Ontario Culture & history

Our most recommended Ontario, Canada Culture & history

Toronto: Casa Loma Entry Ticket

1. Toronto: Casa Loma Entry Ticket

Step back in time to a period of European elegance and splendor at Canada's majestic castle, Casa Loma, located in midtown Toronto. Your entry ticket includes a documentary experience on Sir Henry Pellatt and access to the castle’s café and other features. Completed in 1914 by Sir Henry Pellatt and spanning over 200,000 square feet, Casa Loma is a must-see when visiting Toronto. Today, Casa Loma is one of Toronto’s top tourist attractions. Its unique architecture has also made it a highly desirable location for film, television, and photoshoots. Casa Loma features permanent installations such as the Dark Side of Toronto photo exhibit and the Classic Car Collection in Casa Loma’s stables. Casa Loma also curates special exhibits on a regular basis, pertaining to early Toronto and Canadian history. The Dark Side Tunnel ExhibitThe stables and carriage house are connected to Casa Loma by an 800-foot tunnel that runs 18 feet below Austin Terrace. The tunnel features an exhibit of Toronto’s dark side, which tells the story in archival photographs of Toronto’s darker days, such as the Prohibition Era, the Great Depression, the plague, the Great Fire of Toronto, and Toronto’s first plane crash. Antique Car DisplayThe garage and carriage room feature an exhibition of vintage cars from the early 1900s, the period in which Sir Henry Pellatt would have inhabited Casa Loma. The collection includes a 1910 Maxwell Model Q Standard, 1924-1925 Ford Model T Touring, 1910 Maxwell Model Q Standard, and more. The RoomsYou’ll also get to explore the former estate of Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, the prominent Toronto financier, industrialist, and military man behind the origins of the castle. Sir Henry asked the architect E.J. Lennox to help him realize a life-long dream – the creation of a medieval castle overlooking Toronto. Casa Loma features nearly 98 rooms, many of which exemplify the Edwardian era and are decorated with authentic period furnishings and antiques. Group of Seven CollectionLocated on the third floor of Casa Loma, this collection is comprised of artwork by various members of the Group of Seven. Active from 1920 to 1933, the Group of Seven (which eventually grew to ten members) was comprised of Canadian landscape painters. Hollywood Film GalleryLocated in the basement level of Casa Loma, the Hollywood Film Gallery highlights the castle as a prime location for major motion pictures, revealing glimpses behind the scenes. For over 30 years, Casa Loma has been a popular location for use in film and television. The Queen’s Own Rifles of CanadaThe Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Museum occupies a major part of the third floor of the Casa Loma.

Royal Ontario Museum: General Admission Ticket

2. Royal Ontario Museum: General Admission Ticket

No trip to Toronto is complete without a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum—Canada’s largest museum. Explore stunning galleries of dinosaurs, Indigenous art and culture, ancient Egypt, minerals and gems, and more. Explore each of these 16 Must-See Treasures with the aid of bilingual multi-media kiosks. Discover an exceptional array of themed galleries throughout the Museum, spanning both world cultures and natural history. Must-See Treasures at the Museum include:  • The Nisga’a and Haida totem poles • The Death of General Wolfe painting • The Chinese Temple Art mural The Paradise of Maitreya  • The Tomb Mound of General Zu Dashou (“Ming Tomb”)  • The rare Southern White Rhinoceros • The Barosaurus (“Gordo”), Canada’s largest dinosaur on display  • The duck-billed hadrosaur Parasaurolophus walkeri • The exceptionally well-preserved fossils from the Burgess Shale  • The 900-carat Light of the Desert Cerussite gem • The Tagish Lake Meteorite • The Bust of Cleopatra VII • The Statue of Sekhmet — one of the oldest known Egyptian deities  • The Egyptian Book of the Dead • Earl of Pembroke’s Armour • Kunti Sculpture (“Blue Lady”)  • The Striding Lion Terracotta Relief 

Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Special Exhibits Ticket

3. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Special Exhibits Ticket

Visit the Royal Ontario Museum, where jaw-dropping dinosaurs, glittering gemstones, and mysterious mummies are just a few of the treasures on display. Your ticket includes general admission and access to one or more of the special exhibits. Enjoy the freedom to explore the museum at your own pace and visit the exhibits and galleries that interest you most. There’s plenty to see and do at the museum, with exhibits to interest the whole family. The special exhibits currently featured at the Royal Ontario Museum include 'Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature': 'Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature' explores the links between the magical creatures of the wizarding world and the remarkable animals in our natural world, encouraging a greater connection to our planet and empowering us all to be advocates for its care. Be awed by the powerful combination of science, nature, and imagination as you explore fantastic beasts in all their forms and learn how these animals inspired some of the world's most incredible stories and folklore.

