Heritage Toronto Tours

Our neighbourhood heritage walking tour program was introduced in 1994 to provide residents and visitors with an opportunity to learn about the heritage and architecture of the city. All tours are researched, designed, and led by local historians, community groups, and professionals who volunteer their time and energy.

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Photo credit Anthony Sladden

 

Whether you’re interested in learning more about Toronto’s architecture, exploring natural heritage or hearing stories of our diverse city and its past, we’ve got a Heritage Toronto tour for you!

 

 

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We are now accepting applications for 2017 Tours.  Click here for more information.

 

  

2016 Tours Program 

This year is our 22nd year of exploring Toronto through walking tours, and our fourth year of bike, bus and enhanced (formerly “boutique”) tours. Heritage Toronto Tours run from the end of April until early October so there’s plenty of time to catch as many of our fun and informative tours as you’d like. Bring a water bottle, wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather – tours go rain or shine!

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Photo credit Denise McMullin

This year we are inviting everyone to pre-register for our tours through our website.

Pre-registration will guarantee you a spot on the tour, give you access to added material, and keep you connected with Heritage Toronto. If a tour you registered for must be cancelled, you will receive an email. Someone will also show up at the tour’s starting point to let you know.

Share your tours experience on social media using #HTtours and tell everyone what you thought about our tours on our Yelp and Tripadvisor pages! ENJOY!

To download our full Tours brochure as a PDF, click here.

 

Full List of 2016 Tours 

 

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Explore Toronto’s heritage from the comfort of a bus! Get on board for a ride with our expert tour guides. You’ll hear stories you will want to tell everyone about!

Toronto Transect: History Along the 501 Queen Line – Bus Tour (June 12)

Modern TO – Bus Tour (September 24)

 

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DONATIONS OF $5 – $10 ENCOURAGED 
Heritage Toronto is able to offer our pay-what-you-can walking tours to you through the considerable time and effort of staff and volunteers.     There will be a collection after the tour or you can pay your donation online at the time of registration.

 Lawrence Park walk (April 24)

Workers’ History of Spadina walk (May 1)

From Standard Time to Stem Cells: The Discovery District walk (May 7)

The Layers of Kensington Market (May 15)

Music History on the Yonge Street Strip walk (May 19 / June 5 / July 14 / July 24 / August 4 /August 18 / August 21 / September 1)

Hidden Treasures of North Rosedale walk (May 22)

Yonge Street Architecture walk (June 4 / June 16 / July 7 / August 7 / September 11 / September 22)

Layers of Thorncliffe Park walk (June 11)

Riot and Redemption: The Troubled Times of William Lyon Mackenzie walk (June 11)

Neighbourhood Movie Theatres walk (June 26)

“True North Strong And Free:” Canadian Citizenship In Toronto walk (July 1 @ 10:30am; @ 1:30pm / July 2 @ 10:30am; @1:30pm / October 15 / October 16)

Living and Working with Animals in Toronto walk (July 9)

Thistletown walk (July 16)

James Ellis: Architect of the Junction walk (July 17)

Leslieville: Orange and Green walk (July 23)

Guild Park walk (July 31)

West Don Lands: From Manufacturing to Medals walk (English-only on August 6, English and French on August 20)

Sports and Recreation Along Humber Bay walk (August 13)

When the Beatles Rocked Toronto walk (August 13 / August 20)

Fools Paradise: A View from the Scarborough Bluffs walk (August 14)

More Than Bricks And Mortar (Another Look At Weston Village’s Architecture) walk (September 10)

Giant Oaks of the Beaches walk (September 18)

A Window into the Garden District walk (September 18)

Atop Davenport Hill in the 1920s walk (September 25)

A Veritable Treasure Trove: The High Park Neighbourhood walk (October 1)

Toronto’s Mayors: From Muddy York to Megacity walk (October 2)

Creating Toronto – in Spanish ( October 16 / October 23)

 

