Self-Guided Tour of Toronto

Welcome to Toronto! The Toronto Team is excited to have you here. We invite you to take a break from your studies and explore all the city has to offer! We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite sights to see, restaurants to try, and places to shop. Click on the photos for directions or check out this collective map. Happy Touring!

Explore.

Harbourfront

“Toronto Harbourfront is a vibrant place to people watch, soak in sun and lake breeze and see the city from a unique vantage point. It also provides easy access to the Toronto Islands, which are also wonderful to explore!”

Aliza Lakhani, CEO and Dean

Beltline Trail

“This is a surprisingly peaceful little oasis in the city. Very fun for kids to explore!”

Evan Clarke, Associate Dean

Scarborough Bluffs

“The contrast of the rock-faced bluffs with the lush greenery that surrounds out is strikingly beautiful. You are right at the lake, so there is swimming at the beach on a beautiful summer’s day, too.”

Montse Sanzsole, Director of Strategic Partnerships

Royal Ontario Museum

“The museum has world class collections in a number of areas.”

Evan Clarke, Associate Dean

Trillium Park

“Trillium Park is one of the best places to visit Lake Ontario, see the Toronto skyline, view a gorgeous sunset, and even rent out a campfire pit from the City of Toronto! Bring a group of friends here for a lovely, low-key day or evening.”

Farzaneh Irani, COE Assistant Co-0p Coordinator

Don Valley Trail

“This is an excellent path for hiking or biking, and you can go all the way down to the waterfront and/or Woodbine Beach.”

Stephanie Cochrane, Associate Director of Student Services

Ashbridges Bay Park

“Ashbridges Bay Park and the Beaches area has something for everyone–swimming, walking along the boardwalk, volleyball, parks, unique shops on Queen St. A wonderful area to explore for one day or on many return trips.”

Montse Sanzsole, Director of Strategic Partnerships

The Village (Church & Wellesley)

“Proudly known as the Toronto Gay Village, the neighborhood is inclusive, safe, and welcoming for all. You’ll find the LGBTQ+ district of Toronto busiest during the Toronto Pride festival each June when the whole neighbourhood transforms into one big friendly party.”

Sam Clarke, Special Assistant to the Dean and CEO

Toronto Zoo

“On the eastern edge of the city but still accessible via transit, the Toronto Zoo makes for a great sunny, summer outing to see animals from around the world. In the winter, you can still go and visit the indoor pavillions and watch the more “cold-friendly” animals continue to enjoy themselves outside. One word of advice: bring good walking shoes! The zoo is massive and you will want to see it all!”

David Gugel, Academic and Career Advisor

Evergreen Brick Works

“Evergreen is a great example of the transformation of an old factory into a welcoming public space. It’s in the heart of Toronto’s ravine system and open year-round. You can explore its markets, participate in events, enjoy its trails, and learn about their sustainable practices. If you make it to the top of the Lookout Path, you can also feast your eyes on the magnificent view of the Toronto skyline.”

Deniz Toker, GLS Specialist

The Beaches

“A charming laid-back neighbourhood with a vintage small-town vibe. A series of festivals, winter installations, and year-round activities make this quarter an excellent spot to visit at any time.”

Ana-Louise Polexe, Campus Operations Specialist

Glen Stewart Ravine

“This is a quick 45-minute trail in the Beaches neighbourhood. The entrance to the ravine is tucked away on the busy Kingston Road just off of Main Street. You can walk all the way and reach the end of the Boardwalk near Balmy Beach Park. From here, you can walk towards Woodbine Beach, where you can see the Toronto skyline from the east.”

Judith Fernandez, Campus Operations Specialist

Riverdale Park East

“For the most spectacular sunset skyline views of downtown Toronto, there is no better place than Riverdale Park East located between Gerard and Danforth (Bloor) on Broadview Street. It’s a great place to picnic or grab coffee at one of the coffee shops nearby and walk down the hill to the Don Valley trails. You can use the path link to access Riverdale Park West and take a tour of Riverdale Farm. Or you can just sit on a bench or a blanket looking over the amazing views of downtown Toronto.”

Anna Choudhury, Associate Director of International Student Services

Casa Loma

“Check out Casa Loma. It’s a weird mansion designed to look like a Scottish castle. It has a really fascinating history and has been used as a location for loads of movies and TV shows.”

