Just like many other major cities in the world, Toronto is a place with numerous hidden gems and eccentric attractions to visit when traveling. Exploring the city’s more popular hot spots is, of course, important. However, while you’re here, you should also try to get out of your comfort zone and see some lesser-known parts of the city. To ensure that you are traveling right, you must do a lot of research in preparation. A good vacation plan for visiting Toronto is not going to be surface-level. These seven hidden gems in Toronto are the perfect example of this, so make sure you don’t skip them during your next visit.
#1 Glen Rouge Campgrounds
If you are more outdoorsy and looking for an outdoor adventure, you will probably find it surprising that a concrete jungle like Toronto has a secret campground.
The Glen Rouge Campground is the only campground in Toronto, and it is full of excellent locations, not just for tents but for things like RVs as well. The campground offers 125 sites in total. 87 are designated for RVs, 27 sites are for tents, and five are designed specifically for backpackers.
It is located on the banks of the Rouge River. This campground comes fully equipped with washrooms, showers, and firepits. There you can purchase necessities like firewood and ice on-site. General admission to the Petticoat Creek Conservation Area is free. Leashed pets are also permitted at this campsite, so you can bring your four-legged friends. But, you can always visit the nearby zoo if you want to see some more exotic animals.
This is your gateway to the beautiful nature of Canada. You can set up camp here and visit the day trails and hikes near Toronto. Research done by experts from Professional Movers Canada shows that many people who visit here see it as a starting point for exploring the rest of what Canada has to offer to nature lovers, so they decide to move here.
#2 Gibraltar Point Lighthouse And Beach
If you are a fan of spooky ghost stories, you’ll love this hidden gem with an exciting past. The lighthouse was constructed in 1808. The popular creepy legend says that the original keeper, John Paul Radelmuller, was killed by being thrown from the top of the lighthouse in January 1815 by soldiers from Fort York. Many locals believe, or at least enjoy scaring tourists by saying that his ghost still lingers in the area, searching for his body. This story facilitates that researchers discovered parts of a human skeleton near the site in 1893.
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While you’re there, remember to check out artist Michael Davey’s rotating Rogue Wave art installation. And if you feel like going for a swim, you can visit Gibraltar Point Beach. It is a clean, rock-free beach on Lake Ontario adjacent to the lighthouse.
#3 Leslieville Tchotchke House
This is one of the most unique, if not unusual, hidden gems in Toronto. And if you are traveling with kids, this is the perfect spot. The Tchotchke House is available for all to see, but you are not likely to stumble upon it if you don’t seek it out. You can find it at 37 Bertmount Avenue in Toronto’s quiet Leslieville neighborhood just east of Old Toronto.
Instead of choosing to fill her garden with the usual plants and flowers, owner Shirley Sumaiser decided to decorate it with a collection of odd dolls. If you are wondering what that means, we don’t blame you. You’ll see everything from superheroes to Hello Kitty dolls, trolls, mermaids, and much more. This is a collection that is 20 years in the making. The array of toys can be a bit unsettling for adults, but kids will surely enjoy the sight of a garden of toys. Whatever your situation, you must see this display to believe it.
#4 The Cloak Bar
The Cloak Bar is a Prohibition-era style speakeasy bar offering that unique old-money ambiance. Just like an old speakeasy would be, it is hidden beneath another restaurant, making it one of the best-hidden gems in Toronto. It serves inventive craft cocktails and a full menu until 2 a.m.
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Its famous cocktails include the Vielle Vache, Icelandic Tart, and I’m a Lady. The brilliant bartender Monique Godinho is responsible for crafting each of them. The most popular dishes are lamb-fat brioche, Canadian oysters, and tandoori chicken Scotch egg.
There are a few tremendous residential neighborhoods near this place. If you ever decide to pack up your things and hire long distance movers to Toronto so you can make it your home, this is a great area to start looking for places.
#5 Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo is an ideal place to eat and shop in Toronto. You can find it at the intersection of Dundas Street West and Yonge Street. Here you can dine at one of the many Japanese and other Asian cuisine-based restaurants. The most popular thing to do here, besides eating traditional ramen, is to go shopping at the Japanese brand stores.
#6 Bamboo Garden
Within the University of Toronto’s Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, you can find a secret bamboo garden. The beautiful zen space offers visitors peace and tranquility, which can sometimes be very useful in the middle of the fast-paced city of Toronto.
The makers modeled the garden after the ones in Japan. It features condensed bamboo forests and tropical shrubs. Visitors can take a stroll through the bamboo garden, or if they become tired, they can just rest a little on one of the many benches in the garden.
#7 Kensington Market
Kensington Market is one of the most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods in Toronto. This is one of the best-hidden gems in Toronto for shopaholics since it offers unique shops, delectable eateries, and plenty of people-watching opportunities. Planning your vacation well is a big part of having a good holiday, and if you want to go shopping, this place has to find its way into your plan. It is most famous for the many vintage shops it houses. You can buy anything from vintage cowboy boots to formal wear and cashmere, DIY accessories, and a vast selection of denim.
Visiting a beautiful city like Toronto will be a wonderful experience no matter what you do or where you go. However, if you want to get the most out of your holiday, you should ensure that these hidden gems in Toronto make it onto your list. If nothing else, they’ll be a nice rest from the crowds in the more touristy areas