Unusual Things to do in Toronto

by Female Abroad

Having family back east and visiting numerous times has really had me thinking, what are the most unusual things you could do in Toronto? This peaked my interest and had me thinking so I put together a list of my four favourite things to do.

Doors Open Toronto

(May 27 & 28, 2023). Every May for the last 20+ years Toronto has held the Doors Open Toronto which allows the public to explore nearly 100 historic and well known buildings over the course of a weekend that are usually only accessible with paid tours or sometimes not at all. While this is a normal occurrence in some European countries, it is the only event of its type in Canada and is well worth planning a visit around. Over the last 22 years over 2 million visitors have gone to 700 different locations so you just never know what you will find year after year.

The Winter Garden Theatre

The Winter Garden Theatre is a treat if you are able to catch a show. This theatre was originally built in 1913 and was meant to bring the outside in. Murals are painted all over the walls and the roof covered with foliage that hangs down with lanterns scattered amongst it for lighting. If you are looking for a magical, whimsical place then this is the place for you! It is also the last of Toronto’s double decked theatres and to get to the top floor you can take a hand pulled elevator so it is quite the remnant from times past. If you are unable to take in a show then they do host tours of the theatre and they are usually open for the public to explore during the Doors Open Toronto in May.

Shameful Tiki Room

One of my must visits is the Shameful Tiki Room. This extremely well themed lounge feels like you have stepped right into 1930’s Hawaii and while the food menu is small but what they do, do they do well! Try the Crab Rangoon, Popcorn cauliflower, and the Mochiko Chicken Plate. They are really known for their large exotic menu with massive fishbowl drinks that you can get them virgin or with copious amounts of alcohol. There even a select few drinks that create magical experience (like a volcano exploding) within the lounge that really adds to the atmosphere. If you are not into all the fancy tiki drinks then they do also offer non-tiki options.

Casa Loma

Casa Loma is another place I like to explore and even the locals do not seem to really take note of it. This massive castle overlooking downtown Toronto is something you would expect in Europe not Toronto and if you have ever watched “The Love Guru” then you will be familiar with the castle. Here you are allowed to wander through all the floors and rooms of this giant castle where the grounds are quite large and picturesque. The self-guided tower is worth it as you work your way around the grandiose former private home as there is a lot to discover and it really paints a picture of what the house was like back in the day. Careful in the spire however, I have seen someone fall and break a leg. The paramedics had a very hard time getting up the narrow stairs.

Unique Activity / Tour Suggestions

Through our affiliation with Viator, a Tripadvisor company, we are able to suggest the following highly rated tours. For more information, click the blue link to visit Viator's website for more information, to check availability and prices, as well as to purchase.

Exotic or Supercar Test Drive on Hamilton Mountain

Add an adrenaline rush to your Toronto vacation with an exotic car test drive around Hamilton Mountain. Pick from a variety of models, including a Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari 458, and, James Bond’s favorite getaway car, an Aston Martin Vantage. After a brief safety course, get behind the wheel of your chosen set of wheels and enjoy 20-minutes of uninterrupted driving on the highway.

Toronto Tall Ship Boat Cruise

Set sail for the high seas with your crew on this 2-hour Toronto tall-ship boat cruise. Hop aboard your vintage vessel, a 3-masted 1930s schooner, in Toronto’s harbor. Following a 30-minute tour, sail out into the seas off the Canadian coastline. Help the crew raise the sails or sit back and relax on route from Toronto Harbour to shimmering Lake Ontario. Enjoy panoramic views over Toronto’s islands and skyline. Listen to ancient sea shanties as your crew coil the ropes, and marvel as they fire the ship’s mighty cannon!

Toronto Local Beer Tour: 2 Beers at 2 Unique & Historical Pubs

Discover how Canadian beer aligns with the history of Toronto on this guided small-group walking tour. Roam through the streets of Old Town Toronto, learning how beer played a role in the city’s past while visiting three classic Toronto pubs. Enjoy a beer tasting at the popular Mill Street Brewery. Then visit the St. Lawrence Market, with over 100 vendors, bakers, butchers and artisans, to sample a variety of Canadian specialties, followed by a tour of the trendy Distillery District, one of Canada’s hottest tourist attractions.

Haunted Tour:

  1. Original Haunted Walk of Toronto Ghost Tour
  2. Spirits of the Distillery District Ghost Tour