Let me begin simply by saying that the Toronto CityPass is definitely worth the money spent, if you are visiting Toronto. Last July, my cousins from Edmonton came to visit and we immediately set out to get the pass, so that I could take them touring around the city. You save a total of (just more than) 40% off regular general admission price for five of Toronto’s top attractions, places I would definitely recommend visiting if you’re coming to the city: (1) CN Tower, (2) Casa Loma, (3) the Royal Ontario Museum, (4) Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and (5) the Toronto Zoo OR Ontario Science Centre.
Passes can be bought online or at each attraction (though if you have the time to wait for it to ship, as well a Costco membership, they can be purchased for even cheaper on the Costco website). They’re valid 9 days from the date of first use, so make sure to plan your days accordingly.
That being said, here are the top three things to make sure you check out at each attraction:
1. CN Tower
- The uppermost observation desk (an extra $10, last time I was there in July of 2016)
- Horizons Restaurant, to grab some food or a cocktail while overlooking the city from high above it
- Get your photo taken on the green screen when entering the tower, if not for anything but to check out the photoshopped image on your way out and have a good laugh
2. Casa Loma
- The very top of Norman Tower, where you can overlook the city skyline
- The Henry Pellatt documentary in basement, running every half hour from 9:30am until 4:00pm (inside the theatre — what would have been the castle’s swimming pool)
- The gardens, especially the lower gardens which are open from May through to October
3. Royal Ontario Museum
- European history wing (there are actual recreations of old European rooms set up that you can look into)
- Textiles wing (clothing and costumes throughout history)
- Whatever amazing special exhibit they have going on at the time — there’s always something new being shown! (An additional cost, however)
4. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
- Hands-on cleaner shrimp exhibit, where the shrimp will crawl all over your hands and give you a free manicure!
- Shark tunnel (actually intended for children, but adults will fit inside… I know because I’ve crawled through it, naturally)
- Planet Jellies. SO AMAZING.
Hands down, my favourite part of @ripleysaquaca! I could watch jellyfish swim around all day; the way they move around is so beautiful. FUN FACT: Jellyfish don't have brains, but rather nerve nets which sense changes in the environment and coordinate the their responses. 🌊 . . . . . . . . #travel #instatravel #travelgram #tourist #tourism #vacation #traveling #trip #ripleysaquarium #jellyfish #instagood #instamood #instadaily #bestoftheday #iphoneonly #nofilter #igdaily #instalove #igaddict #wanderousaffair #the6 #6ix #thesix #urban #city #linkinprofile #toronto #instagoodmyphoto #justgoshoot #aquarium
5. a) Toronto Zoo
- The giraffes (because who the heck doesn’t LOVE giraffes?)
- Safari hut (the perfect photo op)
- The pandas, while they’re still here in Toronto — they even have babies right now!
5. b) Ontario Science Centre
- There’s this bird simulator that looks like a giant bird head you crawl into, where you lie down and look through a scope that makes you feel as if you’re flying (very cool, despite the fact that it used to terrify me as a kid)
- An aging simulator
- Mini rainforest; this is a re-created rainforest habitat that you can walk through, making you feel like you’re actually in a dense and humid woodland
My only stipulation here is to just PLEASE not ask me to tell you what to pick between the zoo and science centre… I could watch the giraffes and gorillas all day as much as I would love spending a day immersing myself in interactive science experiments and learning new things. I suppose that just means that regardless of which attraction you pick, you can’t go wrong!
If you’ve been to Toronto, what are your favourite sites to see? If not, where do you plan on visiting? Let me know in the comments!