11 of the Best Hidden Gems in Toronto

Best Hidden Gems Toronto
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Welcome, urban explorers and culture enthusiasts!

Walk with us towards the city lights of Toronto and find a treasure trove of unknown spots waiting to be discovered. Beyond its iconic landmarks and bustling streets lies a tapestry of unique experiences and local delights.

Join us as we uncover 11 museums, markets and days out that you might have missed off your travel itinerary. 

Let your wanderlust take over, and get ready to explore Toronto like a local as Ask Genie takes you on a journey through the best hidden gems in Toronto.

A shot of the Toronto skyline. There is a tower in the centre of the shot, the sun is rising and you can see the shoreline.


Why should you visit Toronto?

Before we dive into our list, let's take a moment to appreciate the rich and diverse history that has shaped Toronto into the dynamic city it is today.

From its indigenous roots to waves of immigration contributing to its diversity, Toronto's cultural landscape is a mosaic of traditions, languages, and customs. As you explore the city's hidden gems, remember the layers of history that add depth to every discovery.

Central Toronto offers an abundance of colour, noise and light for tourists to explore, whilst the outer reaches are rich with nature walks, quaint little towns and relaxing settings. For this reason, Toronto is one of Canada's best places for all the family to visit.

Without further ado, let's dive into these gems!


11 of the Best Hidden Gems in Toronto

1. Allan Gardens Conservatory

Cost: Free

Address: 19 Horticultural Ave, Toronto, ON M5A 2P2

Average time: 1-2 hours

A family of black tortoises perched on rocks by a pond in Allan Gardens

Tucked away amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto, Allan Gardens Conservatory is a tranquil oasis brimming with lush greenery and vibrant blooms.

Escape the urban jungle and immerse yourself in the serenity of this botanical paradise.

Wander through its maze of pathways, marvel at exotic plants from around the world, and breathe in the fragrant air.

Whether you're a nature lover or simply seeking a break from the mania of city life, Allan Gardens offers a rejuvenating experience that promises to leave you enchanted.

2. Graffiti Alley

Cost: Free

Address: Queen St W & Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5V 2L3

Average time: 1-2 hours

A shot of the art in Graffiti Alley, Toronto. A black and white painting of a woman’s face can be seen in the centre.

Venture off the beaten path and explore Toronto's vibrant street art scene in Graffiti Alley. Stretching for blocks in the Queen Street West neighbourhood, this ever-evolving outdoor gallery is a legal street art area. Every inch of this captivating urban canvas showcases the creative talents of local artists. So let your imagination soar as you enjoy a leisurely stroll through this exciting urban tapestry.

3. Evergreen Brick Works

Cost: Free entry. Some workshops/events may have fees

Address: 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4W 3X8

Average time: 2-3 hours

A view of the market at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. You can see people walking around and browsing the market.

Nestled in the heart of Toronto's Don Valley, Evergreen Brick Works is a dynamic hub of innovation, sustainability, and community engagement.

Housed within a historic brick factory, this sprawling complex is home to green spaces, cultural events, and educational programs. Here, you’ll find scenic trails, browse the bustling farmers' market, or participate in hands-on workshops celebrating the intersection of nature and urban living.

Whether you're an eco-conscious traveller or a curious explorer, Evergreen Brick Works invites you to look into the charming future of sustainable living.

4. Kensington Market

Cost: Free (costs will vary if you choose to shop or dine)

Address: Kensington Ave & Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 2K2

Average time: 2-3 hours

A view of Kensington Market. The streets are filled with shoppers and stalls on a warm summer’s day.

Step into a cultural melting pot at Kensington Market, where vibrant streets are lined with an eclectic array of shops, cafes, and vintage boutiques. Whether you're hunting for vintage clothing or your next coffee table book, you can lose yourself in the maze of narrow alleyways and discover hidden gems waiting to be unearthed.

From international cuisine to one-of-a-kind treasures, Kensington Market offers a sensory feast for the adventurous soul. Embrace the bohemian spirit of this iconic neighbourhood and let its unique energy ignite your senses.

5. Toronto Islands

Cost: Ferry fare (approx. $8.19 for adults, prices may vary)

Address: 9 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2H3

Average time: Half-day to full-day excursion

A view of Toronto from Toronto Islands. There are two deck chairs pointing towards the city from the shoreline of the island.

Escape the urban hustle and embrace the calm of the Toronto Islands, a peaceful oasis just a short ferry ride from downtown.

This is an entirely different landscape from the downtown Toronto scene and one you want to take advantage of. Here, you can explore pristine beaches, lush parklands, and scenic trails as you soak in breathtaking city skyline views.

When cycling along the waterfront, picnicking in the shade of a willow tree, or kayaking along serene lagoons, Toronto Islands offer a refreshing retreat from busy city life.

6. The Distillery District

Cost: Free entry. Costs may vary for dining and shopping

Address: 55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4

Average time: 2-3 hours

The Distillery District in Toronto. People can be seen walking between the red brick buildings in the daytime.

Immerse yourself in history and charm at The Distillery District, a pedestrian-only village brimming with Victorian-era architecture, old brick buildings and cobblestone streets.

Home to galleries, boutiques, and artisan shops, this cultural enclave invites you to wander at your leisure and discover hidden treasures around every corner.

