Top 8 Things To Do at the Toronto Waterfront
Sick of spending the summer in a concrete jungle? Good news! The Toronto waterfront is just steps from downtown Toronto and it is calling your name! The waterfront has a wide variety of restaurants and activities guaranteed to make you feel like you’re on a mini vacay without even leaving the city.
We’ve put together the ultimate list – Top 8 Things To Do at the Toronto Waterfront – for you to browse to help you plan your next waterfront getaway. Scroll down to see great patios, cozy eateries, boat cruises, music concerts and more – all happening #AtTheWaterfront!
1. Stuff your face at Smorgasburg food market
Smorgasburg is the largest weekly open-air food market in America, attracting thousands of people to Brooklyn, Manhattan, Jersey City, Los Angeles and Miami each weekend to eat from dozens of local vendors. This summer, Smorgasburg will launch the first-ever international weekly market in Toronto!!
Smorgasburg Toronto launches July 23 on the waterfront for eight Saturdays (through Sept. 10), located at 7 Queens Quay East, at the foot of Yonge Street from 11am – 6pm. Check out their instagram for updates!
2. Lounge on a pool rooftop with CN tower and Toronto waterfront views
Fancy sipping cocktails by the pool? Head to the Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown for the ultimate rooftop pool experience!
When it’s warm out, the Lakeview Pool Lounge at the Radisson Blu is one of Toronto’s hottest spots for soaking up the sun. Hang out on the fifth-floor rooftop to lounge in a chaise or in the shade of a cabana while enjoying mesmerizing views of the city and lake Ontario. Keep at least one hand dry to snap some of Toronto’s best views of the iconic CN Tower. Need to cool down? Order a refreshing cocktail or an ice-cold beer. They also offer a pool menu with tasty snacks to fuel your people-watching.
3. Hit up a sun soaked patio with waterfront views
Toronto is is blessed with an array of patios nestled on the water – perfect for date night, girls lunches. family dinners & more. Hit up waterfront favourite Amsterdam Brewhouse, with four large patios and landscape views of the Toronto Islands. Other waterfront favourites include Boxcar Social and The Slip which are perfect for watching the free music concerts (more about that below) at Harbourfront Centre stage! Other great waterfront views including The Goodman Pub, Pie Bar, Against The Grain, Pearl Harbourfront, Joe Bird and more!
4. Take yourself on a Toronto waterfront ice cream tour
The Toronto waterfront is blessed with an abundance of ice cream shops and we recommend you try them ALL!
Cool down with a picture-perfect cup of ice cream from The Fix Ice Cream Bar. If The Fix won’t flatter your sweet tooth, check out a local gelato bar like Touti Cafe. Grab your friends and turn it in to a waterfront ice cream crawl by adding a third stop at Ice Creamnology. For stop number four, head over to Lisa’s Ice Cream located near the Harbourfront Centre campus. Be sure to take a walk along the water after to help digest all that sweet ice cream goodness.
5. Take in Toronto skyline views on a boat cruise
This summer, knock a few things off your bucket list by exploring the Toronto waterfront. Don’t know where to begin? Start with one of the most touristy things to do in Toronto – a harbour tour. Grab your friends and take a ride out on the water on one of the many boat options available at the Toronto waterfront.
Get out on the open water by renting a kayak from Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre, take the ferry over to the Toronto Islands, or tour Lake Ontario on one of the beautiful waterfront boat cruises like Tall Ship Kajama or take in the sights while you enjoy brunch with City Cruises Toronto.
If you head out the Islands, check our Toronto Island SUP for a variety of guided programs like Paddlebirding, SUP yoga and eco-tours. You can even take sailing lessons or rent a powerboat from Harbourfront Centre’s Sailing & Powerboating and drive yourself across the water if you’re the adventurous type!
6. See exciting Toronto waterfront concerts all summer long
We’re so excited to see the amazing live music happening at the Toronto waterfront this summer! There are multiple options to see live music all summer long.
The highly anticipated Summer Music in the Garden has made its return – it take place most Thursdays at 7:00pm and Sundays at 4:00pm at the Toronto Music Garden. Later this summer, the Redpath Waterfront Festival returns to Toronto’s waterfront from Sept 17-18, 2022, with a Water Weekend! There will be TONS of activities including live music at both HTO Park and Sugar Beach.
Finally, see a dockside performance series bringing together musicians, artists, comedians, poets, dancers and more for an intimate outdoor production called 100 Days of Summer by Art & Water. Located in high foot traffic areas, they invite folks to stumble into the art & cultural scene. Happening all summer long!
7. Embrace the year of public art
Visit the Paulo Nazareth STROKE exhibit located at the Power Plant Art Gallery Once you’re done there, you can visit the three larger-than-life sculptures depicting Civil Rights Movement leaders Tommie Smith, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. located along the waterfront. See the map here.
You can also stop to say hi to the Happy Castaways, the new floating art in Harbour Square Park Basin. #HappyCastaways is a temporary installation created by Demers-Mesnard, a collective comprising artists Isabelle Demers and Fanny Mesnard.
8. Take in the fresh waterfront air and get active
Do you like to be outside and keep your blood pumping? The waterfront has PLENTY for you people who can’t seem to sit still. Rent a bike from Wheel Excitement (they even have family bikes that have room for up to 2 children), or an electric scooter from Ride One or Radical Wheelz if you feel brave! Take your wheels to the Toronto Islands via the ferry or water taxi and take in the beautiful scenery.
Take a stroll along the Martin Goodman Trail, which spans 22 km east to west along the waterfront. This beautiful trail delivers awe-inspiring (and completely Instagrammable) views of the lake. While en route to iconic sites like Tommy Thompson Park, you’ll zip by the Toronto Music Garden and arts and culture hotspot, Harbourfront Centre as well as discover under-the-radar gems, such as the Spadina Quay Wetland.
We hope you enjoyed this list! We have SO much more going on at the Toronto waterfront this summer so make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok so you don’t miss a thing! You can also check out our upcoming events page to stay up to date with all events happening at the waterfront this summer.