Photos: Tiffany Shum for Harlton Empire
Embrace the power of the after-hours! A vibrant energy takes over Toronto as the sun goes down, and we’ve curated the perfect list of the best ways to experience Toronto after dark.
Late Nights On The Lake
Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and a favorite summer spot for local residents. The warmer months provide plenty of opportunity for sunset sails and late night lake adventures. Whether you’re out on the water, or catching our twinkling skyline view from Polson Pier, you won’t be disappointed.
Sunset Sails On Lake Ontario
Toronto has many rental options for seasoned boaters, as well as rentals for more family friendly fun like pedal boats, kayaks and canoes. There are even glow-in-the-dark options perfect for your late night lake adventures.
Sunset Views From Polson Pier
Polson Pier will give you one of the best Toronto skyline views from anywhere in the city. We reccomend bringing a blanket and beverages to catch the perfect Toronto sunset, and then stay for the twinkling starlit skyline views after.
For The Twilight Tourist
If it’s your first time in the city and you’re looking for some twilight touristy fun, we recommend immersing yourself right in the action in the downtown core. Yonge-Dundas Square is full of vibrant energy, and the perfect place to grab those moody, late night selfies. For those who enjoy a late night cocktail, we suggest a reservation at the CN Tower’s 360 restaurant, where you’ll get stunning, rotating night views of the entire city.
Yonge-Dundas Square is a unique focal point of the downtown Toronto community and really comes alive at night. Lit up with billboards and neon signs, it is often referred to as Toronto’s version of Times Square. You’ll discover a wide range of activities throughout the year including community celebrations, theatrical events, outdoor concerts and more.
The CN Tower is an awe-inspiring architectural wonder of the world that is a symbol of pride for Toronto residents. It provides elegant illumination every night celebrating holidays, special events, Toronto sports team and more. Bonus: If you make a reservation in their 360 restaurant you’ll get stunning, night views of the entire city.
Toronto is home to some of the world’s most famous architecture including the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum, and Toronto City Hall. Two of our favorite places for after-hours architecture include the Cinesphere at Ontario Place, and the (relatively) newly designed bridge that connects the CF Toronto Eaton Centre to the Hudson’s Bay/Saks Fifth Avenue.
The Cinesphere was constructed in 1971 by architect Eberhard Zeidler and is the world’s first permanent IMAX movie theatre. With breathtaking views of Toronto’s waterfront, and surrounded by a moat, the iconic location is a venue for activities, live music, festivals, events and more. Once the sun goes down, it’s hard to miss its mesmerizing unmistakable glow. Bonus: The newly constructed Eaton Centre bridge was designed by the team at Zeidler.
Eaton Centre Bridge
Designed by the team at Zeidler, the Eaton Centre bridge is constructed of steel, bronze and glass, and was conceptualized as a metaphorical handshake between the two buildings it connects. The geometry of the bridge transitions from the circular arches found on the Hudsons Bay façade into the rectangular forms of the Eaton Centre. The bridge closes once Eaton Centre does, so get there before 8pm for the perfect futuristic selfie.
Catch Sports Stars Under The Stars
An evening under the stars with sports stars is the perfect way to end your getaway. During the warmer months you can catch former World Series Champions the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre (AKA the Skydome to locals). You can also catch former MLS Cup Champions Toronto FC or former Grey Cup Champions the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field.
Opening in 1989, the Rogers Centre (AKA the Skydone) was the first major team sports stadium in North America with a functional, fully retractable roof. When open it comes with a stunning night view of the illuminated CN Tower and surrounding buildings.
Opening in 2007, open-air BMO Field is only a hop, skip and jump from Ontario Place and the Cinesphere. Depending on your seats as the sun goes down, you can catch a stunning skyline view or a sunset over Lake Ontario.
As Toronto re-opens, please check visitor information for Covid-19 rules and guidelines: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19