Looking for an adventure? Solo travel is the perfect opportunity to explore new places, meet new people, and create unforgettable memories. And what better place to start than Toronto, Canada’s largest city?
In this ultimate guide to solo travel in Toronto, we cover everything you need to know before embarking on your next adventure.
Last updated on: 02-01-2024
Is it safe to travel alone in Toronto?
Toronto is generally considered safe for solo travelers. Even more, Canada holds the 11th spot on the Global Peace Index.
The GPI is a creation of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and stands as the foremost global measure of worldwide tranquility.
Like in any other city, stay aware of your surroundings, especially at night, and use reliable transportation options. Stick to well-lit, populated areas and trust your instincts and avoid any uncomfortable situations.
Visa requirements for traveling to Toronto
Before traveling to Toronto, it is crucial to check the visa requirements of your home country.
To visit Canada, individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria and provide specific documents. Here are the visa requirements for Canada:
Basic requirements for a visitor visa
- Have a valid travel document, such as a passport.
- Be in good health.
- Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions.
- Convince an immigration officer that you have ties to your home country.
- Convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit.
- Have enough money for your stay.
- Some people may need a medical exam and a letter of invitation from someone in Canada.
- Proof of paid Canada visa fees.
- Proof of clean criminal record.
- Proof of being in good health through a medical exam.
- Photographs in accordance with the photo requirements for Canada visa.
- Proof of financial means.
- Proof you will return to your home country once the Canadian visa expires.
- Identity and Civil Status Documents.
Specific visa types
- There are specific requirements based on the type of visa being applied for, such as visitor visa, student visa, work visa, super visa, business visa, and diplomatic and official visa.
- For tourist visits to Canada of less than 180 days, U.S. citizens do not need visas. However, they must carry proof of citizenship and identity, such as a valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card.
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
- Some individuals may need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for visits of up to 6 months or to transit via a Canadian airport.
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need a visa to enter Canada, depending on the nature of your trip.
For more information about visas, visit the website of Canada.ca.
What is the best time to visit Toronto?
The best time to visit Toronto is late April through May and September through October. These months offer comfortable temperatures for sightseeing, with average highs ranging from the 50s to the 60s.
Spring is also an ideal time to find hotel deals as the summer tourists have yet to arrive. Additionally, September and October are among the best months for visiting Toronto, with comfortable air and fewer crowds.
The fall shoulder season from September to November is best for taking in spectacular colors, and the city welcomes its highest number of tourists in summer, making it one of the most expensive times to visit.
On a budget? The best time to visit Toronto for lower prices is from December to February.
Meeting other solo travelers in Toronto
To meet other solo travelers in Toronto, consider joining local tour groups, walking tours, or guided experiences. Participating in social activities like pub crawls, food tours, or art workshops can also be a great way to connect with fellow adventurers.
Accommodations that offer communal spaces such as lounges or shared kitchens provide opportunities to meet others.
Additionally, downloading a solo travel app or attending solo travel meetups, events, or networking gatherings and utilizing social media platforms, travel forums, or travel apps can help you connect with like-minded explorers.
Tips on choosing accommodation as a solo Traveler
When choosing accommodation as a solo traveler in Toronto, it is important to consider several factors. First, opt for centrally located accommodations to easily access attractions and amenities such as the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, and Toronto Islands.
Look for accommodations with high ratings and positive reviews from fellow solo travelers, ensuring a safe and comfortable stay.
Consider places with security features like 24-hour front desks and secure entry systems for peace of mind. Utilize online travel platforms to compare prices, read reviews, and book accommodations conveniently.
Lastly, staying in hostels can provide opportunities to meet fellow solo travelers and create memorable experiences. Hostels in Toronto are more expensive than average, but there are plenty of choices.
How to get around in Toronto
To navigate Toronto efficiently, take advantage of the city’s excellent public transportation system, which includes buses, subway trains, and streetcars. For convenient and reliable travel, consider using rideshare services like Uber or taxis.
Another great option is to rent a bike or use bike-sharing services to explore the city’s bike-friendly infrastructure.
Walking is also a fantastic way to soak in Toronto’s vibrant atmosphere, especially in downtown areas. Plan your itinerary strategically to determine the best way to travel between attractions.
Recommended weekly budget for a solo traveler in Toronto
The recommended weekly budget for a solo traveler in Toronto can range from $1,000 to $1,500, taking into account accommodation, food, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses
The budget can vary depending on the traveler’s preferences and travel style. Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs:
- Accommodation: The cost of accommodation for a solo traveler in Toronto can range from $60 to $200 per night, depending on the type of lodging chosen, such as hostels, budget hotels, or vacation rentals.
- Food and meal budget: The daily expenses for food, travel, and sightseeing for a solo traveler in Toronto can range from $28 to $55 per day, with an average of $104 to $180 per day for two people’s daily expenses.
