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Toronto Introduction Walk II (Self Guided), Toronto

Toronto, the capital of Ontario, is a major Canadian metropolis on the shore of Lake Ontario renowned for its dynamic pace and a high-rising skyline comprising ultra-modern skyscrapers and historic architecture. The city boasts rich cultural scene and a multitude of green spaces, offering a wealth of entertainment and recreational facilities. To learn more about and enjoy the delights of Toronto, follow this orientation walk!
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Toronto Introduction Walk II Map

Guide Name: Toronto Introduction Walk II
Guide Location: Canada » Toronto (See other walking tours in Toronto)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Author: alice
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Yonge-Dundas Square
  • Trinity Square
  • Toronto New City Hall
  • Eaton Centre
  • Hudson's Bay Company
  • Old City Hall
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Brookfield Place
  • Hockey Hall of Fame
  • St. Lawrence Market
  • St. James Anglican Cathedral
  • Toronto Sculpture Garden
Yonge-Dundas Square

1) Yonge-Dundas Square (must see)

No place can get you closer to the spirit of the city of Toronto than the Yonge- Dundas Square. Filled with entertainment, energy and life, the Yonge-Dundas Square is the heart of the city’s cultural pedestal. Opposite the Eaton Center is Toronto’s community hub that attracts both tourist and locals on a very large scale.

Bringing together people from all walks of life, the Square hosts celebrations, theatrical events, musicals, movies and concerts. Buzzing with life and activity, the Dundas Square is always in motion and is brimming with life and energy.

Opened in 2002, the Yonge-Dundas Square was designed in context to the hip and happening city of Toronto. It boasts of a chic urban design and the Square stands at a slight incline which was made on purpose to facilitate a theatrical feel to the complex.

Why You Should Visit:
The most photographed spot in Toronto! Canada's Times Square with lots of events happening. Easy access to Path, Eaton center and tons of awesome food.
Good meeting point to go off shopping and sightseeing around Toronto, and the ideal place to enjoy some activity in the day or quite in late night.

If you just want to drop in for a quick look-see, rest assured that getting out is as easy as hopping the subway right at this very corner inside the Eaton Centre.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Trinity Square

2) Trinity Square (must see)

The Trinity Square located in downtown Toronto and is accessed via James Street or by walkways from Bay Street and Dundas Street. It is surrounded by the Eaton Center, Bell Trinity Square and Marriott Downtown Eaton Center Hotel. 

The owner of the site of the Square, John Simcoe Macaulay sold the site in 1845 and made way for the construction of the Church of the Holy Trinity, which stands even today as the Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity. The area around the Church was called Eaton's Annex and was home to a 10-floor house furnishing building constructed in 1919. The building was brought down by the fire of 1970 and the original design for construction of the Eaton Center threatened the existence of the Church too. Successful protests then changed the original design of the Eaton Center to the way it stands on the site today.

The Square is decorated with granite, concrete blocks and trees planted along the walkways. The Toronto Public Labyrinth is adjacent to the Church and is constructed on similar lines as the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France. An artificial stream flows alongside the walkway to Bay Street where two lanterns rest of large blue columns and act as an entrance to the Square.

Why You Should Visit:
Oasis in the heart of the city; a great place to relax downtown.

The Old City Hall is located just south of the Square and also deserves a visit.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Toronto New City Hall

3) Toronto New City Hall

Another architectural landmark in the city of Toronto is the New City Hall. Photographed by many, and a common symbol of Toronto, the New City Hall manages to stand out as a unique structure portraying originality and sophistication in the city’s landscape.

The New City Hall was designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell, who was awarded the project after an international competition that drew in over 500 designs from more than 42 nations worldwide. The competition initially underwent grave criticism and ran into controversy over not allowing a Canadian to design the City Hall. However, the resultant of that competition gave Toronto one of its finest structures, which till this very day is a popular symbol for the state.

The construction of the building took 4 years and by 1964, the two towers were completed. The project was completed in collaboration with Heikki Castren, Bengt Lundsten and Seppo Valjus who according to Revell were not credited enough for their contribution. The Toronto New City Hall was Revell’s only design outside Finland, which he is most known for. Unfortunately the mastermind behind the spectacular design did not live to see his magnum opus completed.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Eaton Centre

4) Eaton Centre (must see)

If you love to shop, Toronto is the place for you; it has a variety of what can be called, some of the best places to go crazy shopping.

