Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is located a short walk from downtown Toronto’s UP Express Union Station

Solo Travel in Toronto: 5 Things to Do in the City

Published: October 20, 2023

Travelling alone? Visiting from other parts of Canada, the United States, or other countries around the world? Or maybe you live in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) and just want to staycation in Toronto. Whatever your situation is for solo travel in Toronto, we’ve got some fun ideas for you!

There are a multitude of options available to discover new things to do and experience in Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Even if you live in the area, you may not know some of the exciting things that you can do and see!

And by using UP Express' fast, direct, convenient, and affordable service, you’ll be able to get around Toronto. Get to downtown Toronto from Pearson Airport in only 25 minutes and explore the city’s major attractions, food, and fun activities. UP Express offers two convenient stops at Bloor and Weston stations – go and explore the neighbourhood and you’ll be amazed by the diversity the city offers. If you are planning solo travel, Toronto definitely offers tons of places to see, eat, and explore, so start planning on how to Solo Travel in Toronto

Travelling through Pearson Airport and have a few hours between flights? Take advantage of UP Express Long Layover fare and explore downtown Toronto for up to seven hours! UP Long Layover return fare also comes with admissions discount to CN Tower and the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Check Out Iconic Toronto Landmarks

CN Tower

While you’ve likely heard of this iconic tower next to the Rogers Centre and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, have you been? Or have you seen the sights in the fall when the leaves are changing? The view from the CN Tower is like no other! Get a 15% discount on admission if you’re visiting Toronto on a layover with UP’s Long Layover Fare.

Toronto in November

Hockey Hall of Fame

This isn’t just a museum for Canada’s pastime, The Hockey Hall of Fame has simulation games, theatres, the biggest hockey trophies, artifacts that will blow your mind, and of course, the Stanley Cup! Take advantage of PRESTO’s 20% discount on admission just by showing your card! Get a 15% discount on admission if you’re visiting the Toronto landmark on a layover with UP’s Long Layover Fare.

Outside of Hockey Hall of Fame during the day with tree on the right

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

If you’re at the CN Tower, you might as well take in this massive display of aquatic life! With over 5.6M litres of water used to create marine and freshwater habitats across 135,000 square feet, it’s a unique experience that will leave you in awe!

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is located a short walk from downtown Toronto’s UP Express Union Station

St. Lawrence Market

Also walkable from UP Express at Union Station, this iconic and large public market features bakeries, farmers’ markets, florists, seafood, coffee roasters, artists, and other artisans, all in one place!

Shangri-La Hotel

Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena, and BMO Field

Depending on what type of sports fan you are, there are options for you! All of them are close to UP Express’s Union Station. Walk to see the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, check on the Maple Leafs’ progress at Scotiabank Arena, or hop on GO Transit to Exhibition Station to see the Toronto Argos play, or Toronto FC compete in a fall match! Make sure to check PRESTO Perks for your discounts on tickets!

Outside of Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario

Visit Toronto’s Art Galleries and Museums

Toronto has a lot of culture and history to see in many of the city’s museums.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

The largest art, culture, and nature museum in Canada, the ROM is constantly featuring new exhibitions and huge galleries for visitors to enjoy. PRESTO Perks also gives visitors 15% admission both in-person and online! Easily link up from UP Express at Union Station to the TTC subway to Museum station to get started!

Outside of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Gardiner Museum

Before or after visiting the ROM, walk to the Gardiner Museum for an impressive display of internationally-renowned ceramics. You’ll find pottery from contemporary Canadian artists, Chinese and Japanese Porcelain, and ceramics from the Ancient Americas. And, use your PRESTO card to take advantage of PRESTO Perks and receive 20% off regular admission!

Little Canada

This museum is all about Canada, and on a fascinating miniature scale! You can also get yourself “Littlized”, and stay forever in Little Canada, or take home a miniature version of yourself! Be sure to use PRESTO Perks for 20% off admission. To visit, take UP Express to Union Station, and then the TTC to Dundas Station. It’s a “short” walk to the little museum from there!

Textile Museum of Canada

Toronto is the only place where you’ll be able to explore how humans evolved through textiles. How did they protect and represent us, both personally and culturally? Just hop on the TTC subway from Union Station to St. Patrick Station and walk to the museum. Show your PRESTO card and get 15% off your admission!

Not far from the Textile Museum is the Art Gallery of Ontario. Here you’ll find sculptures, installations, and portraits from all around the world. You’ll also be privy to various and rare art collections, and 90,000 works of art in total!

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

With several exhibitions available for viewing at any one time, MOCA is a great spot to learn more about other cultures and modern art. MOCA is also frequent participant in Public Programmes such as Nuit Blanche, so take UP Express to Bloor Station and walk to this museum. Also use PRESTO Perks for 10% off new memberships.

Divina Dalí Exhibit

If you’re unfamiliar with Danté’s mastery of poetry, The Divine Comedy, you’ll want to take the enthralling voyage created by Salvador Dalí. There are over 100 rare masterpieces created by Dalí and his surrealist vision available for viewing. Use your PRESTO card to save 20% on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and immerse yourself for an afternoon or evening!

