There’s a calm in Toronto’s East End that cuts through the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city, whether you’re wandering the Danforth or taking your coffee outside along Queen East. When it’s nice and sunny you can always head to the Beach and get your daily dose of Vitamin D, while cooler nights are reserved for a glass of wine or a pint at the Distillery. But did you know, you can also take your wine at a painting workshop at Paint Cabin? Or save your beer for after axe throwing at Stryke? For other hidden gems and great things to do in Toronto’s East End check out our suggestions below!
#1 – Try axe throwing at Stryke Target Range
Test your lumberjack skills at Stryke Target Range. Stryke first opened in Brampton, but they just expanded to Toronto with a new east end location on Dundas East near River Street. In addition to axes, you can also learn how to throw knifes, shoot arrows, or fire automatic air guns. The best option is Tour De Stryke, where you get to pick three out of the four activities.
#2 – Play archery tag on the beach
The Archery Initiative in the Beach hosts archery tag games on Woodbine Beach. You’ll get 25 minutes of practice before 50 minutes of archery tag for $25 per person. Gather at least 8 friends to book a game—or a full posse to book a private competition!
#3 – Get your fix at The Circus Fix
Who knew the east end was the perfect place to plan your escape to the circus? Check out The Circus Fix, located in the Port Lands, where you can take classes in aerial silks, aerial hammock, handstands, and more. This bright and welcoming studio is the perfect place to take a leap of faith and try something new, great for getting out with freinds.
#4 – Conquer your first rock climbing route at The Rock Oasis
Rock climbing is an all-in-one activity that can boost your strength, endurance, and social life. At Rock Oasis in Riverside you can take an intro class for $38 and continue to practice for $18 per day. This place is especially great for bouldering, since they change the routes quite often, and they have auto belays available for solo top rope climbers.
#5 – Escape in 60 at Escape Station
This escape room in the Beach is known for its great customer service and engaging storylines. Escape Station at Queens East and Willow has four different escape rooms which you can experience for $25 per person. The puzzles are beginner friendly so don’t worry if you’ve never done an escape room before. Choose between Museum Heist, Police Interrogation, Spaceship Command, and Secret Agent.
#6 – Eat your way through Riverside & Leslieville
Riverside & Leslieville
The first ever tour that Toronto Food Tours organized, and is it any wonder why? This oft-overlooked east end hood is bursting with small town character and Old Toronto vibes. On this food tour of Riverside & Leslieville you’ll stroll down Queen East while trying the best shortbread, pastries, and Asian fusion dishes, before proceeding to classic Italian meatballs and craft beers. The tour ends with homemade ice cream and the iconic Peameal Bacon Sandwich. Usually scheduled on Saturdays, this tour lasts for four hours and costs $89 per person.
#7 – Get creative at Paint Lounge
Paint Lounge in Leslieville offers social painting workshops where you can hang out with friends, learn to paint, and create your own masterpiece. These step-by-step lessons can help anyone find their inner artist—regardless of ability—and have fun while doing it too. This sweet little studio also has a café, so you can enjoy a coffee, tea, or some cake while you work—and they have lots of family-friendly programming.
#8 – Learn to pole dance at Ultra Violet Pole Fitness
Ultra Violet Pole Fitness’s new studio in Toronto Port Lands is a sweet place to learn to pole dance. Ultra Violet has been helping students conquer the pole in Eglinton West for years—and they finally expanded to the Port Lands in early 2017. They offer dedicated pole dancing classes so you can start at the beginning and work your way up to pole dancing mastery. Once you get the hang of it, your confidence will go through the roof.
#9 – Experience the exotic flavors of Little India
Whether you’re shopping for whole cardamom pods or picking up a new tiffin, Little India is the place for you. Travel in taste through this most flavorful of Toronto neighborhoods on the Culinary Adventure Company’s Little India Food Tour. Sample fabulous Indian dishes while strolling through one of the largest and oldest South Asian markets in North America.
#10 – Learn how to paint (with wine) at Paint Cabin
Sometimes we just need a little push in the right direction to open up to new experiences. Paint Cabin in Riverdale offers paint and sip classes where you learn how to paint while sipping your favorite wine for $45 per person. This cozy east end studio offers a variety of media, from the most accessible—acrylic paints—to the more advanced techniques like wood carving and watercolors.
#11 – Have a family day at Looking Glass Adventures
Getting locked into a room with your family for 60 minutes can actually be fun! Looking Glass Adventures on Danforth Avenue is one of the best family friendly escape rooms in all of Toronto, let alone just the east end. They have just the one room, which you can try for $25 each. If you want to try this in a pair and not with the entire fam jam, you can do that too—this game is also suitable for couples and groups of friends.
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