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The Ultimate Guide to Toronto’s Lakeshore

Best Things to Do in Lakeshore

The area now known as Lakeshore Toronto was originally inhabited by indigenous people for thousands of years. Today, it’s a culturally diverse area made up of several distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character and charm.

It stretches along the northern shore of Lake Ontario, offering a captivating mix of urban vibes and natural beauty. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the area, from its most luxurious hotels to its most unforgettable dining spots. 

Time Zone

Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)

Best Time to Go

Visiting Lakeshore during the summer months is ideal if you want to swim, sunbathe, and enjoy outdoor activities. But it also means that beaches are packed and establishments are always full of customers. 

During fall or spring, the weather is mild and you can fully enjoy the area’s beautiful foliage. Crowds are also smaller and establishments often offer discounted rates.

Winter is the cheapest time to visit but it also means your activities can be quite limited. Some establishments are closed and some outdoor attractions are unavailable. 

Things to Know

Currency: Canadian Dollar 

(Check the current exchange rate)

Languages: English

Calling Code: +1

Where is Lakeshore in Toronto?

Lakeshore is the entire waterfront area along Lake Ontario. It stretches from Etobicoke in the west to the Rouge River in the east, covering over 50 kilometres. 

How to Get There

By public transit: 

The Line 2 Bloor-Danforth subway line runs along the eastern section of the Lakeshore, with stations near popular areas like the Beaches, Kew Gardens, and Woodbine Beach.

The 501 Queen streetcar line runs along the entire length of the Lakeshore, making it a convenient option for exploring different neighbourhoods.

By car: 

The Gardiner Expressway is a high-speed freeway that runs along the lakeshore from Etobicoke to the Beaches. 

Lake Shore Blvd W is a scenic route that runs along the lakeshore from Etobicoke to the Beaches. It’s a slower option than the Gardiner Expressway, but it offers a more relaxed and enjoyable drive.

Queen St E is a major east-west artery that runs through the heart of downtown Toronto and continues along the lakeshore to the Beaches. It’s a convenient option for those travelling from the east end of the city.

What to do in Lakeshore

Visit the Harbourfront Centre


Address: 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

Phone: +1 416-973-4000

Operating Hours:

  • Wednesday to Sunday – 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM 
  • Monday & Tuesday – Closed

The Harbourfront Centre is a cultural hub that’s home to a variety of theatres, galleries, and performance spaces. It’s a popular venue for special events, ranging from art exhibits to live music and dance performances.

The centre is more than just a building, it’s a 4-hectare campus buzzing with year-round artistic programming, educational opportunities, and stunning waterfront views. Whether you’re into film, visual arts, or literature, it offers something for everyone.

Take a walk or bike along the Waterfront Trail


The Waterfront Trail is a scenic trail that runs along the edge of Lake Ontario, offering stunning views of the city skyline. It’s a popular spot for runners, cyclists, and rollerbladers.

You can learn about Toronto’s past and present through informative plaques and designated heritage sites along the way. The trail also seamlessly links up with popular spots like the Harbourfront Centre, the CN Tower, and several parks and beaches.

Explore the Toronto Islands


The Toronto Islands are a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You can rent a bike or kayak and explore the island’s many trails and beaches.

The islands really come alive during summer, with festivals and vibrant activities drawing crowds from across the city. With their natural beauty and unique atmosphere, they’re a perfect destination for a day trip, weekend getaway, or even a longer stay.

Have a picnic at Coronation Park


Address: 711 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M5V 3T7

Phone: +1 416-338-4386

Operating Hours: Open 24 hours daily

Coronation Park is a delightful spot to enjoy a picnic in Toronto. Offering stunning waterfront views, ample green space, and various amenities, it’s a perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature while enjoying a delicious meal with loved ones.

Scattered throughout the park are picnic tables and benches, providing comfortable seating areas. You can also bring your furry friend with you and let them run free in the designated dog park.

Go swimming at Woodbine Beach


Address: 1675 Lake Shore Blvd E, Toronto, ON M4L 3W6

Phone: +1 416-338-4386

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Woodbine Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the city, and for good reason. The water is clean, the beach is sandy, and there are plenty of engaging activities for people of all ages.

Going to the beach is a quintessential Toronto experience. With its beautiful setting, diverse activities, and lively atmosphere, it’s a perfect place to unwind, connect with nature, and enjoy the simple pleasures of a hot sunny day.

Go fishing at Ashbridges Bay Park


Address: 1561 Lake Shore Blvd. E., Toronto, ON M4L 3W6

Ashbridges Bay Park is a popular spot for fishing in Toronto, offering anglers a chance to catch a variety of fish species throughout the year. You can also observe a variety of birds in diverse habitats, from migratory waterfowl to colourful songbirds.

The south side of the trail, between Woodbine Beach and the Leslie Street Spit, is known for good largemouth bass fishing. Make sure you have all the gear and perseverance you need for a fun and fruitful fishing session at the park.

