Toronto City Tour: Historic Sites

Toronto city tours offered by Global Alliance allow our clients to experience Canada’s largest metropolis in comfort from the seat of one of our luxurious vehicles with an experience chauffeur as a guide, with the further option to be dropped off to explore Toronto’s many attractions on their own. Below are some options for visitors interested in learning about the history of the city at some of the surviving edifices from its earlier days.

Casa Loma – Perched on a hill just north of Bathurst and Davenport is one of Toronto’s most distinctive architectural and touristic attractions. Built as an impressive private residence by Toronto financier Sir Henry Pelatt and designed by prominent city architect E.J. Lennox, construction of Casa Loma was begun in 1910. Although it was never finished along Pelatt’s extravagant designs and later abandoned after its owner’s bankruptcy, Casa Loma was later restored and re-opened by the city as a museum and event venue. Toronto’s own fanciful castle is one the city’s must-see locations, featuring unique architecture and interior design (including an antique elevator, the first in a private residence in Canada), lovely gardens, and great views of the skyline from its towers.

Fort York – Lying on the north side of the railway yards south of Front Street West and next to Bathurst Street, the Fort York National Historic Site of Canada houses Canada’s largest collection of original buildings from the War of 1812 period and provides a glimpse into the settlement’s history of military defence in the British Imperial era. Originally established in 1793, the original fort was destroyed in the Battle of York with the Americans in 1813, after which Canada’s southern neighbours occupied the city (then called York, and the capital of the Upper Canada colony) for five days. Employed until the 1880s (as well as later during both of the 20th Century’s world wars) in a military capacity and nearly leveled to make way for the Gardiner Expressway in the 1950s, Fort York is a today a city-operated museum of the city’s early military history as well as a venue for concerts and other special events.

Distillery District – Dining, art, and shopping meet local industrial and commercial history in Toronto’s Distillery District. Located on Parliament Street not far from the shores of Lake Ontario, the restored and repurposed former Gooderham & Worts Distillery (the largest whiskey distillery in the world in the 1860s) is now a unique retail, cultural, and gastronomical hot spot. Unique shops, art galleries, artisanal workshops, restaurants, bars, public art, and a theatrical facility now occupy the heritage buildings that make up the Distillery, which is now a designated National Historic Site. It is home to the acclaimed and popular local microbrewery, Mill Street Brewery, and hosts many special events year-round, including a very popular European-style Christmas market during the winter holiday season.

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