Walking tours: Exploring Toronto!
May 17, 2017
Now that the weather is solidly in double digits (you haven’t heard otherwise, have you?), it’s a great time to start exploring the city. When you live downtown, it’s easy to stay within a three block radius of home because one of the great things about Toronto is that you can find everything you need in your own neighbourhood. However, go a little further and you can discover something new. There are a number of organized events happening over the coming weeks to help motivate you!
Did you take part in one of Jane’s Walks this past weekend? One of the best walks from last year was the Changing Landscape of Downtown Yonge, which would be great to repeat year after year because things are changing so rapidly. The Jane’s Walks are just one weekend per year, but they will be back in 2018. This is a series of citizen led walks in honour of urban sociologist Jane Jacobs. There are several dozen walks to choose from, all across the city.
I went on a number of these walks last year and the Royal Ontario Museum continues its guided tours this year from May 7 to October 22. These walks offer an amazing opportunity to explore neighbourhoods, historical sites and cemeteries from North York to the Waterfront with guides that know their stuff. Many tours are free and those that aren’t are $10, pretty reasonable for a two hour tour with a knowledgeable guide!
Heritage Toronto is leading 64 different tours between May and October on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Many are free, but for those they are suggesting a $10 donation. Upcoming tours include discovering The Ward, Riverside, Toronto architecture, North York’s Little Manila, Toronto’s Lost Breweries and Pride Outside the Village, LGBTQ+ Heritage.
City of Toronto
Prefer something self-guided? Check out the number of Discovery Walk tours on the City of Toronto’s website. You can learn about the green roof at City Hall, check out murals in Etobicoke, or learn about the rich history of Spadina Avenue.
Doors Open Toronto
Doors Open Toronto is taking place on May 27 and 28 this year. While it’s a great opportunity to explore Toronto and see buildings that aren’t normally open to the public, it’s just one of many options for discovering Toronto, whether you’ve moved here recently or have been here all your life! They don’t have walking tours per se, but visit the website and you can plot out a route to maximize your ime.
For something a little more specialized, there are a number of companies that offer tours in Toronto, such as Tasty Tours, which offers such options as Kensington Market Sweet and Savoury Food Tour (churros!) or Toronto’s Ultimate Chocolate Tour.
And of course, you can find hidden gems all on your own, just picking a neighbourhood and wandering!