Toronto’s historic buildings and gorgeous cathedrals earned it the nickname “City of Churches” in the 1800s. Artist communities and corporate skyscrapers have filled in the spaces in between, meaning Toronto now houses plenty of undiscovered spots for the groundbreaking traceur to christen.
Check out one of these tours to find them and learn a little about good ol’ T.O. along the way.
When: June 30 and July 21 at 2 p.m.
Duration: 90 minutes to two hours.
Starting point: Adelaide Street (just east of George Street)
Description: Step back in history to a time before Toronto. Walk the historic boundaries of the Town of York, before it became the city we now know and love. This Royal Ontario Museum-led tour takes a look at the War of 1812, when the British (with the help of indigenous Canadians) fought against an American invasion, allowing Canada to develop into an independent nation.
When: July 7 and Sept. 15 at 2 p.m.
Duration: 90 minutes to two hours
Starting point: Davenport Road and Bathurst Street
Description: Walk one of Toronto’s “best-kept secret” neighborhoods. Wychwood is home to windy, big-treed streets and 19th century artists. A collection of Arts-and-Crafts-style houses, an anti-industrial romantic folkstyle (think Hansel and Gretel, minus the cannibalism), includes work by famous Toronto architect Eden Smith. Don’t miss the nearly 200-year-old Toll Keeper’s Cottage, believed to be the only surviving early tollhouse in Canada.
When: Every Saturday afternoon until Oct. 6 at 1:30 p.m.
Duration: Two hours
Starting point: Near Queen Street West and Bay Street
Description: What traceur doesn’t love a good tower? After the construction of City Hall finished in 1965, Toronto’s banks started a height race, trying to one-up each other to erect the city’s tallest buildings. Condos and hotels joined the fray later, pushing the skyline ever upward. The Toronto Society of Architects’ tour stops at several of the most iconic, offering some high-altitude inspiration to bring back to your training.