Toronto Solo Travel Guide
This lively Canadian city is a fantastic destination for solo travelers, offering a combination of world-class attractions, top-notch eateries, buzzing entertainment, and a diverse range of shops. Many of the key attractions are located in the downtown core, where you’ll find soaring skyscrapers and walking-friendly streets.
There’s trendy neighborhoods that are worth stopping by, lined with cafes, restaurants, and bars. For foodies, the list of quality dining spots are endless. Being situated along Lake Ontario, a walk along the harborfront showcases lovely views of the lake, as well as the Toronto Islands in the distance.
If you’re planning to travel alone to this urban destination, there’s plenty in store for you. Keep reading below for our Toronto solo travel guide.
Things to Do on a Solo Trip to Toronto
The best city for solo travel often includes a generous selection of sightseeing activities, which Toronto certainly has. You’ll stay busy with a wide choice of attractions to visit, eateries to dine at, and sights to see.
This historic landmark built in 1914 sits perched on a hill overlooking the city core. Solo travelers can take their time exploring the magnificent suites, beautiful gardens, automotive museum, and more at the almost 200,000-square foot mansion. Walk through the mysterious 800-foot tunnel, or climb up the petite spiral staircase to reach the top towers. Each suite is meticulously adorned with elegant and sophisticated decor that’s consistent with the Edwardian era.
The CN Tower is Toronto’s most recognizable landmark, and is a signature element of the city’s skyline. This towering 1815-foot-tall structure offers an impressive observation deck, the thrilling Edgewalk, a glass floor, and a revolving restaurant. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows on the tower’s observation deck showcases magnificent panoramic views, both during the day and night. The spectacular scenery from the top is one of the highlights on a trip alone to Toronto.
Nathan Phillips Square
This spacious urban plaza is situated in front of Toronto’s City Hall. The centerpiece of the square is the massive “TORONTO” sign that lights up in various colors at nighttime. It’s also a popular backdrop for photos, and is worth seeing during your solo getaway to Toronto. During the winter season, the skating rink is open and skate rentals are available.
The Toronto Islands consists of 15 small islands. The main destination and the best stop for visitors is Centre Island, which offers beautiful parks, bike rentals, and walking paths. From here, you’ll also get to see the spectacular views of the Toronto skyline. The ferry ride from the downtown Toronto ferry terminal (Jack Layton Ferry Terminal) to Centre Island takes about 15 minutes, and showcases the lovely scenery of the harbor along the way.
This remarkable aquarium offers more than 1.5 million gallons of water containing a wide array of marine life. One of their impressive features is the underwater viewing tunnel which has a moving sidewalk that transports guests through the exhibit. The aquarium is eye-catching and beautifully set up. Other exhibits include Planet Jellies which displays mesmerizing jellyfish amongst color-changing displays, and Ray Bay showcasing a variety of species of captivating stingrays.
This pedestrian-only district is home to 40 one-of-a-kind boutiques. You’ll find cafes, breweries, restaurants, art galleries, and specialty shops. Stroll along the brick-paved lanes and admire the historic Victorian-era industrial buildings, unique art pieces and vibrant outdoor sculptures. The Distillery District is a great area for solo women looking to explore a charming area by foot.
St. Lawrence Market
At this lively public market, you’ll find over 120 merchants offering a wide selection of items including vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, cheeses, fresh pasta, and baked goods. There’s also a large variety of prepared meals such as fish and chips, pierogies, tacos, crepes, and more. It’s a fantastic spot for solo travelers to pop-in and grab a bite to eat, do a bit of shopping, or just browse around. St. Lawrence Market also makes for a convenient stop while on the way over to the Distillery District.
Things to Do At Night in Toronto
Toronto is an excellent destination when considering solo travel for women. Catch a comedy performance at Second City, watch a Broadway show at one of the elegant theaters, or wander around the energetic districts. There’s a long list of bars and eateries that are lively, as well as top attractions that are open late. See the city light up at night, and take-in the vibrant atmosphere downtown.
Art Gallery of Ontario
Not only is the Art Gallery of Ontario open late until 9 PM on Wednesdays, the admission is also free from 6 PM to 9 PM. Check their website for more details, as tickets are released on the Monday prior, and must be booked in advance. This sophisticated art museum is home to over 90,000 works of art.
See a Live Theater Show
Toronto’s selection of historic performing arts theaters include the Princess of Wales Theatre, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, and the Ed Mirvish Theatre. Check the updated show listings and schedules, as there are a variety of Broadway, musical, and opera performances offered. These elegant landmarks showcase wonderful architecture and are a great venue for solo travelers to enjoy an engaging show.
Bar Hop + Nightlife on King Street West
For single travelers looking to experience the city’s nightlife, Toronto’s King Street West is lined with countless options that are great for bar hopping. From nightclubs, to lounges, to bars and restaurants, there’s a wide variety to choose from. Join in on the magnetic atmosphere as you explore this area.
