Toronto's Waterfront Walking Tour, Toronto

Toronto's Waterfront Walking Tour (Self Guided), Toronto

It is more than obvious that the locals of Toronto, as well as visitors, cherish and admire the alluring views of Lake Ontario on the shores of which the city is located. 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.

At the heart of this waterfront area stands Queen's Quay Terminal, a historic building that now houses shops, restaurants, and offices. It's a great place to explore unique boutiques and enjoy a meal with a waterfront view.

The nearby Power Plant is an art gallery that exhibits contemporary art. This haven for art enthusiasts offers a diverse range of visual experiences throughout the year.

Those seeking a serene escape should not miss the Music Garden. Inspired by Bach's music, this botanical sanctuary harmoniously blends music and nature, creating a soothing oasis by the water.

A short walk away, you'll find Little Norway, a neighborhood steeped in history. It was once home to a Royal Norwegian Air Force training camp during World War II and today offers charming streets and green spaces.

Exhibition Place is another prominent spot on the waterfront, hosting a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. From the Canadian National Exhibition to international trade shows, it's a hub of activity and entertainment.

Ontario Place, just to the west, offers a unique blend of outdoor recreation and cultural experiences. Its waterfront park features trails, a marina, and even an IMAX theater, making it a perfect destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

You'll be pleasantly surprised just how dynamic a destination Toronto's waterfront is. If you're intrigued and can't wait to reveal all its pearls to yourself, then wait no more and use this self-guided walk to experience the allure of Toronto's waterfront now!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Toronto's Waterfront Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Toronto's Waterfront Walking Tour
Guide Location: Canada » Toronto (See other walking tours in Toronto)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Author: ann
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Queen's Quay Terminal
  • The Power Plant
  • Music Garden
  • Little Norway
  • Exhibition Place
  • Ontario Place
Queen's Quay Terminal

1) Queen's Quay Terminal

After touring the city’s museums, gasping in awe at the monuments and the city’s ace architecture, it is time to experience the best shopping experience that Toronto has to offer. Queen’s Quay Terminal, a cold storage warehouse built in 1926, is today one of the hottest destinations to shop in the city.

The art deco building that once served as a cold storage facility is now a premium shopping complex. Home to everything from exclusive boutique stores to regular and popular choice shops, the Queen’s Quay Terminal is your one stop destination for shopping in Toronto. If you are not too crazy about clothes, there are other things that might catch your eye. With art galleries and dance theater, the Queen’s Quay Terminal offers a unique shopping experience for one and all.

Browse through some of the most expensive pieces of art and craft and if you like it, you can even go home with it. And once you are done with all the roaming around and shopping, try out some of the best restaurants in the city, where you can have scrumptious snacks or, if you fancy, some of the best dining experiences in town. All this and much more at the Queen’s Quay Terminal.
The Power Plant

2) The Power Plant

The Power Plant is an unusual name for one of Toronto’s most beloved art gallery. If you admire art, especially contemporary work, the Power Plant is the place for you.

The gallery was first established in 1976 and was called the Art Gallery at Harbourfront, however, in 1987 it moved to an abandoned power plant. With its crude yet very real facade the Power Plant acted as a perfect home for the art gallery.

Celebrating modern and contemporary work is what the Power Plant is all about. The gallery offers upcoming local as well as international artists a platform to model their work and bring forth their talent to the world. What is amazing and ironically beautiful about the whole experience is that what houses the Gallery is a historical power plant that dates back to the early 1900s. The Power Plant Gallery thus comes as a unique culmination of a crude and old exterior with a young, vibrant and contemporary interior.

The Power Plant has displayed works of many famous names like Mike Kelley, Glenn Ligon, Adrian Piper, Francesco Vezzoli, Thomas Hirschhorn, Douglas Gordon, Rooney Graham, Geoffrey Farmer, Stan Douglas, Peter Doig, Janet Cardiff and many more. Apart from providing a media for artist expression, the Power Plant has also produced many ground breaking and award winning publications.
Music Garden

3) Music Garden

Unlike any other garden, the Music Garden infused with the spirit of music and essence of dance has the innate ability to inspire and touch the artist in its every visitor. It is a place where the young, old, creative and those looking for inspiration find solace. Built in an attempt to bring communities together and with the sole intention to offer a peaceful, serene hideout, the Music Garden is all this and much more.

The gardens are the pictorial representation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello. The gardens were a collaborated effort of world renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma and famous landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy along with contributions from several architects from the city’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department. Each section of the garden is an artistic representation of various contours of the suite in Bach’s compilations.

Amazingly inspiring, the Music Garden is one place that is nestled in the heart of the city but yet manages to steal its audiences away from the hustle-bustle of city life. The garden holds 45 minute guided tours on summer days, or you can also opt for the self-guided tour consisting of a 70 minute audio tour directed by Ma and Messervy.
Little Norway

4) Little Norway

In the year 1940, Norway was attacked and the King and the government’s dignitaries had to flee the country. However, they decided to fight for their freedom and after negotiations with Great Britain, a camp was set up near Toronto’s Island Airport later that year. Norwegians who escaped their homeland and volunteers from Canada signed up at this base and were trained with the help of the British forces. Norwegian training camps and military offices gave the region its name, Little Norway. Over 2000 personnel were trained and sent to fight alongside the British forces between 1940 and 1945. After the war, the Norwegians gifted the base a commemorative plaque which can be seen even today.

