Toronto, ON, Canada

Toronto is such an incredible city it deserves two travel guides. The first features downtown and a few surrounding neighborhoods. Your feet will get sore before you run out of places to see and things to do. The second guide is a walking tour of the Lake Ontario waterfront.

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1 Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Canada

Superlatives fail to adequately describe Canada’s largest city and the capital of Ontario. The population of 5.5 million people enjoy an array of performing arts, professional sports, fascinating museums, historical landmarks, shopping alternatives, entertainment venues, diverse restaurants, heathy economy, a stunning skyline and a scenic waterfront. If you can’t find what you want in Toronto, then you really don’t need it. Your walking tour begins at Nathan Phillips Square. The highlights of this 12 acre plaza are a reflecting pool (becomes an ice rink in winter), the Freedom Arches and a Toronto sign with Canada’s maple leaf symbol. The Toronto City Hall is an impressive backdrop. The west tower (left) is 260 feet and the right one is 326 feet. The white saucer in the middle is the council chamber. Enjoy exploring Toronto!

100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2, Canada
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2 Clock Tower of Old City Hall in Toronto, Canada

When Toronto’s Old City Hall opened in 1899, its 340 foot clock tower qualified as the tallest municipal building in North America. Inside the belfry are three bells. The largest is Big Ben weighing 11,000 pounds. Notice the gargoyles protruding from the corners. You will enjoy finding other carvings of animals and humans around the exterior. The Richardsonian Romanesque design was created by native son turned prominent architect E.J. Lennox. The façade is a handsome blend of sandstone, grey stone and brown stone. This housed the local government until the New City Hall was finished in 1965. The current tenant of this National Historic Site of Canada is the Ontario Court of Justice.

60 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2M3, Canada
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3 Osgoode Hall in Toronto, Canada

Historic Osgoode Hall was built in 1832 and housed Ontario’s law school for eight decades. The namesake is William Osgoode. He was the first Chief Justice of Upper Canada (1792 – 1794) and then Lower Canada (1794 – 1801). The current tenants of the Georgian Palladian style building are the Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Court of Appeal and part of the Superior Court of Justice.

130 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N5, Canada
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4 South African War Memorial in Toronto, Canada

Approximately 8,000 Canadian soldiers supported the British Empire during the Boer War. The battles against the South African Republic occurred for over 2.5 years from 1899 until 1902. During the campaigns, about 270 Canadians perished. Eight years later, Walter Seymour Allward was commissioned to design the South African War Memorial. At the top of granite column is the winged figure of Victory holding a gilded crown. At the base is a bronze sculpture representing Mother Britain flanked by two soldiers.

360 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1R8, Canada
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5 Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada

The exterior of the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts is deceptively simple. Do not be fooled by the cover of this opera house. Inside is the U-shaped, R. Fraser Elliott Hall with a seating capacity for over 2,000 lovers of the performing arts. The venue is home to both the Canadian Opera Company and National Ballet of Canada.

145 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 4G1, Canada
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6 Campbell House Museum in Toronto, Canada

People who appreciate stately Georgian-era homes will enjoy visiting Campbell House Museum. The former residence of Chief Justice Sir William Campbell was built in 1822. The Palladian-style structure served several private and commercial tenants for 150 years before being slated for destruction. In 1972, the Advocates Society came to the rescue. They moved the house about a mile to its current location. Two years later, Queen Elizabeth presided over the opening of the museum.

160 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 3H3, Canada
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7 Canada Life Building in Toronto, Canada

In 1847, Hugh Baker founded the country’s first life insurance business: Canada Life Assurance Company. The Hamilton-based firm moved to Toronto in 1900. This Beaux Arts building was commissioned at the start of the Great Depression and became their headquarters in 1931. In 2019, three companies – Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company – merged under the Canada Life brand name.

330 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1R8, Canada
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8 Sharp Centre for Design in Toronto, Canada

The Ontario College of Art and Design was probably under self-imposed pressure to make their building expansion visually dramatic. It had to stand out in the staid neighborhood while reflecting the school’s values, mission and innovativeness. Wow, did they achieve their goal! The pixilated rectangle “tabletop” is 85 feet off the ground supported by a dozen colorful steel legs. The interior of the Sharp Centre for Design contains two levels of classrooms and art studios. Not surprising, this avant-garde design by Will Alsop earned top honors from the Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Awards.

