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10 Steps to Family Fun


The world’s tallest building, the CN Tower, is the height of fun—553.33 m of it, to be exact. Dare to stand on the glass floor and look down 342 m, or go up in the Sky Pod, the world’s highest observation deck.
I’M HUNGRY! or unparalleled views, splurge on a meal at the 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower, which completes a rotation every 72 minutes.


To get an overview of the city, board a double-decker bus for the Gray Line Hop-On, Hop-Off City Tour and go at your own pace. Ride the “bus that floats”—the Toronto Hippo Tours bus transforms into a boat. Or buy a City Pass for admission to six select attractions at one low rate.
I’M HUNGRY! Peruse 13 food stations at Richtree Market, with everything from crêpes to pasta, then decide what whets the whistle.


The Bata Shoe Museum is an ode to footwear with a collection of more than 10,000 shoes. The Royal Ontario Museum is Canada’s largest museum of natural history and world culture, while the nearby Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art is the country’s only venue devoted entirely to ceramics. The Art Gallery of Ontario chronicles Canada’s artistic heritage.
I’M HUNGRY! At the Amazon-themed Rainforest Café, waterfalls and robotic animals simulate the natural atmosphere.


Hockey fans can revel in NHL glory at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Rogers Centre Tour Experience takes visitors behind the scenes at the world’s first stadium with a fully retractable roof. Cheer on our hometown teams: baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays or football’s Toronto Argonauts.
I’M HUNGRY! A shrine to Number 99’s career, Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant features his family’s recipes. Alice Fazooli’s is a favourite of local athletes.


Located along the waterfront, Harbourfront Centre hops during the summer with culturally-diverse festivals and live entertainment. At Ontario Place, cool off at Soak City, the only downtown water park, hit the putting greens or see an IMAX movie.
I’M HUNGRY! Hugging the original shoreline of Lake Ontario, Front Street (at The Esplanade) is home to the Old Spaghetti Factory. An authentic trolley car and carousel set the mood.


The Toronto Eaton Centre, the city’s shopping icon, has more than 285 stores. Across the way, Canada’s oldest retailer, The Bay, carries designer apparel, jewellery and more. Both link to PATH, a 27-km walkway and the world’s longest underground shopping complex. Along the route, see the soaring arches of BCE Place and the historical art deco business and shopping complex College Park.

Via the Atrium on Bay, the Pickle Barrel serves an all-day breakfast.ENJOY THE ISLAND

Escape to the Toronto Islands to bike, hike and blade the extensive trails. Franklin Garden, inspired by the children’s book character Franklin the Turtle, has an amphitheatre and a storytelling stage. Hop aboard the antique train or ferris wheel at Centreville Amusement Park. Ferries depart for the island every 15 minutes from Bay Street and Queens Quay.
I’M HUNGRY! Drink in the waterfront aboard a Mariposa Cruise, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, while enjoying a buffet.

Brush Up On History

Majestic Casa Loma boasts secret passageways, towers and an 800-foot tunnel. A homage to military life, Historic Fort York is the site of the Battle of York during the War of 1812. Picturesque Colborne Lodge is a 19th-century home preserved with its original furnishings.
I’M HUNGRY! History comes alive at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. There are no utensils at this 11th-century-inspired feast where two princes joust for the love of a princess (chosen from the audience).


The Beach and summer are synonymous. The boardwalk beckons to hikers, bikers and inline skaters. Or head to the west end for Shakespeare under the stars at Canstage TD Dream in High Park‘s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
I’M HUNGRY! Pack a picnic and dine al fresco at either locale. Or cool down with an ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s (2018 Queen St. E., 416-699-1289).


Hop in the car and head east to the Toronto Zoo, a 710-acre site that is home to more than 5,000 animals. Kids go ape at the zoo’s Splash Island, with its oversized replica animals spouting water. Or go north to Paramount Canada’s Wonderland, the destination for heart-stopping roller coasters, a 20-acre water park and plenty more for kids.

TIP! To rent strollers and other baby equipment, call gogoBaby at 647-895-2229.

Hit the road with these Travel Toys for Kids.

WEB EXCLUSIVE! For more family-friendly spots, see 10 Kid-Friendly Stores.

—Linda Luong

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