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13 Beautiful Toronto Parks to check out

13 Toronto Parks

Are you planning a trip to Toronto? It’s a beautiful city to visit in any season, for its architecture and its many parks. While developing our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt and our Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt, we identified many beautiful Toronto parks worthy of your time.

We’ve limited our list to the downtown core and harbourfront areas, where our scavenger hunts are located.

13 Toronto Parks

  1. Nathan Phillips Square City HallNathan Phillips Square
    • It was named in honor of Nathan Phillips, Mayor of Toronto from 1955 to 1962, was unveiled in 1965. The body of water to your right becomes a skating rink in winter. You can also see here free concerts, a weekly public market, and other events at various times of the year.
    • More recently, the giant sign with the word Toronto was added. It is the perfect place for a tourist selfie.
  2. Yonge-Dundas Square
    • This Toronto intersection is often called Toronto’s Times Square because of the many bright posters that can be seen all around the Square.
    • You’ll regularly see here exhibitions, concerts, and festivals.
  3. Cloud GardenCloud Gardens
    • Cloud Gardens extends on Richmond south to Temperance Street and is not very big. This park makes use of all surfaces to present trees and plants, as well as a waterfall.
    • Here you will also find monuments honoring the construction workers of Toronto.
  4. Berczy ParkBerczy Park.
    • There are a few quirky art installations in this small park between Wellington and Front. The main being a large fountain at its center which features wrought iron cats and dogs, of natural size.
    • William Berczy was an architect who worked with John Graves Simcoe, the first Governor of Upper Canada, during the founding of York. York became Toronto in the broader sense. Yet remains a municipality within it, you are in it now. East York is east of here, and further east is Scarborough. To the north is North York, and to the west, no it’s not West York, it is Etobicoke.
  5. Iles de TorontoToronto Islands
    • The Toronto Islands are comprised of Center Island, Mugg Island, Ward’s Island and 9 smaller islands.
    • You can get to Hanlan’s Point, Center Island, and Ward’s Island from a terminal at the base of the Westin Harbor Castle Hotel to your left. Ward’s Island is by far the largest. The spikes you see on the left and right are the ends of Ward’s Island. All the other islands are in front of it.
    • The Toronto Islands Airport, or Billy Bishop Airport which is its real name, is located on the west side of Ward’s Island. It is accessible by a dedicated ferry and tunnel on your right.
    • On Center Island is the Centerville Amusement Park. There’s a large marina on Mugg’s Island. Hanlan’s Point Beach is on the western section of Ward’s Island, near the Airport. There are other beaches around the islands.
  6. Canada Square
    • Canada Square is a public space where exclusively metasequoia trees are planted. It is located in Toronto’s Harbourfront area.
    • Metasequoia is a type of red-conifer that grows rapidly. However, it is a species in danger of disappearing.
  7. Ontario Square
    • Ontario Square is another park, next to Canada Square where you will find 500 aspens around an open space with benches.
  8. Ann Tindal ParkAnn Tindal Park
    • Ann Tindal Park, west of Canada Square and Ontario Square, is a large open field sporting fake turf for easy maintenance and a better year-round appeal.
  9. Roundhouse Park1Roundhouse Park
    • Roundhouse Park is a large open space where you will find the Toronto Railway Museum and the Steam Whistle Brewery. It is also across the street from the CN Tower, the Toronto Convention Center and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.
  10. Bobby Rosenfeld Park
    • A space in front of the CN Tower, next to Rogers Center, is called Bobbie Rosenfeld Park. Its focal point in a large cascading fountain. It honors the Canadian athlete who won gold in the 400-meter relay at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.
    • Bobby was born in Russia in 1904, but her parents immigrated to Canada shortly after she was born.
  11. Isabella Valancy Crawford Park with Rogers Centre in backgroundIsabella Valancy Crawford Park
    • Isabella Crawford (1846-1887), a poet and novelist, is honored by a small park next to the CN Tower on Front Street. She is considered the first great Canadian poet.
  12. Simcoe ParkSimcoe Park
    • Simcoe Park faces the Metro Toronto Convention Center on Front Street. It is bordered by the Ritz-Carlton Toronto Hotel.
    • It commemorates Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe who spent his first winter in a tent near here in the village of York in 1793.
    • An aluminum structure is at the back of the park, shaped like a mountain, designed by British Artist Anish Kapoor.
  13. David Pecaut Square
    • David Pecaut Square is north of Simcoe Park, between Roy Thomson Hall (east), the Royal Alexandra Theatre (north) and Metro Hall (west)

