The most unusual places to visit in and around Toronto

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  • 25 Oct, 2022  |
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While landmarks such as the Royal Ontario Museum and the CN Tower are high on most visitors’ lists, Toronto offers plenty of off-the-beaten-track attractions to discover. This dynamic metropolis serves as the beating heart of Ontario and there is something that will appeal to everyone.

Read on to learn about 6 of the most unusual places to tick off your list when visiting Toronto.

Whether you’re fascinated by memorial murals, heritage villages, or eclectic residences, there’s something to pique your interest.

While planning your Toronto escape, don’t forget that your accommodation can be just as unique as your sightseeing. Rentola, for example, offers a diverse choice of rental properties Toronto to meet all budgets and needs.

Todmorden Mills Heritage Site

Originally established as a lumber mill in the 1790s, Todmorden Mills is a small industrial village in the Don River Valley, just a short drive northeast of Toronto. It comprises several lovingly restored 19th-century buildings and a brewery, as well as a wildflower-filled nature reserve. After serving as a mill, the site was used as a prisoner of war camp before being transformed into the museum, arts, and theatre venue of today. It offers a fascinating insight into life in Toronto in times gone by.

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Image by Maarten van den Heuvel, via

Rainbow Tunnel

Forming part of Moccasin Trail Park, this brightly painted tunnel has become a beloved landmark in Toronto. But it wasn’t always the case, with the mural (created by a Norwegian teenager in the 1970s) initially painted over by the local parks department. The artist, B.C. Johnson, was persistent, however, and continued to repaint the rainbow as a tribute to a friend who had passed away. As the story spread, the community began to embrace the creation and it has been recently restored by a local arts organization.

Casa Loma

Nestled in the heart of midtown Toronto is this Gothic Revival-style mansion, which was constructed in the early 20th century for Sir Henry Pellatt. Designed with 98 opulently decorated rooms by Edward James Lennox, it forced its owner into bankruptcy. Pellatt brought in artisans from across Europe to design the interior features and furnishings, and there are five acres of gardens to explore. Admire the richly decorated Oak Room and stroll through the lush conservatory before getting up close to vintage cars dating back to 1910.

Sewers of Toronto

Exploring a city’s waste management network isn’t usually high on the lists of tourists but Toronto’s cavernous tunnels are a worthy destination. Featuring wide walls and high ceilings, they are the perfect size to navigate on foot and will appeal to those who aren’t afraid of venturing into subterranean Toronto. Led by a public works employee, you can learn about the fascinating history of each sewer system and marvel at what is a historic feat of engineering.

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Image by Sandro Schuh, via

The Monkey's Paw

Packed with pre-loved books, The Monkey’s Paw is a must-visit destination for bookworms. Established in 2006 by Stephen Fowler, it is named after a short horror story by the English author, W.W. Jacobs. The Monkey’s Paw stocks a wide range of eclectic and absurd titles, making it the kind of place you’ll find a book that you didn’t even know you wanted to read. A highlight of The Monkey’s Paw is the “Biblio-Mat”, the world’s first vending machine to issue random books to buyers.

The Little House

Built in 1912, this tiny dwelling lies wedged between two much larger homes on Day Avenue, not far from the Toronto neighbourhood of Little Italy. It covers just 300 square feet and was built on a former laneway intended to provide access to the residences on either side. While it’s a private dwelling, you can admire its adorable whitewashed facade and gabled roof from the street.

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Image by Alex Shutin, via

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