North York is a vibrant and diverse city located in the northern part of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As a part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), it offers a plethora of exciting places to visit and things to do. Whether you’re interested in cultural experiences, outdoor activities, shopping, or dining, North York has something to offer for everyone. Here are some of the best places and things to do in North York:
1. Toronto Centre for the Arts
If you’re a fan of performing arts, the Toronto Centre for the Arts is a must-visit destination. This multi-venue complex hosts a variety of concerts, dance performances, theatre productions, and other cultural events throughout the year.
2. Edwards Gardens
Nature lovers will appreciate a visit to Edwards Gardens, a beautiful botanical garden with stunning floral displays, walking trails, and manicured lawns. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, picnic, or simply enjoying the peaceful surroundings.
3. Fairview Mall
For shopping enthusiasts, Fairview Mall is a popular destination. This large shopping center features a wide range of retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. It’s a great place to shop, dine, and catch a movie at the cinema.
4. Black Creek Pioneer Village
Image Source: https://blackcreek.ca/
Step back in time and experience life in the 19th century at Black Creek Pioneer Village. This living history museum showcases over 40 heritage buildings, including houses, barns, and workshops. Visitors can interact with costumed interpreters and learn about early Canadian pioneer life.
5. Aga Khan Museum
Image Source: https://agakhanmuseum.org/visit/tickets-hours.html
This architectural gem houses an impressive collection of Islamic art and artifacts from various regions and time periods. The Aga Khan Museum also hosts exhibitions, performances, and educational programs that promote cultural understanding and appreciation.
6. North York Central Library
Book lovers and knowledge seekers will enjoy a visit to the North York Central Library, a state-of-the-art public library that offers a vast collection of books, digital resources, and engaging events for all ages.
7.G Ross Lord Park
If you’re looking for outdoor activities, G Ross Lord Park is an excellent choice. It boasts extensive hiking and biking trails, serene picnic areas, and opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
8. Explore Korean Town
North York is home to one of the largest Korean communities in Toronto. Head to Korean Town along Yonge Street to indulge in authentic Korean cuisine, discover unique shops, and experience the vibrant culture of South Korea.
9. Mel Lastman Square
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Lastman_Square
This urban square serves as the heart of North York, hosting a range of events and festivals throughout the year. In the winter, it transforms into a picturesque ice-skating rink, and during the summer, it hosts concerts and outdoor gatherings.
10. Taste International Cuisine
North York’s diverse population is reflected in its culinary scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample a wide array of international cuisines, from Chinese and Indian to Middle Eastern and Latin American.
11. Ontario Science Centre
Science enthusiasts of all ages will love the Ontario Science Centre. This interactive science museum features hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, and immersive experiences that make learning about science and technology engaging and fun.
12. Earl Bales Park
Another fantastic green space in North York, Earl Bales Park offers various recreational activities year-round. In the winter, visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at the Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre, and in the warmer months, the park is ideal for picnics, hiking, and sports.
13. Bayview Village
Image Source: https://www.bayviewvillageshops.com/
If you’re looking for upscale shopping and dining, Bayview Village is the place to go. This chic shopping center is known for its luxury boutiques, trendy fashion stores, and upscale restaurants, offering a high-end retail experience.
14. Gibson House Museum
Image Source: https://nyhs.ca/gibson-house-museum/
Take a trip back in time and explore the Gibson House Museum, a restored 1850s farmhouse that provides insight into the lives of the early settlers in the region. Guided tours offer a glimpse into the history and domestic life of the Gibson family.
15. North York Farmers’ Market
During the growing season, the North York Farmers’ Market operates at Mel Lastman Square. This vibrant market showcases fresh produce, artisanal products, local crafts, and delicious food options, creating a perfect opportunity to support local businesses.
16. Charles Sauriol Conservation Area
For a peaceful retreat, visit the Charles Sauriol Conservation Area, named after a renowned conservationist. This serene park offers walking trails along the Don River and a chance to observe wildlife in its natural habitat.
17. Bayview Village Park
Families will enjoy spending time at Bayview Village Park, which offers a playground, splash pad, and open green spaces for kids to play and parents to relax.
18. Canadian Air & Space Museum
Aviation enthusiasts will appreciate the Canadian Air & Space Museum, which showcases the history of flight in Canada with an impressive collection of aircraft and aerospace artifacts.
19. Toronto Botanical Garden
Located near Edwards Gardens, the Toronto Botanical Garden features beautifully landscaped gardens, including a butterfly garden, herb garden, and the Weston Family Library, which houses an extensive collection of horticultural resources.
20. Finch Avenue West
Known for its diverse culinary scene, Finch Avenue West is a food lover’s paradise. Explore a wide range of restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world, including Persian, Chinese, Filipino, and more.
21. Goulding Park
Image Source: https://www.touristplaces.ca/toronto-on/goulding-park/
Nestled in the heart of North York, Goulding Park offers a great space for outdoor activities and recreation. The park features sports fields, tennis courts, and a community center with programs and events for residents of all ages.
22. North York Arts
For those interested in the local arts scene, North York Arts is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes arts and culture in the community. They host various events, workshops, and exhibitions that celebrate the creativity of local artists.
23. Urban Winery
Image Source: https://urbanwinesnyc.com/
Visit one of North York’s urban wineries to taste locally produced wines and learn about the winemaking process. Some wineries even offer guided tours and tasting events to enhance your wine experience.
