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Founded in 1827 and now home to over 75,000 students, this is Canada's largest and arguably most famous university. Some of the more interesting sites to visit are the main room of the University of Toronto Bookstore, the chapel and the dining hall at Trinity College, the great rooms on the second floor of the University College, Hart House and its art gallery, and the Sydney Fisher Rare Book Library. The university offers daily tours during the summer, starting at Hart House. The campus is right in the heart of the downtown core.
Home to the Austin family for more than a century, Spadina House is now operated as a museum by the City of Toronto Cultural Services. Although some restoration has taken place, the original feel of the 55-room mansion has been wonderfully preserved, giving visitors a glimpse into a time when immigration increased and tabloid journalism had its beginnings (1918-1939). Rooms are also available for hire. The tour guides will make sure that the experience is thoroughly informative and educational while still being fun.
Toronto's third City Hall, this magnificent Romanesque building is a fitting homage to the artistic genius and uncompromising vision of its architect, Edward James Lennox. Construction began in 1889, continuing through the next 11 years until it was finally completed in 1899. At this time, the Old City Hall was the largest municipal building in North America, housing both Toronto's city council and courthouse. While the soaring clock tower is the most definitive feature of the stately building, the striking structure is resplendently fitted with gargoyles, grotesque stonework and other intricate details typical of the Romanesque Revival style. Inside, the mosaic floors, stained glass windows, and frescoes are just a few of the details that proclaim Lennox's skill for design. Just beneath the corbels, his name was inscribed by the stonemasons where it remains to this day. Replaced by the New City Hall in 1965, the Old City Hall has been declared a National Historic Site and functions as the Provincial Courthouse.
Bâtie en trois ans à partir de 1911, Casa Loma est née de l’ambition du financier canadien Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. Inspiré par les châteaux européens, Pellatt voulut employer les formidables ressources à sa disposition pour se construire un majestueux château au cœur de Toronto, une résidence à la hauteur de ses aspirations. De style néogothique, Casa Loma semble toute droit sortie des pages d’un conte de fées, abritant des passages cachés et généreusement ornée d’œuvres d’art exquises. Le château compte 98 pièces richement décorées et est entouré par un magnifique domaine qui abrite une serre, des jardins et des écuries. Les piliers sculptés du Grand Hall, les vitraux du plafond de la serre, l’impressionnante collection de livres de la bibliothèque et le tunnel souterrain menant aux écuries ne sont que quelques-uns des nombreux trésors qui caractérisent cet endroit. Le triomphe de Pellatt ne dura cependant pas très longtemps en raison de la fermeture de ses entreprises au lendemain de la Première guerre mondiale, l’obligeant à vendre sa maison. De nos jours, Casa Loma est un musée et accueille des événements populaires.
St James Park, with its 19th-century garden and splendid fountain, is the setting for this cathedral, Toronto's first Anglican Church. The Cathedral Church of St James you see today, which opened in 1853, is actually the third on the site - the first two were destroyed by fires in 1839 and 1849 respectively. Designed by architect Fredrich Cumberland, the present church includes the tallest steeple in Canada and an elaborate interior with a solid marble choir stall and stained glass windows.
Located near the city center in Toronto, the Distillery Historic District is a prominent area of the city where the Gooderham and Worts Distillery used to operate until 1990 CE. The distillery was touted as one of the biggest facilities in the world. After its closure, the Victorian-era buildings of the property became the Distillery District of today. Today, it houses many shops, restaurants and commercial complexes. However, the historic facade of the distillery is still intact and can be seen.
Built in 1793, Fort York National Historic Site was established to protect Toronto Bay from American invasion. It lies just east of Exhibition Place and represents Canada's largest concentration of original War of 1812 buildings. Period-costumed staff provide guided tours highlighting the blockhouses, barracks and officers' quarters. The staff give demonstrations of what military life was like in the early 18th Century. Special events throughout the year include a Battle of York Commemoration, Victoria Day Celebration and Canada Day at Fort York.
If you want to know what it was like to live in the pioneer era, check out Black Creek Pioneer Village, located in the northwest part of the city near the York University campus. It has over precisely 35 restored 1860s stores and homes, as well as attentive costumed staff. Hop on a horse-drawn wagon, visit the doctor, school or chat with the blacksmith and cabinet-maker about their work. If you feel hungry, there's the Half Way House Restaurant for country fare.