Ottawa: Canadian War Museum Admission

4. Ottawa: Canadian War Museum Admission

The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Designed by Japanese–Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama, the Museum’s structure and surrounding grounds reflect the concept of regeneration. From windows spelling out “Lest We Forget / N’oublions jamais” in Morse code, to uneven floors and rough concrete walls, the building acknowledges the price of conflict, while also showing hope for a more peaceful future. The Museum brings Canada’s military history to life for visitors of all ages through thousands of personal stories, objects, works of art, photographs, interactive presentations, and immersive environments. In addition to a series of galleries exploring Canadian military history from early wars in Canada to contemporary conflicts, the Museum features an impressive collection of large artillery and military vehicles in the LeBreton Gallery, as well as thought-provoking temporary exhibitions on everything from the First and Second World Wars to art produced by women in conflict zones. Memorial Hall and several additional spaces in the Museum encourage quiet reflection on the cost of war. To stand in the presence of the headstone of Canada’s Unknown Soldier in Memorial Hall is a powerful and moving experience, as is experiencing the Moriyama Regeneration Hall and visiting the Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honour. The Canadian War Museum’s collections are among the finest military holdings in the world, comprising rare vehicles, artillery, uniforms, medals, small arms, and rare books and archives, as well as the outstanding Beaverbrook Collection of War Art. In addition to showcasing exhibitions from around the world, the Museum hosts vehicle demonstrations, scholarly lectures, engaging family programming, and a wide range of special events.

From New York City: 5-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & White House

5. From New York City: 5-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & White House

Embark on a 5-day trip to Niagara Falls, Toronto, the 1000 Islands, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and the Amish Country in Lancaster from New York City. Witness the magnificent Niagara Falls, visit the Arlington National Cemetery, and enjoy the convenience of included accommodation and entry tickets. Day 1: NEW YORK – FINGER LAKES – NIAGARA FALLS Depart from the Big Apple heading north where you will pass the beautiful Delaware Water Gap to Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Walk through Watkins Glen Canyon to visit the beautiful waterfalls and then continue to Niagara Falls passing Seneca Lake, arriving in the late afternoon. Tour the US side of Niagara including the American Falls, Goat Island, and Luna Island. Experience the power of Niagara aboard the Maid of the Mist. At night, you can appreciate the colorful lighting of the waters. Stay at the Ramada by Wyndham. Day 2: NIAGARA FALLS – TORONTO – 1000 ISLANDS Start with the magnificent Horseshoe Falls view followed by the visit to the picturesque village of Niagara on The Lake. Continue to Toronto, the financial capital of Canada. Visit the HTO Park, Brookfield Place — home of the Hockey Hall of Fame — City Hall, and The Distillery Historic District. Towards the evening, depart Toronto east along the world-famous Lake Ontario for an evening arrival to the 1000 Islands area (in April, based on weather conditions the tour may return to Niagara Falls for overnight). Stay overnight at Gananoque – Comfort Inn (April, Niagara Falls – Ramada by Wyndham). Day 3: 1000 ISLANDS – NEW YORK Start the day with a cruise through the amazing 1000 Islands along the St. Laurence River. See the houses of the rich and famous built atop private islands — such as Boldt Castle and Heart Island. Enjoy a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way. Arrive at your hotel in New Jersey at the La Quinta Inn and Suites. Day 4: NEW JERSEY – PHILADELPHIA – WASHINGTON DC Depart from New Jersey to Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Visit the famous Liberty Bell, Constitution square, and Congress Hall. Continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia, and more. See the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Enjoy an authentic Amish Buggy ride through the Amish farm country. In the late afternoon, depart east for an evening arrival in Washington DC where you will stay at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Alexandria. Day 5: WASHINGTON DC – NEW YORK Start the day with a visit to Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded by famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the Changing of the Guard, and the Kennedy family gravesite. The next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (while the Air and Space Museum is closed due to renovations) before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, depart for an evening arrival in New York.

Niagara Falls, Canada: Skip-the-Line Small Group Night Tour

6. Niagara Falls, Canada: Skip-the-Line Small Group Night Tour

Explore the honeymoon capital of the world during a guided tour of Niagara Falls in a small group. Avoid the hassle of ticket lines and witness landmarks like the Table Rock Welcome Centre, Toronto Power Station, International Control Dam, Dufferin Islands, The Upper Rapids, and much more. Start your adventure with a convenient pickup from your accommodation. Board your comfortable Mercedes Van and enjoy your guide's narration as you travel in style. Avoid long lines with your entrance ticket and marvel at the first location on the itinerary, the breathtaking Canadian Horseshoe Falls and the scenic American Falls. Admire the beauty of the Horseshoe Falls - the largest of the three waterfalls and enjoy clear views of the American Falls, the second largest waterfall. Take holiday photos at the world-famous Illuminated Falls before ascending 520 ft in a glass elevator to the Skylon Tower Observation Deck. Soak in birds-eye views of Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and the city skyline. See the bustling downtown and Clifton Hill areas. Once your feet are back on the ground your guide will transport you back to your downtown Niagara Falls Hotel.

