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Spadina Fort York

Ward 10

Graffiti Alley
160 Rush Lane
Toronto’s famous Graffiti Alley holds multiple murals to explore on the walls of Rush Lane. In June, over 30 artists came together to add new art in tribute to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Regis Korchinski-Paquet and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Alex Wilson Parkette and Garden
556 Richmond St W
*Please note: No visitors are permitted to community or allotment gardens as per Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 guidance for community & allotment gardens. Please enjoy the garden from the nearest public sidewalk or path. Walk too fast and you may miss this oasis between downtown’s towering buildings. This community garden features a boardwalk and communal plantings of herbs, vegetables, flowers, berries, native grasses and a hedgerow.

The Body Politic
24 Duncan Street
The location of one of Canada’s first significant gay publications, The Body Politic, was located at 24 Duncan. In 1977, Toronto police raided its offices and the publication’s workers were charged with “possession of obscene materials for distribution” and “use of mails to distribute immoral, indecent and scurrilous materials”. This event garnered international attention and support, and the workers were acquitted over four years later – though an incredible amount of emotional trauma and financial damage had already been done.

The magazine also played a significant role during the February, 1981 bathhouse raids as it was the only news source the LGBTQ2S+ community could trust. The raids galvanized the community, and the next night 3000 angry people marched to Queen’s Park to protest the arrests. These protests helped lead to Toronto’s first Pride Parade that spring.

Chinese Railway Workers Memorial
9 Blue Jays Way, Toronto
This memorial, designed by artists Francis Lebouthillier and Eldon Garnet, was built in memory of the Chinese workers who worked and died to build the Canadian Pacific Railway. Between 1880 and 1885, 17,000 men emigrated from China to work on the railway. It is estimated that more than 4,000 workers died during the construction. These workers were constantly faced with discrimination. They were paid half as much as other workers even though they were given the most dangerous jobs, in what was already a very dangerous working environment. Many were killed by landslides, cave-ins, disease, and explosions.

Draper Street
Draper St. (in between Wellington and Front Streets)
This tucked away 19th century residential street contrasts with the industrial buildings in the area. Lincoln Alexander was born on this street in 1922. Alexander was Canada’s first Black Member of Parliament and served as Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario from 1985 to 1991.

Victoria Memorial Square Park
10 Niagara St
A quiet green space that’s more than just a public park —it’s Toronto’s oldest colonial cemetery. Over 400 are estimated to be buried at this site, many of which were soldiers and families laid to rest in the cemetery before it was closed in 1863.

Puente de Luz Bridge
Portland St. and Front St. W
Located over the busiest railway corridor in Canada, the Puente de Luz is a sculptural pedestrian bridge and the largest public art installation in Canada. The name Puente de Luz, or Bridge of Light, was chosen to signify the link between North and South and the connection between the two countries that came together to build it – Canada and Chile. The bridge’s unique yellow color was chosen to stand out against the grey background of the surrounding area.

Toronto Music Garden
479 Queens Quay W
Fronting on Toronto’s inner harbour, the Toronto Music Garden is one of the city’s most enchanted locations. The park design is inspired by Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, with each dance movement within the suite corresponding to a different section of the garden.

Roundhouse Park, Toronto Railway Museum, & Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Plaque
255 Bremner Blvd
Roundhouse Park features an original, fully restored and operational 120-foot long locomotive turntable and a carefully chosen collection of full-sized railway equipment. It is home to the Toronto Railway Historical Association (TRHA) live steam miniature railway and other outdoor exhibits illustrating Toronto’s railway heritage. Exhibits include the original 60,000 gallon water tower, the 650 ton concrete locomotive coaling tower and a collection of historic buildings, including the Don Station and Cabin D. The TRHA also operate the Toronto Railway Museum, which is located in the old roundhouse building that the park is named after. There is also a plaque in the park commemorating the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. The porters worked in this area to prepare trains for long-haul journeys across North America. Most of the porters were Black men, as they were preferred for their long history of domestic service to whites. These porters faced institutional racism in all aspects of their work, and many decided to organize against their poor treatment. The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union became the first Black union to sign an agreement with their employer in 1945, and their advocacy and organizing efforts strongly influenced human rights policy and labour relations in Canada.

