The downtown stretch of Toronto’s lakeshore is a hotbed for cultural events and in-water activities.
SUITE ESCAPE The serene Toronto Music Garden is a relaxing lakeside oasis. Inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite no. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello and designed by renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Messervy, the verdant greenspace interprets the composition’s six movements in trees, shrubs, swaying grasses and colourful flowers. Outdoor recitals enliven the garden on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m.
DIP YOUR PADDLE Enjoy a different view of Toronto courtesy of the Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre. The company offers a variety of on-water activities: neophytes can get closer to nature with guided tandem kayak tours of the Toronto Islands, while more experienced paddlers can rent their own canoes, kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to explore Lake Ontario.
ACTIVE AREA One of the city’s major hubs for culture, Harbourfront Centre hosts a year-round slate of events—including specially curated weekend-long festivals all summer—that celebrate diversity through theatre, dance, visual arts, music, literature and film. Also on-site is The Power Plant, a repurposed 1920s powerhouse that presents contemporary art exhibitions.
ALL ABOARD! Experience a traditional way of travelling while taking in the sights on the deck of the Great Lakes Schooner Company’s Kajama boat cruise. This circa-1930 165-foot three-masted tall ship glides through the water on daily tours, with food and drinks available for purchase. Boards at Harbourfront Centre.
SHOP AND DINE Once a shipping warehouse, Queen’s Quay Terminal is now the waterfront’s primary retail complex, featuring a number of specialty stores, galleries and restaurants. Drop into the Museum of Inuit Art—a non-profit institution with a huge collection of indigenous prints, sculptures, textiles and more—or find a table at Pearl Harbourfront Chinese Cuisine for dim sum and scenic lake views.
CLASS OF ITS OWN Within a beautifully restored heritage building, Harbour Sixty offers luxury dining with a world-class menu and extensive wine list. The city’s power brokers have long frequented this restaurant—situated directly south of the Financial District—for its superior steaks, and such fresh seafood options as whole Atlantic lobster and ahi tuna. Exquisite private dining rooms make this a go-to destination for groups, too.