Bus Tours

The Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour offered by City Sightseeing Toronto (249 Queens Quay W.; tel. 416/410-0536) goes to such major sights as the Eaton Centre, City Hall, Casa Loma, Yorkville, Chinatown, Harbourfront, the Rogers Centre, and the CN Tower, and a ticket allows you to get on and off the bus over a 2-day period. Occasionally the bus outpaces the sites, however, creating a dissonance between the narrative and what you’re seeing. But all is redeemed with the boat trip (included in the price of the ticket). Know that during peak holiday periods, the buses can be packed tighter than a sardine can, and queues can eat up too much of your day. These tours run daily starting at 10am and cost $38.05 adults, $34.51 seniors and students (w/ID), and $20.35 children 3 to 12; children 2 and under free.

Walking Tours

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The joke-cracking Tour Guys (tel. 647/557-3249) tour guides are keen to arm you with heaps of interesting Toronto facts during these free 90-minute walking tours. The tours range the gamut from by-the-book historical tours (a tour around Old Town promises that you’ll “discover more about cholera than you probably want to”) to a ghost walk through Toronto’s most haunted downtown locations. There’s even a tour through Queen West’s Graffiti Alley that delves into the history of street art and gives you a glance into what Toronto’s current graffiti culture’s all about. Tours leave from various points around the city; check website for times and rendezvous locations. Tours are free, but make sure to tip the guide in cash.

Boat Tours

Hop aboard the Oriole, a Great Lakes steamship replica, for a 45-minute tour of Toronto’s waterfront led by Mariposa Cruises (tel. 416/203-0178). On chilly days, it’s best to huddle inside the cabin (skip this tour entirely if it's foggy or rainy), but when the weather’s agreeable, climb one of the stunning wrought-iron staircases up to the canopied upper deck for the ultimate viewing experience. A GPS-triggered audio guide narrates points of interest as you sail past, while a screen displays historical images of Toronto. Cruises depart from Pier 6, 207 Queens Quay West. Tours run from May to mid-October.

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.