CN Tower & Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
290 Bremner Boulevard (CN Tower) & 288 Bremner Boulevard (Ripley’s)
The CN Tower was the largest free-standing structure in the world when it opened in 1976, and it continues to be one of the most iconic buildings in the Toronto skyline. Visited by almost 1.5 million people a year, it is one of the most popular attractions in the city. The tower includes two lookout levels – one of which includes a glass floor – and EdgeWalk, which provides visitors the ability to walk outside on a ledge 356 metres in the air! Beside the CN Tower is Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, which opened in 2013. Among the most popular attractions in Toronto, the Aquarium features 5.7 million litres of marine and freshwater habitats from around the world. Over 13,000 sea and fresh water creatures can be found at the Aquarium, which features a 96-metre tunnel walkway that allows visitors to see the creatures from a totally unique perspective.

Sugar Beach & Toronto Islands
Next to Sugar Beach on Corus Quay
Sugar Beach draws upon the industrial heritage of the area and its relationship to the neighbouring Redpath Sugar Refinery Museum to create a whimsical urban beach at the water’s edge. The beach allows visitors to while away the afternoon as they read, play in the sand or watch boats on the lake. A dynamic water feature embedded in a granite maple leaf beside the beach makes cooling off fun for adults and children. A large candy-striped granite rock outcropping and three grass mounds give the public unique vantage points and the space between the mounds result in a natural performance space. The Toronto Islands are visible from Sugar Beach across the water. A plaque describes the importance of the islands to Indigenous peoples: The Mississaugas’ traditional lands are located in southern Ontario. They spent their summers on these lands near the mouths of rivers and streams and on these Toronto Islands. The Toronto Islands were originally a long peninsula named ‘Menecing’, which translates “On the Island”. The peninsula was a series of connected sand spits that held spiritual significance for the Mississaugas. The long beach was considered a place of healing and the Mississaugas brought their sick here to recuperate. Early references speak to the healthy atmosphere and the “peculiarly clear and fine” air of the peninsula. In addition to its restorative power, the peninsula was used for numerous ceremonial purposes including childbirth and burials.

In the 1850s, a series of storms disconnected the body of the peninsula from the mainland and led to the creation of the Toronto Islands as they exist today. The Toronto Islands are accessed by ferries from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, to the west of Sugar Beach.

St. Lawrence Market & The Market Gallery
93-95 Front St. E, and 125 The Esplanade
The St. Lawrence Market South Market building was built in 1845 and acted as Toronto’s City Hall, housing the Mayor’s Office, a jail, police station and council chambers until a new city hall (now known as Old City Hall) at Bay and Queen Streets was built. The center structure of the original building still exists. Upstairs, you’ll find the Market Gallery in the former council chamber The historic site presents a variety of changing exhibits related to the art, culture and history of Toronto. The gallery’s signature fan windows, which once overlooked Toronto’s harbour, today overlook the main floor of the market featuring various food vendors.

Longboat Avenue
This avenue was named after one of Canada’s most famous athletes: Tom Longboat. Longboat was an accomplished distance runner from Six Nations of Grand River First Nation. After winning a number of marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 1907, he competed in the 1908 London Olympics. There, he and another competitor collapsed during the race for unknown reasons but it was rumoured that he was sabotaged by his trainers and was administered illegal medication. Shortly after, Longboat bravely bought out of his contract and took control over his running career and training. In the next year, he took home the title of Professional Champion of the World. His legacy lives on through the Tom Longboat award, which was created in 1951 to reward excellence among First Nations athletes. A statue of Longboat sculpted by artist Dave General was installed at the Harbourfront Centre for the 2015 Pan-Am Games. The statue has since been moved to Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, where Longboat was born and raised.

