Every time you turn a corner in Toronto, you discover another venerable stone building resplendent with arches, turrets, gables, or statues perched in a niche. Some are nestled between the encroaching skyscrapers of the banking district, others sit proudly on their original estate. The heritage houses, churches, government and university buildings, even the industrial areas, are still brimming with rich history – all have fascinating stories to tell of life in Toronto’s past.
If you want to learn more about the history of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, come for a free ROMwalk with us! Every year, enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers lead award-winning tours of various areas throughout Toronto. Discover the hidden secrets of Philosopher’s Walk which links the ROM to the University of Toronto, or the area around Queen’s Park, just south of the ROM.
This year’s tours include Sacred Stones and Steeples1, which focuses on the churches that give Church Street its name. The Toronto Necropolis Cemetery walk and the St. James Cemetery1 tour highlight the lives of people who put Toronto on the map such as William Lyon Mackenzie and Joseph Bloore. For those who are more interested in the history of the downtown core, ROMwalks visits the Entertainment District highlighting St. Andrew’s Church, Roy Thomson Hall, several theatres, the new Bell Lightbox, and the CN Tower. The Heart of Toronto Walk focuses on the area around City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square, including the architecture of the Eaton Centre, and ends at the Church of the Holy Trinity.
Several of the tours visit former farmlands and smaller communities that have been incorporated into Toronto over the years such as Parkdale, the Danforth, and Cabbagetown. Whiskey Wharf and Windmill explores the Distillery District, a former industrial area of the city that has, even within recent memory, transformed into a thriving area full of artist studios and brewpubs. A refreshing pint on a patio would be the perfect end to this walk!
ROMwalks are scheduled, rain or shine, every Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening through the end of September.
1 This tour is a fundraiser for ROMwalks and has an associated fee.