The city can provide every visitor his/her definition of the ‘best shopping day ever’ and all shopping destinations are perfectly compatible with the visitor’s budget. However, the shopping experience in Toronto does not end there; you haven’t seen it all till you have visited the Eaton Centre. Literally a-shop-till-you-drop venue, the Eaton Centre in Downtown Toronto is the largest shopping mall in Eastern Canada and the third largest in the country.

This colossal shopping complex is anchored between the Queen Street, Dundas Street, and Yonge Street. With more than 230 retail outlets, restaurants and services, the Eaton Centre has definitely got something for everyone. With an area of 160,000 square meters, Toronto’s premier shopping destination has high-end boutiques, exclusive stores and spas, popular universal brands and even bargain marts. With a massive visitor count of over a million every week, the Eaton Centre has become a regular entry on every tourist’s list.

Why You Should Visit:
Pretty much a place you can go to to find anything, from clothing to mobile services to an Apple or Microsoft Store.
The mall is connected to multiple subway stations and has exit doors to every street surrounding it.

The food court is very nice and diversified.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am-9:30pm; Sat: 9:30am-9:30pm; Sun: 10am-7pm
Hudson's Bay Company

5) Hudson's Bay Company

Located in downtown Toronto, Hudson's Bay Company Store focuses on fashionable and stylish clothes for both men and women. However they do have other goods as well so basically you can buy everything under a single roof. The store is commonly known as the Bay and is the oldest commercial corporation in North America.
Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 9:30 am - 9 pm; Sunday: 10 am - 7 pm.
Old City Hall

6) Old City Hall (must see)

Located on the corner of Queen and Bay Street is one of the city’s architectural treasures, the Old City Hall. Grand in its demeanor and elegant in its stance, the Old City Hall was once the crowning jewel of the budding city of Toronto.

It is no secret that a lot of pain, effort, time and not to forget money went into the making of this building. By the end of 1880, the city of Toronto had expanded beyond the range of the existent municipal authority. So another building was commissioned for construction which would act as a courthouse along with being the City Hall. Prominent Toronto based architect Edward James Lennox, was bestowed with the responsibility of constructing the New City Hall. With high expectations from his designs, it took Lennox three years to come up with an acceptable design!

The construction of the building started no sooner. It is believed that work on the City Hall started in 1889 and it took 10 years for the building to be finished. The end result was surely worth the wait. A magnificent City Hall built to perfection in Romanesque Revival architecture, more accurately known as Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. The Building also boasts a 300 feet Big Ben that weighs 5,443 kg.

Why You Should Visit:
While the exterior is magnificent for its old charm and clock tower, there are still some interior details to see and appreciate – from the grand staircase with stained glass window depicting Canadian history to the various murals and statues...

Make sure to visit the small 'lake' closeby, as many of the pictures you might know from Toronto are taken from this place while facing the "TORONTO" sign.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

7) Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (French: Banque Canadienne Impériale de Commerce), commonly CIBC, is one of Canada's chartered banks, fifth largest by deposits. The bank is headquartered at Commerce Court in Toronto, Ontario. The bank's two strategic business units, CIBC World Markets and CIBC Retail Markets, also have international operations in the United States, the Caribbean, Asia and the United Kingdom. Globally, CIBC serves more than eleven million clients, and has over 40,000 employees. The 34-storied Building was built in 1931 by famous architects York and Sawyer. The structure was made in a Romanesque style and impresses everybody that watches or enters it. Big lobbies, decorations made of iron, all of them are most fascinating.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Brookfield Place

8) Brookfield Place (must see)

Toronto’s architectural landscape is a perfect blend of the old and the new. Showcasing some stunning cutting-edge modern designs and monuments of the past, it is indeed a breathtaking sight to see both the extremes make up the perfect skyline of the city. Brookfield Place is one such site. A visit to this place is a must if you do not want to miss out on any fascinating structure of Toronto.

The Brookfield Place comprises of two contemporary towers, the Bay Wellington Tower and the TD Canada Trust Tower, which took form in 1990 and 1991 respectively. The 49 storied, Bay Wellington was designed by architects Bregman and Hamann while the 53 stories of Canada Trust Tower were designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. However, the real treat is the Allen Lambert Galleria, a six-storied high pedestrian atrium designed by the famous Santiago Calatrava.

