5 Savvy Ways to Maximize Your Lunch Break in Downtown TorontoBy Natalie Taylor
Take a walk on the wild side at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. (Photo: Tim Fraser)
Business travelers in Toronto’s financial district will find the neighborhood’s bustle moves at breakneck speeds. Keep pace with busy Torontonians at the office and then use your lunch break to escape the masses. Travelers staying downtown at the Delta Hotels Toronto are in easy walking distance of many of the city’s most interesting sights and some of its tastiest restaurants. Maximize your hours using our time-stamped itinerary.
Expand Horizons at the Design Exchange
Walk time from hotel: 13 – 15 minutes.
Duration (including lunch): 1 – 2 hours.
Admiring the art deco details in the Design Exchange is nearly as interesting as exploring its collection. Here you’ll find items like furniture, housewares and textiles, as well as curated exhibitions. Located in the former Toronto Stock Exchange, the DX (as it’s locals call it) is the only museum in the city dedicated exclusively to the art of design and its heritage.
Lunch Pick: Maman. Just a two-minute walk from the DX, Maman’s French-farmhouse vibe is an unexpected treat in the middle of First Canadian Place. As you dine alongside other business-minded locals, order a gooey croque madame and cap it off with one of the restaurant’s famous chocolate chip cookies.
Find Dory (and Her Friends) at the Aquarium
Walk time from hotel: 4 minutes.
Duration (including lunch): 2 hours.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is, hands down, one of the most family friendly attractions in Toronto — but that doesn’t mean it’s not a blast for biz travelers hoping to channel their inner kid. Bypass the crowds and skip to the Dangerous Lagoon exhibit. This underwater tunnel with moving walkway is the longest of its kind in North America. You’ll never look at a shark the same way again — likely because it’s right above you!
Lunch Pick: Delta’s SOCO Kitchen + Bar. Named after its neighborhood, South Core, SOCO offers an array of lunch options, including shareable flatbreads and hearty burgers. The restaurant is a four-minute walk from the aquarium, and when in season the patio is ideal for people-watching. The decadent Paris-Brest pastry is a must-try.
Learn the Tricks of the Brew Trade
Walk time from hotel: 2 minutes.
Duration (including lunch): 60 – 90 minutes.
Just because you’re taking a tour at Steam Whistle Brewing doesn’t mean you need to indulge in its wares — at least not until after work. Craft beer fans can take a half-hour tour of the much-loved Toronto brewery daily starting from 11:30 a.m. and discover the ins and outs of the brewing process.
Lunch Pick: IQ Food Co. A ten-minute walk from the brewery, this healthy fast-casual restaurant is a Toronto favorite. The Sparta box with a Greenhouse cold pressed juice is an ideal lunch if you’re on-the-go, and to maximize your time, pre-order your box for pick-up after your brewery tour via the restaurant’s website.
Art Attack at the Art Gallery of Ontario
Walk time from hotel: 25 minutes.
Duration (including lunch): 2 hours.
Don’t have a free evening to get your culture fix? Head to the Frank Gehry-designed Art Gallery of Ontario. A a 45-60 minute tour takes you through the highlights of the AGO collection and architecture . Tours run daily on the hour: from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Top highlights? The Galleria Italia for its hollowed wooden structure and the work from iconic art collective, the Group of Seven.
Short on time? Ten-minute Pop Up on the Dot “art chats” are offered on the half hour (from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily).
The 25-minute walk from the hotel can be shortened to 11 minutes if you pop on a bicycle via Bike Share Toronto.
Lunch Pick: Splurge at Nota Bene, which caters to both the business and theater crowds and is a quick walk from the gallery. The restaurant is known for its speedy execution and service. The Nova Scotia Lobster Salad is our pick for a lunch entrée.
Set Sights on the Harbourfront
Walk time from hotel: 7 – 10 minutes.
Duration (including lunch): 90 minutes – 2 hours.
Whether you’re sneaking in a quick lunch-hour run or exploring the city between business meetings at the hotel, Toronto’s Harbourfront is an idyllic stretch to wander. Check out the wave deck, snap a photo of the yellow umbrellas at HT0 park or grab one of the best cups of coffee at Boxcar Social if you’re taking a leisurely walk.
Lunch Pick: Seat yourself on an Adirondack chair on the patio at Amsterdam Brewhouse. You’ll enjoy views of the Toronto islands with a classic burger in hand and fries on the side.
This article was brought to you by Delta Hotels, where simple is made perfect.