100 McCaul St, Toronto, ON M5T 2W7, Canada
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9 Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Canada

The Art Museum of Toronto was founded in 1900. Since then, the name has changed to the Art Gallery of Ontario and their collection has swelled to over 95,000 works. Canadian, European, African and Oceania artists from the 14th century to the present are represented. 480,000 square feet of space are used to exhibit paintings, sculptures, photographs plus other genres. Come see why about one million people visit AGO each year.

317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada
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10 Signage in West Chinatown in Toronto, Canada

The earliest Chinese immigrant in Toronto was Sam Ching in 1878. The city’s first Chinatown evolved from the late 1870s until much of the slum was torn down in the late 1950s. Many of the displaced people, along with new Chinese immigrants, migrated to today’s West Chinatown. Although one of the largest in North America, it does not have the tourist appeal of other Chinatowns in major cities. You will not find a camera-worthy paifang gate. Mostly you will see a blizzard of signs attempting to attract aging demographics. Other Chinese neighborhoods in Toronto are in East Chinatown, Markham, Mississauga, North York and Richmond Hill.

434 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1B7, Canada
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11 Murals in West Chinatown in Toronto, Canada

Not far from West Chinatown is Graffiti Alley. Skip it! The walls are filled with amateurish spray paintings. If you appreciate professional and creative outdoor murals, you will find several spectacular examples in West Chinatown. This is entitled Everyday Life in Chinatown. The artwork was created in 2011 by the team of Alexa Hatanaka and Aaron Li-Hill.

51 Grange Pl, Toronto, ON M5T 1G6, Canada
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12 Ontario Legislative Building at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Canada

The Ontario Legislative Building is impressive. Free guided tours last about an hour. The Richardson Romanesque design by architect Richard A. Waite was finished in 1893. Many people call the Parliament Building the Pink Palace because of its rose-colored sandstone exterior. Inside are the offices of Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor and Legislative Assembly. They represent and govern the 13.5 million people residing in Ontario. This central province is the largest of Canada’s thirteen provinces and contains over a third of the country’s population.

1 Queen's Park Cres E, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2, Canada
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13 Ontario Veterans’ War Memorial at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Canada

Plan on lingering in Queen’s Park to fully appreciate some of the 32 monuments, statues and plaques within the 168 acres. A solemn example is the Ontario Veterans’ War Memorial. Etched into the 98 foot granite wall are photographs and inscriptions of Canada’s military involvement in conflicts since 1867. The tribute designed by Allan Harding MacKay was erected in front of the Ontario Legislative Building in 2006.

1 Queen's Park Cres E, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2, Canada
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14 Queen Victoria Sculpture at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Canada

The Ontario Legislative Building is located in Queen’s Park. The tree-lined, beautifully landscaped greenspace was inaugurated in 1860 by Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales. He became King Edward VII in 1901 after the death of his mother, Queen Victoria. She reigned the United Kingdom for 63 years (1837-1901). This sculpture of the queen was created in 1870 by Mario Raggi and then moved to Queen’s Park in 1870. She is portrayed holding an orb and scepter, symbols of her sovereignty.

1 Queen's Park Cres E, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2, Canada
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15 Old Vic at University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada

The Wesleyan Methodist Church founded the Upper Canada Academy in 1836. The school evolved into Victoria College five years later and Victoria University in 1884. Old Vic became the main campus building in 1892. The handsome design by architect W. G. Storm is called Richardsonian Romanesque. The design features are similar to the nearby Ontario Legislative Building (1893) and the Old City Hall (1899). Today, Victoria College is an undergraduate program for arts and sciences affiliated with the University of Toronto.

73 Queen Park's Crescent #106, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7, Canada
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16 Jun Kaneko Artwork at Gardiner Museum in Toronto, Canada

George R. Gardiner was a successful Toronto entrepreneur during the 20th century. Among his ventures was a munitions plant, a discount brokerage firm, oil and gas plus fastfood restaurants. His avocation was ceramics. In 1984, he founded a museum in his name dedicated to ceramic art and porcelain. The permanent collection of over 4,000 pieces is displayed within 14,000 square feet. The museum also has rotating exhibitions. This untitled bust by artist Jun Kaneko stands at the entrance to entice you inside.