We invite you to try our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt or Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt. They are 2-3 hours each, self-guided walking tours that you do with your smartphone (how it works). You’ll come across most of these parks and much more. Moreover, you’ll enjoy solving the various challenges at each step of the way while learning the history of Toronto.

They each cost $35 for a group of up to 6 persons. There is an Explorer version of the Old Toronto scavenger hunt available for $45 – it’s longer and has more challenges.

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11 Toronto film locations

11 Toronto film locations

Are you planning a trip to Toronto? It’s a beautiful city to visit in any season, for its architecture and its many parks. While developing Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt and our Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt, we identified several Toronto film locations you might recognize.

We’ve limited our list to the downtown core and harbourfront areas, where our scavenger hunts are located.

11 Toronto film locations

  1. Nathan Phillips Square City HallToronto City Hall
    • Toronto City Hall’s distinctive look has attracted many a film director’s eyes over the years.
    • A few films shot scenes in front of this original building, including Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Red (2010), The Tuxedo (2002), The Sentinel (2006) and The Kidnapping of the President (1980).
    • Also, Devon Corporation building in the animated series Pokémon was inspired.
  2. Osgoode HallOsgoode Hall
    • Located west of Nathan Phillips Square, Osgood Hall is home to the Toronto Municipal Court.
    • The movie Chicago (2002) shot scenes here.
  3. Yonge-Dundas Square
    • Starting at Yonge-Dundas square and southwards on Yonge St, were shot the car chase scene between Batman and the Joker, in Suicide Squad (2016)
  4. Massey HallMassey Hall
    • It is a music concert hall. It opened in 1894 and was, with the Eaton Auditorium, the only 2 places to listen to a classical music concert in Toronto before 1982.
    • In The Umbrella Academy (2019) on Netflix, Massey Hall is the concert hall where number seven plays her violin.
  5. Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Center
    • The Elgin and Winter Garden Theater is a 2-balcony theater that features musicals, movie premieres and concerts. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) uses this place among its theaters every year.
    • Chicago (2002), The Shape of Water (2017), and Camilla (1994), all shot important scenes here.
  6. Fairmont Royal York
    • The Royal York Hotel was designed by Ross and Macdonald for the Canadian Pacific in 1929.
    • Cinderella Man shot scenes here in 2005.
  7. Union StationUnion Station
    • Opposite the Royal York is Union Station, built between 1914 and 1920, in the Beaux-Arts style, during the First World War. It was the Prince of Wales, Prince Edward, who officially opened it to the public in 1927.
    • Chicago (2002), and Cosmopolis (2012) both shot scenes here.
  8. Gardiner Expressway
    • Some films have chosen to shoot scenes under this elevated highway which runs the length of the downtown core between it and harbourfront. They do so for its “concrete” decor, among which are Total Recall (2012) and Crash (2004).
  9. Roy Thomson HallRoy Thomson Hall
    • Roy Thomson Hall is the home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. This concert hall originated in 1982.
    • X-Men (2000) the film that started a franchise of movies that are still coming out to this day, shot some of its opening scenes between Professor Xavier and Magneto here.
  10. TD Center
    • TD Center at 100 Wellington is a group of 6 towers that are very beautiful to admire as a group. It was built in 1969.
    • In 2000, American Psycho filmed several scenes here between TD Center towers.
  11. Toronto Casa LomaCasa Loma
    • This Gothic Revival mansion is located in York, north of the downtown core. It was built in 1914 for Sir Henry Pellatt as his home.
    • Casa Loma serves as a popular film location. Many films and television shows have shot here including: X-Men (2000) as Professor X’s School for Gifted Children, Strange Brew (1983), Chicago (2002), Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010), The Tuxedo (2002), The Pacifier (2005) and more recently the series Titans (2018) where it is Wayne Manor.

