is an option to go higher to the “SkyPod.” Situated at a height of 447 meters (1,465 feet), it provides unobstructed views that are unparalleled in their grandeur.
In addition to its spectacular views, the CN Tower also boasts various dining options for visitors to enjoy while taking in the scenery. The revolving restaurant called “360 Restaurant” offers delicious cuisine and a rotating view of Toronto during your meal.
Overall, visiting the CN Tower’s observation deck is a must-do activity for tourists in Toronto. It offers an unforgettable experience with stunning city skyline views and beyond. Whether you’re looking to capture incredible photographs or simply soak up the beauty from above, this iconic landmark will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.
2. Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada for an Underwater Adventure
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is a renowned destination for locals and tourists alike. This extraordinary aquarium boasts diverse marine life exhibits that showcase the wonders of the underwater world.
From mesmerizing jellyfish displays to breathtaking coral reefs, visitors can immerse themselves in an awe-inspiring experience. What sets Ripley’s Aquarium apart is its commitment to providing interactive experiences for visitors of all ages.
The aquarium offers engaging and educational activities, allowing guests to experience hands-on marine life. From touching stingrays to feeding sharks, these interactive encounters create lasting memories and deepen our understanding of ocean ecosystems.
Moreover, Ripley’s Aquarium is known for being family-friendly and catering to children’s and adults’ needs. Families can explore together and engage in various entertaining and educational activities.
Children can participate in special programs designed specifically for them, fostering their curiosity about the ocean world while having fun. Whether you are seeking an educational adventure or simply looking for a fun day out with your loved ones, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada will surely leave you amazed by its marine life exhibits, interactive experiences, and family-friendly atmosphere.
3. Wander through the Historic Distillery District for a Unique Cultural Experience
Located in Toronto, the Distillery District is a captivating area that combines history, culture, and entertainment effortlessly. This iconic district is home to a collection of beautifully preserved heritage buildings that date back to the 19th century.
These architectural gems serve as a testament to the city’s rich past and provide a stunning backdrop for art galleries, making it a haven for art enthusiasts. In addition to its artistic allure, the Distillery District boasts many remarkable restaurants and charming shops. Food lovers can indulge in a diverse culinary scene that offers everything from gourmet cuisine to international flavors.
Whether you’re craving traditional Canadian fare or exploring global tastes, there is something to satisfy every palate. Meanwhile, shoppers can wander through the district’s cobblestone streets and discover an eclectic mix of boutiques and specialty stores.
From fashion boutiques showcasing local designers to unique artisanal crafts and handmade treasures, visitors will surely find something special. Overall, the Distillery District in Toronto offers an immersive experience where history merges seamlessly with contemporary creativity.
Its combination of heritage buildings, vibrant art galleries, enticing restaurants, and distinctive shops make it an ideal destination for both locals and tourists alike.
4. Enjoy a Stroll along the Harbourfront Centre for Beautiful Lake Ontario Views
Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Canada, is a vibrant cultural hub along the scenic waterfront promenade. This iconic destination offers picturesque views and diverse outdoor concerts and events catering to all tastes and interests.
Its prime location overlooking Lake Ontario, Harbourfront Centre, is the perfect venue for memorable performances showcasing various music, dance, and theatre genres. From soul-stirring classical symphonies to foot-tapping jazz ensembles, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of artistic expressions under the open sky.
Beyond its captivating performances, Harbourfront Centre hosts various engaging events throughout the year. These events celebrate multiculturalism and provide opportunities for people from all walks of life to come together and embrace diversity. From cultural festivals highlighting different global traditions to interactive workshops that promote creativity and learning, there is something for everyone at this dynamic waterfront destination.
Moreover, visitors can enjoy the picturesque waterfront promenade stretching along the center’s edge. This scenic pathway offers breathtaking views of Lake Ontario’s shimmering waters while providing a tranquil escape from city life. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a jog to exercise, the Harbourfront Centre’s waterfront promenade offers an idyllic setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Harbourfront Centre in Toronto is captivated by its stunning location and offers an abundance of outdoor concerts and events that cater to diverse tastes. It is truly a place where artistry thrives, and people can come together to celebrate culture while enjoying the beauty of nature on the enchanting waterfront promenade.
5. Immerse Yourself in History at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a renowned institution that houses an extensive collection of art, artifacts, and fascinating natural history exhibits. Established in Toronto, Canada, the ROM is a hub for cultural exploration and education. The museum boasts an impressive collection of art and artifacts worldwide from various periods and cultures.
