Toronto's New Old District
Compared to the world’s great capitals, Toronto’s history is “young”, but in the downtown east-end visitors can still catch glimpses of the way life used to be in “Old York”.
Begin this walk into the past through the front doors of The Fairmont Royal York and walking east/left along Front St. You will first pass one of Toronto’s most recognizable buildings – the Flatiron. The distinctive triangular shape of this building and its unique trompe l’oeil mural on the west side, make it a great “picture postcard” photo stop.
St. Lawrence Market
Just east of the Flatiron Building is the St. Lawrence Market, where farmers and merchants have been selling their wares for more than 200 years. The North Building is home to a Saturday farmer’s market and Sunday antique market, while the South Building houses specialty food and other retailers, including butchers, bakers and a even a mustard man! If the bustle of the market is too daunting, step upstairs to the Market Gallery, with displays featuring city history and local artists.
St James Cathedral
Moving east along Front Street, the classic tower of St James Cathedral, looms over the neighbourhood. The tallest spire in Canada, St James and its adjacent flower-filled park were built after the great fire of 1849.
Distillery Historic District
Several blocks east, the entrance to the Distillery Historic District lies along Mill Street, one block south of Front St at Cherry St. Formerly the Gooderham & Worts liquor distillery, the cobbled walkways link nearly forty buildings. An ambitious renovation project, begun in 2002, turned the deserted warehouses into soaring spaces for boutique retailers, restaurants, galleries, performance theatres and arts organizations.
Sandra Ainsley Gallery
Step into the stunning Sandra Ainsley Gallery, where glass artists from Canada and around the world showcase their colourful, whimsical and dramatic works.
Balzac Coffee Roasters
Fuel up for the next step of your adventure with a rich latte or cappuccino at Balzac Coffee Roasters. Named after French writer and coffee enthusiast Honoré de Balzac, barristas prepare fair trade and fresh roasted coffee in this quirky, tin-ceilinged café.
Finally, give your feet a break and explore the rest of the District on a Segway Tour or Segway Spin. This innovative and unique motorized transport handles the cobbles of the Distillery’s historic pathways with ease. Though these two-wheeled electric scooters are prized for their safety, all tours include lesson and helmet – just in case.