We often think of city tours as being something strictly reserved for tourists, but that’s not always the case. Sure, they make a great way to learn about a new destination or experience a city’s highlights when you’re short on time, but they can also be fun for locals. The thing about Toronto tours is that they cover a variety of interests, from food to history – so there’s something for anyone who wants to learn something new about the city. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, here are six awesome Toronto tours even locals love.
Beer Makes History Better
Toronto is a hot spot for craft beer, with new breweries popping up on what seems like a weekly basis. Beer is front and centre on this unique tour courtesy of Urban Adventures that blends history with the chance to discover some of the city’s best local brews. Whether you’ve lived in Toronto your entire life, or just arrived recently, if you’re interested in beer and history, this is a worthwhile way to combine both. The four-hour tour takes you to three Toronto pubs, as well as the always worthwhile St. Lawrence Market and historic Distillery District.
Graffiti Tour - Queen Street West & Graffiti Alley
Graffiti often gets a bad rap – but it can also serve as a bight spot in an urban centre. There’s a lot of really cool graffiti in Toronto and even locals don’t know where to find all of it, or have had the chance to see some of the best street art the city has to offer. This tour from the Tour Guys (which also happens to be pay-what-you-can) offers a chance to check out some of the most Instagram-worthy graffiti in Toronto. The Tour Guys will take you through the back alleys and laneways of downtown Toronto where you’ll learn about the history and different styles of graffiti, as well as the city’s policies surrounding street art.
King & Queen West Brunch Tour
Brunch is a big deal in Toronto, as in locals live for it, line up for it and photograph their best plates of it every weekend. This tour, courtesy of The Culinary Adventure Co. is a fun way to get into the brunch game and taste some of the best and most decadent brunch treats Toronto has to offer. And the best part is – this is a multicultural tasting experience, with food on the tour being Canadian, Filipino, Italian, Japanese, American, French and Turkish. It likely goes without saying, but bring your appetite.
Distillery Deluxe Tasting Tour
Toronto’s historic Distillery District is a justifiably popular tourist attraction, but it’s also a much-loved area for locals who love its cobbled streets, cute cafes and easy-going vibe. Learn more about the history of the Distillery District as well as more about its current place in the city’s culinary scene on this tour via Go Tours Canada. In addition to exploring the charming neighbourhood, you’ll get to taste some of its most sought-after goodies, including handmade chocolates from SOMA, a hearty panini from Sweet Escapes, a flight of craft beer from Mill Street Brewery and sake samples from Ontario Spring Water Sake.
Do you believe in ghosts? Even if you don’t, there’s just something about the idea of a haunted building that intrigues people of all ages and Toronto has its fair share of purportedly haunted hot spots. The two-hour tour given by Muddy York Tours will send shivers down your back as you learn about the urban legends and ghost stories tied to some of the city’s most notable and iconic landmarks.
No matter how long you’ve lived in Toronto, Kensington Market is one of those neighbourhoods you can go back to again and again and always experience something new. This tour, courtesy of Savour Toronto, provides a behind the scenes peek into the daily hum of one of Toronto’s most eclectic areas. Officially recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2006, Kensington Market is bursting with markets, bakeries, cheese shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and spice shops – and on this tour you’ll be tasting your way through some of the best food-focused establishments, while learning about the history and significance of the area.