Although the architectural element is what drives people towards this stunning building, visiting Brookfield Place has an added advantage – it has some of the best shopping stores in town. Ranging from high-end boutiques to casual and popular brands, you are bound to enjoy the Brookfield Place one way or the other. The complex also boasts some of the best restaurants in town and if you are in a mood for some fine dining experience, Brookfield Place is the place to be.

Why You Should Visit:
The more you look at the structure, the more you are mesmerized with the design.
Great photo opportunity, especially when it is sunny out. The light passes through the top of the arches and it is somewhat reminiscent of European cathedrals.
The office complex does not have many stores but it does have a large food court located on the lower concourse and several excellent restaurants for all budgets.

Keep an eye out for the annual holiday lighting ceremony!

Operating Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-8pm; Sun: 12-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hockey Hall of Fame

9) Hockey Hall of Fame (must see)

The people of Toronto take their sport very seriously especially when it comes to their much-loved game, Hockey. And no visit to Toronto is complete without getting a glimpse of this fascinating sport and being part of the thrill. What better way to do this than tour the Hockey Hall of Fame! The museum is dedicated to the history of ice hockey and proudly displays the achievements and accolades won by the teams and their players.

First established in 1943, the Hockey Hall of Fame is the result of the tireless efforts of James Thomas Sutherland, a national ice hockey player, coach, administrator and an ardent sports developer and supporter. He is fondly remembered as the Father of Hockey. Located at the corner of Front and Yonge Streets and spread over an area of 57,000 square feet, the Hall of Fame is divided into 15 exhibits. The Museum displays cups, trophies, memorabilia as well as equipment and jerseys worn by famous hockey personalities. Apart from that, get insights and read biographies of members of the Hall of Fame and browse through portraits and photographs of players. The Museum also has some fun interactive exhibits where you can try your hand at taking real pucks as well as play goaltender.

Why You Should Visit:
For an entry fee of $20 (the average cost of most entry fees in Toronto), you get room after room of memorabilia from years gone by until the past year.
This place has it all from NHL to international hockey. Also, a great shop to get team apparel. The interactive games are a real hit with the kids.

For $10 plus tax you can have your photo taken with the Stanley Cup – they will print out 3 photos and you also receive a digital copy.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm; Sat: 9:30am-6pm; Sun: 10:30am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Lawrence Market

10) St. Lawrence Market (must see)

Established on 1803, St. Lawrence Market is owned by the City of Toronto and is the nerve centre for commercial and administrative activity for the city. The market is located between Jarvis, Front, King and Church streets, the former industrial area of the city. It is the largest market in the city and is open five days a week, Tuesday to Saturday.

The South Market houses the daily sale of fresh fruits and vegetables along with dairy and meat products. Freshly baked goods are available here all day and so are non-food items. Since its establishment, on Saturdays the market has been the point of sale for the producers of southern Ontario right from 5 in the morning. Sundays bring antique dealers to the North market from dawn to 5 in the evening. The Market Gallery on the second floor of the South Market has an exhibition area available for rent for cultural purposes of the city. Often, the 10,000 sq. ft. of the North Market houses exhibitions, displays, meetings and social gatherings. St. Lawrence Hall runs retail businesses and is the location of the administrative offices of the City of Toronto.

A small pub just outside the market has something to offer if you are hungry or want to sit down for a drink. The market also holds special and creative events for your pet dog or street performances at selected times of the year. So do check out this fun-filled market on your visit to Toronto.

Why You Should Visit:
The choice of fishmongers, butchers, deli meats & cheese and produce vendors reigns supreme, but vegan options are plentiful as well.
The atmosphere is amazing with so many different cultures of people spending their time with family picking out their food.

Make sure to have a good walk around before you decide on one place – there are lots of good options.
If you're traveling through, try to go early in your week so if you buy something you want to eat later you have time.

Operating Hours:
Tue-Thu: 8am-6pm; Fri: 8am-7pm; Sat: 5am-5pm
St. James Anglican Cathedral

11) St. James Anglican Cathedral

One of the most enthralling churches in Toronto is the St. James Cathedral. Not only does the facade of the Church make it captivating but it is also the story that comes along with the Cathedral.

