Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, is named after the late Roy Thomson, the first Lord Thomson of Fleet. A media mogul, he published newspapers (former owner/publisher of the London Times), built a vast network of radio and television stations, and took the business of making money seriously. Lord Thomson headed Canada’s wealthiest family – as it remains to this day.
The Hall, designed by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, seats 2600, has an excellent pipe organ, is home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Music Director Peter Oundjian) and the Mendelssohn Choir. During the Toronto International Film Festival, several galas take place here. The Hall is surrounded on two sides by the Canadian Walk of Fame.
Roy Thomson Hall presents a full music and variety program year ’round.
PHOTO – Cylia von Tiedemann – Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Subway stop: ST. ANDREW, and walk one block West
At the foot of Leslie Street, a 5 kilometre-long peninsula juts out into Lake Ontario. Weekends, year round, the Leslie Street Spit (Tommy Thompson Park) is open to bikers, hikers, picnickers, birdwatchers, wildflower afficionados – anyone wanting to spend quality time with Mother Nature.
No dogs are allowed because there’s so much animal, bird and plant life on the Spit – over 400 plant species, 300 bird species, reptiles, butterflies, foxes, otters, coyotes and beaver. Trails are paved and well maintained, and there are several off-trail areas as well.
The struggle to maintain this wildlife reserve is never ending. Read about it on http://www.friendsofthespit.ca
To reach TORONTO’s Leslie Street Spit, take the Queen Street East streetcar #501 to Berkshire Street. From there, it’s a 1.5 kilometre bikeride or hike to the gate. Parking is available, and the Conservation Authority runs a mini-bus service from mid-point of the park to the front gate.
Open all year, on WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS ONLY: April to October 9 am to 6:00 pm; November to March 9 am to 4:30 pm.
TORONTO’s Bata Shoe Museum, Bloor Street West at St. George, opened on May 6, 1995. It’s the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Designed by Raymond Moriyama, the building is shaped like an opening shoe box. Inside you’ll find the history of footwear from around the world – from Elvis to Marilyn to Queen Victoria to Picasso.
The collection originated with Mrs. Sonja Bata in the 1940’s. She traveled the world with her late husband Thomas, founder of the Bata Shoe Company, collecting artifacts as she went.
The museum gathers, researches and exhibits footwear, mounts several exhibitions annually, and regularly presents lectures, performances and family events.
Subway stop – ST. GEORGE