Occupying a prime 10-acre (4-hectare) site on the edge of Lake Ontario, the nonprofit Harbourfront Centre offers a jam-packed year-round program of events. The complex comprises more than 30 sights, including parks, outdoor and indoor performance venues, squares, art galleries, a boardwalk, artist studios, restaurants, and retail outlets.
With around 4,000 events scheduled every year, Toronto visitors will always find something happening at Harbourfront Centre. Even if you don’t plan on gallery-hopping or attending a performance, it’s worth coming if only to stroll along the boardwalk and admire the waterfront views. You can access Harbourfront Centre easily via hop-on hop-off bus tours of the city. Boats also depart from the marinas here, taking passengers on cruises around Toronto Harbour, to the Toronto Islands, and—in some cases—offering brunch, lunch, or even dinner and dancing on-board.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Check the event schedule to find out what is happening during your visit.
- Bundle up as it can be colder by the water, particularly in winter.
- Harbourfront Centre is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Harbourfront Centre is situated on Queen’s Quay West near Toronto’s Entertainment District. Take the 509 Harbourfront or 510 Spadina streetcar to the Harbourfront Centre stop. The nearest subway stop is Union Station (line 1 Yonge-University), about a 5-minute walk away.
When to Get There
Harbourfront Centre is busiest on summer weekends, though the buzzy atmosphere and sheer number of activities taking place on these days also makes it a fun time to visit. In the evening, the boardwalk is a prime spot for a sunset stroll.
Things to Do at the Harbourfront Centre
Crowds flock here to catch performances at the 1,300-seat Concert Stage, the Stage in the Round, and the outdoor amphitheater at Toronto Music Garden, whose swirling landscape design was inspired by J.S. Bach’s well-known cello “Suite No. 1 in G Major.” Exhibition Common hosts markets and activities such as yoga classes; the Power Plant Gallery showcases contemporary art from Canada and beyond; the Bill Boyle Artport features artists’ studios, and hosts craft and design courses; and Natural Pond is a hive of activity year-round, with paddleboaters in summer and ice skaters in winter.