Distillery District
Mill St. and Parliament St
The area now known as the Distillery District was once the location of the massive Gooderham and Worts Distillery, which was originally founded in 1832 by brothers-in-law James Worts and William Gooderham. Starting out with a small windmill on the shores of Lake Ontario, the distillery grew to be the largest in the British Empire by the 1890s. The distillery continued to operate throughout much of the 20th Century, closing in 1990. The former distillery grounds have been used for numerous film and television shoots since its closure, including notable productions such as Chicago and Cinderella Man. The area was transformed into the pedestrian-oriented arts and culture Distillery District that it is today in 2003, with plenty of galleries, shops, and restaurants available to visitors. Several historical plaques throughout the area note the heritage of what is now recognized as the best conserved collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America.

Corktown Common
155 Bayview Ave
The jewel in the landscape of the West Don Lands, Corktown Common is a 7.3 hectare (18 acre) lush green space with a growing population of birds, amphibians and insects to listen to and watch.

Situated on former industrial lands, the park has transformed an underutilized brownfield into a spectacular park and community meeting place featuring a marsh, sprawling lawns, urban prairies, playground areas and a splash pad.

Built as part of the revitalization of the West Don Lands by Waterfront Toronto, this sophisticated park was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

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Explore Spadina Fort York

Now is the time for residents to experience all that tourists have been raving about for years. Discover shops, stops, places and spaces on city main streets. Stay curious, Toronto.

DON’T MISS
StrollTO Pop-Up Art
September 18 – October 4
LEGO “Dot Your World” Installation
Toronto’s Tom Thomson’s Canoe reimagined through LEGO DOTs
Canoe Landing Park

BigArtTO
September 30 – October 3
8pm – 11pm
Canada Co. Malting Silos at the Bentway

Neighbourhood Stroll: Waterfront Communities-The Island

This stroll features lots of great public art with stops at Graffiti Alley and the Puente de Luz Bridge, touches on important historical sites for both Chinese Canadian and LGBTQ2S+ communities including the Chinese Canadian Railway Memorial and former Body Politic offices, and includes noteworthy historic sites like St. Lawrence Market and the Distillery District. The Waterfront and Entertainment District BIAs are featured prominently in this stroll, with both offering a fantastic diversity of local businesses.

Main Streets: Front Street, King Street West, and Queens Quay

Note: Some neighbourhood strolls may cross over into more than one ward.

  1. Graffiti Alley
    160 Rush Lane
    Toronto’s famous Graffiti Alley holds multiple murals to explore on the walls of Rush Lane. In June, over 30 artists came together to add new art in tribute to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Regis Korchinski-Paquet and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

  2. Alex Wilson Parkette and Garden
    556 Richmond St W
    *Please note: No visitors are permitted to community or allotment gardens as per Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 guidance for community & allotment gardens. Please enjoy the garden from the nearest public sidewalk or path. Walk too fast and you may miss this oasis between downtown’s towering buildings. This community garden features a boardwalk and communal plantings of herbs, vegetables, flowers, berries, native grasses and a hedgerow.

  3. The Body Politic
    24 Duncan Street
    The location of one of Canada’s first significant gay publications, The Body Politic, was located at 24 Duncan. In 1977, Toronto police raided its offices and the publication’s workers were charged with “possession of obscene materials for distribution” and “use of mails to distribute immoral, indecent and scurrilous materials”. This event garnered international attention and support, and the workers were acquitted over four years later – though an incredible amount of emotional trauma and financial damage had already been done.

    The magazine also played a significant role during the February, 1981 bathhouse raids as it was the only news source the LGBTQ2S+ community could trust. The raids galvanized the community, and the next night 3000 angry people marched to Queen’s Park to protest the arrests. These protests helped lead to Toronto’s first Pride Parade that spring.