 

We invite you to try our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt or Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt. They are 2-3 hours each, self-guided walking tours that you do with your smartphone (how it works). You’ll come across most of these film locations and much more. Moreover, you’ll enjoy solving the various challenges at each step of the way while learning the history of Toronto.

They each cost $35 for a group of up to 6 persons. There is an Explorer version of the Old Toronto scavenger hunt available for $45 – it’s longer and has more challenges.

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10 other Toronto museums to discover

10 more Toronto museums

Are you planning a trip to Toronto? It’s a beautiful city to visit in any season, for its architecture and its many parks. While developing our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt and our Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt, we identified many Toronto museums. Many which were either just, or well outside the areas of our scavenger hunts.

We previously covered 7 museums where our scavenger hunts are located. Here are 10 more museums that are worth your time.

10 other Toronto museums to discover

  1. Royal Ontario Museum
    • The ROM, located on Bloor near Yonge is a very large museum with multiple exhibits from dinosaurs to wildlife photography and first people’s art & culture.
  2. Toronto Casa LomaCasa Loma
    • This Gothic Revival mansion is located in York, north of the downtown core. It was built in 1914 for Sir Henry Pellatt as his home.
    • The city seized the estate in 1924 due to unpaid taxes. It was then leased in 1937 to the Kiwanis Club of West Toronto who operated it until 2011 as a tourist attraction.
    • It was massively restored between 1997 and 2012. Liberty Entertainment Group now operates the Casa Loma. They’ve since opened the Blueblook Steakhouse on the property.
  3. Toronto Police Museum and Discovery Center
    • The Toronto Police Museum occupies 3000 square feet in the atrium of Police Headquarters on Carleton St. near Yonge.
  4. Fort York
    • Fort York is a national historic site and landmark from the War of 1812.
  5. Ontario Science Center
    • Ontario Science Center is a hands-on museum on multiple levels touching on all sciences.
  6. Gibson House Museum
    • The Gibson House Museum is located north of the 401 in North York. It presents the historic farmhouse of Toronto’s early surveyors.
  7. Spadina Museum
    • The Spadina Museum is a heritage home where you can relive the 1920s and 30s through its Victorian-Edwardian décor and garden.
  8. Scarborough Museum
    • The Scarborough Museum is located northeast of the city in Thomson Memorial Park. You’ll see here the history of this area from its early settlement to its recent developments.
  9. Black Creek Pioneer Village
    • This pioneer village is located near the intersection of highway’s 407 and 400 in the north of Toronto.
    • You’ll see here a 1800s era village with period buildings, artifacts, and guides.
  10. Aga Khan Museum
    • The Aga Khan Museum is located in North York and presents Islamic and Iranian art.

We invite you to try our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt or Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt. They are 2-3 hours each, self-guided walking tours that you do with your smartphone (how it works). You’ll come across museums we presented earlier and much more. Moreover, you’ll enjoy solving the various challenges at each step of the way while learning the history of Toronto.

They each cost $35 for a group of up to 6 persons. There is an Explorer version of the Old Toronto scavenger hunt available for $45 – it’s longer and has more challenges.

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12 iconic Toronto buildings you need to see

12 iconic Toronto buildings

Are you planning a trip to Toronto? It’s a beautiful city to visit in any season, for its architecture and its many parks. While developing our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt and our Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt, we identified many iconic Toronto buildings.

We’ve limited our list to the downtown core and harbourfront areas, where our scavenger hunts are located.