111 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C7, Canada
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17 Weston Family Wing of Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada

Canada’s largest museum began in 1912. The Royal Ontario Museum now manages a staggering collection of over six million objects contained within 40 galleries. Permanent exhibits include artifacts from around the world such as Africa, the Americas, Canada and Asia-Pacific. The oldest pieces are fossils from the Jurassic Period (over 200 million years old). Equally fascinating are items from the Bronze Age (3200 to 700 BC). There are animals of every description in the natural history section. You will also enjoy the rare geological specimens from earth and space. This Neo-Byzantine structure facing Queen’s Park was the first expansion of the museum constructed in 1933. It was renamed the Weston Family Wing in recognition of their sizable donations to ROM. At the end of 2017, the front doors of this heritage building reopened as a secondary access to the museum.

100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6, Canada
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18 Crystal Entrance of Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada

Now gander at the main entrance of the Royal Ontario Museum facing Bloor Street West. The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal – clad with glass and aluminum – was designed by Daniel Libeskind. This extra 80,000 square feet of space opened in 2007 as part of the Renaissance ROM Campaign. Approximately 1.4 million people walk through here each year. Twice as many collectively visit the 20 museums, cultural centers and performance venues nearby. The Bloor Street Culture Corridor stretches between Bathurst and Bay Streets.

100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6, Canada
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19 Bloor Street West Shopping in Toronto, Canada

Fancy upscale shopping? You will love Mink Mile. On both sides of Bloor Street West beginning at Avenue Road are high-end retailers. Premium brands represented include Gucci, Chanel, Tiffany and Louis Vuitton. When you reach Yonge Street, step inside Holt Renfrew Centre. This shopping mall has four floors of high-priced merchandise. Window shopping in the Bloor-Yorkville neighborhood is as invigorating as it is expensive.

150 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 2X9, Canada
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20 Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada

Are you an aspiring or confirmed shoeaholic? Then you must visit the Bata Shoe Museum. The exterior resembles an opening shoebox. Inside are over 13,000 footwear-related items displayed on four levels. This is the world’s largest collection. Amassing shoes was the passion of Sonja Bata from 1946, when she married the president of the Bata Shoe Organization, until she died in 2018 at the age of 91. The most popular shoes in the museum were worn by celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Robert Redford and Queen Victoria.

327 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W7, Canada
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21 Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada

Massey Hall was the premier venue for concerts in Toronto when the theater began in 1894. The National Historic Site of Canada remains operational yet has been augmented with another concert facility owned by the same non-profit corporation. The futurist-looking Roy Thomson Hall opened in 1982 with performances by its two primary tenants: the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Since then, it has also staged a long list of international artists plus hosted countless dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II on two occasions. The hall is named after the main benefactor, Roy Thomson. He was a major media entrepreneur in Canadian radio, TV and newspapers during the 20th century until his death in 1976.

60 Simcoe St, Toronto, ON M5J 2H5, Canada
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22 Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada

There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball. Only one hails from Canada. The Toronto Blue Jays had a dismal record of 54-107 during their 1977 inaugural season. They went on to win back-to-back World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. In 1989, the team moved into the SkyDome in central downtown. The stadium was heralded as the first with a fully retractable motorized roof. On opening day, rain soaked about 50,000 fans. In 2000, Toronto-based media conglomerate Rogers Communications purchased the Blue Jays. Four years later, they acquired the stadium and renamed it Rogers Centre. Yet most Torontonians still prefer SkyDome. This view is from Rod Robbie Bridge, named after the stadium’s architect.

1 Blue Jays Way, Toronto, ON M5V 1J1, Canada
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23 CN Tower in Toronto, Canada

The inverted exclamation point of Toronto’s skyline is the CN Tower. The cloud-piercing concrete structure reaches a height of 1,815 feet (including the antenna). That is equivalent to a 147 story building. This was the world’s tallest tower from 1976 until 2009 and still holds the title in the Western Hemisphere. No wonder the American Society of Civil Engineers declared it one of the engineering Seven Wonders of the World. The practical purpose of the tower is radio and television broadcasting. The purpose for tourists is eye-widening fun. There are three observation platforms at 1,122, 1,135 and 1,465 feet. You can also eat at a café or revolving restaurant. If you really want to get your heart pumping, dare to experience the EdgeWalk. Your knees will shake while walking outside on a five-foot ledge at 1,168 feet. This half hour may seem the longest and most thrilling of your life.

