More Toronto Neighborhoods
Photo courtesy of Tomash Devenishek
Toronto's downtown Harbourfront neighbourhood along the shore of Lake Ontario is roughly bound by Yonge Street to east, Spadina Avenue to the west and the Gardiner Expressway to north. While Toronto's cold weather keep things quiet in the winter, Harbourfront teems with people enjoying its outdoor spaces all summer long.
See & Do
On warm days, Harbourfront comes alive. Residents and visitors flock to the area to take in the schedule of cultural food and arts festivals at Harbourfront Centre. Catch the ferry here and spend a day exploring the Toronto Islands, or visit the Music Garden, whose design was influenced by a piece of music by the composer Bach.
Harbourfront draws whole families for its live entertainment, cultural arts and crafts exhibits, and its open green spaces and walking paths. The dining options in this neighbourhood reflect the demographic. While you won't find Toronto's best restaurants here - head a bit north toward the downtown core for fine dining - there are casual chain restaurants to please any picky eater. Fancier spots include the Harbour Sixty Steakhouse and Pier 4 Storehouse Restaurant for seafood by the water.
Harbourfront Centre is a hive of nightlife. On Saturday nights in the winter, the onsite rink presents skating combined with DJ music, while the Enwave Theatre offers regularly scheduled live mainstream and world music. The centre also houses Worldstage, with live dance and theatre performances year-round. Those who want their nightlife a bit livlier and adult-oriented can head to the nearby Guvernment Entertainment Complex, which features a popular dance club.
The Harbourfront area sits on the southern edge of downtown Toronto, which means there are plenty of hotels nearby. But those looking to stay right by Lake Ontario should book a room at the Westin Harbour Castle. The large 977-room hotel is modern, kid-friendly and welcomes dogs, too. Or choose the eight-storey boutique-style Radisson Admiral Toronto Hotel, and enjoy lake views from rooms, the bar or the outdoor pool.
The Harbourfront neighbourhood is definitely not known as a hotbed for shopping. But that doesn't mean it lacks unique finds. The art deco Queen's Quay Terminal was opened as a cold storage warehouse in 1926 and converted to a shopping centre in the 1980s. Today, it houses a grocery store, art galleries and several dining options. During events and festivals, Harbourfront Centre offers a number of cultural arts, crafts and foods for sale.