Jack Weatherston, Communications Specialist

St. Lawrence Market

“I have fond memories of Saturday and Sunday shopping at the market and the nearby outdoor farmers market when I lived downtown. It’s so wonderful to be able to support local businesses and have access to fresh foods and produce. You’re also steps away from parks (my favourite is Berczy Park) and not far from the Distillery District. So much to do and explore.”

Aliza Lakhani, CEO and Dean

Rouge Valley National Park

“Rouge National Park is always a perfect place for me to re-connect with nature. Rouge Park is one of the best places to see fall colours in Toronto. The viewing platform on Vista Trail is always my favorite spot! Cedar Trail, as the name suggests, is famous for its big and tall trees. But be careful if you hike alone; I heard bear roaring there in summer!”

Krystal Jiang, International Student and Scholar Advisor

Centre Island

“I love Centre Island for its unforgettable experience – a full day’s worth of fun and food experience. Centre Island is in the middle of three primary Toronto island destinations located between Wards’ Island and Hanlan’s Point. The island features exciting activities and places to explore such as formal gardens, Centerville Amusement Park, Sandy Beach, picnic areas and more.”

Tinu Olawuyi, Academic and Career Advisor, College of Professional Studies

Toronto Islands

“I LOVE taking the ferry out to the islands in the summertime–it always feels like a vacation! I like to take my stand up paddle board and paddle throughout the water. The most rewarding part is the beautiful view of the Toronto skyline. If you don’t own a SUP, you can rent one and enjoy the water with your friends!”

Rupy Mundi, Academic and Career Advisor

100 King St West #4620

“Home of the NU Toronto Campus! Located in First Canadian Place, NU Toronto is located in the heart of the city providing you with opportunities to learn, network, and engage in the local culture. We look forward to seeing you on campus!”

The Toronto Team

Taste.

Le Gourmand Bakery

“Locally-owned bakery with the best cookies! They also have a walk-up window.”

Aliza Lakhani, CEO and Dean

Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake

“The best Japanese cheesecake! You can never get enough.”

Montse Sanzsole, Director of Strategic Partnerships

Alma

“Alma, on Bloor Street West, is a little pricier but definitely worth it. Really cool fusion dishes. Come for the noodles; stay for the scallion bread!”

Jack Weatherston, Communications Specialist

Naan & Kabob

“Naan & Kabob is a crossroad at the heart of the Spice Route where people of diverse cultures and languages meet to celebrate a world of flavours and a legacy of homemade recipes. Salata Naan is the perfect snack.”

Krystal Jiang, International Student and Scholar Advisor

Maman

“Maman is an upscale French restaurant and New York-style cafe inside First Canadian Place with a good, bright vibe. The coffee and baked goods are very good and they also do catering!”

Stephanie Cochrane, Associate Director of Student Services

The Haam

“The Hamm is one of my favourite restaurants in the city! A semi-upscale Mexican-Japanese fusion menu that offers exceptional sushi, tacos, and sake! This is a great spot for a date night or a night out with friends. Be sure to make a reservation in advance as it’s a small place that fills up quickly!”

Farzaneh Irani, COE Assistant Co-op Coordinator

Paramount Fine Foods

“Great middle eastern food and the best baklava around. Yonge Street (though locations all over).”

Montse Sanzsole, Director of Strategic Partnerships

ViVetha Bistro

“Located at 2485 Queen St. E. in the east end of the beaches, it is the ideal spot for beach neighbourhoods to enjoy Italian-French fusion foods! In fact, many food critics say it’s worth traveling to the east end of the beach. ViVetha also has another sister location in the Scarborough Bluffs, called ViPei Bistro.”

Sam Clarke, Special Assistant to the Dean and CEO

Pizzeria Via Mercanti

“This is an authentic Italian pizzeria at Kensington Market, which is a must-see sight in Toronto. If you are into hand-crafted wood-fired pizza, you should definitely check this place out. I am also a huge fan of their tiramisu and they usually make it daily. You should book a table if you decide to go there for dinner because it is a pretty popular restaurant in a great location. “

Deniz Toker, GLS Specialist

PAI Thai

“So many options near our downtown campus! Check out PAI, which is a low-key but very tasty Thai restaurant. Bonus–it’s walking distance.”

