What to do in 12 Hours in Toronto

It's Monday morning. Your plane came in just after the sun came up, and you want to explore the new city as much as you can. The catch? You only have 12 hours to see as much as you can. You might want to skip the overpopulated tourist attractions, and just stick to the sights that really describe the Big Smoke. You don't want to See Toronto, you want to Explore Toronto. With the clock counting down, let me show you some spots.

9:00 AM

Toronto School Liberty Village

Breakfast isn't a big thing in Toronto, so we'll wait till lunch for that big meal. To shake off the exhaustion, we'll head over for some coffee. Chain coffee shops, like Tim Horton'sSecond Cup and Starbucks have early hours and can be found on almost any city corner. But let's head over to more of a local staple, instead. School Liberty Village opens at 9.30am every day except for Friday when they're closed. Grab a coffee and if you're pecking, we could stay for one of the  Best Brunches in Toronto. 

While we're enjoying our coffee, let's take in some street art. After a short walk, we can find a park bench by Queen Street Alley where some of the most popular graffiti adorns the walls.

Finished your coffee? The stores should be open, now!

10:30 AM

Toronto Kensington Market

Let's trot over to Kensington Market before it gets busy with shoppers. Maybe the best known and most unique shopping experience in the city, Kensington is an artistic haven. We can grab some fresh organics, unique hand-knitted clothing, and fancy second-hand get-ups. Rare, and creative finds. Much cooler, and inexpensive than the huge mall further down on Dundas.

Speaking of Dundas, let's take a walk down there.

12.00 PM

Toronto Art Gallery of Ontario art AGO

Before getting lunch, I think it'd be cool to take in some more art. A stroll east on Dundas leads us to the Art Gallery of Ontario. We could take in a few exhibits then head to Frank - the AGO's casual and chic restaurant that includes a bistro cuisine,  local fare, and quality fresh ingredients.

As we leave, we'll jump on the streetcar. On the way to our next destination,  we're going to pass Skydome (Torontonians never call it the Rogers Centre.), the Air Canada Centre and  Union Station.

2:00 PM 

Toronto St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market is a fine and popular place to people watch. The place has been a popular local spot since 1803, and it includes The South Market, the North Market, and St. Lawrence Hall. Did I mention, this place was voted one of the best markets by National Geographic. 

4:00 PM 

Toronto 12 hrs 5

While the boat might be bustling with tourists, the destination has a few rare Toronto treats. Toronto Islands will be a great way to spend the rest of the day, taking in the city from across the water. We can hit up the oldest landmark in Toronto, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse that is over 150 years old. After, we'll chill out with the kids at The Franklin Children's Garden. Before we go, we'll take a picture of the city at dusk. A very popular photo-op for tourists, and locals alike. But let's hurry, we have to grab the ferry.

6:45 PM

As we get back to the mainland, we will say our goodbyes. Take a few selfies, make sure you have that t-shirt from Kensington, the produce from St. Lawrence Market. Double check that you Instagrammed all the pictures from all the places we visited and especially, the photo we took of the CN Tower from the Island... We'll part ways at Union Station, you can grab the UP Express that will get you to the airport in 25 minutes.

Bon Voyage!