International travel restrictions along with domestic public health regulations have put a damper on many tourism-based industries in Toronto, affecting hotels, bars, restaurants, major attractions, and many more businesses across the region. As the economic and entertainment centre for a metropolitan area home to six million, the City of Toronto is now making the push to draw in local and regional visitors with a new initiative that shines a light on the unexplored shops, stops, places and spaces within Toronto’s main streets.

Launched on Friday, September 18th as part the wider ShowLoveTO initiative to assist local businesses struggling through the pandemic, the StrollTO invites locals to get to know their city through free exploration guides. The guides map out points of interest including attractions, public art, green spaces, and heritage buildings across all of Toronto’s 25 wards.

Downtown Toronto, image by Jack Landau

Sponsored by the Carpenters & Allied Workers Local 27, American Express, and LEGO, the StrollTO initiative kicked off on Friday with a LEGO “Dot Your World” installation at Canoe Landing Park, featuring the famous Tom Thomson’s Canoe re-imagined through LEGO DOTs until October 4th.

Mayor John Tory launches StrollTO, image courtesy of Mike Yorke

Mike Yorke, President of Carpenters District Council of Ontario, one of the event sponsors, spoke to us of the importance in keeping the city vibrant during tough times, stating that “The Carpenters union has been building this city for almost 140 years but we are also “City Builders” in that we want the best for our members, their families, and their communities.The StrollTO program engages our members in the life and excitement of the city, and our sponsorship is one of partnership and collaboration with many city stakeholders. We felt it was important to step up to the plate when it comes to supporting city initiatives, the BIAs, and the city’s business community.”

Self-guided itineraries for all 25 Toronto wards can be accessed at the links below:

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