- Transportation: Public transit is the cheapest way to travel throughout the city, with the option to purchase a PRESTO card for discounts on rides and day passes.
- Other expenses: Additional expenses such as entertainment, attractions, and miscellaneous costs should also be factored into the budget.
However, it’s important to note that these are average estimates, and actual costs may vary based on individual preferences and spending habits.
Money-saving tips for traveling in Toronto
Consider staying in budget-friendly accommodations, opting for local eateries or food markets, and utilizing the efficient public transportation system.
Take advantage of free or discounted attractions like the St. Lawrence Market or exploring the beautiful Toronto Islands.
5 Must-try dishes in Toronto
Indulge in Toronto’s culinary scene and experience the local flavors with these must-try dishes:
1. Peameal Bacon Sandwich: This iconic Toronto dish features thick, meaty back bacon served on a soft, fluffy bun, often with honey mustard. The legendary sandwich can be sampled at St. Lawrence Market’s Carousel Bakery.
2. Poutine: A Canadian classic, poutine consists of thick-cut fries topped with gravy and gooey cheese curds. This comforting dish can be found in various iterations across Toronto, and it’s a must-try for visitors looking to experience Canadian cuisine.
3. Sushi Pizza: A unique fusion dish that can be experienced at select restaurants in Toronto, offering a creative blend of Japanese and Italian culinary influences.
4. Caesar Cocktail: This classic cocktail with a Toronto twist is a must-try for those looking to explore the local beverage scene in the city.
5. Butter Tarts: A beloved Canadian dessert, butter tarts are a sweet treat featuring a flaky pastry shell filled with a rich, buttery, and sweet filling. They are a delightful indulgence for visitors with a sweet tooth.
Best activities for solo travelers in Toronto
Explore Toronto’s top attractions, perfect for solo travelers. With so much to offer, Toronto is a solo traveler’s paradise.
1. Exploring Toronto’s neighborhoods
Discover the allure of Toronto’s diverse neighborhoods as you embark on your solo travel adventure. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Kensington Market, where you can experience the local culture and indulge in delicious cuisine.
Take a leisurely stroll through downtown Toronto, exploring its bustling streets and iconic landmarks like the historic Casa Loma.
Uncover artistic treasures in Yorkville’s art galleries and boutiques. Each neighborhood offers a unique charm that will captivate solo travelers.
2. Discovering the art gallery of Ontario
Immerse yourself in the world of art at the renowned Art Gallery of Ontario. Marvel at the impressive collection of Canadian and international artwork, and learn about art history through interactive exhibits and guided tours.
You can also attend special events, workshops, and lectures organized by the gallery.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see temporary exhibitions by renowned artists, which add an element of freshness and excitement to the museum. The Art Gallery of Ontario is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and solo travelers alike.
3. A day at the Toronto Botanical Garden
Escape the bustling city and experience the tranquility of nature at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Immerse yourself in the diverse collection of plants, flowers, and stunning garden displays.
Attend engaging gardening workshops, educational programs, and guided tours to enhance your botanical knowledge.
Take a moment to relax and soak in the beauty of the gardens, surrounded by a peaceful and serene setting.
Don’t forget to visit the garden’s gift shop, where you can find botanical treasures to bring home as a memento of your visit.
4. Visiting the Historic Distillery District
Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history of the Distillery District. Meander along the charming cobblestone streets, lined with well-preserved Victorian-era buildings that exude an old-world charm.
Indulge your senses as you explore local art galleries, browse unique boutiques, and savor the flavors of artisanal food and drinks. Be sure to visit during special events to experience the district’s vibrant atmosphere.
To delve deeper into the past, join one of the guided walking tours that will bring the district’s fascinating history to life.
5. A trip to Centre Island
Embark on a delightful day trip to Centre Island, a sought-after island retreat in Toronto. Leave the bustling city behind and bask in a day of tranquility, leisure, and breathtaking vistas at Centre Island. Immerse yourself in the laid-back island ambiance, making it an idyllic destination for solo travelers.
Engage in a plethora of outdoor activities, rent bicycles to navigate the picturesque landscapes, and discover the pristine beaches that adorn Centre Island. Enhance your experience by taking a serene ferry ride, immersing yourself in the serene and picturesque surroundings.
6. Enjoying nature at High Park
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of High Park, Toronto’s largest public park. This must-visit destination offers serene landscapes perfect for strolling and hiking. You can also enjoy outdoor activities like picnic amidst lush greenery.
High Park is particularly stunning during cherry blossom season, offering picturesque views that are sure to captivate you. Soak in the tranquility and immerse yourself in nature’s embrace at High Park. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery.
Pepijn is the founder of Likeplan. He mainly writes about solo traveling. With over 10 completed solo trips, he writes from his own experience with the mission to encourage other people to go out and explore by themselves.