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Walking tours in Toronto

I LOVE to walk so I plan on doing a lot of it while I'm in Toronto this year. Can someone recommend either neighborhoods or great streets that would be good for walking? I'm a big fan of just walking around taking pictures of interesting architecture so if there are areas where the architecture is really exceptional I would love to know about them. 

6 Answers

answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

You'll love Toronto.  It's a playground for photographers with interesting architecture both old and new and a fantastic collection of random art placed throughout the city.

Old Town is my favorite district of Toronto.  It encompasses the original 10 blocks of the city and contains a wealth of historical brick buildings and churches including the famous St. Lawrence Market, the Toronto's First Post Office, and the St. James Cathedral Centre.  Walking north on Church St. past the cathedral, you'll find some amazing walls of graffiti as well, or you can peruse the market area and enjoy one of the many outdoor cafes.

In stark contrast to the old historical center is a vertical forest of glassy skyscrapers that reflect the sky, the lake, and each other.  I love the capturing the angles of the buildings and the reflections in the glass.  Walk along Front St. or Wellington St. from Old Town towards the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  Along the way you'll see many skyscapers.  Turn right just past the MTCC and you'll find yourself at the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre which are both architecturally beautiful. You can go to the top of the CN Tower for panaramic views of the city and islands.

Though Centre Island is more park than city, it's a relaxing place to walk or bicycle.  Take the ferry from the Toronto Island Ferry Docks and begin your explore around what are actually six islands across from Waterfront Toronto. Look for the Lighthouse that dates from 1808 or stroll through the quiet residential district with narrow canals, stone bridges, and boats of all kinds.  One of the best things about going to Centre Island is coming back.  From here, you'll get the most amazing view of the Toronto skyline.  Come back at night and enjoy the city of lights.  It's absolutely beautiful.

This is just a place to start.  One of the greatest things about Toronto is its diversity which you'll find in the people, food, and architecture throughout it's many districts and neighborhoods.  Food and bike tours are a great place to begin to explore even more of Toronto's neighborhoods.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. St. Lawrence Market (restaurant)
  2. Toronto's First Post Office (attraction)
  3. Rogers Centre (attraction)
  4. Toronto (attraction)
  5. Waterfront Toronto (attraction)
  6. St. James Cathedral Centre (attraction)
  7. Metro Toronto Convention Centre (attraction)
  8. Centre Island (attraction)
  9. Toronto Island Ferry Docks (attraction)
  10. Lighthouse (attraction)
  11. CN Tower (attraction)
11 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Melissa from St. John's, Newfoundland

I always enjoy a stroll down Queen Street West popping into shops that look interesting or grabbing a coffee from a small indie cafe. If you're looking for something colourful to photograph, check out Graffiti Alley west of Spadina, south of Queen.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Queen Street West (neighborhood)
  2. Graffiti Alley (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Teresa from San Antonio

I just came back from a week in Toronto and it was my first time there! It is a fabulous city that is perfect for walking.  I also like to walk and explore neighborhoods and the city on my own.  I stayed at The Clarence Park hostel and it was walking distance to most everything.  The metro/subway system is also wonderful and I used it as well.  Queens Quay on the waterfront was one of my favorite walks.  Toronto Music Garden is there and its great for exploring and pictures--SO beautiful.  A local lady I met there told me that High Park is also fantastic and I needed to go there.  Unfortunately, I was on my last day when I met her and didn't have time.  The  Distillery District is another great place to walk.   Evergreen Brick Works Farmers Market was one of my favorite places.  It is also easily accessible with a free shuttle from Broadview station till 7 pm.  There are LOTS of trails to explore and a great cafe and gift shop.  You can even rent a bike there and explore on wheels.  If you want more city life,  Yonge and Dundas Square is like a mini NYC/Times Square.  Walking from my hostel at the west end of Wellington to the east end provided lots of great little architectural photo spots.  The city has done an amazing job with creating little art pieces everywhere.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Distillery District (attraction)
  2. Evergreen Brick Works Farmers Market (restaurant)
  3. Yonge and Dundas Square (attraction)
  4. High Park (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Annemarie from New York City

I really like Parkdale. It's a recovering neighborhood with a huge foodie scene. If you like Asian food, there's a ton of options from the very diverse population, like Bacchus Roti Shop and Bernard's Filipino Specialties where you can find the best roasted pork outside of the Philipines. Both very unasuming and authentic places, too.

If you prefer sitdown service, Grand Electric and Electric Mud BBQ are barbecue and taco spots by some of the best homegrown chefs Toronto has to offer, and Keriwa Cafe mixes Canadian Siksika tribe ingredients with Pacific cooking skills. Very cool spot. A lot of shopping in this neighborhood, too, as well as Breweries like The Rhino which makes it's own in-house lager.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bacchus Roti Shop (restaurant)
  2. Bernard's Filipino Specialties (attraction)
  3. Grand Electric (restaurant)
  4. Electric Mud BBQ (restaurant)
  5. Keriwa Cafe (restaurant)
  6. The Rhino (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Mein from Toronto

Here’s a listing of some Guided Walking tours available:

Heritage Toronto Walks offer some paid and some PWYC walks

High Park is located in the west-end of the city with easy access by subway from High Park station.  Free Sunday walks on the 1st and 3rd Sundays 10:30am-12noon

ROM walks Sundays at 2:00pm or Wed at 6:00PM

Explore Yonge Street’s Music History With Free Summer Walking Tour (not sure if this is available each year)

Frommers listing of Self-Guided Tours: (not sure how accurate store locations are) But you may be interested in just visiting some of the locations separately

Just in case anyone is interested in a Toyota Plant Tour they can rent a car and head out to Cambridge ON (a little more than 1HR drive from Toronto, but you can continue to visit the St. Jacobs Market to grab a bite

 Paid walking tours:

Ghost Tours, True Crime and Punishment Tours, History Tours, etc.

1 thanks

answered by
Brad from Toronto

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Omni King Edward Hotel (hotel)
  2. Brookfield Place Parking (attraction)
  3. Union Station (attraction)
  4. Canadian Broadcasting Centre (attraction)
  5. Steam Whistle Brewing (attraction)
  6. CN Tower (attraction)
1 thanks

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