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In today’s age, family get-togethers have become a rare occurrence. Even with growing social networks online, distant relatives hardly get the time to meet and spend time with each other.

Family reunions offer a great sense of belongingness, rekindle relationships and an opportunity to bond between the next generation. Though what if your family members are spread out across the world, or across the country?

Toronto (Canada) is a great place to plan a family reunion; a central destination which makes for easy travel, with a number of outdoor places and plenty of activities for everyone in the family.

Here is a short guide on how to plan a successful family reunion in Toronto.

Why Toronto Is The Perfect Family Reunion Destination

Ease of Group Transport

Family travel RF

Toronto Pearson International Airport is Canada’s main hub for air transport; it’s the busiest airport in Canada, and the 31st busiest airport in the world. It’s also the largest airport in the world with facilities for USA border preclearance.

You’ll find direct flights to Toronto from most major cities in the United States, as well as a large percentage of cities around the world, and this makes it a very accessible destination no matter where your family are located.

To put it in perspective, 75 airlines fly here, from more than 180 destinations, and they have roughly 1,250 daily departures. Being that it’s such a central base, with so much competition, you can often find cheap flight deals.

The airport is also located very close to the city; only 22 km from downtown, and when it comes to comfortable group transport, look out for Toronto group charter bus rentals for a number of convenient transport options during your whole stay.

These charter buses will take you to any corner of the city you wish and in and around town too. You can even book online by asking for a quotation and accordingly the website will help you in finding the best available bus.

Things to Do For the Whole Family

Ziplining Niagara Falls

After your transport is sorted, now comes the step of looking for a place to have the reunion.

Toronto is filled with outdoor and indoor spots with a great combination of art, history and culture. There are some remarkable places perfect for family experiences like CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Roger’s Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario, Entertainment District and Toronto Zoo.

You can plan a day trip to Niagara Falls and experience the grandeur of the world’s biggest waterfall from close quarters. Other places worth mentioning would be Distillery District, Eaton Centre, High Park and Toronto Islands.

Often forgotten by visitors from out of town though easily one of the best escapes from the city center, Toronto Island has something to offer everyone, from an amusement park for the kids, to great beaches, kayaking, paddle boarding and biking.

This ultimate outdoor retreat is also home to one of the best views of the city, so if you’re looking for a family photo opp, rest assured this will wipe the floor of every other tourist snap you’ve seen. It only costs $7 CDN for a return ferry ticket to the island and you can bring your own alcohol and food.

Image credit: Bradley Howard (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Food For Every Eater

Hot dog RF food

Speaking of food, it’s said that a family that eats together stays together and Toronto offers a myriad of delightful gastronomical options to suit everyone’s taste buds.

If you’ve chosen to accommodate everyone all together, it may prove cheaper to hit a local supermarket and cook up your own group meals. Though if you’re all booking separate accommodation, basing yourself in a central area with food options.

The best international cuisine is available in Toronto, from Italian to Chinese to American to Canadian. Depending on what type of food you’re in the mood for,plan on visiting Chinatown, Little India, Greektown, and Little Italy while there.

Queen West is a trendy neighborhood lined with cool bars, restaurants, and stores, and the nightlife, is sure to satisfy just about anyone’s needs. The Distillery District is another great spot for food, lined with fabulous restaurants, cafes and shops.

Tip: Plan Something For Every-one

Toronto Islands Canoe

A family reunion can be a lot of fun if the activities and group games are planned beforehand. Though it’s necessary to keep everyone engaged and create some everlasting memories.

No matter where you vacation, you won’t normally have time to partake in all of the activities available. The key is to let each person in the family choose one thing they would like to do, and be sure to plan that into the trip.

Under ideal circumstances, there will be some overlap between individual interests, and so one activity will serve more than one need. But everyone should understand that this is about spending time together, and they might have to compromise and do the things other family members want to do as well.

Go through your itinerary as a family before hand, so that everyone knows the activities you have planned. That way everyone has time to offer feedback, and there are no surprises, and no complaints!

Image: John Vetterli (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Tip: Split-up if Need Be

Friends family travelers female women RF

This is where it is essential for parents and adults on the trip to be flexible. Sometimes the best way to get the most from your vacation is to split up temporarily. Let grandma take the young kids to a park; let the cousins hit the bar one or two nights (drinking age in Toronto is 19).

You may find yourself in the situation where two activities can take place at the same time, and splitting up means those who don’t want to participate in one or the other will not be forced to do so.

The philosophy that everyone needs to stay together does not necessarily hold true on family vacations, especially if you are in the same resort or area. You can save a lot of stress by splitting up at times in order to fit in more activities and keep everyone satisfied.

Toronto is a very safe city, it’s English speaking, and has excellent facilities, so you shouldn’t worry about letting the group split off from time to time over the course of your trip.

Family reunions can be a little tedious to plan with a large number of people involved but a little planning, coordination and lots of patience and commitment are all that is required to have an awesome and memorable trip.

With so many options present in Toronto for indoor and outdoor getaways, you are guaranteed to have some fun filled and happy moments with the entire family.


 Canada travel guide Amazon

The Rough Guide to Canada

 Canada travel guide Amazon

Lonely Planet Canada

 Canada travel guide Amazon

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & PEI

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. You have convinced me that Toronto is the perfect destination for our family reunion! Another bonus – unlike much of the southern US, weather is pleasant in summer! Do you have recommendations for hotels in Toronto to host our family reunion?

    • How exciting that you’re getting the family together soon! Re hotel suggestions, what’s your budget and how big is your family group?

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