Toronto. Canada’s capital, and one of the most visited cities thanks to icons like Drake, The Weeknd, Alessia Cara, and many more. Our city has become a popular tourist destination and for good reason.
With attractions like the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the CN Tower, and the Rogers Centre, there are so many places to visit and things to do. Whether you live in the city or are far away, and abroad there is something to enjoy for everyone. However, with Covid-19 stopping many of us from making the most out of our city (in person), we have resorted to virtual visits, which are turning out to be just as good!
Here is a list of Toronto’s top tourist attractions that you can visit online:
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. Holding close to 95,000 pieces of art, the AGO presents a wide-range of exhibitions and programs, while showcasing popular as well as diverse and underrepresented artists. They have launched AGO from Home, an opportunity for everyone to experience all areas of the museum online. Along with featuring their collection and exhibits virtually, the AGO hosts regular talks and workshops for all ages, sharing interesting and diverse stories to engage their audiences with art.
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is also hosting a virtual “ROM at Home” edition. Visitors can explore the century-old museum, which is among the top 10 cultural institutions in North America. The ROM is Canada’s largest and most comprehensive museum, holding a collection of over 13 million artworks, cultural objects, and natural history specimens across 40 galleries and exhibitions. And although we can’t attend their live workshops and events, the museum is running online sessions that are free for the whole family!
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada: Although there is not an official COVID-19-change for the attraction, the Ripley’s Aquarium online site showcases galleries and live webcams of their underwater creatures. From glow in the dark jellyfish in the “Planet Jellies” exhibit to scary sharks in the “Dangerous Lagoon” tank, watch and learn about the wonders of the sea from the comfort of your couch (or bed). Always packed with tourists, especially during the summer months, this could be the greatest time to experience one of three Ripley Entertainment aquariums. It boasts 5.7 million liters of marine and freshwater habitats from across the world.
The CN Tower (once the tallest building in the world) is the tourist destination of Toronto. Resident or tourist, it’s definitely a must-visit attraction for everyone. A ride up the 114-storey tower isn’t possible at this time, but you can still learn about it online. Their new exhibit, 114 Stories X 114 Storeys, explores fact and fiction stories about Toronto’s top 10 landmarks. The CN Tower also has an interactive app (available for download), where people can view the city from their LookOut level and identify more than 90 landmarks. They also have free at-home activities available including colouring pages, a building challenge, and a scavenger hunt.
Casa Loma is Canada’s official “Majestic Castle,” and a beautiful heritage site worth visiting while in Toronto. While it is currently closed due to Covid-19, visitors can explore the over 100-year-old castle online through photo galleries, and exhibits. Although not the same as experiencing it in person, you can learn about the castle’s history and plan your visit for when it reopens in the (hopefully) near future.
The Toronto Zoo: How can we forget about the animals?! There are many ways of staying in touch with nature and our wild-sides with the zoo’s daily Livestreams on Facebook and the Toronto Star Cam. You can also connect to the cuteness via Instagram, Twitter, and their Wild for Life podcast series. If you are up to leaving your house, starting June 25 the Toronto Zoo is launching a Scenic Safari. You can visit the zoo from the comfort of your car, with an optional guided audio tour.
Give yourself a break, and a distraction from the world right now by having a virtual day out In addition to the attractions listed above, many places in the city (and Canada, and the world for that matter) are offering virtual options for people to experience while we self-isolate at home.
I'm a creative, passionate individual with an eye for a good story. Find me on my best days drinking coffee, listening to the summer rain, reading about the next wellness trend, or learning about Toronto's cultural hotspots.