12 iconic Toronto buildings

  1. CN TowerCN Tower
    • The CN Tower is 553 meters high. At its observation level, there is a glass floor and a revolving restaurant with panoramic views of the city and Lake Ontario. At the nacelle (the 2nd ball), you can see Rochester, NY, on the other side of Lake Ontario, when the weather permits.
    • It was built in 1976 by the Canadian National Railway on land it already owned. You will see on the other side of the tower the many railway lines that run along Lake Ontario. It consists mainly of concrete and serves telecommunications purposes.
    • It was the tallest man-made structure in the world from 1975 (during construction) to 2007. At that time, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai passed it. Then, in 2009, the Canton Tower (Guangzhou Tower) in China exceeded both. Today it is the 9th tallest structure in the world and the highest in the Americas.
    • Going up to the observation level and the nacelle is $ 53 per adult. There are many packages including the Aquarium and other attractions.
  2. Old City Hall TorontoOld City Hall
    • Built-in 1899 in the Romanesque style, it housed city hall between 1899 and 1966.
    • Its distinguishing point is definitely its clock tower, but also its gargoyles and numerous sculptures. The interior rooms show a lot of wood works, as well as stained glass windows showing the origins of the city.
    • Today, courts of justice occupy this building. Its main entrance is on Queen Street.
  3. Toronto City HallCity Hall
    • Toronto’s City Hall is a rather distinctive building, not to say unique.
    • It was opened in 1965 and can be visited.
  4. Fairmont Royal York
    • The Royal York Hotel was designed by Ross and Macdonald for the Canadian Pacific in 1929. Like many other hotels built by the CP in the early 20th century, it is across the street from the city’s main railway station, Union Station here. The initial strategy was to encourage rail tourism with easy access to hotels and restaurants – this was prior to air travel.
    • It was built in the Chateau style, like its sister hotels in Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City. It was a popular style at the beginning of the last century. The Royal York was for one year the tallest building in the British Empire. In 1930, the CIBC building on King Street surpassed it.
  5. Queens ParkQueen’s Park
    • Queen’s Park is the name of the Legislative Assembly, or Parliament, of Ontario. It is located on University Avenue and can be visited.
  6. Casa Loma
    • This Gothic Revival mansion is located in York, north of the downtown core. It was built in 1914 for Sir Henry Pellatt as his home.
    • The city seized the estate in 1924 due to unpaid taxes. It was then leased in 1937 to the Kiwanis Club of West Toronto who operated it until 2011 as a tourist attraction.
    • It was massively restored between 1997 and 2012. Liberty Entertainment Group now operates the Casa Loma. They’ve since opened the Blueblook Steakhouse on the property.
  7. Hockey Hall of FameHockey Hall of Fame
    • This Hockey Museum features all the legends of the NHL, as well as its long history. This is where you can see the Stanley Cup most of the time.
    • The Stanley Cup was named for Lord Stanley of Preston, Governor General of Canada in 1892 when it first appeared at the Dominion (Canada) Hockey Challenge.
    • The Hall of Fame was originally founded in Kingston, Ontario, in 1943. The first to be honored was in 1945. It moved to Toronto in 1958 at Exhibition Place, to the west of here. Then to this historic Bank of Montreal building in 1993. Female hockey players have also been included since 2010.
  8. Union StationUnion Station
    • Opposite the Royal York is Union Station, built between 1914 and 1920, in the Beaux-Arts style, during the First World War. It was the Prince of Wales, Prince Edward, who officially opened it to the public in 1927. The prime ministers of Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as several other dignitaries of the time, were present.
    • It’s actually 3rd Union Station in Toronto. The first opened in 1858. It was a few blocks west of here. The second was built on the same site as the first in 1873. The CP began using it in 1896. The 1904 Great Toronto Fire destroyed the area south of Front Street, east of this 2nd Union Station and therefore did not touch it. So, they bought this land after the fire and plans for a third train station began to take shape.
    • Today, Union Station hosts VIA Rail and Amtrak trains, as well as GO Transit commuter trains and a metro station below it. A GO Transit bus station is located nearby.
  9. Scotiabank Arena
    • The Scotiabank Arena is the arena where the Toronto Maple Leafs play in the NHL, as well as the Raptors in the NBA. Most major concerts happen here as well.
    • This building is better known by its previous name, the Air Canada Center (1999-2018). The name changed on July 1, 2018.
  10. Rogers CenterRogers Center
    • Rogers Center is the home of the Toronto Blue Jays, the only Canadian team in Major League Baseball. This stadium has a retractable roof, and regularly hosts music concerts.
    • It was launched in 1989 under the name SkyDome before Rogers bought the rights in 2005. Previously the Blue Jays played at the CNE show stage in the west of downtown. The Raptors (NBA) played here from 1995 until 1999, before the Air Canada Center was built. The Argonauts (CFL) also played here from 1989 until 2015. They got their own stadium, BMO Field, in 2016.
  11. Royal Ontario Museum
    • The ROM, located on Bloor near Yonge is a very large museum with multiple exhibits from dinosaurs to wildlife photography and first people’s art & culture.
    • The ROM is unique in its exterior design that’s all angles on a grand scale.
  12. Gooderham BuildingGooderham Building
    • The Gooderham Building on Front Street is near the St-Lawrence Market and shaped like a flatiron.
    • Built in 1892, this building is part of a limited club of triangular buildings in Toronto, New York and elsewhere in America. You’ll certainly notice the large trompe l’oeil on its back when you approached it.

