Whether you’re looking for an arts immersion or exciting thrills, this buzzy metropolis, lovingly dubbed “The 6ix” by superstar Drake, has serious appeal.

TIFF Bell Lightbox

The Toronto International Film Festival, with its film screenings, star-studded red carpets and carnival-like atmosphere along King Street West, galvanizes the city for 11 days every September. If you are not in Toronto during the festival, the TIFF Bell Lightbox is a year-round film centre with five theatres screening independent films. It is also a learning facility, with filmmaking classes and an extensive research library that includes a large collection of movie-related material. —DL

Centre Island

Toronto technically has a few islands, but Centre Island is the place to go. Known locally as “Toronto Island,” Centre Island is the largest urban car-free community in North America—accessible only by ferry—and it’s packed with amenities. Kids love the Centreville Amusement Park for its waterslides and mini-golf, while Ward’s “Island” beach, on the easternmost point, is popular with sunbathers. On the western side, Hanlan’s Point has volleyball courts, baseball diamonds and fire pits. —SS

Chinatown and Kensington Market

Explore the city’s multicultural heritage in Kensington Market and Chinatown. Wander the labyrinth of colourful Victorian houses and alleyways in Kensington, an enclave filled with quirky vintage shops, international restaurants and distinctive cafés. Then, head to Chinatown to browse the East Asian grocers before settling in for dim sum at one of the many noodle restaurants. —LJ

Art Gallery of Ontario and Royal Ontario Museum

Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario for its collection of more than 95,000 works of art by Canadian and International artists. The Dundas Street West gallery includes European masterpieces, like Peter Paul Rubens’ The Massacre of The Innocents, and a collection of works by Canada’s Group of Seven. The Royal Ontario Museum is the country’s largest museum, with 40 permanent gallery and exhibition spaces and a wide variety of featured exhibitions throughout the year. The ROM’s collection includes everything from dinosaur fossils and meteorite fragments to African artifacts and objects from Canadian history. —LJ & DL

The CN Tower

Canada’s tallest structure has been wowing visitors with its spectacular views of the city since it was completed in 1976. The tower—which stands 5,530 metres—includes a glass floor and one of the highest observation platforms in the world. It is also home to EdgeWalk, where groups of six are taken on a harnessed walk along a five-foot-wide ledge 116-storeys above the ground. —DL

Casa Loma

This never-quite-finished castle was the dream of industrial tycoon Sir Henry Pellatt, who spent his $17-million fortune on his Spadina Avenue estate. The city now owns the popular tourist site, and self-guided tours of the decorated suites, secret passages, underground tunnel, towers, stables and five-acre garden are offered in a number of languages. —DL