Ripley’s Aquarium also offers late hours, with seasonal extended hours until 11PM. If you’re traveling by yourself, the aquarium’s lovely setting will make it a terrific choice for a laid-back evening activity. It’s also worth mentioning that during the second Friday of every month, they host their Jazz Night at the Aquarium event where you can enjoy live music while browsing the aquarium.
Where To Eat – Solo Dining in Toronto
Compared to many other cities, Toronto has one of the most diverse food offerings. In addition to Canadian fare, there’s an abundance of amazing eateries featuring international cuisines. The large selection includes Japanese, Greek, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern and Mexican. There’s a various mix of establishments including quick-service, casual dining, and fine-dining.
This beloved eatery serves up amazing bowls of Japanese ramen soup. A piping hot Tonkotsu broth is infused with several options for flavors including spicy red miso, garlic shoyu, and white sesame shio. The ramen bowls come with the standard pork belly cha shu, in addition to other tasty ingredients such as bamboo shoots and wok fried pork.
This lively restaurant is a top choice for Thai cuisine, offering mouthwatering dishes that are full of flavor. Enjoy the delicious coconut curry which is served right inside a coconut. The presentation is every bit as good as the taste. The ambience of the restaurant is fun, with vibrant interior decor. The restaurant specializes in Northern Thai delicacies.
Seven Lives Tacos
This taco place is a great stop for solo travelers that want to get a quick bite to eat. Try their classic Baja fish tacos consisting of battered fish topped with cabbage, Baja sauce and pico de gallo. In addition to traditional options such as grilled chicken, they offer an awesome selection of seafood, including grilled octopus tacos and grilled shrimp tacos. There’s a section of standing high-top tables for you to enjoy the meal, or grab it as a takeout meal.
Fresh Kitchen + Juice Bar
This eatery brings a fresh and innovative take to vegetarian food. Try indulgent items such as quinoa onion rings, crispy dumplings, and chipotle cauliflower tacos. There’s salads filled with an abundance of bright and healthy toppings as well as colorful bowls such as the Powerhouse bowl, featuring soba noodles in a spicy tahini sauce topped with avocado, grilled tofu steaks, micro greens, and chickpeas.
Where to Stay in Toronto
Downtown Toronto is where the heart of the city is. It’s also quite a large area consisting of many districts that are suitable for solo women. Staying in almost any neighborhood downtown will give you the opportunity to explore the best the city has to offer. Below are some of of the top neighborhoods for solo travelers that want to get the most out of their visit.
The Entertainment District is ideal for solo female travelers looking to be close to some of the top activities. You’ll be walking distance to attractions such as the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium. It’s also where you’ll find both the Scotiabank Arena and the Rogers Centre, for those who are planning to attend a sports game or a concert. Highly-rated restaurants and bars are also in abundance in this district, as well as a large selection of hotels.
While Bloor-Yorkville is slightly north of the downtown core, this chic neighborhood is still very centrally located. In this neighborhood, there’s elegant boutiques, galleries, and fine-dining restaurants. It’s also situated right by the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Located within the district is the popular Royal Ontario Museum, which is a top attraction for visitors. It’s one of the largest museums in North America, and home to a whopping 13 million objects.
The harborfront area is situated along the shores of Lake Ontario. Here, you’ll find waterfront trails, scenic lake views, and lovely parks. It’s also home to the ferry terminal which transports visitors to the Toronto Islands. It’s a wonderful neighborhood to stroll along during the day, and for admiring the views. Activity highlights right in this area include Toronto’s Second City comedy club, the Martin Goodman Trail, and waterfront parks.
This district is also situated slightly north of the city center. However, The Annex’s location is more low-key compared to being directly downtown. From here, access to the core is easy enough both on foot or by public transportation. This lively stretch of Bloor Street is lined with restaurants and cafes. It’s also adjacent to Koreatown which has plenty of shops and eateries, and is walking distance to the magnificent Casa Loma.
How to Get Around Toronto
Toronto’s public transportation system, the TTC, will certainly be a useful option if you are traveling by yourself. While downtown, there’s plenty of subway stops where the trains run underground. There’s also busses, as well as street cars operating on the street level.
For those who are traveling outside of the downtown core, the underground train system has plenty of stops in various directions. If you’re planning on a day of heavy exploration, consider purchasing a day pass ticket which gives you unlimited access throughout the day on the public transportation network.
The city center of Toronto is extremely walkable, and pedestrian-friendly. The blocks are short, and the streets are filled with restaurants and shops. It is also safe if you are considering traveling alone as a woman. Exploring by foot is always a great way to see the city’s vibe and capture all the little details that might otherwise be missed.
Bike Share Toronto is another excellent option for cycling around downtown. Available 24/7, choose from pay-as-you-go or a day pass, and get access to hundreds of bike stations where you can pick-up or return your bike. This convenient system gives you the flexibility to grab a bike whenever you want.