  4. Chinese Railway Workers Memorial
    9 Blue Jays Way, Toronto
    This memorial, designed by artists Francis Lebouthillier and Eldon Garnet, was built in memory of the Chinese workers who worked and died to build the Canadian Pacific Railway. Between 1880 and 1885, 17,000 men emigrated from China to work on the railway. It is estimated that more than 4,000 workers died during the construction. These workers were constantly faced with discrimination. They were paid half as much as other workers even though they were given the most dangerous jobs, in what was already a very dangerous working environment. Many were killed by landslides, cave-ins, disease, and explosions.

  5. Draper Street
    Draper St. (in between Wellington and Front Streets)
    This tucked away 19th century residential street contrasts with the industrial buildings in the area. Lincoln Alexander was born on this street in 1922. Alexander was Canada’s first Black Member of Parliament and served as Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario from 1985 to 1991.

  6. Victoria Memorial Square Park
    10 Niagara St
    A quiet green space that’s more than just a public park —it’s Toronto’s oldest colonial cemetery. Over 400 are estimated to be buried at this site, many of which were soldiers and families laid to rest in the cemetery before it was closed in 1863.

  7. Puente de Luz Bridge
    Portland St. and Front St. W
    Located over the busiest railway corridor in Canada, the Puente de Luz is a sculptural pedestrian bridge and the largest public art installation in Canada. The name Puente de Luz, or Bridge of Light, was chosen to signify the link between North and South and the connection between the two countries that came together to build it – Canada and Chile. The bridge’s unique yellow color was chosen to stand out against the grey background of the surrounding area.

  8. Toronto Music Garden
    479 Queens Quay W
    Fronting on Toronto’s inner harbour, the Toronto Music Garden is one of the city’s most enchanted locations. The park design is inspired by Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, with each dance movement within the suite corresponding to a different section of the garden.

  9. Roundhouse Park, Toronto Railway Museum, & Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Plaque
    255 Bremner Blvd
    Roundhouse Park features an original, fully restored and operational 120-foot long locomotive turntable and a carefully chosen collection of full-sized railway equipment. It is home to the Toronto Railway Historical Association (TRHA) live steam miniature railway and other outdoor exhibits illustrating Toronto’s railway heritage. Exhibits include the original 60,000 gallon water tower, the 650 ton concrete locomotive coaling tower and a collection of historic buildings, including the Don Station and Cabin D. The TRHA also operate the Toronto Railway Museum, which is located in the old roundhouse building that the park is named after. There is also a plaque in the park commemorating the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. The porters worked in this area to prepare trains for long-haul journeys across North America. Most of the porters were Black men, as they were preferred for their long history of domestic service to whites. These porters faced institutional racism in all aspects of their work, and many decided to organize against their poor treatment. The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union became the first Black union to sign an agreement with their employer in 1945, and their advocacy and organizing efforts strongly influenced human rights policy and labour relations in Canada.

  10. CN Tower & Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
    290 Bremner Boulevard (CN Tower) & 288 Bremner Boulevard (Ripley’s)
    The CN Tower was the largest free-standing structure in the world when it opened in 1976, and it continues to be one of the most iconic buildings in the Toronto skyline. Visited by almost 1.5 million people a year, it is one of the most popular attractions in the city. The tower includes two lookout levels – one of which includes a glass floor – and EdgeWalk, which provides visitors the ability to walk outside on a ledge 356 metres in the air! Beside the CN Tower is Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, which opened in 2013. Among the most popular attractions in Toronto, the Aquarium features 5.7 million litres of marine and freshwater habitats from around the world. Over 13,000 sea and fresh water creatures can be found at the Aquarium, which features a 96-metre tunnel walkway that allows visitors to see the creatures from a totally unique perspective.

