Toronto is a lively cosmopolitan city. It’s brimming with arts and culture, restaurants and nightlife, spas, shopping and more, and is within a 90-minute flight for over half the U.S. and Canadian population, making it a simple jaunt to get to. It truly is a global centre and the perfect setting, for a fantastic girls’ weekend!
Affectionately known as ‘The Six’ – term coined by Toronto’s homegrown international music star Drake, the city is a multicultural haven with approximately 140 languages being spoken throughout the greater Toronto area (GTA). And with that comes an interesting landscape filled with diversity and authenticity.
If your palate is craving Greek, Chinese, Indian, or Italian (to name a few), you’ll find it here! If you and the girls are looking for a day at the spa followed by a sizzling night out on the town, look no further because summer in Toronto is electric. Filled with green space, underground walkways, a transit system covering the entire city and of course Uber, navigating from place to place is painless. With back-to-back food, music and cultural festivals, concerts and the lovely balmy weather, there is no shortage of things to do this time of year.
To help you get started, we have created a Girls’ Toronto Weekend Guide.
After a long week, you arrive in Toronto early Friday evening and want to hit the town. Dinner and dancing it is! King Street West is a hub for savvy and sophisticated professionals. Start off at a high-end restaurant such as the newly redesigned Blowfish.
After a fantastic evening, it’s time to recharge your batteries. Toronto boasts some of the most luxurious spas. Body Blitz is a women-only spa. It offers individual and group packages that include full use of their therapeutic water circuit. Other top rated spas in Toronto include: Hamman (King West), Elmwood Spa (near Eaton Center Mall) and Stillwater Spa (Yorkville).
A great way to spend an afternoon is getting out there!
And, depending on the weekend you select, be sure to see what is going on in the city. It’s guaranteed that there is either a food, cultural or music festival happening. The Beaches neighbourhood in the east part of the city is a popular place to visit. From Woodbine Beach to the Balmy Beach Club, there is approximately 4.5 kilometres of beachfront along Lake Ontario to enjoy. If you and the girls are into volleyball, head over to Woodbine Beach.
The dining experience in the city is quite diverse with a plethora of options to fulfill even the most discriminating taste buds. Visit Greek Town (also known as The Danforth), Little Portugal, Little India, Little Italy, Chinatown or Little Jamaica. This is only a sample of what this city has to offer!
To cap off your second night in the city, catch a theatre play. Toronto features an array of theatre options from Broadway to off-Broadway in the Theatre District. The legendary Mirvish family owns a number of theatres such as the Princess of Wales (King West), Ed Mirvish and Panasonic Theatre (downtown). Here you can enjoy musicals such as Kinky Boots, Matilda the Musical and The Book of Mormon. Other landmark theatres to consider include: Factory Theatre, Tarragon Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille to name a few.
And, if you happen to be in Toronto in late June, the popular Toronto Fringe Festival is on! It includes 150 shows in 30 venues across the city for no more than $12 per show. Some well known shows such as: The Drowsy Chaperone, Kim’s Convenience, ‘da Kink in My Hair, Mump and Smoot, My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, and most recently, A Musical of Musicals: The Musical got their start at the Toronto Fringe. You and the girls might just catch the next big hit!
Now, you have immersed yourself in the food, culture and nightlife scene in Toronto, so if you love shopping, there are many options in the city.
The Eaton Centre is a Toronto favourite and is open 364 days of the year (closed only on Christmas day). This iconic mall offers over 250 retailers from the Apple Store to the newly opened Saks Fifth Avenue (and everything inbetween).
Yorkville (from Yonge to Avenue Road) is known as the Beverly Hills of Toronto. Here you will find luxurious boutiques (along Bloor Street) such as: Chanel, Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Holt Renfrew, a high end department store.
Queen Street West (from Spadina to Ossington) offers an eclectic array of shopping opportunities for the fashionista. Here, you will find local designers and boutique owners who scour the world looking for unique pieces of clothing and jewellery.
Kensington Market is nestled close to Chinatown (between Dundas and College, west of Spadina Avenue). Here, you will find the best vintage shops in the city. It is also a cacophony of culture, food and music. This quaint, pedestrian friendly nook is one of Toronto’s most diverse areas – a must-see!
Festivals and events such as Luminato (arts/culture), NXNE (music), A Taste of Toronto (food), Fringe Festival (theatre), Toronto Caribbean Festival (music/food/culture), Summerlicious (food), Taste of the Danforth (Greek music/food/culture), Canadian National Exhibition (annual fair) and more can be found in the heart of Toronto.
Round up your best girlfriends and start planning your Girls’ Getaway and book your flight now to the city of Toronto!
Weekend Itinerary Tips:
- Buy a CityPASS and visit 5 of Toronto’s top attractions such as the CN Tower, The Royal Ontario Museum, Castle Loma and more at a discounted rate.
- Take a hop on, hop off bus tour. It is terrific way to get your bearings.
- Take a ride on the Route 506 streetcar (The Carlton Streetcar) from Main subway station and discover some of the most diverse (and transit-friendly) neighbourhoods and landmarks in the city that includes Maple Leaf Gardens, the University of Toronto, Kensington Market, Little Italy and Little Portugal, Chinatown East and High Park. The fare is $3.25 – pick up a week pass for only $42.50 for unlimited travel.
- Take a ferry to the Toronto Islands and capture a breathtaking view of the city from the across the lake.
Cover image: Sandro Schuh