Discover Toronto for free with ROMwalks 2011

Enjoy guided walking tours of Toronto’s architecture and history

Lace up your walking shoes and discover the architecture, history and stories of Toronto through ROMwalks, a series of free guided walking tours of the city. Every year, from May through September, tour leaders from the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Department of Museum Volunteers guide the public through some of the city’s most distinctive neighbourhoods, visiting Toronto landmarks and illuminating their architectural and historical significance.

The 2011 ROMwalks series kicks off on Sunday, May 1 at 2 pm starting with Danforth, which highlights Prince Edward Viaduct, Danforth Music Hall, Carrot Commons and Riverdale Park.

Launched in 1980, ROMwalks are one of the best ways to get to know the city for tourists and locals alike. Ten different walks will be featured this year, most offered several times during this ROMwalks season. Two of the walks are also offered in French – Necropolis and ROM & its Neighbours. In addition, there will be two ROMwalks PLUS - St. James’ Cemetery $10 per person) on Sunday August 28, and Sacred Stones & Steeples, Sunday September 18 ($30 per person). ROMwalk Plus tickets must be reserved in advance.

All ROMwalks take place Sundays at 2 pm and Wednesdays at 6 pm and last one and a half to two hours. Look for the blue ROM umbrella at the starting point of each walk. A complete schedule of ROMwalks with meeting points and highlights is provided below. Tours are free to the public and registration is not required except for private group walks and ROMwalks PLUS walks. Please call 416.586.8097 or visit for a ROMwalks brochure and additional information.

ROMwalks 2011 at a glance

All ROMwalks are free and no reservations needed, except for ROMwalk Plus walks


Meet at Parliament & Spruce Streets

Highlights: Victorian houses, Former Trinity College Medical School, Riverdale Park, The Necropolis, Wellesley Park.

TTC Access: 506 Carlton Streetcar/College Streetcar


Meet at Danforth and Cambridge Ave.

Highlights: Prince Edward Viaduct, Danforth Music Hall, Playter Farmhouse, Carrot Common, Early 20th Century Churches, Owen Staples House, Riverdale Park.

TTC Access: Broadview Station subway stop

Entertainment District

Meet at King and Simcoe Streets

Highlights: St. Andrew's Church, Roy Thomson Hall, Royal Alexandra & Princess of Wales Theatres, Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), Metro Toronto Convention Centre, CN Tower.

TTC Access: St. Andrew subway stop

Heart of Toronto: Builders of the City

Meet at the front doors of New City Hall

Highlights: Osgoode Hall, Old and New City Halls, Simpson Building, Eaton Centre, Bell Trinity Square, and Church of the Holy Trinity.

TTC Access: Osgoode or Queen subway stops

Jarvis Street: Mansions & Churches of the Rich & Religious

Meet at Bloor and Church Streets

Highlights: St. Paul’s Church,Victorian houses including Massey House, Jarvis Collegiate, Allan Gardens, Jarvis St. Baptist Church.

TTC Access: Bloor/Young subway stop

The Necropolis

Meet at the Necropolis Chapel, 200 Winchester St.

Highlights: Graves of William Lyon Mackenzie, Peter Matthews and Samuel Lount, Ned Hanlon, George Brown, Thornton Blackburn, Joseph Bloore.

TTC Access: 506 Carlton Streetcar/College Streetcar


Meet in front of Parkdale Public Library, 1303 Queen St. W.

Highlights: St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Masaryk Hall, Home of Mazo de la Roche, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Melbourne Mews.

TTC Access: 501 Queen St Streetcar

Queen’s Park Circle: Politics, Profs and Pundits

Meet at the front steps of the Ontario Legislature

Highlights: the Provincial Legislative building; memorials to Ontario’s history; historic homes on the east side of the Crescent and the campuses of St. Michael’s and Victoria Universities and the statue of the Crucified Woman.

TTC Access: Queen's Park subway station

ROM and its Neighbours

Meet in front of the ROM’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal on Bloor St.

Highlights: Royal Ontario Museum, Church of the Redeemer, Royal Conservatory of Music, Taddle Creek, Flavelle House, Gardiner Museum.

TTC Access: Museum or St. George subway stops

Whiskey, Wharf and Windmill

Meet at King and Trinity Streets

Highlights: the historic Distillery District, Little Trinity Church, Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, Consumers’ Gas Building.

TTC Access: 504 King Streetcar

ROMwalks PLUS:

Support the ROMwalks program by taking in one of two special fundraising ROMwalk Plus and have the chance to win a one year ROM Membership or ROM day pass. Tickets must be reserved in advance by calling 416.586.5799.

St. James’ Cemetery

Sunday August 28, 2:00 PM

Highlights: chapel of St. James-the-Less and the burial plots of some of York and Toronto’s most prominent citizens including members of the Gooderham, Austin, Osler and Cawthra families and many other notable and notorious residents who had an impact on our city.

Sacred Stones and Steeples

Sunday September 18, 2:00 PM

Highlights: Sacred buildings from Christian & other faiths, including St. James’ Cathedral, Metropolitan United Church, St. Michael’s Cathedral, St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church. Will also include delicious food made by the ladies of St. George's Greek Orthodox Church.

Private Group Walks:

Private group walks are available year round by special request for clubs, community groups, visitors and families. Group walks are $10 per person with a minimum of ten people. Please call 416.586.8097 for more information.