Reach new heights at the CN Tower


Address: 290 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9

Phone: +1 416-868-6937

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM

The CN Tower, a magnificent feat of engineering, stands tall as a symbol of Toronto and Canada. This 553.3-metre concrete communications and observation tower, completed in 1976, reigned supreme as the world’s tallest free-standing structure for over 30 years.

Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city from the SkyPod or indulge in a fine dining experience with rotating views 351 metres off the ground at Restaurant 360. The tower is always a must-visit, especially for people visiting the city for the first time.

Ride a boat on Lake Ontario


Riding a boat on Lake Ontario can be a fantastic way to experience the beautiful scenery and vastness of the lake. Several companies offer boat tours on the lake, each with its unique style and offerings. 

Captain John’s offers a variety of scenic and dinner cruises, including a popular “Fireworks Cruise” during summer evenings.  Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a boat tour on Lake Ontario offers a unique way to experience the city’s beauty.

Watch a game at Rogers Centre


Address: 1 Blue Jays Way, Toronto, ON M5V 1J1

Phone: +1 416-341-1000

Rogers Centre serves as the primary home stadium for the Toronto Blue Jays, a Major League Baseball (MLB) team. It has hosted numerous baseball games, including All-Star Games and World Series events.

Besides baseball, the centre has also hosted several other sporting events, including American football, soccer, basketball, and even cricket. It has also served as a venue for major sporting competitions, such as the Pan American Games and the Grey Cup.

Explore marine life at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada


Address:  288 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9

Phone: +1 647-351-3474

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada offers a mesmerizing underwater adventure through diverse aquatic environments. This expansive facility, boasting over 5.7 million litres of water, houses 20,000 marine and freshwater creatures from around the world.

The aquarium features ten carefully curated galleries, each showcasing a unique ecosystem. They’re also dedicated to conservation efforts and educating visitors about the importance of protecting our oceans and freshwater ecosystems.

Where to stay in Lakeshore

The Westin Harbour Castle


Address: 1 Harbour Square, Toronto, ON M5J 1A6

Phone: +1 416-869-1600

Pricing: $$

Nestled on the beautiful waterfront of Toronto, the Westin Harbour Castle offers a haven for luxury and relaxation. With its stunning architecture and prime location, this iconic hotel promises an unforgettable experience for all its guests.

Situated within walking distance of major attractions like the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the hotel offers convenient access to the city’s best experiences.

Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square


Address: 75 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5J 0A7

Phone: +1 416-649-7575

Pricing: $$$

Le Germain Hotel is a sophisticated haven in Toronto’s vibrant Entertainment District. It has a bar, a 24-hour fitness centre, and event spaces that are perfect for social gatherings.

The hotel is renowned for its warm and welcoming atmosphere. Its dedicated staff is committed to exceeding guest expectations and providing personalized service that ensures a comfortable and memorable stay.

Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown


Address: 249 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2N5

Phone: +1 437-886-9667

Pricing: $$

Radisson Blu is a stylish and sophisticated hotel offering a luxurious stay near Lakeshore. With its contemporary design, convenient location, and an array of amenities, it’s an ideal choice for both locals and tourists.

Stay active during your stay at the well-equipped fitness center, featuring state-of-the-art cardio and weight-training equipment. You can also pamper yourself with a relaxing treatment at the spa, offering a range of massages, facials, and other services.

Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto


Address: 75 Lower Simcoe St, Toronto, ON M5J 3A6

Phone: +1 416-849-1200

Pricing: $$$

Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto is a stylish and sophisticated hotel located in the heart of the city’s entertainment and business district. This modern hotel offers comfortable accommodations, convenient amenities, and a convenient location.

Choose from a variety of well-appointed rooms and suites, featuring contemporary furnishings, comfortable beds, and modern amenities. You can also take a dip in the heated indoor pool, perfect for relaxation or a refreshing workout.

Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel


Address: One Blue Jays Way, Toronto, ON M5V 1J4

Phone: +1 416-341-7100

Pricing: $$$

The Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel is a modern and stylish hotel conveniently located in the entertainment district. Attached to the iconic Rogers Centre, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations and exceptional amenities.

Visit the indoor sports bar and savour delicious pub fare while watching live sporting events on large screens. You can also enjoy your favourite coffee beverages and pastries at the convenient Starbucks located on-site.

Where to eat in Lakeshore

The Goodman Pub and Kitchen


Address: 207 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 1A7

Phone: +1 647-341-2337

Pricing: $$

The pub boasts an extensive beverage selection featuring craft beers on tap, a curated wine list, and a menu of handcrafted cocktails. Its location offers breathtaking waterfront views, creating a captivating atmosphere for your dining experience.

With ample seating and a large bar area, it can accommodate both small and large groups. You can also catch themed trivia nights and live music performances on certain days for a more communal experience with regulars and tourists.