301 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2T6, Canada
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24 Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto, Canada

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada has been delighting visitors since opening in 2013. More than 450 species of worldwide marine life are exhibited in ten galleries. The largest is Dangerous Lagoon with a 750,000 gallon tank. The Canadian Waters section is especially exciting. On display are habitat and animals from the freshwaters of the Great Lakes plus the saltwater of coastal oceans. This family-fun aquarium is nestled below CN Tower and Rogers Centre and adjacent to Roundhouse Park.

288 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9, Canada
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25 Roundhouse Park in Toronto, Canada

Toronto’s first railway became operation in 1853. By the end of the century, several rivals also served the city. The busy train traffic and stations near the waterfront became known as Railway Lands. Beginning in the mid-1960s, the rail yards began to transform. The first addition was CN Tower. This investment was followed by the Metro Convention Centre, the SkyDome and residential plus commercial high-rises. The historic core was converted into the 17 acre Roundhouse Park. The main structure, John Street Roundhouse, became a railway museum, entertainment complex, a brewery and restaurant. Railfans of all ages will especially like seeing the old locomotives and train cars on display.

255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9, Canada
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26 Headquarters of Canada’s Largest Bank in Toronto, Canada

Canada’s largest financial institution measured by assets is the Royal Bank of Canada. Since beginning in 1864 as the Merchants Bank of Halifax, RBC has evolved into a powerhouse doing business in 40 counties and employing over 80,000 people. The corporate headquarters are in the Royal Bank Plaza. The pair of skyscrapers measuring 374 feet (North Tower) and 590 feet (South Tower) have been a prominent landmark of the Financial District since the late 1970s.

200 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5J 2J2, Canada
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27 Dominion Public Building in Toronto, Canada

The town of York was established in 1793 by the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. This site for the new capital of Upper Canada was selected because of its natural harbor along Lake Ontario. The port grew rapidly during the 19th century, especially after the War of 1812 ended. As commercial and passenger traffic increased, the city built a series of custom houses. The Dominion Public Building served this role when finished in 1935. The federal government building continued to house the Canada Revenue Agency until 2017 when the property was sold to a developer. Plans are underway to construct two apartment skyscrapers on the land yet retain portions of this Federal Heritage Building.

1 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 2X5, Canada
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28 Our Game Sculpture at Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada

Field hockey began in England during the late 17th century. When British soldiers were sent to North America, they often brought along their sticks and balls. After several bitter winters, the game of ice hockey evolved. The first organized game was held in Montreal on March 3, 1875. Since then, hockey has become a Canadian passion. Any avid fan of the game will want to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame located in the basement of Brookfield Place. The 50,000 square feet of exhibits will delight you. Outside the entry is this Our Game bronze sculpture measuring 17 feet long. The tribute to Canada’s most popular spectator sport was created by Edie Parker in 1993.

30 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5E 1X8, Canada
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29 Gooderham Building in Toronto, Canada

There is something inherently attractive about a flatiron building. The Gooderham Building is a magnificent example. In 1881, George Gooderham Sr., the powerhouse behind the rapid growth of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, commissioned architect David Roberts Jr. to design this as the company’s headquarters. The architect gave the wedge-shaped, five-level office space a Gothic Romanesque style. It remained in the family until 1957. Today, the redbrick building’s 55 foot height is dwarfed by some of the skyscrapers in the Financial District. Yet the Gooderham Building commands some of the highest rent in the city. The landmark has been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada.

49 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C9, Canada
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30 Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Canada

The first Church of England service was celebrated in Canada in 1578. The first Anglican parish in York (today’s Toronto) was formed over two hundred years later in 1797. The congregation built four successive churches between 1807 and the present Cathedral Church of St. James in 1853. The spire was added to the Gothic Revival façade in 1874. At 305 feet, the church tower is still the tallest in Canada. Inside the belfry are the dozen Bells of Old York. They weigh between 631 and 2,418 pounds.

106 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C 2E9, Canada
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31 St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto, Canada

The 15 acres of Market Block was the core of the city until destroyed by the Great Fire of Toronto in 1849. The devastation prompted a major rebuilding program. One of the principal new structures was St. Lawrence Hall. The copper cupola supported by Corinthian columns was one of several elegant features of the Renaissance Revival design by architect William Thomas. After opening in 1851, the meeting hall quickly became the city’s center for concerts, ballets, exhibitions and political gatherings. Since 1967, the restored National Historic Site of Canada has been available for private meetings and social events.

