Heritage Toronto is about to kick off another season—their 20th—of walking tours throughout our city, and the second in which they have also offered bike and bus tours. The first tours of the year start as of Saturday, April 26. Gary Miedema, Chief Historian and Associate Director at Heritage Toronto wants people to know that "Heritage Toronto's tours are a wonderful way to get out, explore, and get to know this city. Our tour leaders and volunteers take you on a journey, from neighbourhoods to tourist landmarks, from exploring the heritage of Toronto's many cultural groups to touring our amazing river valleys. This year, we are running 64 unique tours, more than ever before. There is something for everyone."
Heritage Toronto's tour program now includes boutique walking tours—which offer a more intimate experience with a smaller group size—and special walking tours designed for children and their families.
Highlights of the 2014 season include:
Asian Heritage Month walking tours: with the support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Heritage Toronto presents tours throughout May of Korea Town, Gerrard India Bazaar, Old Chinatown and the Filipino history of St. James Town.
"Creating Toronto: The Story of the City in Ten Stops" walking tour: this is an excellent tour for residents playing host to out-of-towners, those who have just moved to the city, and tourists looking to get a tour of Old Town Toronto. Visit Toronto landmarks and hear inspiring stories about the people who built Toronto. Tours run every Thursday starting at 6:30pm from July 10 to August 28.
"Pride Walk: Discovering Toronto’s LGBTQ Heritage" walking tour: in conjunction with World Pride, Heritage Toronto and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives offer a tour of Toronto's LGBTQ history. Tours run daily from June 21 to June 26.
A music lover's paradise: Toronto's rich music history is highlighted by Nicholas Jennings, one of Canada's most respected music journalists, with two returning favourites. He will present last year's popular Yorkville Music Scene of the 1960s boutique walking tour as well as the Music on the Yonge Street Strip boutique walking tour several times this season.
"Before Toronto: An Archaeological Bus Tour of Our City's First 13,000 Years": on June 14, climb aboard a chartered bus with archaeologist Dr. Ronald F. Williamson and discover Toronto’s rich Aboriginal history through visits to some of our city’s most significant sites of past archaeological digs. Take this rare opportunity to stand where Aboriginal villages once flourished, hundreds of years before contact with Europeans, and come to understand the city’s complex pre-colonial past.
"The Don Valley: Todmorden Mills to Lake Ontario" bike tour: on June 28 and September 21, bike the lower Don Valley with historian Jennifer Bonnell and explore the rich human and natural history of one of Toronto's great rivers.
Tours range in difficulty so that those with different levels of mobility can attend a tour that is accessible for them.
Many of the walking tours are free and do not require pre-registration, but donations are encouraged at the end of each tour. All bike tours, bus tours and boutique walking tours require pre-payment and pre-registration.
From family adventures on our children's tours, to singles looking for fun date ideas, to tourists wanting to see our great city, Heritage Toronto's tours are invaluable for anyone interested in exploring the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest city in North America.
Click here for a digital version of this season's Heritage Toronto Tours brochure which lists all tour dates, times and descriptions.
Heritage Toronto thanks the TD Bank Group, Tours Sponsor, for making the program possible.