Streetart in the Graffity Alley.

Toronto In A Day – A Stroll

Canada’s largest city definitely deserves more than a day’s visit time. But also in 24 hours the metropolis can be explored. Advantage: everything is within walking distance.

8:30: Start on Bloor Street
Out of the door of my accommodation, the Tartu College Student Residence, into life. The Bloor Street is a lively shopping street with many restaurants, (food) shops, hairdressers and Co. The audience is mostly young students. Therefore, there is not much going on here on an early Saturday morning. Anyway, the walk goes west to Brunswick Ave.

By the way: whose accommodation is not nearby, Spadina Station can be reached via tram 510 from Union Station.

Breakfast: Kensington Markets

Kensington is a colorful neighborhood - not just on this wall.
Kensington is a colorful neighborhood – not just on this wall.

Via Brunswick Ave – or one of the parallel roads – head towards Kensington Market. The lively district is popular with artists and tourists. Here are small, independent shops at home, there is a lot of street art and graffiti to look at. And: Hungry people have a wide choice of breakfast options. Whether pancakes with maple syrup or scrambled eggs with toast, potatoes and bacon – here’s everything.

My recommendation: Our Spot, 180 Baldwin Street.

Little Italy
The Augusta Ave to the north meets College Street after a short time. To the west, it leads directly to Little Italy. While red glowing maple trees stand on the streets elsewhere, cypresses have clearly brought in a bit of Italy into this part of the town. A pretty area worth exploring, whether it’s exclusively via Grace Street (turns south off College Street) or the many side streets.

Trinity Bellwoods Park
Grace Street ends at an angle on the left into Gore Vale Avenue. Which in turn is located directly on Trinity Bellwoods Park. A pretty green area for relaxing, walking or watching the many athletes playing sports.

At noon: Queen Street

Many small shops line up on Queen Street.
Many small shops line up on Queen Street.

Here comes my favorite part of the walk. At the end of the park, turn left onto Queen Street. So many nice little shops and restaurants. I could spend hours here and buy all kinds of nice things. But: my backpack is full. That’s why it stayed with window shopping. I was still full of breakfast and therefore delayed my lunch to later. But it makes sense to have something to eat here. The selection is great.

Graffiti Alley

The Graffiti Alley - here the street art is legal and attracts many tourists.
The Graffiti Alley – here the street art is legal and attracts many tourists.

A quick break on the Graffiti Alley is mandatory. Portland Street goes off to the right of Queen Street and from there it’s just left into the narrow alley. There is a special atmosphere here, dark, wicked, a bit musty – certainly not an area that I would visit at night. However, during the day there are a few tourists looking at the colorfully graffiti-painted walls. Toronto has a Graffiti Management Plan. Graffiti is strictly prohibited, but there is one exception for graffiti art (as opposed to illegal tagging) – as in Graffiti Alley.

CN Tower
The walk leads back to Queen Street to the east. If you like, you can turn right onto Adeleide Street to head for the CN Tower, Toronto’s landmark. I just looked at him from below because of a long line. However, it is possible to book tickets in advance. Scheduled tickets are available for $ 45 plus tax.

Gooderham Building

The Gooderham Building - one of the first buildings built in Toronto, then called York.
The Gooderham Building – one of the first buildings built in Toronto, then called York.

Continue along Adeleide Street east to Front Street, past Union Station. If you like, you can take a look inside. The architecture of the great hall is pretty. However, there is currently (as of June 2019) massive construction work going on, so there are currently many white construction site barriers. If you walk the Front Street further east, you will eventually reach the Gooderham Building. Attention: Anyone who comes from this direction does not recognize it immediately. Just pay attention to where the other photographing tourists are looking.

“In 1793, the first houses in the then newly founded York (former name of Toronto) were created in this district,” writes Wikipedia. The brick building is also known as the Flatiron Building, because it looks like an iron due to its pointed front.

Late afternoon: Distillery District

Street art is also available in the Distillery District.
Street art is also available in the Distillery District.

It goes now more and more to the east on the Front Street. Foodies can stroll on their way through the halls of St. Lawrence Market. Farmers from the extended region sell their own fruit and vegetables as well as meat and cheese from their own breeding and production.
If you haven’t had lunch yet, you should hold on for a while. Walk south via Trinity Street to the Distillery District. This is nice to look at because of its architecture and the brick buildings. There are also several breweries (tourist prizes) and smaller shops where visitors can purchase products from local artisans.

Recommendation: Arvo Coffee, 17 Gristmill Lane
Coffee lovers have a wide choice here. There are also freshly prepared, unusual bread creations.

Sugar Beach Park and Harbour Front

Pink parasols in Sugar Beach Park.
Pink parasols in Sugar Beach Park.

The southbound Parliament Street meets Queens Quay, across which walkers head west to the Harbour Front. The Sugar Beach Park with its pink parasols and white sand is on the way. Here is a an option for a break. If you continue, you will reach the Ferry Docks Terminal. From here, ferries transfer locals and tourists to the Toronto Islands. Departure is every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the season and time. A ticket including a return ticket costs $ 8.19. If you want to avoid the often long waiting times at the ferry terminal, walk back to the nearest berth near the Sugar Beach Park. There, smaller boats transfer to the island for $ 10. If you want to get back later with the small boats, you pay another $ 10. The ferry takes all passengers back for free.

Evening: Toronto Islands

From the Toronto Islands, visitors have a wonderful view of the metropolis.
From the Toronto Islands, visitors have a wonderful view of the metropolis.

The islands resemble a huge picnic area with amusement park, beach and attractions. From the shore, walkers have an indescribable view of the skyline of the metropolis. There is a restaurant that is more touristy. Smaller sausage stalls along the way offer freshly grilled meat. And there’s ice cream too. Here you can enjoy the last rays of sunshine before taking the ferry back to the mainland.

Walk in numbers
21 kilometers
34,336 steps

Recommendation:
Take good shoes and water in refillable bottles. There are water dispensers in many places in the city.

Public transportation:
There is a good network of buses, trams and subways. The payment of the tickets I found rather confusing. Visitors can buy a day ticket via the so-called presto card. Single trips are also possible. In modern streetcars, travelers pay at the vending machine at the stop. In old streetcars you have to pay the driver – the best fit, because there is no change. If you are changing from one streetcar to the next, you need a transfer ticket. Without again the full ticket price will be needed.

About Toronto:
– Capital of Ontario
– 2.8 million inhabitants
– the largest city in Canada
– economically it is Toronto looks good – also because of the banks.
– Toronto has about 250,000 immigrants per year. That makes the city beautiful multi-cultural.

Fun facts

  1. There are two seasons in Toronto: winter and construction time.
  2. The traffic on Torontos road and the highway is extremely high. There are many traffic jams every day. The administration has therefore launched “High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes”. On this lane, cars may only drive if there are at least two people inside. Carpooling is therefore very popular, because on the special track cars are always faster on the road. To get around the rules, some people come up, say, interesting ideas. Some drive their dogs for a walk and believe that they are in the car with two of them to use the fast lane. Others put rubber dolls on the passenger seat. Probably the oddest idea: A baby seat with a watermelon in a hat. 😀

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