We invite you to try our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt or Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt. They are 2-3 hours each, self-guided walking tours that you do with your smartphone (how it works). You’ll come across most of these buildings and much more. Moreover, you’ll enjoy solving the various challenges at each step of the way while learning the history of Toronto.

They each cost $35 for a group of up to 6 persons. There is an Explorer version of the Old Toronto scavenger hunt available for $45 – it’s longer and has more challenges.

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7 Toronto museums to discover

7 Toronto museums to discover

Are you planning a trip to Toronto? It’s a beautiful city to visit in any season, for its architecture and its many parks. While developing our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt and our Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt, we identified many Toronto museums.

We’ve limited our list to the downtown core and harbourfront areas, where our scavenger hunts are located.

7 Toronto museums to discover

  1.  Hockey Hall of FameHockey Hall of Fame
    • This Hockey Museum features all the legends of the NHL, as well as its long history. This is where you can see the Stanley Cup most of the time.
    • The Stanley Cup was named for Lord Stanley of Preston, Governor General of Canada in 1892 when it first appeared at the Dominion (Canada) Hockey Challenge.
    • The Hall of Fame was originally founded in Kingston, Ontario, in 1943. The first to be honored was in 1945. It moved to Toronto in 1958 at Exhibition Place, to the west of here. Then to this historic Bank of Montreal building in 1993. Female hockey players have also been included since 2010.

    Canadian Textile Museum

  2. Canadian Textile Museum
    • Textile Museum of Canada is where you will see historic fabrics and explanations of their production methods.
    • It is located on Center Avenue, just south of Dundas.
  3. Campbell House Museum
    • It is the oldest house (manor house) in the former village of York built in 1822. It was the residence of Judge William Campbell, his wife, and children. This is a fine example of Georgian architecture (also known as the Palladian style).
    • It is located at the north-west corner of University Avenue and Queen Street.
    • You can visit it every day except Mondays for $ 10.
  4. TRoundhouse Parkoronto Railway Museum
    • The Toronto Railway Museum, in Roundhouse Park, across the street from the CN Tower, is both an open air, and indoors, museum where you can see and learn all about Canada’s railway system and history.
  5. AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario
    • The Art Gallery of Ontario boasts a huge collection of Canadian artists, as well as some European masterworks.
  6. Mackenzie House
    • Located on Bond Street, this is the 19th century home of former prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie.
  7. ripley's aquarium of CanadaRipley’s Aquarium of Canada
    • Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is next to the CN Tower. Here you’ll find over 20,000 aquatic animals from all over the globe here. This attraction opened in 2013. Admission is $ 35 per adult.

We invite you to try our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt or Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt. They are 2-3 hours each, self-guided walking tours that you do with your smartphone (how it works). You’ll come across most of these museums and much more. Moreover, you’ll enjoy solving the various challenges at each step of the way while learning the history of Toronto.

They each cost $35 for a group of up to 6 persons. There is an Explorer version of the Old Toronto scavenger hunt available for $45 – it’s longer and has more challenges.