Toronto & Niagara Falls

CN Tower Toronto

On my last big trip to Canada, I decided to go to Toronto for a weekend. It takes about 4.30 hours to get from Windsor to Toronto. You can get there by train, bus or car and I would recommend the train as the easiest option

Toronto is a big city and so there are many different accommodations in the city and surrounding area. As a small tip, if you want cheaper accommodation it might be worth looking in the towns near Toronto, as staying directly in the city is often a bit more expensive than staying a short distance outside the downtown. In principle, I would also recommend about 3-4 days for Toronto, as the city has a lot to offer. You can also take a day trip to Niagara Falls which is about 130 km southwest of Toronto – around the western end of Lake Ontario. No one will believe you've been to Canada if you haven't visited Niagara Falls! I'll come to that in more detail later.

First, more about Toronto. Toronto is the largest city in Canada with a population of more than 6 million people. It is the capital of the province of Ontario and was founded in 1793. Did you know that Toronto was called York until 1843? In 1843, the city was renamed Toronto to better distinguish it from the city of New York.

A few must-sees from my side are: Casa-Loma is a historic house museum and landmark which is built in a Gothic Revival style in midtown Toronto. The builder was Sir Henry Pellatt – a businessman who had a passion for castles. He actually ran out of money while building Casa Loma and so the house is not quite complete to this day. The Harbourfront Toronto and a boat trip to Toronto Island are also fun. A visit to the CN Tower, a 553-metre high television tower and major Toronto landmark. You can either enjoy the view over Toronto and the surrounding area, have a meal at the 360-degree restaurant or do the "EdgeWalk", where you walk 116 floors above Toronto along the outer edge of the CN Tower secured with a harness. I would also recommend a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). It is a museum of culture, art and natural history and is one of the largest museums in North America. The ROM is known for its exhibitions on the indigenous peoples of North America and the associated history of Canada. In total, it offers more than six million exhibits.

You also should visit St. Lawrence Market, where you can buy cheese, meat, seafood or fruits and vegetables. Then there is the Distillery District, which is known for its many old 19th-century buildings and pedestrianized streets, where you can find restaurants, boutiques and some art galleries. All of those tips are my highlights in Toronto.

As already mentioned, a trip to Niagara Falls should not be missed. You have several options to get to “The Falls”. You can take the bus, for example, there is a Flixbus from Toronto to Niagara Falls You can also take the train or book the trip with a tour operator. If you take the bus or the train, you are a little more unlimited in the amount of time you can spend there. One thing should be clear: Niagara Falls is such a popular place for tourists that you should expect a little more waiting time at the attractions.

Once you're there, you will have plenty of options for spending the day. You can take a boat trip with Niagara City Cruises, which gets you pretty close to the bottom of the Falls. Alternatively, you can take the Journey Behind the Falls, which takes you to a platform below Niagara Falls and is just as close as the boat. I actually liked the Journey behind the Falls better because you can decide for yourself how long you want to stand on the platform and watch the roaring waters. We waited around 1.30 hours from ticket purchase to finally arriving at the platform, but it was definitely worth the wait. It was just such an indescribable feeling there is something totally magical about it. You can also book a zipline ride, take a helicopter ride over the Falls or much more. There are also some souvenir shops, hotels, restaurants, the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum (with statues of famous people from history) and a large casino, so you could also decide to stay longer at Niagara Falls than just a day.

I would definitely say you can combine Toronto and Niagara Falls with your trip.

This is the entrance to the St. Lawrence Market 

Watching this beautiful sunset at the Harbourfront in Toronto 

This is the view of Niagara Falls from the walkway

Me at the Journey behind the Falls.  It was so amazing to see this in real life, even if you do get a little wet.