Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America, and it’s certainly the biggest in Canada. So it comes as no surprise that you’ll find dozens of top attractions loved by tourists and locals alike.
But in a city this size, you’ll also find plenty of lesser known attractions that lie slightly off the beaten path. Whether you’re new to Toronto or you’ve lived here for years, some of these spots might surprise you. Spend enough time exploring this beautiful place and you’re bound to create your own must-see list.
Located at 104 Eastern Avenue, the Cube House is well on its way to becoming a cultural landmark in Toronto. Inspired by similar cube homes built in Rotterdam and Helmond in the 1970s, this home has been occupied as a private residence and even used as a billboard.
This 98-room castle sits in the middle of the city, so you’ve probably already seen it. But what you might not know is that this beauty once bankrupted a 19th century millionaire. Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, A Canadian soldier and financier, gained his wealth by founding the Toronto Electric Light Company in 1883. His business boomed, and since he had always been intrigued by castles, he used his fortune to fund his personal chateau. Casa Loma cost $3.5 million to build, including $50,000 a year for his live-in staff… and that was in 1911! But by 1920, the Canadian electricity market was made publicly owned, and Pellatt eventually went bankrupt.
Leslieville’s Crazy Doll House
If you want to see something that’s quirky and fun, head to 37 Bertmount Avenue and check out a “garden” of toys and dolls. It’s known as the Doll House, and owner Shirley Sumaiser has been collecting them for over 20 years. You’d think that such a huge collection of toys displayed this way would be an eyesore, but it’s actually impressive that Shirley has made them look so good. The collection is often redone to display a theme, especially around the holidays.
This often overlooked park is actually one of the best places in the city to watch a sunset. The vast space spans the Lower Don River between Cabbagetown and Broadview Avenue in Riverdale.
You’ll find tennis courts, a swimming pool and several recreational fields, not to mention plenty of places that are perfect for a picnic.
Kensington Market is Toronto’s most vibrant and diverse neighbourhood, and it has even been designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The area is filled with a mixture of pretty much every kind of store, from consignment shops to flea markets and fresh food stores. It’s also home to a wide variety of restaurants catering to a variety of styles and ethnicities.
Design Exchange Museum
Canada’s design museum is open from Tuesday-Sunday. This not-for-profit museum is dedicated to the preservation of design heritage, and the exhibits are fascinating. You’ll learn more about the history (and future!) of design than you ever thought possible.
There is only one place in Toronto where graffiti is legal. Graffiti Alley is located at 1 Rush Lane in the Fashion District, and it’s definitely worth seeing.
Craigleigh Gardens Park
You’ll find Craigleigh Gardens Park just north of Bayview and Bloor, and this hidden gem is often overlooked due to its close proximity to the Brick Works. The gothic-style entrance gives the 3.4 acre space an air of mystery and secrecy, and once you’re inside, you just might have the place to yourself (or at least feel like you do).
You’ll also find some great hidden gems in Toronto’s North York neighborhood, which is where Via123 Apartments happen to be located. Before you start touring all the underrated spots in our city, take a tour of our new luxury building.