April 9, 2009
by Canadian Architect
Lace up your shoes and discover the architecture, history and stories of Toronto through ROMwalks, a series of free guided walking tours of the city. Every year, from May to October, tour leaders from the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Department of Museum Volunteers guide the public through some of the city’s most distinctive neighbourhoods, visiting Toronto landmarks and illuminating their architectural and historical significance.
The 2009 ROMwalks series kicks off on Sunday, May 3 at 2:00pm starting with Sacred Stones & Steeples, which highlights sacred buildings from Christian and other faiths, including St. James Cathedral, Metropolitan United Church, St. Michael’s Cathedral and St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church. There will be a special 175th Anniversary of Toronto Walk Saturday June 13 at 2:00pm to celebrate the founding of the City of Toronto.
Launched in 1980, the ROMwalks repertoire continues to expand. This year 13 different walks will be featured with most offered four times during this ROMwalks season. In addition, there will be two ROMwalks PLUS. Walks take place Sundays at 2:00pm and Wednesdays at 6:00pm with a duration of one and a half hours to two hours. Look for the blue ROM umbrella at the starting point of each ROMwalk.
Tours are free to the public and registration is not required, with the exception of private group walks and ROMwalks PLUS walks (see below). Please call 416.586.8097 or visit www.rom.on.ca for additional information.
This year there are two ROMwalks PLUS: Rosedale – Part Two and Whiskey, Wharf & Windmill. These paid walks cost $10 per person, with all proceeds going to the Museum. Advance registration is required; tickets must be reserved and paid for in advance. Cancellation and refund policies are in full effect. Please call 416.586.5799 to reserve tickets.
This year’s ROMwalks include:
175th Anniversary of Toronto Walk
Highlights: St. Lawrence Hall, Second City Hall, St. James Cathedral, Bank of Montreal, Dominion Bank, Gooderham Building, The National Club, Old City Hall, Osgoode Hall.
Along the Front
Highlights: St. Lawrence Market, Old Warehouses, Flatiron Building, Berczy Park, BCE Place, Dominion Public Building, Royal Bank Plaza, Royal York Hotel, Union Station.
Highlights: Medical Arts Building, First Church of Christ Scientist, York Club, and two styles of residential architecture unique to Toronto.
Highlights: Prince Edward Viaduct, Danforth Music Hall, Playter Farmhouse, Carrot Common, Early 20th-Century Churches, Owen Staples House, Riverdale Park.
The Grange Neighbourhood
Highlights: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, George Brown House, John Cawthra House, Beverley Mansions, AGO, Italian Consulate, St. George the Martyr, The Grange.
Hidden Treasures: Sculpture in the City
Highlights: Sculptures traditional and mo
dern, beautiful and intriguing in the downtown area from the Sculpture Garden opposite St. James Cathedral to the Archer in City Hall Square.
Historic Toronto (English and French walks)
Highlights: Toronto’s First Post Office, Bank of Upper Canada, St. Lawrence Market, St. James’ Cathedral, St. Lawrence Hall, Courthouse Square.
Jarvis Street: Mansions & Churches of the Rich & Religious
Highlights: St. Paul’s Church,Victorian houses including Massey House, Jarvis Collegiate, Allan Gardens, Jarvis St. Baptist Church.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery — Part One (English and French walks)
Highlights: St. Andrew’s Society Monument, Massey Mausoleum, Mt. Pleasant Mausoleum, Millionaires’ Row, Empress of Ireland Monument.
The Necropolis (English and French walks)
Highlights: Graves of William Lyon Mackenzie, Peter Matthews and Samuel Lount, Ned Hanlon, George Brown, Thornton Blackburn, Joseph Bloore.
ROM and its Neighbours
Highlights: Royal Ontario Museum, Church of the Redeemer, Royal Conservatory of Music, Taddle Creek, Flavelle House, Gardiner Museum.
Sacred Stones and Steeples
Highlights: Sacred buildings from Christian & other faiths, including St. James’ Cathedral, Metropolitan United Church, St. Michael’s Cathedral, St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church.
Yorkville: A Tollgate Village
Highlights: Yorkville Library, Firehall, Heliconian Club, 19th century houses, Hazelton Lanes, Church of the Redeemer .
ROMwalks PLUS, Rosedale — Part Two
A continuation of the Rosedale walk, Rosedale – Part Two explores a different area of the early suburb of Rosedale, intended for Toronto’s wealthy and influential citizens. Reservations required.
ROMwalks PLUS, Whiskey, Wharf and Windmill
Highlights: the historic Distillery District, Little Trinity Church, Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, Consumers’ Gas Building. Reservations required
Private Group Walks:
Private group walks are available year round by special request for clubs, community groups, visitors and families. Group walks are $10 per person with a minimum of ten people. Please call 416.586.8097 for more information. All regular walks are available for Private Group Walks, as well as the additional walks listed below.
Highlights: Victorian Houses, Former Trinity College Medical School, Riverdale Park, The Necropolis, Wellesley Park.
Citadels of Wealth
Highlights: Hockey Hall of Fame, Early Skyscraper Banks, Canadian Bank of Commerce, the Big Five modern banks, BCE Place.
Highlights: St. Andrew’s Church, Roy Thomson Hall, Royal Alexandra & Princess of Wales Theatres, Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), Metro Toronto Convention Centre, CN Tower.
Highlights: St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Masaryk Hall, Melbourne Mews.
For more information, please visit www.rom.on.ca/programs/rom_travel/index.php