157 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C 1G9, Canada
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32 St. Lawrence Market South in Toronto, Canada

The town of York was incorporated as Toronto in 1834. When the New Market House opened in 1845, it was the first permanent city hall and jail until 1899. In 1902, the structure was repurposed as the South Market and adjoined to the North Market. Today, St. Lawrence Market South hosts over 50 stalls selling meats, cheese and produce five days a week (Tuesday through Saturday). Several vendors also offer snack and meal options. You can enjoy your quick bite in the sunshine at a table along the mezzanine.

93 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3, Canada
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33 Distillery Historic District in Toronto, Canada

Gooderham and Worts was founded in 1832 and moved to the Toronto waterfront in 1859. By the end of the century, the firm was distilling more than half of the alcohol produced in Canada and was the largest in North America. After a series of mergers and acquisitions, the company was sold in 1987 and closed in 1990. In 2003, the 13 acre property was redeveloped into the pedestrian-only Distillery District. Nestled inside about 40 heritage buildings – the world’s largest collection of Victorian Era industrial structures – are boutique restaurants, cafes, stores and galleries plus a micro-brewery and entertainment options. The main brick crossroads seen here is Trinity Street and Gristmill Lane. The Distillery District is an engaging experience.

4 Trinity St, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4, Canada
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34 Downtown Department Stores in Toronto, Canada

If traditional department stores are dying, then Toronto never got the memo. Downtown has several great options from the high-end (Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, Simons, Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue) to the budget-friendly (Marshalls and Winners). Notice the Hudson’s Bay Company sign flanking the entrance to the Louis Vuitton store. This is Simpson Tower, the headquarters for Hudson’s Bay department stores. The retail conglomerate began as a fur trading business in 1670. It is the oldest company in North America.

176 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5C 2L7, Canada
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35 St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica in Toronto, Canada

The Archdiocese of Toronto was founded in 1841 and is now the largest in Canada. Groundbreaking for their mother church began in 1845. The English Gothic Revival design by William Thomas is crowned by an imposing 260 foot spire. The interior is equally impressive. Among the outstanding features are ribbed stone columns forming lancet arches, cast-iron lanterns illuminating the nave, hand-blown stained-glass windows, about 40 statues and this gilded tabernacle with an image of the Madonna with Child. The cathedral became a minor basilica in 2016 when it reopened after an extensive, five-year renovation. The Roman Catholic church is the oldest building in Toronto still in use for its original purpose.

65 Bond St, Toronto, ON M5B 1X1, Canada
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36 Theater District in Toronto, Canada

Surprisingly, Toronto has the world’s third largest theater district (behind London and New York City). There are at least twenty professional venues that regularly stage live theatrical shows. Many of them also host other performing arts productions. This is the marquee of the Ed Mirvish Theatre. It was Canada’s largest cinema when it opened in 1920 as the Pantages Theatre. Their playbills always announce an exciting schedule of musicals, dramas and comedies.

244 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 1V8, Canada
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37 Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada

New York City has Times Square, London has Piccadilly Circus and Toronto has Yonge-Dundas Square. This intersection is aglow with neon signs, abuzz with foot and car traffic and awash with 600 water jets. Encircling the one-acre square are retailers dominated by the 235 stores inside Eaton Centre. This is 10 Dundas Street East, the home of four television stations owned by Rogers Media. Estimates suggest over 50 million people annually get cricks in their neck while visiting Yonge-Dundas Square, the self-proclaimed Heart of the City.

1 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B 2R8, Canada
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38 Sheldon & Tracy Levy Centre in Toronto, Canada

Since the first year in 1948, Ryerson University has grown into one of Canada’s largest with an enrollment of over 40,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. RyeU is always ranked among the top three in Canada based on appeal of applying students and quality of education. Their urban campus is spread out over 121 acres encircling Yonge–Dundas Square. This dramatic glass structure on Yonge Street opened in 2015. In late 2018, the complex was renamed the Sheldon & Tracy Levy Centre. This was a tribute to the tremendous leadership and stewardship provide by Sheldon Levy while Ryerson’s president from 2005 until 2015.

