A DOZEN UNIQUE AND INEXPENSIVE THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN TORONTO

TEN1 1. – The 501 Queen Streetcar travels the longest streetcar route in North America, and one of the longest in the world. From Neville park in the east end to either the Long Branch Loop or the Humber Loop in the west, the line passes through 24.5 kilometres (or 15.4 miles) of the inner city and many different neighbourhoods. Named by National Geographic as one of the ‘great tram rides of a lifetime’.

2. – Toronto Transit Commission Day Passes are the best bargains in town. Single Day Passes are available 7 days a week and can be used on the subway, streetcars and buses. On weekends and statutory holidays the passes admit 1 adult and 5 youths 19 years and under, or 2 adults and 4 youths, or two adults. Get them at all subway stations for $11.50.

TEN3

3. – TIFF Bell Lightbox. This is a complex of 5 movie theatres (including the city’s cinematheque), two restaurants, 2 galleries, a research library and a shop, 350 King Street West. The films shown here are not regular multiplex fare.

4 & 5. – The Winter Garden and Elgin Theatres, 189 Yonge Street, are the last remaining Edwardian-era double-decker theatres in the world. Tours are conducted on Thursdays and Saturdays for a modest fee.

6. – Kensington Market is the old Jewish market quarter just off Spadina Avenue above Dundas Street West. This is where the multicultural/multilingual character of downtown TORONTO really shines. Augusta, Kensington, Nassau, and Oxford streets west of Spadina.

TEN47. – The TORONTO Islands, reachable by ferry from the foot of Bay Street. People live in rustic homes on Wards Island (cottage country in the heart of the city). Centre Island is a vast park with a Lake Ontario boardwalk and other attractions. Hanlan’s Point offers a clothing optional beach.

8. – Canada’s only purpose-built opera house at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West. Backstage tours on weekends, $20 adults, $15 seniors/students, http://www.coc.ca/ExploreAndLearn/Adults/BuildingTours/FourSeasonsCentre.aspx

9. – St. George Campus of the University of TORONTO, bounded by Bloor Street West, College Street, St. George Street and Queens Park. This beautifully landscaped campus combines old and new architecture and seven colleges (Innis, New, St. Michael’s, Trinity, University, Victoria and Woodworth).

TEN210. – The Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation Area, roughly from Parliament Street to the Don River, Wellesley Street East to Gerrard Street East. Settled by Irish immigrants from the late 1940’s, it’s now the largest preserved Victorian-era neighbourhood in all of North America. The Riverdale Farm is here, as well as two of the oldest cemeteries in the city.

11. The Distillery District, Parliament Street south of King Street East over to Cherry Street. This is a collection of Victorian-era heritage industrial buildings on the site of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery. It contains three theatres, numerous cafes, bars and shops, 47 buildings in all.

TEN512. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue in the Don Valley, a former quarry, provided the bricks for nearly a century to construct well known TORONTO landmarks including Casa Loma, Osgoode Hall, Massey Hall and the Ontario Legislature. It’s now been turned into a park with naturalized ponds and walking trails. The buildings themselves are focused on culture, the environment, and the history of brickmaking in our city. The original brick firing ovens have been left intact.

GOLDSTAR

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