Joe Bird


Address: 207 Queens Quay W #150, Toronto, ON M5J 1A7

Phone: +1 647-977-2767

Pricing: $$

With a focus on saucy, smoked, and deep-fried chicken dishes, Joe Bird has quickly become a favourite among locals and tourists. Located in the beautiful Harbourfront District, it offers amazing scenery along with delicious food and a fun atmosphere.

The star of the show is the chicken, prepared in a variety of ways, from buttermilk fried and smoked to Nashville hot and crispy tenders. They also offer a selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and sides.

Pie Bar


Address: 207 Queens Quay W #155, Toronto, ON M5J 1A7

Phone: +1 647-341-7221

Pricing: $$

Pie Bar Pizzeria is a popular destination in Toronto, offering a unique waterfront dining experience with delicious pizzas, handmade pasta dishes, and other Italian delights. It’s a great venue for hosting private events, birthday parties, and other special occasions.

Their handmade pasta dishes are made with fresh pasta and prepared with traditional Italian recipes. The restaurant boasts a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, perfect for gathering with friends and family.

Pearl Harbourfront Chinese Cuisine


Address: 207 Queens Quay W #200, Toronto, ON M5J 1A7

Phone: +1 416-203-1235

Pricing: $$

Pearl Harbourfront Chinese Cuisine offers a delectable exploration of authentic Asian flavours. This renowned restaurant boasts stunning waterfront views, a diverse menu, and a commitment to creating an unforgettable dining experience.

Indulge in a selection of traditional dim sum dishes like steamed pork buns, shrimp dumplings, and pan-fried rice cakes. You can also choose from a variety of noodle and rice dishes like stir-fried noodles with your choice of protein or fragrant fried rice.

Boxcar Social Harbourfront


Address: 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

Phone: +1 844-726-9227

Pricing: $$

Boxcar Social Harbourfront, situated on the lively Toronto Harbourfront, is a multifaceted space encompassing a cafe, bar, and restaurant. During the warmer months, you can soak up the sun and enjoy the outdoors on their spacious patio.

The cafe features third-wave coffee roasted by different roasters, ensuring a variety of flavours and brewing methods. On the other hand, the bar has a curated selection of wines from around the world to complement your meal.

BeaverTails Toronto Waterfront


Address: 145 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2H4

Phone: +1 416-360-8245

Pricing: $

BeaverTails Toronto Waterfront is a popular spot to indulge in a classic Canadian treat, the BeaverTail pastry. The iconic Canadian chain has been serving up warm, delicious, and sweet hand-stretched pastries since 1978, and this location is no exception.

Their deep-fried flatbreads are known for being light and crispy on the outside while chewy and soft on the inside. They have numerous locations across Canada, so you might find them in other cities you visit.

Pizza Pizza


Address: 228 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z6

Phone: +1 416-967-1111

Pricing: $

Pizza Pizza is a Canadian pizza chain with a long history and a significant presence in Toronto. Established in 1967, it’s become a household name synonymous with affordable, familiar pizza, and other comfort food options.

The restaurant isn’t the place to go for gourmet pizza or an upscale dining experience. However, it offers reliable, affordable, and familiar pizza that has satisfied Canadians for generations.

Impact Kitchen


Address: 88 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 0B6

Phone: +1 416-306-1986

Pricing: $$

Impact Kitchen is a Toronto-based chain of healthy fast-food restaurants offering a 100% gluten-free menu with minimally processed, nutrient-dense real food. They also offer their own protein powder, a convenient way to boost your protein intake.

Their menu features a variety of power bowls, baked goods, soups & stews, and breakfast & weekend brunch options, all made with fresh high-quality ingredients and free from gluten, dairy, and refined sugar.

Ice Creamonology


Address: 250 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2N2

Pricing: $

Ice Creamonology is a unique ice cream shop committed to using natural ingredients, and avoiding artificial additives and preservatives. The shop has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, making it a great place to visit with family and friends.

Each batch is made in small quantities, ensuring freshness and quality. Their menu also changes seasonally, so there’s always something new to try.

Indian Roti House | Indian Dosa House


Address: 256 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 1B5

Phone: +1 416-260-6666

Pricing: $$

As the name suggests, Indian Roti House specializes in Roti, a delicious flatbread from South India that’s traditionally cooked on a tawa (griddle). Their other half, the Dosa House, focuses more on Dosa which is another South Indian specialty.

Dosa is a thin crispy crepe-like rice and lentil pancake, often served with various chutneys and sambar (a lentil stew). Their menu features a wide variety of Dosa options, from plain to masala-filled, with different types of toppings and fillings.

Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill


Address: 249 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 1B5

Phone: +1 416-915-7478

Pricing: $$

Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill is a chain of casual dining restaurants in Canada, with several locations in Toronto. They serve pub staples like burgers, wings, nachos, pizzas, and other classic options.

Multiple TVs across the bar and restaurant showcase various sporting events, from hockey and football to basketball and soccer. Expect a lively atmosphere, especially during major games and the playoffs.