When people talk about Toronto, it's typically either to gripe about the bone-chilling winters or praise the vibrant and warm summers. But where's the love for Toronto's fall season, when the city has a slight chill in the air, and its tree-lined streets turn a fiery blend of orange and yellow?
Toronto comes alive in the fall. It hosts numerous acclaimed festivals like TIFF and the Toronto International Festival of Authors. Its markets overflow with a cornucopia of produce from the surrounding Golden Horseshoe. And its world-class restaurants dish up hearty fare to match the weather.
Whether you're visiting the city for the day or a local looking to wring as much enjoyment as possible from the temperate autumn weather, this list has you covered. Here's how to spend the perfect fall day in Toronto.
Catch a Sunrise from the Top of the CN Tower
Sure, shooting to the top of the CN Tower might be a 'touristy' thing to do, but there's no arguing that it's the best vantage point in the city.
Start your day on the elevator to Toronto's highest point, gazing over the city's majestic fall sprawl. Look west to the golden hues of High Park or east towards Riverdale (more on that below).Take in the bustle of the financial district below as ant-sized commuters make their way to work. And peer south over Lake Ontario, which might just be starting to freeze.
Get Tickets to a Jays Playoff Game - If You're Lucky
If you're lucky, you'll visit Toronto when the Blue Jays are in the playoffs. If so, descend the CN Tower and head straight for the box office at Rogers Centre (a short two-minute walk away) to reserve tickets for an afternoon or evening game.
Torontonians take baseball seriously in the regular season, but the atmosphere is markedly more exciting in the playoffs. The arena's dome will stay down if the weather is clear, so you can continue enjoying the crisp fall weather.
Shop for Fall Produce in Kensington Market
After you grab tickets, but before the game, spend time along Spadina's historic Chinatown and the nearby Garment District. Then, head to Kensington Market for shopping.
Most guidebooks will steer you towards the St. Lawrence market for shopping, but locals know that Kensington has the better vibe. This frenetic bohemian enclave in the center of town is chock full of independent shops, including fruit and vegetable purveyors selling fall goods from around Ontario.
Grab Vegan Comfort Food on Queen Street West
Once evening hits, make your way to Queen Street West, a hip area known for its tasty Toronto vegan food. To match the chilly weather, try some vegan comfort food at Parka, which makes excellent use of local ingredients.
Here, you'll find comfort food classics like burgers, mac n' cheese, wraps and poutine, all served with a signature plant-based twist. It's a hearty, healthy, earth-friendly way to experience Toronto's burgeoning culinary scene.
Head to Riverdale for a Majestic Sunset
Lastly, take the streetcar from Queen West to Riverdale Park. The park features a high, sloping hillside with unmatched city aspects, perfect for people-watching and sunset-gazing.
If you're visiting in September, you can tack on an evening trip to TIFF to watch movies in their pre-release run (and hopefully spot a celebrity or two). Or you can simply relax next to the sunset.
The perfect fall day in Toronto is all about sights, sports, shopping and food. Follow this short guide to get maximum enjoyment from your fall tour of Toronto.