Aliza Lakhani, CEO and Dean

Chatime Atealier

“Atealier is an accessible yet immersive experience into the world of premium tea on the concourse level of First Canadian Place. Their careful and detailed approach to beverage craftsmanship is rooted within both tradition and modernity.”

Ana-Louise Polexe, Campus Operations Specialist

Hazukido

“This is a croissant lover’s paradise. They are a Japanese-French croissant place located right here on the concourse level of First Canadian Place. My favourite so far is the Coffee Mascarpone & Chocolate.”

Judith Fernandez, Campus Operations Specialist

Market 707 Food Court

“A little gem for people who want to try some international treats is the outdoor food court located at Bathurst and Dundas, opposite the Toronto Western Hospital. The micro-restaurants are located in repurposed shipping containers and serve a variety of food from around the world. Hop on the Dundas West streetcar and get off at Bathurst.”

Anna Choudhury, Associate Director of International Student Services

Gus Tacos

“The tacos here are the perfect size and they are authentic to taste! The service is super fast, and there are so many tacos to try!”

Rupy Mundi, Academic and Career Advisor

7 West

“Hungry after hours and wondering where you can get some good food? 7 West is a unique restaurant for those late-night munchies. This is a multi-level restaurant that serves all-day breakfast!”

Zeinab Alamagen, Career Services and Co-op Advisor

Lahore Tikka House

“Located in the heart of Little India, this Pakistani/North Indian restaurant is a home away from home. The patio is vibrant with high energy, and the food is so good! I highly recommend this amazing restaurant, a must-stop if you love tasty food.”

Zeinab Alamagen, Career Services and Co-op Advisor

Shop.

Wychwood Farmers Market

“Great selection of farm fresh products. Brings the farm to the city. Only on Saturdays.”

Montse Sanzsole, Director of Strategic Partnerships

The Path

“The great part about being at FCP is that we are on The Path, which is the world’s largest underground shopping mall with 30 km of shops and services. I like to explore, especially in the winter, when I don’t want to go outside. There is always something new to try.”

Anna Choudhury, Associate Director of International Student Services

Toronto Eaton Centre

“Toronto’s only urban shopping centre, with over 230 retailers, restaurants, and services. With a diverse mix of Canadian & International shops, there’s something to satisfy every shopper’s palate while exploring the heart of Ontario’s capital.”

Sam Clarke, Special Assistant to the Dean and CEO

Farm Boy

“One of my new go-tos is Farm Boy. Their local label has things you wouldn’t find in regular stores. If you’re a beef lover, their burgers are the best! The pre-marinaded chickens are also a go-to for me after a long day. There’s a location near the Harbourfront.”

Aliza Lakhani, CEO and Dean

St. Clair West

“One of my favourite places to shop on a nice day when you are looking to browse and walk, is on St. Clair West, between Bathurst and Dufferin. This route will take you through the Wychwood and Hillcrest neighbourhoods and to Corso Italia. Lots of small, locally-owned shops selling everything from fresh produce to vintage clothing. Give yourself sometime to wander and plan on stopping at one of the many coffee shops or bakeries along the way. If you are really hungry, stop and have some BBQ at the Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder on St. Clair at Christie–the best in the city!”

Anna Choudhury, Associate Director of International Student Services

Longos Market

“Super convenient, so I can pick up something to cook or a missing ingredient. It is really well stocked for such a small place–and they have prepared lunch items too.”

Anna Choudhury, Associate Director of International Student Services

Nations Experience

“If you’re in the west of the city, visit the Nations Experience supermarket at the Stockyards. Has every ingredient for any dish (probably…).”

Jack Weatherstone, Communications Specialist

Blue Banana Market

“This place is my favourite for unique gifts from the city. I’m always intrigued by the neat and customized gifts they have and can easily spend an hour just browsing! I enjoy buying birthday cards here–they have the funniest ones!”

Rupy Mundi, Academic and Career Advisor

Share.

Share your pics on social media including the hashtags #NUTOR & #NUEXPERIENCE!

We’d also love to hear more about your experiences in Toronto! If you have a favourite spot not mentioned here, send us a brief description along with your photo and we’ll highlight your recommendations on our webpage! Submit your entry to Global Learner Support.