341 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1S1, Canada
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39 Yonge Street Music Mural in Toronto, Canada

During the 1950s and 1960s, Yonge Street was alive with rock and roll, jazz, R&B and country western. Many young upstarts who would later become famous (like Bob Dylan and Conway Twitty) mixed with the already famous (like Dizzy Gillespie and Muddy Waters) in an always hopping, sometimes gritty nightlife scene in several clubs. Two enormous murals (over 200 feet in height) at 423 Yonge Street pay tribute to these artists. This first painting by Adrian Hayles in 2016 features nine music icons. This detail shows Shirley Matthews (Canadian pop singer), B.B. King (southern blues singer and songwriter), Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian folk-rock) and Oscar Peterson (Canadian jazz pianist). The second mural created in 2017 portrays 20 additional musicians.

423 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 2H4, Canada
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40 Palm House at Allan Gardens in Toronto, Canada

If you fancy horticulture, then add Allan Gardens to your tour itinerary of Toronto. The park was called the Botanical Gardens when the Prince of Wales presided over opening ceremonies in 1860. There are five greenhouses on the property. The central one is the Palm House added in 1910. The park’s namesake is George Allan who gifted the land. Allan was the former president of the Toronto Horticultural Society, the city’s major plus a Canadian Senator for 34 years.

160 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M5A 2E5, Canada
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41 Train Mural on Chew Chew’s Diner in Toronto, Canada

As you travel along Carlton Street at the intersection of Bleecker Street in Cabbagetown, your eyes will immediately gravitate to this train passing through a tunnel. The trompe l’oeil artwork was painted by Ryan Dineen in 2007. The realistic, three-dimensional mural is the perfect advertisement for the sponsor, Chew Chew’s Diner. Stop in! The highly-rated restaurant offers one of the best all-day breakfasts in Toronto. During lunch or dinner, you must order a milkshake to accompany your reasonably-priced meal. Yum!

186 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A 2K3, Canada
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42 Victorian Houses in Cabbagetown in Toronto, Canada

Does a neighborhood named Cabbagetown sound appealing? Probably not, unless you would enjoy admiring the largest assembly of Victorian-period row houses in North America. The area east of central downtown was initially a farming community named the village of Don Vale. The derogatory moniker came about as Irish immigrants began settling here in the mid-19th century and planted cabbage in their front yards. Most of the brick homes were built prior to World War I. The neighborhood suffered a period of decline from the 1920s until the 1970s. Many of the residences were slated for demolition until an urban renewal law was passed. Cabbagetown has since been repopulated by professionals who have the means to refurbish and maintain the vintage homes.

128 Winchester St, Toronto, ON M4X 1B4, Canada
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43 Barn at Riverdale Farm in Toronto, Canada

While strolling through Cabbagetown, make sure to visit Riverdale Farm, especially if you are traveling with young children. They love watching and interacting with the animals such as horses, pigs and sheep. The buildings reflect what farming was like during the pioneer days in the town of York. This main barn is a reproduction of one constructed in 1858. The 7.5 acre property was a zoo from 1888 until 1974. Admission to the Riverdale Farm is free.

201 Winchester St, Toronto, ON M4X 1B8, Canada
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44 Chapel at Toronto Necropolis in Toronto, Canada

Across Winchester Street from the Riverdale Farm is the Toronto Necropolis. The cemetery was established in 1850, making it the city’s oldest. The chapel, bell tower and office of the superintendent were created in 1872. They were designed by Henry Langley. The prolific architect during the second half of the 19th century is credited with over 70 churches in Ontario. Most of his projects display his signature Gothic Revival style.

200 Winchester St, Toronto, ON M4X 1B7, Canada
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45 Casa Loma in Toronto, Canada

Sir Henry Mill Pellat was one of Canada’s wealthiest men during the first twenty years of the 20th century. The industrialist made his fortune from electricity and mining. At the height of his career, he hired E. J. Lennox – one of Toronto’s most successful architects – to build an incredible mansion. Casa Loma means Hill House. When the Gothic Revival estate was finished in 1914, the 64,700 square feet contained 98 rooms. This qualified as the biggest home in North America. The interior can best be described as elegant opulence. Unfortunately, a series of events drove Pellat to bankruptcy. In less than a decade, he and his wife were forced to vacate Casa Loma. You will be transported back to one of the world’s finest residences from the Edwardian Era as you tour the floors and gardens.

1 Austin Terrace, Toronto, ON M5R 1X8, Canada
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