O Canada: 15 Must-See Places for a First-timer in Toronto

2 months ago, I took a break from work to visit my family in Canada. It was a very nice trip since it’s long and visiting my family means i get a chance to taste my mother’s home cooked food (e.g sinaing na tulingan, tambakol, crispy pata and the list goes on). Also, during my trip the weather is starting to cool down so I could really go visit some places.

I’ve put together a list of my favourite must-see places for a first-timer in Toronto. Since this list is too long I broke it down into 2 posts. You can read PART 1 (List 1-8) of this post here

9. St. Lawrence Market

If you’re strolling through Downtown, Toronto, you shouldn’t miss the St. Lawrence Market. This is where I bought all my Canada souvenirs from.

Named the best food market in the world by NatGeo in 2012, St. Lawrence Market is a foodie heaven and you can pretty much get any Canadian goodies here.

10. Nathan Phillips Square + Osgoode Hall

(looks good at night too!)

Canada’s largest city square. This is where you can take a photo of that huge TORONTO sign reflecting the water. I’m telling you, you can’t leave Toronto without having a quick photo op here. The selfie stick I borrowed was quite handy.

Oh you will be able to find lots of street performers here too! 30minutes is already good enough to stay here. Then take a side trip to the Osgoode Hall.

Use google maps. It’s just nearby. It is a courthouse and it has library inside or if you’re like me who went there and it’s unfortunately closed, you can just sit on one of the benches there, take a deep breath and just enjoy the scenery. It’ll be so relaxing! Take it from me!

11.High Park

My first cherry blossoms experience is at high park! It’s just pretty amazing.

It’s a very good park to bring the kids for picnic or running too. They have a mini zoo and some good places to eat too. There are just loads to do here.

12.The Green Beanery + BMV Bookstore

In a world of Tim hortons, Starbucks, and Second cup, I consider this coffee shop called The Grean Beanery, a hidden gem. A cup of coffee cost less than $2 which for me is incomparable to Starbucks or Costa. It was an old bank turned into a cafe.

(they even used the bank’s previous vault as their coffee paraphernalia’s storage)

The ambiance here is superb. Perfect for an introvert like me. Imagine just sipping a cup of your favorite cappucino on a cold weather while having a view of Honest Ed’s neigbourhood.

It’s a good 30min pause from the busy life. They serve good breakfast too. After your cup of joe, you can just have a relaxing walk along the neigbourhood of Bloor.

5 minutes away from The Green Beanery is the BMV Bookstore. If you’re looking for cheap books, rare books, out of print books, books to sell or trade, vinyls, dvds, comic books, mangas etc. then BMV is the place to go.

This a nerdy paradise haha. Also, there will be no sales people that’s gonna hassle you here 😉

I’ve read from tripadvisor that are many good bakeries nearby as well so i’ve decided to have a look around so I can bring something home. Top google reviews brought me to Baker Street.

Saw some good murals along the way too!

Also nearby is Bulk Barn where you can buy your favorite chocolates and candies (they even have chips and spices too!) PER KILO. The quinoa chocolates are the best!

Then afterwards, you can treat yourself some Korean dinner (You’re already at Koreatown btw.)

13.Chinatown

(this signages has been there since forever XD)

Wherever country I go, I always make it to a point that Chinatown is part of my itinerary (there’s always chinatown everywhere). Why? Because there are just so many good subjects there most especially if you’re into street photography. Of course if you’ve been to lots of Chiantowns, you already know what to expect. Unlike most of the Chinatown I’ve been to, Toronto’s chinatown is not too overwhelming. I mean it in a good way. It’s kind of less people and very easy to walk through.

I found really good restaurants, souvenir shops and lots of graffitis!

You can also find a Smoke’s Poutinerie and when you’re in Canada, you definitely have to try their famous Poutine!

I’ve also seen some nice Victorian architecture along the way.

But the main reason why I went to Chinatown is because of the Kensington Market where you can find pretty cool stuff. Hipster stuff. I was able to buy lots of good stuff for Ralph here.

It’s a treasure trove of vintage clothing shops!  And there were some really good street performers too. It’s definitely worth a stroll!

14.Roger’s Centre

When visiting Toronto for the first time, you should definitely add “See a Baseball Game” on your itinerary.

I was able to see a Blue Jays baseball game here. It’s huge. I am not a baseball fan but it was a really nice experience. I enjoyed it.

15.Lakeshore Boulevard

Escape the city life at lakeshore Boulevard. It’s a good place for cyclists and runners. Here you can also find the beautiful Humber Bay Arch Bridge.

 Also, if you’re lucky and the weather is good, you can see the beautiful view of the Toronto skyline.

There you have it. My 15 must-see places for a first timer in Toronto. Seriously, I can’t wait to go back in Toronto and discover more places! 

Checkout my Instagram too for more toronto snaps: @tincura

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