Your tour begins with a stroll past the Ontario College of Art and Design towards Queen Street West, the epicenter of youth culture in Canada in the 1980s. Here, you’ll see the celebrity wall filled with the photos of actors and musicians who have shopped here, including Adam Sandler, Jack Johnson, the Beastie Boys and Robin Williams. Even if you don’t skate or snowboard, this is still an unmissable city stop. For the best souvenirs and gifts in town, Spacing Store is where you want to be. Located at the 401 Richmond Building in a former industrial space turned into art galleries, this is the unofficial gift shop of Toronto, filled with products that were made in the city and/or feature local imagery and inside jokes (ask your guide what a ‘trash panda’ is).
Afterwards, it will be time for a beer at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern. You will sit close to the stage that has hosted acts like Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty (it started as a country bar), The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, Nickelback, The Strokes, The Police and the Barenaked Ladies since having opened in 1947. Oh boy do the bartenders here have stories, and you will hear a few of them as you sip back your beer. Prepare to be transported back in time. In many cities around the world, graffiti inspires controversy, but in Toronto it’s become part of the landscape and an accepted way of expressing yourself. Graffiti Alley is the next destination, where you will admire some of the best and most varied street art in the city. You will be invited to grab some non-toxic chalk spray and leave your own (temporary) mark on this famous walkway.
Trendy Queen Street West is not just a shopping paradise but it also happens to be the world’s first Business Improvement Area (BIA). Founded in Toronto way back in 1970, these public/private partnership models have been copied by cities all around the world. What is Canadian food? Stop by Montgomery House Restaurant to chat with the chef, Guy Rawlings, about what constitutes Canadian cuisine and taste some of his seasonal specialties. Toronto’s upcoming hippest neighborhood (you heard it here first!) is next. Ossington Avenue is full of vintage shops, ice cream parlors and restaurants galore, plus plenty more graffiti-filled alleys. Here you’ll browse the windowf ronts and talk more about gentrification.
After an afternoon of exploring, you will make your final stop at Sweaty Betty’s for a relaxing drink. It is recommended that you try one of the off-menu drinks that you have to know about to order!
Tour Time: 2:00 PM
Upon purchase of the ticket, you will receive an email confirmation with e-ticket/e-voucher within two days. Tours and tickets are subjected to availability and are not confirmed until a second confirmation email is received.
The SW corner of Dundas St W and McCaul Street, beside the Art Gallery of Ontario