Toronto Travel Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Short Visit

As March 22nd, the start of Anatomy Connected 2024, quickly approaches, we've started thinking about what to pack, where to eat, and what to do in the limited free time we have so that you don’t have to! Traveling to a new city can be either extremely exciting or highly stressful. The amount of research and preparation done before packing your bags and boarding the plane, train, or automobile sets the tone for the trip ahead. Thanks to the insights of Dr. Kristina Lisk, AAA member and professor at the University of Toronto, we have the inside scoop on all things food, entertainment, and preparation to ensure a pleasant Anatomy Connected weekend in the vibrant city of Toronto!

Toronto vector map

Top Five Restaurants Conveniently Located in Downtown Toronto

Nothing works up an appetite like a long day of examining poster presentations, engaging in workshops, listening to thought-provoking and informative speakers, and networking. Dr. Lisk compiled her top five restaurant recommendations, so the only difficult decision you must make is which dish you want to try first! All the options are within ten minutes of the Sheraton and are small, mid-tier priced joints; you’ll want to make reservations in advance or risk waiting while hunger slowly takes over.

Gusto 101 | 101 Portland St, Toronto, ON M5V 2N3
If you’re looking for a cozy yet industrial atmosphere that offers wine on tap, brick oven pizza, and a dessert flight, Gusto 101 can’t be beaten. Since 2012, Gusto 101 has provided a rotating menu of modern takes on southern Italian cooking anchored by seasonal ingredients.

Terroni Adelaide | 57 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C 1K6
Located in the former York County Courthouse, Terroni Adelaide maximized its historic charm, offering sun-soaked seating areas and cozy nooks surrounding roaring fireplaces. This restaurant offers a more traditional take on Italian food and wine. 

Piano Piano | 88 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5
Piano Piano boasts no frills or fuss Italian-American fare. When asked what region of Italy inspires his cooking, head chef Victor Barry simply responds, “New Jersey!” Perfectly portioned with an unmistakable taste of home cooking, Piano Piano is an ideal option for those looking to be transported to their grandmother’s kitchen for the evening.

Pizza Libretto | 155 University Ave. Toronto, ON
Neopolitan pizza doesn’t get any better than this. Simple, fresh ingredients that aim to be inclusive of all food restrictions. Pizza Libretto offers vegan and gluten-free options to ensure comfort and enjoyment for the entire party. 

La Carnita | 106 John St, Toronto, ON M5H 1X9
For a light and refreshing dinner, La Carnita is an excellent option. The taqueria boasts a variety of classic Mexican delicacies such as pork belly al pastor and tuna ceviche while providing various imaginative vegetarian and vegan options for herbivores. The care taken to weave in dynamic choices cannot be understated.



Royal Ontario Museum Exterior

People shopping at St. Lawrence Market

Casa Loma Exterior

people observing the sharks at ripley aquarium

Six Must-See Sites Within Walking Distance

Whether you have time to kill on a travel day, didn’t sign up for a pre-conference workshop, or extended your trip to explore the city more thoroughly, we’ve included six must-see sites within walking distance or easily accessible via public transportation. If you plan to go to the Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma, and CN Tower, consider purchasing a Toronto CityPASS, which combines five experiences for a more affordable price. The Toronto Visitors Bureau also offers special discount codes and admission pass bundles that may be more practical for those who need flexible options.

Royal Ontario Museum | Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm with tickets ranging from CAD 26.00 for general admission to CAD 40.50 if you include the special exhibits. ROM recommends purchasing tickets in advance to take advantage of lower pricing options. Canada’s largest and most comprehensive museum is home to a world-class collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects, and natural history specimens featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces.

Casa Loma | Open daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm for touring, though the gardens close at 4:00 pm Monday-Wednesday and 3:00 pm Thursday-Sunday. Tickets cost CAD 35.00 to CAD 40.00, depending on your age. The castle includes a mix of permanent and rotating exhibits focusing on preserving and mindful reflection of early Toronto and Canadian history.

CN Tower | Open daily from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; you can’t visit Toronto without witnessing the swapping view from the main observation level at 364 meters. Tickets start at CAD 43.00.

St. Lawrence Market/Distillery District | Visit this historic hub of merchants and spend some time perusing their wares, sampling local cuisine, or simply people-watching! “The Market is a place where the authenticity of truly great food and shopkeepers who care reign above all else.” Open Tuesday through Sunday at varying times depending on the day. 

Kensington Market | A unique neighborhood that prides itself in being Toronto’s most vibrant and diverse, Kensington Market is home to countless restaurants, bars, cafes, and boutiques that will easily entertain you for hours.

Chinatown | Situated just north of downtown Toronto, Chinatown boasts beautiful and historic storefronts dating back to as early as 1878. Spend an afternoon exploring the many shops or pop into a restaurant and enjoy authentic Chinese fare.

Ripley’s Aquarium | Witness a collection of wonderous sea creatures and the environments they live in. Open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, tickets range from CAD 39.00 to CAD 48.00.

Weather Forecast Says: Prepare for Anything!

Though the end of March typically signals the onset of Spring, Canada has hardly shirked off its winter coat. Expect temperatures ranging from 27 to 43 degrees Fahrenheit, rainfall averages 2.3 inches, and snow averages 7 inches. The weather at this time of year is unpredictable and ever-changing, so packing light layers and waterproof gear will be the ultimate combination to maintain maximum comfort throughout your visit.

Scheduling In Advance is Key

It pays to prepare in advance, and we hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog and the suggestions we’ve shared. As you plan your trip, don’t forget to visit our program website and create a personalized schedule with all of the sessions, workshops, and events you want to attend! We look forward to seeing all of you in Toronto March 22-25.


About the American Association for Anatomy

The American Association for Anatomy is an international membership organization of biomedical researchers and educators specializing in the structural foundation of health and disease. We connect anatomists, neuroscientists, developmental biologists, biological anthropologists, cell biologists, and physical therapists to advance the anatomical sciences through research, education, and professional development. For more information visit or give us a call at (301) 634-7910.