Gatineau: Canadian Museum of History Admission

7. Gatineau: Canadian Museum of History Admission

The Canadian Museum of History is Canada’s national museum of human history. Located in Gatineau, Quebec, along the scenic riverfront across from Parliament Hill, the Museum is housed in an iconic building designed by Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal. The Museum is one of Canada’s most popular cultural institutions, with a collection of more than 4 million items — including archaeological material, cultural objects, works of art, documents, and audiovisual material. In collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, the Museum shares the stories of the resilience and diversity of Indigenous cultures and histories across Canada. The Museum has the world’s largest indoor display of monumental poles, six traditional Native house fronts arranged in the shape of a 19th-century Northwest Coast village, contemporary works of Indigenous art, and a gallery dedicated to the achievements and traditions of Indigenous Peoples. The Museum is also home to the popular Canadian History Hall — a stunning showcase that provides access to 15,000 years of social history through personal stories and 1,500 authentic artifacts, many of which are national treasures. The Museum’s exhibitions examine the events, personalities and cultures that have shaped Canada. Sharing stories through multiple perspectives and voices, the Museum celebrates Canadian achievements while also exploring some of the country’s darker chapters. The Museum is also a destination of choice for major international exhibitions, which are often produced in partnership with the world’s most renowned institutions. In addition, you can explore the world through play with your children at the Canadian Children’s Museum and watch an inspiring, larger-than-life documentary films at Ciné+.

Toronto: Best of Toronto City Tour with Entry Tickets

8. Toronto: Best of Toronto City Tour with Entry Tickets

Experience the best of the best on this complete Ultimate Toronto Tour. This small group tour will have you experience first-hand some of Toronto’s must-see attractions and learn about the history behind them.  Once this tour is completed, you will walk away with wonderful memories and a head full of amazing facts and tidbits about Toronto's history.  Your adventure in Toronto starts with a quick trip up to the observation deck of the CN Tower – one of the world’s most popular tourist spots. On the observation deck, you will have the opportunity to walk out and be 1,151 feet above the ground. Being so high up will allow you to get amazing views of the surrounding city. Don’t forget to bring your camera because there will be numerous opportunities to take amazing photos. Next, hop aboard a seasonal cruise where you will be able to see breathtaking views of Toronto’s skyline, the bustling waterfront, and the nearby Toronto Islands. When the cruise is unavailable, explore the cobblestone streets and old industrial buildings of Toronto's Distillery District instead. Other highlights of the tour will include a narrated driving tour of Eaton Centre, Dundas Square, Queen’s Park, and a short stop at the St. Lawrence Market (Closed Sundays and Mondays).  The Ultimate Toronto Tour will be ideal for first-time tourists to Toronto who are looking to experience it all or veteran travelers to the area who want to experience something new.

Toronto: Haunted Night Walking Tours

9. Toronto: Haunted Night Walking Tours

Ghosts, graveyards, hangings, and haunts. Hear some of the most spine-tingling ghost stories from the earliest days of Toronto. You will never look at the city in the same way again.  Choose between 4 unique tour options. After hearing about the ghostly encounters that took place in the area, your cloaked guide can walk you back to the start location, or leave you to enjoy a sleepless night in the city.  The Original Haunted Walk of Toronto (75-Minutes) Depart from the courtyard in front of the Hockey Hall of Fame to walk from the heart of the financial district into the old town. Listen to chilling tales and see a darker side to Toronto's history including haunted theaters, unsolved mysteries, and the terrifying encounters at Mackenzie House. The entrance fee to Mackenzie House is not included.  Campus Secrets and Spectres (75-Minutes) Discover the grand architecture and tree-lined paths of the University of Toronto downtown campus filled with a dark history and ghostly tales. Your tour guide will lead you through the haunted campus and the Ontario Legislative Assembly.  Spirits of the Distillery (75-Minutes) With tales of gruesome accidents, the world of whiskey-making, and War of 1812, you’ll quickly see why this is the area known as one of Toronto’s most haunted spots. Black Creek Pioneer Village (90-Minutes) Explore the supernatural side of Toronto’s historic pioneer village in the dark. Featuring some of the oldest buildings in the city, Black Creek Pioneer Village is the perfect, creepy backdrop for a night of spine-tingling ghost stories.

Art Gallery of Ontario: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Admission

10. Art Gallery of Ontario: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Admission

Fully accessible and conveniently located in downtown Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the most important art museums in North America. The AGO Collection features more than 100,000 great works of art, from cutting-edge contemporary works to classic European masterpieces. Always on display are iconic paintings by the well-known Group of Seven, as well as other Canadian artists. Explore amazing art by established and emerging Indigenous, Inuit and Métis artists. See sculptures, photographs, prints and drawings, and so much more, on display in the beautiful Gallery building. Explore the building itself, which is a work of art, with design details created by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

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What people are saying about Ontario

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,229 reviews

The museum is fantastic and the special exhibit was cool if you are a Harry Potter fan

There is so much to experience, see and explore; invest 2 days to enjoy!

Wear good walking shoes! You won't want to miss anything!

great scary stories and leaned a lot about the history

Wonderful place it’s very full with a great history.