The Cathedral is home to the oldest congregation in the city of Toronto, which was established in 1797. Apart from that, the St. James Cathedral also serves as the spiritual center of the St. Lawrence neighborhood. One of the most treasured heritage sites in Toronto; the Cathedral also serves as the episcopal seat of the Anglican Church of Canada's Diocese of Toronto.

Built in the mid-19th century, the St. James Cathedral boasts a magnificent Gothic Revival style of architecture. Designed by Frederick William Cumberland, the St. James Cathedral gets spectators from far and wide to admire the sheer beauty of the building. The structure flaunts a wonderful harmony of proportions and grandeur. With its white brick and sandstone exterior the structure conspicuously stands out in contrast to its surrounding landscape. Along with its exteriors the insides of the Cathedral are also equally breath taking. The architectural elements include high raised ceiling, ribbed vaults and pointed arched lights that brighten the interiors with natural light making it a magnificent sight in the day.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Toronto Sculpture Garden

12) Toronto Sculpture Garden

At the heart of every art lover, there exists an art critic and the best place to nurture that side is at a set up that is not too formal like a museum or a gallery but somewhere in between. So, scrutinize some of the most stunning works of upcoming artists and works of world renowned sculptors in an unconventional set up at the Toronto Sculpture Garden. Located just opposite the most stunning, Cathedral Church of St. James, the Toronto Sculpture Garden is the perfect place if you are in the mood for something modern and contemporary art.

Ever since its inception in 1981, the Garden has served as a canvas for many struggling sculptors and artists and encouraged learners and amateur artists to display their work. The Garden boasts of a long list of artists who have showcased their talent to the world via the establishment. Some of names include Susan Schelle, Stacey Spiegel, Brian Scott, Mark Gomes, John McKinnon etc.

The establishment of Toronto Sculpture Garden was a unique collaborative effort of a civil as well as a private organization. Today, the Garden is managed by the city of Toronto as well as the Louis L. Odette family, who run a non-profit organization to fund the exhibits.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Toronto, Canada

Create Your Own Walk in Toronto

Create Your Own Walk in Toronto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Toronto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Religious Heart of Toronto Walking Tour

Religious Heart of Toronto Walking Tour

Because it is an ethnically diverse city, Toronto has different types of churches beginning with imposing Revival style Cathedrals to small postmodernist churches.This tour however aims to introduce you to some of the most famous religious structures in the city. While in Toronto be sure to check the ones listed below.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Downtown Nightlife

Downtown Nightlife

An international hub and major metropolis, Toronto is also an important cultural center in Canada and North America. Seeing a large influx of tourists throughout the year, Toronto features a vibrant nightlife scene chock full of clubs, bars, restaurants, and lounges in the thriving Entertainment District located in the heart of the city and in outlying areas as well. Take this Toronto Nightlife...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Cabbagetown Walking Tour

Cabbagetown Walking Tour

This neighborhood, located east of Toronto's downtown, was established in 1840. Once a small community of Irish immigrants and one of the poorest neighborhoods in Toronto, Cabbagetown was declared a historic district in 2004 and claims to be "the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian housing in North America". Check out the highlights of this region, as listed below.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Toronto's Historic Walking Tour

Toronto's Historic Walking Tour

Once an Anglo backwater, Toronto represents today the cultural and economic heart of English-speaking Canada. It is not only a beautiful city, but also has a rich history dating back to 1793. This tour invites you to explore, at your own leisure, the heritage of Toronto. Don't miss visiting its most exciting and representative sights, as listed below.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Toronto Introduction Walk I

Toronto Introduction Walk I

Toronto, the capital of Ontario, is a major Canadian metropolis on the shore of Lake Ontario renowned for its dynamic pace and a high-rising skyline comprising ultra-modern skyscrapers and historic architecture. The city boasts rich cultural scene and a multitude of green spaces, offering a wealth of entertainment and recreational facilities. To learn more about and enjoy the delights of Toronto,...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Toronto's Waterfront Self-guided Tour

Toronto's Waterfront Self-guided Tour

Toronto is located on the shore of Lake Ontario and it is more than obvious that the locals, as well as visitors to the city, cherish and admire the alluring views of the lake. Toronto's waterfront is one of the most picturesque places for walking, but it is also a great destination for those in search of entertainment. This walking tour will reveal all the pearls strewn along the quay....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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Traveler's Guide to Toronto: 15 Authentic Canadian Products to Bring Home

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