Canada’s largest city is one of the most diverse urban centres in the world. A mosaic of cultures underpins this vibrant, buzzing metropolis; and accordingly, it’s food and arts scenes deserve your attention. If all you know of Toronto is its recognizable skyline and the fact that it’s not Vancouver or Montreal, be prepared to experience an exciting voyage of discovery in this dynamic city.

Only have a couple of hours to enjoy in this beautiful city? Here’s how to explore vibrant Toronto in three hours or less.

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Walk into Adamson’s barbecue for a delicious feast. Credit: Josue Prince.

One hour: Eat Texan-style at Adamson BBQ

Unashamedly a meat-lovers paradise, Adamson Barbecue offers sizeable cuts cooked on a wood fire, with some dishes taking days to prepare. If you need any more incentive to make this Texas-style BBQ restaurant a priority during a day of sightseeing, it works on a first come, first served basis – the earlier you get there, the more meat you’ll have to choose from. One hour is plenty of time for you to sample some melt-in-the-mouth wood-smoked brisket for lunch. Leonard Linton park is just behind the restaurant if you’d like to take your food with some fresh air.

High Park Toronto Three Hours in Toronto

Image by @synestheticstrings via Flickr.

Two Hours: Stroll through High Park

Toronto may be known for its soaring skyscrapers, but — with more than 1,500 parks — the city also boasts some of the most beautiful and serene green spaces. Situated between Bloor West and the Queensway, High Park has it all: lush, grassy space and hiking trails; famous cherry blossoms during the spring; a beloved playground for the young ones; and a beautiful lakefront. As the largest public park in the city, you can easily spend a couple of hours strolling through. Don’t forget to stop by the High Park Zoo, where you’ll see everything from llamas and capybaras to peacocks and bison.

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Sample local goodies at Saint St. Lawrence Market. Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images.

Two hours: Explore St. Lawrence Market

Just on the edge of downtown, St. Lawrence Market is a bustling cornucopia of freshly baked pastries, organic vegetables, fragrant coffee, and crunchy fish and chips. It’s the perfect place to get food recommendations from the merchants and farmers themselves. Better yet — pick up a few gifts or treat yourself to Portuguese-style grilled chicken at Churrasco’s. You’ll also find soft, fresh crepes made on imported grills, heady Italian vinegars and homemade pizzas. With so much gastronomic variety on offer, there’s no better place to experience the bounties of Toronto’s multicultural history.

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Find a moment of peace in AGO’s Galleria Italia.

Three hours: Immerse yourself in art at the AGO

A wander around the Art Gallery of Ontario, or AGO as it’s better known, is a great way to clear your mind for an hour while taking in some of Toronto’s expansive museum culture. Previous collections have included works by Walter Scott, an interdisciplinary artist best known for his comic book series Wendy’ and a variety of abstract paintings. Photography and film feature heavily in the AGO’s lineup, which has previously included stellar exhibitions such as a recently featured glimpse into Guillermo del Toro’s creative process.

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Try brew after brew at Bellwoods Brewery. Credit: Celine Kim.

Three hours: Sip a barrel-aged brew at Bellwoods Brewery

A combination of a pub and microbrewery, Bellwoods Brewery’s popularity has continued to grow since it opened its doors in 2012. Every drop of beer is made on location, and with a selection of fruit-tinged double IPAs and fragrant pale ales on tap, it’s easy to understand why it’s been successful. Tasty food is served as well, so if you’re planning on downing a few well-earned glasses, you can make an evening of it. Find everything from hearty meatballs to delicate chickpea salads on the menu.

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