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In addition to our regular pay-what-you-can walking tours, Heritage Toronto offers Enhanced Walking Tours. These are ideal for those who prefer to join a small group of roughly 20 people for a more intimate tour experience. They all have some kin, which will be listed in the descriptions when you click the links below:

Yorkville Music Scene walk (April 30 / June 23)

Lost Breweries of Old Toronto walk (May 12 /June 19 /August 27 / September 15)

Toronto’s First Chinatown: A Step Back in Time (May 14)

Migration, Food, and Identity in North York’s Little Manila (May 21)

Pride Walks: Discovering Toronto’s LGBTQ Heritage
Part One: Church-Wellesley Village (June 18)

Pride Walks: Discovering Toronto’s LGBTQ Heritage
Part Two: King, Queen And Yonge Streets (June 25)

A Glimpse Of The Ward: Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood (July 10 / September 17)

Creating Toronto: The Story of the City in Seven Stops (July 28)

 

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Hop on your bike and join our knowledgeable guides on a leisurely ride through Toronto history. Heritage Toronto partners with the Community Bicycle Network to deliver these tours!

Bring your own bike, or visit their website if you need to rent a bike for $25/day + tax.

The Forts of Toronto bike tour (September 24)

 

Heritage Toronto is pleased to be partnering with the Toronto Ward Museum and Culinaria at the University of Toronto Scarborough for the series Dishing Up Toronto this June. Run outside of our regular tours program, these affiliate tours showcase personal and cultural stories of newcomers through the shared experience of food.

Balikbayan Renaissance: KAIN NA! Filipino Food Tour (June 22)

A Wok in Chinatown: History and Migration Stories Inspired by Food (June 22)

A Taste of Ramadhan (June 25)

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Private Tours & Talks

Heritage Toronto also offers a selection of its tours to private groups.  You can download the Private Tour Booking and Information form here.  For more information about booking a private tour or to inquire about Heritage Toronto delivering an illustrated talk or presentation please call 416-338-2175.

Private Tours on offer for 2016:

CREATING TORONTO: The story of Toronto in Seven Stops

In seven brief stops at some of the city’s most celebrated sites, this tour will give you a “big picture” overview of Toronto’s history.

Chinatown: Then and Now

Experience the energy of Toronto’s largest Chinatown as you walk Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street, learning about the community’s remarkable contribution to Toronto’s cultural and economic vibrancy.

Boys of Harbord Collegiate and the Great War

Follow the true stories of five Harbord students as they enlisted, fought in the trenches, and died or returned home.

THE Mansions of Jarvis Street

By the 1880s, Jarvis Street had become one of the most fashionable streets in Toronto. Hear about some of the prominent Torontonians connected to the street and the grand homes in which they lived.

Digital Tours

Heritage Toronto also offer self guided Digital Tours: Our Toronto in Time app and iTours are a convenient way to discover our city’s history.

Toronto in Time is a free mobile app for iOS and Android that highlights the history of Toronto through “then and now” photos, slideshows, trails, and historical stories for more than 150 sites!

Meet a cast of characters that includes inventors, musicians, entrepreneurs, bank robbers, artists, visionaries and dreamers who paint the rich portrait of Toronto’s history.

Search stories by theme, neighbourhood, map, or follow specially curated trails. Read introductions to themes and trails and share stories with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Suggest story ideas for future upgrades on the Toronto in Time Facebook page.

Download Toronto in Time from the App Store.
Download Toronto in Time from the Google Play store.

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iTours visit areas of the city that are difficult to traverse with larger groups of people, and are a convenient way to discover our city’s history. Featuring archival photographs, iTours take you on a photographic journey of the people, places and events that have shaped Toronto. You can watch individual iTours by clicking below:

Islington Village iTour
Don Mills iTour
Toronto Island iTour
Spadina iTour

Audio Tour

Audio tour based on Michael Redhill’s novel, Consolation narrated by the author.