You could spend a whole weekend just exploring Toronto’s vibrant Entertainment District, and with activities ranging from indulging in some of Toronto’s best dining spots, to watching sharks swim overhead, to taking in world-class opera, there’s something for everyone to get excited about. If you’re looking for a memorable experience, spending a day in the Entertainment District is one of the best things to do in Toronto. Here’s how to make the most of it.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
If you’re looking for things to do in Toronto that will please the whole family, the Entertainment District is your answer. You’ll want to book tickets online for the newly opened Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. It’s one of the most popular ways to enjoy a day out, for both kids and adults. Take in the impressive state-of-the-art facility as you enter—it’s home to 16,000 aquatic animals from luminescent jellyfish to prowling sharks. You make your way into the long underwater tunnel through Dangerous Lagoon and feel like you’re swimming alongside sharks, sting rays, and sea turtles. The aquarium hosts a great set of events, like Friday Night Jazz on the second Friday of every month, Morning Yoga at Rainbow Reef, and photography classes. You can even watch a diver feed the string rays as you learn about marine conversation.
Toronto is a hotbed of international cuisine, and you’ll find many different options in the Entertainment District. Restaurant Row on King Street is a favourite stop for locals because of the bustling atmosphere and the character of its old buildings. Many people come here for an early dinner before a theatre performance at one of the many theatres nearby. HUSH, an upscale bar and lounge with both a sidewalk and a rooftop patio, has one of the best vibes on the row. You feel welcomed instantly by the restaurant’s cozy booths, cog-framed mirrors, and eclectic hanging lights. Meat is what you should be ordering here—their beef comes from premium Ontario corn-fed Wellington County cows. Try the boneless short rib. It’s a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
Royal Alexandra Theatre
The Royal Alexandra Theatre is the place to go for theatre classics like Phantom of the Opera, as well as modern favourites like Kinky Boots. Built in 1907, it’s the oldest continuously operating theatre in North America, and the ornate red velvet interior is a luxury you can feel as you imagine you’re at an exclusive premier and sashay to your seat. The steep seating seems to propel you forward, making you feel like you could be right on stage with the actors. A glowing chandelier that dimly lights the room reveals golden sculptural details adorning every wall, and a bucolic fresco on the ceiling. The rich decor helps to transport you back in time to an era of celebrated opulence.
Many of the attractions in Toronto’s Entertainment District are within walking distance of one another, making it easy to plan a whole day of fun no matter who you’re spending time with. When your legs get tired, you can hop on a City Sightseeing bus just outside Ripley’s Aquarium to take it all in from the comfort of your seat. Just make sure to come back in time to enjoy the nightlife!