24. Downsview Park
Image Source: https://downsviewpark.ca/
Formerly a military base, Downsview Park has been transformed into a sprawling urban park with a wide range of recreational activities. From sports fields and picnic areas to hiking trails and a beautiful lake, the park has something for everyone to enjoy.
25. CPR John Street Roundhouse
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History buffs will find interest in the CPR John Street Roundhouse, a railway museum and historical site that showcases vintage locomotives and railcars. Take a guided tour to learn about Canada’s railway heritage.
26. Don Valley Golf Course
Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Don Valley Golf Course, an 18-hole public golf course that offers scenic views and a challenging game for players of all skill levels.
27. Mitchell Field Community Centre
This community center offers an array of recreational activities, including swimming pools, fitness facilities, sports courts, and group fitness classes.
28. Toronto Zoo
While technically located in Scarborough, the Toronto Zoo is easily accessible from North York and well worth the visit. It’s one of the largest zoos in the world, featuring over 5,000 animals representing various species from around the globe.
29. Bathurst-Wilson Parkette
This small but charming parkette is known for its vibrant street art and colorful murals. It’s a great spot to take photos and immerse yourself in the local art scene.
30. Live Music Venues
North York has a growing live music scene, with various bars and venues hosting performances by local musicians and bands. Check out the schedules of local venues to catch some live music and support emerging artists.
31. Explore the Humber River
Image Source: https://www.britannica.com/place/River-Humber
The Humber River flows through North York, offering scenic walking and biking trails along its banks. Take a leisurely stroll, rent a bike, or even go kayaking or canoeing to immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of this urban river.
32. Go Shopping at Yorkdale Shopping Centre
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkdale_Shopping_Centre
Just a short drive from North York, Yorkdale Shopping Centre is one of the largest and most upscale shopping destinations in the GTA. It features a vast array of high-end boutiques, department stores, and dining options, making it a top choice for fashion enthusiasts.
33. Participate in Community Events
North York is known for its strong sense of community, and there are often local events and festivals happening throughout the year. Keep an eye out for street festivals, cultural celebrations, and community gatherings to experience the vibrant spirit of North York.
34. Bridle Path
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridle_Path,_Toronto
Take a scenic drive or stroll through the Bridle Path, a prestigious residential neighborhood known for its beautiful mansions and lush landscapes. It’s a great way to appreciate the elegance and luxury that North York has to offer.
35. Aviva Centre
Sports fans should check out the Aviva Centre, a world-class tennis stadium and venue that hosts major tennis tournaments and events. Catch a thrilling match and witness some of the world’s best tennis players in action.
36. Dine at the Food Trucks
North York has a growing food truck scene, offering a diverse selection of cuisines on wheels. Look out for food truck festivals or simply keep an eye on social media to find the latest locations of these mobile culinary delights.
37. Attend a Workshop or Class
Many community centers and organizations in North York offer workshops and classes in various fields, such as cooking, arts and crafts, dance, and fitness. Participating in a class can be a great way to learn something new while meeting like-minded individuals.
38. Get Active at Oriole Park
Oriole Park is a spacious recreational area with playgrounds, sports fields, and a well-maintained outdoor pool. It’s a fantastic spot for families and sports enthusiasts to enjoy some outdoor fun.
39. Try International Street Food
North York’s diverse cultural makeup means you can find a wide range of international street food offerings. Take a culinary journey by trying various dishes from different countries at food stalls and vendors throughout the city.
40. Enjoy a Concert or Event at Downsview Park
Downsview Park is not just a recreational space; it also hosts various concerts, festivals, and special events throughout the year. Check their schedule to catch a live performance by your favorite artist or to join in on a community event.
41. Explore North York’s Public Art
North York has an impressive collection of public art installations scattered throughout the city. Take a self-guided art tour to discover murals, sculptures, and other artistic creations that add character and charm to the urban landscape.
42. Yoga in the Park
Many parks in North York offer free or donation-based yoga classes during the warmer months. Join a yoga session in the park to rejuvenate your mind and body amidst nature.
43. Visit the Ontario Black History Society
Learn about the rich history and contributions of Black Canadians at the Ontario Black History Society. Their exhibits and programs shed light on important aspects of Canada’s diverse heritage.
44. Attend a Play or Performance at Toronto Children’s Theatre
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Families with young children will appreciate the entertaining and educational performances put on by the Toronto Children’s Theatre. It’s an excellent way to introduce kids to the magic of live theater.
45. Discover the Shops at Don Mills
This open-air shopping district offers a unique shopping experience with a mix of boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment options. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, grab a coffee, and browse through the eclectic shops.
46. Hike the Don Valley Ravine
Image Source: https://ontariohiking.com/moore-park-ravine-toronto/
The Don Valley Ravine provides a picturesque escape from the urban hustle and bustle. Explore the hiking trails, take in the natural beauty, and spot wildlife in this serene green space.
47. Attend a Film Screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox
While not in North York, the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto hosts various film screenings, festivals, and events that cinephiles will love. Check their schedule for a chance to catch a classic, independent, or international film.
48. Join a Book Club
Image Source: https://reedsy.com/discovery/blog/book-clubs
North York has a strong literary community, and many local libraries and bookstores host book clubs. Joining one can be a great way to discuss books, meet new people, and expand your reading horizons.
49. Volunteer for a Community Cause
Give back to the community by volunteering for a local charity or organization in North York. Whether it’s participating in a clean-up event, assisting at a food bank, or supporting community programs, your contributions can make a positive impact.
Places and Things To Do