Visitors can immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of human creativity and history, from ancient Egyptian relics to contemporary artworks. The ROM’s curatorial team ensures that each piece is carefully selected, researched, and displayed to give visitors a comprehensive understanding of different artistic traditions.
In addition to its art collections, the ROM also offers captivating natural history exhibits that showcase the wonders of our planet’s flora and fauna. With interactive displays and engaging narratives, visitors can journey through time to explore geological formations, extinct species, biodiversity hotspots, and much more. The museum’s commitment to scientific accuracy ensures that these exhibits are visually stunning and educational.
Whether you are an art enthusiast eager to discover masterpieces from around the globe or a nature lover seeking insight into Earth’s fascinating past, the Royal Ontario Museum offers something for everyone. Its dedication to preserving cultural heritage while promoting knowledge makes it an invaluable resource for locals and tourists.
6. Discover the Entertainment District for Live Performances and Nightlife
The Toronto Entertainment District is a vibrant and bustling area known for its diverse entertainment options. This district has many theaters and concert venues, making it a hub for live performances and cultural experiences. From Broadway shows to indie concerts, something always happens to cater to different tastes and interests.
In addition to the theatres and concert venues, the Toronto Entertainment District also boasts a lively nightlife scene. Numerous bars and clubs are scattered throughout the area, offering an array of experiences for night owls looking to unwind or dance the night away.
Whether you’re in the mood for a laid-back pub atmosphere or a trendy nightclub vibe, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your preferences. Exploring the Toronto Entertainment District means immersing yourself in an electric atmosphere where creativity thrives, and entertainment knows no bounds.
With its wide range of cultural offerings, from theatrical productions to live music shows and an exciting nightlife scene with bars and clubs, this district truly has something for everyone seeking an unforgettable experience in the heart of Toronto.
7. Shop ’til You Drop at Eaton Centre – A Shopper’s Paradise
The Eaton Centre, a renowned shopping mall in the heart of Toronto, is a haven for fashion enthusiasts and shoppers alike. With its impressive range of fashion boutiques and a vast selection of international brands, it offers an unparalleled shopping experience.
The Eaton Centre is not just your average mall; it is a destination that showcases the latest trends and caters to diverse tastes. This shopping mecca has something for everyone, from luxury designer labels to popular high-street brands. Fashion boutiques within the Eaton Centre boast an extensive clothing, accessories, and footwear collection from well-established designers and emerging talents.
Whether you are searching for high-end couture or trendy streetwear, you’ll find it all under one roof. What sets the Eaton Centre apart is its commitment to offering an array of international brands that cater to global consumers. Visitors can explore myriad options, from iconic American labels to European fashion powerhouses.
The diversity in brand offerings ensures customers access cutting-edge styles worldwide. Beyond its impressive selection of fashion retailers, the Eaton Centre offers a delightful mix of dining options, entertainment venues, and cultural experiences. Visitors can take breaks between their shopping sprees by indulging in delicious cuisine at various restaurants or catching a movie at the state-of-the-art cinema.
The Eaton Centre stands as more than just a shopping mall; it is an experience that encapsulates Toronto’s vibrant fashion scene. With its wide variety of fashion boutiques and international brands, visitors are guaranteed an unforgettable retail adventure where they can satisfy their style cravings while immersing themselves in all these dynamic city offers.
8. Take a Walk in the Iconic High Park for Nature and Serenity
High Park Toronto is a breathtaking urban oasis that offers many lush green spaces, picturesque walking trails, and an array of captivating attractions.
This expansive park is home to a renowned zoo, where visitors can marvel at various species of animals and botanical gardens that showcase an impressive collection of flora from around the world.
Whether you are looking for a peaceful retreat in nature or seeking educational adventures for the whole family, High Park Toronto offers something for everyone to enjoy.
9. Explore the Art Scene at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is a prestigious institution that houses an impressive range of Canadian and international art collections. This esteemed gallery showcases exquisite artworks and hosts special exhibitions that give visitors unique insights into the art world.
With its diverse collection, the AGO offers a comprehensive representation of various artistic movements and styles, making it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and cultural enthusiasts alike.
From classic masterpieces to contemporary works, the AGO provides a captivating experience that allows visitors to appreciate and connect with art from different periods and regions.
