The Rexdale neighbourhood offers a little taste of everything.

Most Torontonians probably associate Rexdale with two things: proximity to Toronto’s Pearson Airport and horse racing. Yet there’s also adventure to be had here.

Located in Toronto’s northwest corner, Rexdale is bordered by the Humber River to the east, Steeles Avenue West to the north, Highway 401 to the south and Highway 427 on the west.

Now that we’re oriented, let’s imagine a stopover in Toronto has given us time to fill. Or perhaps we’re just locals looking to explore outside our normal stomping grounds. Either way, you could plan an itinerary for a trip around Rexdale that takes us around the world—without ever leaving Toronto.

Woodbine Racetrack

Fans of horse racing need look no further for a day of excitement by the track. Planning a trip to the Kentucky Derby? Get in the mood here first with a visit to Woodbine Racetrack. Among other races, it is the home of the Queen’s Plate, first jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown and North America’s oldest continuously run stakes event. 555 Rexdale Blvd.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and Heritage Museum

If you’re dreaming of a trip to India, add a visit to BAPS to your schedule. The building houses the Canadian Museum of Cultural Heritage of Indo-Canadians, which starts your journey by tracing thousands of years of Indian history. The architecture itself is also worth the visit: made of Italian marble, Indian sandstone, Turkish limestone, and Burmese teak, all the building’s walls are load bearing, so there’s no steel skeleton holding the building up. It’s the first example of such intricate Indian architecture in Canada. 61 Claireville Dr.

Woodbine Mall & Fantasy Fair

For those looking for fun for the whole family, Woodbine Mall offers shopping, a food court and indoor entertainment. Located across the street from Woodbine Racetrack, Woodbine Mall is home to the Fantasy Fair, Ontario’s largest indoor amusement park, which has served more than 8 million guests since it opened in 1985. 500 Rexdale Blvd.

Humber Arboretum 

If you’re a keen visitor of the botanical gardens of the world, Rexdale should be on your radar. Connected to the North Campus of Humber College and free to visit, the Humber Arboretum includes public gardens and natural spaces, self-guided tours with trail maps and bird watching, and botanical gardens for viewing pleasure. The Centre for Urban Ecology is also a model of sustainable design. 205 Humber College Blvd.

Toronto Pearson International Airport 

Of course, for shorter stopovers in the middle of your travels, there’s always plenty to do within Pearson itself. As Canada’s largest airport by passenger traffic, and North America’s second-largest airport by international traffic, Pearson offers a sprawling array of dining and shopping options. Shop for something special to remember your stay from duty-free stores like Swarovski and Tom Ford, then satisfy your appetite with some local flavour at the airport outpost of a local Toronto culinary brand—there’s Caplansky’s Delicatessen or Mill Street YYZ Toronto Brewpub for a casual meal, or the more upscale Asian-fusion eatery LEE Kitchen by Susur Lee. 6301 Silver Dart Dr.


Getting to Rexdale

  • From Union Station take the Mount Pleasant GO train to the Etobicoke North stop then transfer to the 45 Kipling bus northbound. 
  • Take the UP Express train to the airport from Union station, which connects to the TTC and GO train lines.