Indulge in a gourmet meal, sample locally crafted spirits, or simply soak in the ambience of this celebrated location. Whether you're a history buff or a connoisseur of fine craftsmanship, The Distillery District offers a glimpse into Toronto's storied past.

7. High Park

Cost: Free

Address: 1873 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3

Average time: 2-4 hours

A high view of High Park in Toronto. You can see a maple leaf floral design in the centre of the park and people walking around it.

Nature lovers rejoice at High Park, Toronto's largest public park, spanning over 400 acres of green space and natural beauty. From cherry blossoms in spring to colourful foliage in fall, every season offers a new reason to explore this urban oasis. Walk around tranquil ponds, wander through lush gardens, or seek hidden trails that wind through wooded ravines.

Enjoy a leisurely picnic or spot wildlife in its natural habitat: High Park is a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

8. Aga Khan Museum

Cost: Admission fees apply (approx. $20 for adults; prices may vary)

Address: 77 Wynford Dr, North York, ON M3C 1K1

Average time: 2-3 hours

A low view of the Aga Khan Museum from long grass. It is a sunny day and there are blue skies above the museum.

Discover the art and culture of the Islamic world at the Aga Khan Museum, a hidden gem in the Don Mills neighbourhood of Toronto. Designed by renowned architect Fumihiko Maki, this architectural marvel houses a world-class collection of artefacts, manuscripts, and artworks spanning over a thousand years.

Explore immersive exhibitions, attend cultural performances, or simply admire the stunning architecture and landscaped gardens surrounding the museum. Whether you're a history buff or an art aficionado, the Aga Khan Museum offers a captivating journey through the rich heritage of Islamic civilization.

9. Scarborough Bluffs

Cost: Free

Address: Scarborough, ON (multiple access points)

Average time: 2-3 hours

A high view of Scarborough Bluffs. You can see the striking mountains, busy coastline and blue waters from above.

Escape the urban landscape and discover the breathtaking beauty of Scarborough Bluffs, a natural wonder that stretches along the eastern shores of Toronto.

Towering cliffs, sandy beaches, and panoramic views of Lake Ontario await adventurers who dare to venture off the beaten path. Tackle scenic hiking trails, explore hidden coves, or simply bask in the tranquillity of this awe-inspiring landscape.

Whether you're seeking outdoor adventure or a peaceful retreat, Scarborough Bluffs offers a picturesque escape from city life.

10. Toronto Reference Library

Cost: Free

Address: 789 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 2G8

Average time: 2-3 hours

A high view of the interior of Toronto Reference Library. You can see people working amidst shelves filled with books.

Step into a world of knowledge and culture at the Toronto Reference Library, a hidden gem for book lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, this architectural marvel is more than just an archive of books – it's a vibrant hub of learning and discovery. Jump into its vast collection of books, periodicals, and multimedia resources spanning a multitude of topics and genres.

From rare manuscripts to contemporary bestsellers, there's something for every bibliophile to uncover. Once inside the vintage reading room, you can take advantage of the library's quiet study areas, attend a literary event, or simply immerse yourself in the ambience of this intellectual sanctuary.

11. Chester Hill Lookout

Cost: Free

Address: Chester Hill Rd, Toronto, ON M4K 3A8

Average time: 1-2 hours

A view of the Chester Hill Lookout astrology mosaic in Toronto. People can be seen in the background enjoying the view.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and discover the serene beauty of Chester Hill Lookout, a hidden gem offering panoramic views of Toronto's skyline.

Interested in the stars? There's a large astrology wheel painted on the floor of the vantage point, too. Don't forget your camera to snap a shot of this iconic piece of art.

Tucked away in the Riverdale neighbourhood, this tranquil spot provides a peaceful retreat for those seeking solitude and breathtaking vistas. Saunter along the wooded trails leading to the lookout point rewards you with sweeping views of the cityscape framed by lush greenery.

Chester Hill Lookout offers a refreshing escape from the urban landscape. Pack a picnic and unwind amidst nature's beauty, or simply soak in the majestic sights that await you at this hidden gem in Toronto.

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From grand old churches to bustling marketplaces, if you're looking for a place that pops with cultural diversity and charm, Toronto might be your next perfect holiday destination.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and follow the city lights for a trip like never before. There's plenty of spending to do, with unique jewellery, top brands, and unforgettable experiences to be grabbed at every stop.

To earn some extra holiday money, why not have a go at the best online slots in Ontario and online casinos in Ontario? If you play your cards right, you could be making precious memories in Toronto without a care in the world in no time.

Are you curious to know more about what Toronto has to offer? Why not jump into more content from Ask Genie to learn more?


Where should I go out in Toronto?

There are some great places to explore in Toronto, some of the most popular being Mahjong bar, Absolute Comedy, Goldie and the Ballroom Bowl.

What is the most interesting street in Toronto?

With so many interesting streets lining this lively city, it's hard to pick a favourite. Tourists have found that Ossington Avenue and Queen Street West are two of the most interesting streets to explore in the city.

What part of Toronto has the best nightlife?

Jam-packed with known classics and hidden gems, Toronto is known for its amazing nightlife. If you're looking for a good time, we'd recommend checking out The Entertainment District, Queen Street West or King Street West.

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V: 1.50.0 All rights reserved. January 2020