Heritage Toronto launches its 2018 tours

May 3, 2018 (Toronto, Ontario)Heritage Toronto is pleased to announce the launch of its 2018 Tours program sponsored by TD Bank Group. This year, we walk Toronto’s waterfront, hike through ravines, and explore over 88 acres of Toronto’s parkland. Tours also explore the city’s rapidly changing neighbourhoods, share the invisible histories of well-known locations, and ask what we can learn from Torontonians, past and present.

“By walking together, we share our experiences and our hopes for our city,” says Allison Bain, Executive Director of Heritage Toronto. “This year, our tours highlight our natural heritage—the landscape that defines Toronto and makes it a livable city.”

For the first time, the 2018 Tours program features the work of emerging historians, part of a new program to build the next wave of Toronto’s city builders. With the support of our 2018 Emerging Historians Sponsors, six students and young professionals have been partnered with experienced tour leaders to create new walking tours.

Running from Thursday, May 3 until Saturday, October 6, the 2018 program features 61 tours. Our first tour kicks off tonight at 6:30 PM and features Toronto’s oldest neighbourhood:

  • CREATING TORONTO: THE STORY OF A CITY: Dive into the city’s history as we bridge the past with the present. The tour explores the historic St. Lawrence area, offering insight into the city’s evolution through the neighbourhood’s most captivating, yet little-known stories.

May 3, July 14, August 9, August 23, September 8, or September 20

DYK: The stylish King Edward Hotel sits at the location of Toronto’s first jail and hanging yard, The Old Log Gaol. Toronto’s first execution took place here in 1798.

Other tours include:

  • ARCHITECTURE OF A NEIGHBOURHOOD: DOWNTOWN YONGE: Explore the area surrounding Toronto’s iconic Yonge Street, and the rich architectural diversity of hidden gems tucked away in the side streets, laneways, and the spaces between.
    May 10, June 28, July 22, August 4, September 9, or October 6

DYK: Until the 1920s, Massey Hall was the only building in Canada designed expressly for musical performances and had an original capacity of 3500.

  • A SHORE THING: TORONTO’S CENTRAL WATERFRONT:  Walk on the water side and visit notable harbourfront landmarks, like the Toronto Harbour Commission Building, the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, Harbourfront Centre, Ireland Park, and Billy Bishop Airport.

May 13, July 7, August 16, or September 6

*Tour sponsor

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DYK: Billy Bishop Airport was previously the site of an amusement park and stadium, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ minor league baseball team.  In 1914, the legendary Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run here—for an opposing team.

  • GUILD PARK: WHERE ART MEETS NATURE: Explore the history of Guild Park, the natural beauty of the Scarborough Bluffs, and the Monument Walk—a path through specially commissioned sculptures and architectural fragments from historic Toronto buildings.

July 8 or August 12

DYK: Despite its name, the Greek Theatre is actually constructed of marble columns and arches saved from the downtown Bank of Toronto (1912-1965), which was demolished and replaced by the modern TD Centre.

  • WELCOME TO KOREATOWN: Get an in-depth look at how Koreatown has developed, and learn about the first Korean immigrants who came to Toronto, the experiences of the community today, and the role of arts, cuisine, and entrepreneurship.

June 14 or August 11

*Tour sponsor

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DYK: In 1948, Tae-yong Whang, a mission-sponsored medical student, became the first permanent Korean immigrant in Canada, setting a precedent that many Korean students later followed.

Click here for a digital version of this season’s Tours brochure which lists all tour dates, times, and descriptions. The suggested donation for walking tours is $10 per person. Participants can register for all tours at www.heritagetoronto.org.

Heritage Toronto thanks the generous sponsors who have made the 2018 Tours Program possible: TD Bank Group, Downtown Yonge BIA, Ports Toronto,CUPE Local 416, Camrost Felcorp, Bloor-Yorkville BIA, Liberty Village BIA, Ontario Association of Architects, St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association,Toronto City Planning, and Westbank.

— Lucy Di Pietro