In 1986, the 2.36 hectare area was converted into a park. A flagpole and the plaque still remind the visitors the importance of the place in history. Today, the park is decorated with art installations and ornamented gardens. It also has a soccer pitch and a baseball diamond. The City also plans to install a splash pad at this park. The facilities being provided at this park also benefit the students of the nearby public school and community residents. Plans for a dog park are being discussed for the park too. A little piece of history and a little bit of fun, the park has both to offer to its visitors.
Exhibition Place

5) Exhibition Place

Toronto is a city unlike any other, brimming with captivating sights and enchanting sounds. It boasts enormous shopping malls and a wide array of entertainment options, ensuring there's something for everyone.

The Exhibition Place embodies a fusion of vintage charm, historical significance, and contemporary ideas. This remarkable venue showcases an unparalleled experience. Adorned with century-old monuments and structures, it attracts top-notch events, trade shows, and exhibitions to Toronto.

Spanning an impressive 192 acres of land, the Exhibition Place hosts over 100 shows annually, some of which have garnered global renown and enjoy a dedicated international following. Among the esteemed gatherings are the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Caribana Parade, Toronto International Boat Show, The Machine Tool Show, One of A Kind Craft Show, and the Canadian National Exhibition.

Beyond its exceptional fairs and exhibitions, the Exhibition Place boasts some of the city's most remarkable architectural gems. Notable among these is the Horticultural Building, constructed in 1907, along with the Fire House Tower, Princess Gates, and the Direct Energy Center—Canada's largest indoor exhibition space.

Why You Should Visit:
Always great rides, concessions, food, deals, new products, displays, and, most of all, an electric atmosphere.

Best to go early on the weekday and before 5:00 PM to avoid huge crowds.
Ontario Place

6) Ontario Place

Perched on the edge of Lake Ontario is one of the most happening places in the city, the Ontario Place. Entertaining locals and tourists since 1971, Ontario Place is perfect for a fun-filled weekend with family and friends.

This amazing seasonal waterfront park is spread across 96 acres of land boasting more than 30 mind-blowing rides and attractions. The fun-packed multiple entertainment themes of Ontario Place ensures something special for every visitor, whether it is riding the Bumper Boats, getting a thrill of your life with Free Fall, Soak City- Toronto’s most famous water-themed parks, Wilderness adventure rides, playing mini golf, eating at fancy restaurants or simply taking a long walk at the marina.

The Ontario Place also has the world’s first IMAX theater. Housed in the most spectacular geodesic dome, the IMAX has a single screen which is a whopping 6 stories tall. Here, you can enjoy the latest Hollywood releases along with educational programs and documentaries. Unlike the whole park, the theater is open year round, so even if you visit Toronto during winter, you could still visit the Ontario Place.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful views and the grounds are great for walking around.
There are various events/concerts being held and even some affordable fun activities for kids.

The Waterfront Night Market held in August has many delicious options!

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.
Cabbagetown Walking Tour

Cabbagetown Walking Tour

Once a small community of Irish immigrants east of downtown and one of the poorest neighborhoods in Toronto, Cabbagetown is also one of the city's oldest districts, established in 1840. In 2004, it was declared a historic district and presently claims to be "the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian housing in North America". Attesting to this claim are the picturesque...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Distillery District Walking Tour

Distillery District Walking Tour

Toronto's Distillery District is a trendy neighborhood and an architectural treasure dating back to 1859. Once the largest distillery in the British Empire, today this former industrial complex is a National Historic Site of Canada and a unique pocket of Victorian-era architecture, featuring the continent's best-preserved collection of cobblestone pathways and historic buildings housing...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Once an Anglo backwater, today's Toronto is the cultural and economic hub of English-speaking Canada. The city's architectural beauty is supplemented by its historical richness, with some of the buildings dating back as far as the late 18th century. This self-guided tour invites you to explore the most prominent structures making up the historic heritage of Toronto.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Toronto Introduction Walking Tour

Toronto Introduction Walking Tour

Sprawling on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, the capital of the Canadian province of Ontario, Toronto, is a major metropolis renowned for its dynamic pace and high-rising skyline, incorporating both ultra-modern skyscrapers and historic architecture.

The area of present-day Toronto has been inhabited for thousands of years. Its first known settlers – the Wyandot (or Huron) people –...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Toronto Islands Walking Tour

Toronto Islands Walking Tour

The Toronto Islands, otherwise simply known as “the Islands,” are a chain of islands in Lake Ontario, just off the coast of downtown Toronto. They include three major islands (namely: Centre Island, Algonquin or Sunfish Island, and Olympic Island) and several smaller ones. Collectively they are a great natural retreat set in a peaceful and joyful environment, which, apart from the panoramic...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles

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