  11. Sugar Beach & Toronto Islands
    Next to Sugar Beach on Corus Quay
    Sugar Beach draws upon the industrial heritage of the area and its relationship to the neighbouring Redpath Sugar Refinery Museum to create a whimsical urban beach at the water’s edge. The beach allows visitors to while away the afternoon as they read, play in the sand or watch boats on the lake. A dynamic water feature embedded in a granite maple leaf beside the beach makes cooling off fun for adults and children. A large candy-striped granite rock outcropping and three grass mounds give the public unique vantage points and the space between the mounds result in a natural performance space. The Toronto Islands are visible from Sugar Beach across the water. A plaque describes the importance of the islands to Indigenous peoples: The Mississaugas’ traditional lands are located in southern Ontario. They spent their summers on these lands near the mouths of rivers and streams and on these Toronto Islands. The Toronto Islands were originally a long peninsula named ‘Menecing’, which translates “On the Island”. The peninsula was a series of connected sand spits that held spiritual significance for the Mississaugas. The long beach was considered a place of healing and the Mississaugas brought their sick here to recuperate. Early references speak to the healthy atmosphere and the “peculiarly clear and fine” air of the peninsula. In addition to its restorative power, the peninsula was used for numerous ceremonial purposes including childbirth and burials.

    In the 1850s, a series of storms disconnected the body of the peninsula from the mainland and led to the creation of the Toronto Islands as they exist today. The Toronto Islands are accessed by ferries from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, to the west of Sugar Beach.

  12. St. Lawrence Market & The Market Gallery
    93-95 Front St. E, and 125 The Esplanade
    The St. Lawrence Market South Market building was built in 1845 and acted as Toronto’s City Hall, housing the Mayor’s Office, a jail, police station and council chambers until a new city hall (now known as Old City Hall) at Bay and Queen Streets was built. The center structure of the original building still exists. Upstairs, you’ll find the Market Gallery in the former council chamber The historic site presents a variety of changing exhibits related to the art, culture and history of Toronto. The gallery’s signature fan windows, which once overlooked Toronto’s harbour, today overlook the main floor of the market featuring various food vendors.

  13. Longboat Avenue
    This avenue was named after one of Canada’s most famous athletes: Tom Longboat. Longboat was an accomplished distance runner from Six Nations of Grand River First Nation. After winning a number of marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 1907, he competed in the 1908 London Olympics. There, he and another competitor collapsed during the race for unknown reasons but it was rumoured that he was sabotaged by his trainers and was administered illegal medication. Shortly after, Longboat bravely bought out of his contract and took control over his running career and training. In the next year, he took home the title of Professional Champion of the World. His legacy lives on through the Tom Longboat award, which was created in 1951 to reward excellence among First Nations athletes. A statue of Longboat sculpted by artist Dave General was installed at the Harbourfront Centre for the 2015 Pan-Am Games. The statue has since been moved to Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, where Longboat was born and raised.

  14. Distillery District
    Mill St. and Parliament St
    The area now known as the Distillery District was once the location of the massive Gooderham and Worts Distillery, which was originally founded in 1832 by brothers-in-law James Worts and William Gooderham. Starting out with a small windmill on the shores of Lake Ontario, the distillery grew to be the largest in the British Empire by the 1890s. The distillery continued to operate throughout much of the 20th Century, closing in 1990. The former distillery grounds have been used for numerous film and television shoots since its closure, including notable productions such as Chicago and Cinderella Man. The area was transformed into the pedestrian-oriented arts and culture Distillery District that it is today in 2003, with plenty of galleries, shops, and restaurants available to visitors. Several historical plaques throughout the area note the heritage of what is now recognized as the best conserved collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America.

  15. Corktown Common
    155 Bayview Ave
    The jewel in the landscape of the West Don Lands, Corktown Common is a 7.3 hectare (18 acre) lush green space with a growing population of birds, amphibians and insects to listen to and watch.

    Situated on former industrial lands, the park has transformed an underutilized brownfield into a spectacular park and community meeting place featuring a marsh, sprawling lawns, urban prairies, playground areas and a splash pad.

    Built as part of the revitalization of the West Don Lands by Waterfront Toronto, this sophisticated park was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

Accessibility information: All of the points of interest on this walk are viewable from the street. Some uneven surfaces may be encountered while in the Distillery District.