Check Out Toronto’s Popular Local Walking Tours
“The true traveler is he who goes on foot, and even then, he sits down a lot of the time.” Colette, “Paris from My Window”
Truer words have never been spoken. There is no better way of seeing the sights and attractions of a new place than by walking around to see these yourself, instead of taking a car or a bus and being shuttled from destination to destination. This article takes a look at some of the most popular walking tours in Toronto.
What’s so great about Toronto’s walking tours?
Toronto is a melting pot of cultures, where East meets West to create a perfect blend of cultures that is uniquely Toronto’s own. Walking tours will allow you to get an up close and personal look at the best of what the city can offer, from the delicious food to the architecture and other attractions that Toronto can offer.
Sights to see in Toronto’s walking tours
Toronto has so much to offer to the visitors of the city, which is why travel agencies and the city itself have organized different kinds of walking tours to appeal to the different interests of tourists. These walking tours include:
- Haunted tours. If you want to add a creepy touch to your vacation, you can join one of the walking tours that take visitors to the most haunted attractions of Toronto. Places to visit include the most haunted building in the University of Toronto, the clock tower of Old City Hall (which comes complete with gargoyles!) and the vaudeville theatre (where the creepiness is more than just an act!) Be sure to bring your digital cameras with you when you visit these sites, especially since you may just end up capturing more than just the beautiful architecture of these places. These walking tours are definitely not for the faint of heart.
- Food tours. A cultural experience isn’t complete without good food, which is why Toronto also offers a wide variety of food tours to satisfy your appetite for both cuisine and culture. Some of the food that you can try out include those from Asia (including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine), Europe (French and English bakeries and cafes shouldnt be missed!), and Latin America.
- Waterfront tours. The Toronto waterfront is the city’s gateway to the rest of the world, and it has recently been developed to offer more sights and attractions to tourists. Some of the attractions you can see there include parks, promenades, and boardwalks. Local events are also held in that area, so there’s a good chance that you will also be able to catch festivals, boat and bike races, and other such activities if you go there.
On a related note, some travel companies also offer walking tours of Toronto’s waterways. Most of the attractions in these tours are related to the urban development of the city.
- Historical tours. If you’re a history buff, be sure to join one of the walking tours that take a look at the places that have played significant roles in the culture and history of Toronto. These tours also include a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum.
- Literary tours. Bookworms should definitely not miss the literary walking tours of Toronto. Some attractions include the sites visited by Charles Dickens during his stay there, the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery (L.M. Montgomery), the author of Anne of Green Gables.
- Films and TV tours. If films and TV shows are more your thing, don’t worry, because there are also walking tours designed for you. There are walking tours that have been designed to bring you to the sites where television shows and movies, such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, have been filmed in the city.
- Chinatown. A walking tour of Chinatown can easily take up one whole day, given the numerous attractions of the area. Some sites to see there include Dragon City Mall, which features the best of Asian fashion and technology, as well as the numerous restaurants and historical sites in the area.
- Downtown tour. There are also walking tours that have been designed for those who want to check out the city, which includes trips to the local malls.
What about budget?
If you’re worried about budget, don’t be, because there are some organizations that offer free walking tours to tourists who want to experience more than just typical tourist fare. For example, Royal Ontario Museum volunteers offer free walking tours from May to October to visitors who want to explore the art, architecture, and history of the city.
Alternatively, you can also design your own walking tour if you don’t want to join one of the professionally-organized groups. One way you can do so is to follow the Discovery Walk routes, which are markers made by the city for those who want to check out the attractions of Toronto on foot. The route will take visitors through eleven neighborhoods in Toronto. You can also download a map or a guide online that you can follow so you can check out the best of what the city has to offer. Some sites that you shouldn’t miss include:
- The entertainment district. The entertainment district, which starts at the corner of King and John, features the theaters, restaurants, and other similar establishments for those who want to check out the classy attractions of Toronto.
- St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Even non-Presbyterians will definitely not want to miss seeing this church, with its beautiful Scottish Romanesque Revival architecture.
- St. James Cathedral. St James Cathedral is the first Anglican church in Toronto. It has the highest steeple in the country.
- Dominion Centre. The Dominion Centre is comprised of five skyscrapers, with the Toronto Dominion Tower, the first International Style skyscraper that was designed in the city, at its center.
- National Club Building. This Neo-Georgian building holds a special place in the hearts of Canadian patriots, as this serves as a monument to the Canada First movement, which prevented the country’s merging with the United States.
These are only some of the walking tours options you can choose from when you visit Toronto. When you visit the city, be sure to do your research beforehand so you can plan out what routes to take or what tours to join so you can best experience the richness of the culture and history of Toronto.