10. Indulge in Culinary Delights at St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market in Toronto is renowned for being a vibrant and bustling food market with abundant fresh produce and gourmet treats. It is a beloved destination for food enthusiasts and a cultural hub that showcases the city’s diverse culinary offerings.
Visitors to this historic market can indulge in an impressive selection of locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and other farm-fresh products. Additionally, the market offers an enticing variety of gourmet treats ranging from artisanal cheeses and charcuterie to delectable pastries and international delicacies.
Whether you’re a local seeking out the freshest ingredients or a tourist eager to explore Toronto’s culinary scene, the St. Lawrence Market is a must-visit destination that will satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving more.
Things to do in Toronto near Union Station with kids
When visiting Toronto with kids, the family can enjoy plenty of exciting activities and attractions near Union Station. From educational experiences to fun-filled adventures, here are some things to do in Toronto near Union Station with kids:
1. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada: Located just a short walk from Union Station, this world-class aquarium offers an immersive underwater experience. Kids can marvel at the diverse marine life, walk through a shark tunnel, and touch stingrays.
2. CN Tower: A visit to Toronto wouldn’t be complete without a trip up the iconic CN Tower. Take the glass elevator to the observation deck and enjoy breathtaking city skyline views. For thrill-seeking families, try the EdgeWalk experience, where you can walk outside the tower!
3. Harbourfront Centre: Head to Toronto’s waterfront area near Union Station and explore Harbourfront Centre. Here, you’ll find various family-friendly activities such as outdoor concerts, festivals, art exhibitions, and boating opportunities.
4. Steam Whistle Brewery: While parents may appreciate this more than kids, a tour of Steam Whistle Brewery is an exciting excursion for older children curious about how beer is made (note that it is a family-friendly environment).
5. The Rec Room: Located inside Roundhouse Park near Union Station, The Rec Room is an entertainment complex offering arcade games, virtual reality experiences, bowling alleys, and delicious food options for kids and adults.
6. Hockey Hall of Fame: If your family loves hockey or wants to learn more about Canada’s favorite sport, visit the Hockey Hall of Fame near Union Station. Explore interactive exhibits showcasing memorabilia from hockey legends and even try your hand at shooting pucks in their simulated rink.
Remember to check with each attraction for age restrictions or special events before planning your visit!
What Neighbourhood is Union Station Toronto?
Union Station is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, making it a central transportation hub for commuters and tourists alike. While Union Station is not considered a distinct neighborhood, it is situated within the larger area known as the Financial District.
The Financial District is a bustling and vibrant area with skyscrapers, corporate offices, and financial institutions. It also has iconic landmarks like the CN Tower and the Hockey Hall of Fame. The district is known for its lively atmosphere during weekdays when professionals fill the streets, but it tends to be quieter on weekends.
Surrounding Union Station and the Financial District are other notable neighbourhoods such as Harbourfront, St. Lawrence Market, and Entertainment District. These areas offer diverse attractions, including waterfront parks, historic markets, theatres, restaurants, and nightlife options.
How to get around Union Station, Toronto?
Union Station is a central transportation hub in the city, connecting various modes of transportation such as trains, subway lines, buses, and streetcars. Whether you are a local commuter or a visitor exploring the city, here are some tips on how to get around Union Station Toronto:
1. Subway: Union Station is directly connected to Line 1 (Yonge-University) and Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) of the Toronto subway system. This makes it easy to travel to different parts of the city using the subway.
2. GO Transit: If you travel from outside of Toronto or must reach destinations beyond the city limits, GO Transit trains and buses operate from Union Station. They provide regional transportation options for commuters.
3. Via Rail: Union Station is a significant hub for Via Rail Canada, offering intercity train services nationwide. If you plan on traveling long distances within Canada, consider utilizing Via Rail’s services from Union Station.
4. TTC Buses and Streetcars: Many TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) bus routes and streetcar lines have stops near Union Station, allowing for convenient travel within the city. Check TTC schedules and maps for specific routes that suit your needs.
5. Pedestrian Pathways: Inside Union Station, there are well-marked pedestrian pathways that guide you through different areas of the station complex, including platforms, ticketing areas, retail spaces, and exits.
6. Bike Share Toronto: For those who prefer cycling as a mode of transportation, Bike Share Toronto stations can be found near Union Station, where you can rent bikes for short trips downtown.
7. Taxi and Ride-Sharing Services: If you prefer door-to-door convenience or have heavy luggage, taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft are readily available outside Union Station.
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