Shevchenko Museum

Just steps away from UP Express’ Bloor Station is the only Shevchenko Museum in North America. This not-for-profit institution celebrates the contribution of Taras Shevchenko's Ukrainian heritage, his impressive poetry and arts, and Canadians of Ukrainian lineage.

Toronto’s World-Class Parks

Explore the beauty of the GGH by visiting these Toronto parks during October and November, two of the best months to visit the city! Check out some of the best parks to visit listed below, or visit our list of the places to embrace fall foliage or the best hiking trails in Toronto!

High Park

It’s the top park in Toronto for a reason, and fall is no different. The Manitoba Maples that occupy much of the park are in full transition, and it is a sight to behold! Take UP Express to Bloor Station and walk to High Park for this colourful experience. And if you have a bike to take through the park and are arriving by UP Express, note that only bicycles that can be folded or stored in an aircraft-ready bicycle box are permitted on board.

The best place to see fall colours in Toronto is High Park

Coronation Park

Take UP Express to Union Station and then walk along the Harbourfront to the Park. Find The Royal Oak which is surrounded by a ring of maple trees, and the First and Second World War Memorials throughout the park.

David A. Balfour Park

Get off the UP Express at Union Station and take the Yonge subway line north to St. Clair Station. Visit this perfect fall park with a forested trail route along a ravine, and get your binoculars out to watch for the many birds that frequent the park in the season.

Rouge Park

For some of the best fall hiking in the GGH, head to Rouge Park. There are over 10 kilometres of hiking trails and bike paths, as well as Indigenous sites that are over 10,000 years old. Be sure to visit the Vista Trail and the Glen Eagles Vista trail for scenic views and large marsh areas. Just take GO Transit to Rouge Hill Station from UP Union Station to see some of the region’s most diverse ecosystems.

Toronto Neighbourhoods

Toronto is a safe and welcoming city, with such diversity to explore!

Have you been to the Distillery District? Try one of the many top restaurants in the area, including the Gluten-Free Impact Kitchen; the incredible BBQ at Cherry Street Bar-B-Que; watch the latest sports and enjoy a burger with local craft beer at The Aviary; or enjoy wood-over pizzas at Gusto 501.

Toronto's Distillery District with crowds exploring around red brick buildings.

What about Bloor West Village? Halt your cravings at Wingstop Toronto; cast your reel for great seafood at Fishinn; or satisfy your need for Korean food by visiting Ka Chi.

Or maybe Toronto’s coolest neighbourhood, Toronto Junction, is more up your alley! It houses Chica’s Nashville Hot Chicken, Leela Indian Food Bar, some of the best sandwiches at Baguette & Co., or enjoy local craft beer brewed on site with a tasty menu at Indie Alehouse.

And if you’re looking for some unique shopping options, head to Kensington Market.

Looking for a good laugh? PRESTO Perks will save you up to 20% on admission to The Second City. Only a short walk from UP Express at Union Station, The Second City features live improv and sketch comedy every night.

Niagara Falls

Take advantage of the beautiful fall season by getting on GO Transit to Niagara region. Not only will you get a ride with breathtaking autumn scenery, but there are many things to enjoy once you get to downtown Niagara Falls.

Bird Kingdom

Use PRESTO Perks for 20% off admission to see hundreds of tropical birds and animals.

Blue tropical bird at Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls.

Fort George National Historic Site

Take a trip into the 1800s and participate in activities hosted by the staff who wear costumes from the era! Show your PRESTO Card at the visitor centre upon arrival and you’ll get 20% off your admission.

Niagara Falls

It wouldn’t be a complete visit without seeing the Falls themselves! Take a tour or just walk along the Niagara River’s western shore and take in the incomparable beauty and magnitude of the Falls.

Horseshow Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario

How to be Prepared

Woman with hat visiting city during the nighttime

It’s not as easy as picking a destination and setting off. The last thing that you want to do is start your trip and run into transportation problems or changes, or arrive at a destination only to discover that the venue or destination is closed. Here is what to do before you head out:

  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Check out a weather app before heading out for the day, as things can quickly change in the fall!! Pack that jacket and/or umbrella if there is a chance of rain.
  • Wherever you’re headed, check out the venue website to ensure it will be open when you arrive.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Check out a weather app before heading out for the day, as things can quickly change in the fall!! Pack that jacket and/or umbrella if there is a chance of rain.
  • It’s easy to link to all transit options in the region, so take advantage of the connectivity to help you get around! Start with UP Express schedules and then learn the seamless links to GO Transit and the TTC. Be sure to know when the first and last trains run so you’re not stuck somewhere. Also, set yourself up for text alerts so that you’re not surprised by an unplanned event:
  • In addition to your PRESTO Card, make sure you have the necessary payment cards in case you have to reload or pay for admission.
  • Always double-check before you get off transit to ensure you have all your belongings. Keeping your backpack on your lap throughout your trip will reduce the chance of you forgetting it underneath your seat or on another seat. Always be aware of your surroundings and know when you need to get off to reach your destination.

Solo Travel in Toronto can be a fun experience, whether you’re flying into Pearson Airport from abroad, elsewhere in Canada, or just want to explore your region, there are a variety of options for you. It starts with getting on UP Express from Pearson and venturing into the City. And who knows, you might learn something about yourself as a person!