Every local recommended a visit to Toronto Island (Toronto has an island?), but outside of high summer, these staples are your best bet.

1. CN Tower

Every city has a tall tower—yawn—but the ’70s-era CN Tower still induces spaghetti legs and a cold sweat. Pay your $36, and whip straight up in a heart-stopping hell-evator that shoots 346 metres vertical in 58 seconds.

2. Second City Improv

Push your comfort-zone limits with a two-hour drop-in class at the Second City Improv ($15). Expect group get-to-know-you name exercises and word-by-word storytelling with an encourging instructor. Or take in a sketch show downstairs at Second City’s mainstage theatre, where the most work you have to do is put in a drink order.

3. Distillery District Tour

In a pocket of heritage brick buildings, the tour starts with juicy highlights of the world’s largest distillery, Gooderham and Worts (booze, death and cholera), and ends with tasters at Mill St. Brewery.

Where to Stay

Le Germain 75 Bremner Blvd.

With Air Canada Centre (home of the Leafs) just steps away, Le Germain boutique hotel in Maple Leaf Square took cues from the sports world for its design. Smart details like bedside control panels and pop-out tables are sophisticated surprises in a luxe room that shows off large-scale photography of athletes against a backdrop of panoramic windows, honey wood, charcoal textiles and textured black feature walls. Even the staff keep it chic with suits from Canadian clothing designer Marie Saint Pierre and Bustle. 

A Vancouverite's Guide to Toronto ▸▸▸