The largest underground retail concourse in the world, Toronto’s PATH system travels beneath the Financial District with numerous entry and exit points. Many have been lured by its warmth in winter, plus shopping and sustenance. But it can be a bit confusing; follow our guide to ensure a smooth trip from one end to the other.
1. CENTRAL HUB One of the bigger, busier sections of PATH’s underground city is First Canadian Place. More than 120 shops, services and restaurants make it a popular destination for business people with a minute to spare. Top shops such as Harry Rosen, Tip Top Tailors and Birks ensure you’re well attired and accessorized, while respected restaurants including Vertical and Reds can satisfy any craving. This marketplace is as distinguished as its namesake skyscraper, which stands as the city’s second tallest building. 100 King St. W., 416-862-8138.
First Canadian Place's gleaming concourse
2. PRIME REAL ESTATE Near Bay and Wellington streets sits the cluster of Mies van der Rohe–designed towers of the Toronto-Dominion Centre. Beneath those buildings, the PATH’s green granite floors match TD Bank’s colour palette, and plush leather benches offer respite from the foot traffic. The retail range here offers Danier Leather and a Laura Secord chocolate boutique. Streetside, you’ll find the Design Exchange and popular restaurant Bymark. High flyers ascend even further—54 storeys, to be exact—to indulge in original Canadian cuisine at Canoe. 66 Wellington St. W., 416-869-1144.
3. ADDED VALUE If you find yourself surrounded by bright, white marble, you’ve arrived at the new Bay Adelaide Centre. This peaceful portion of PATH is home to a small but immaculate food court and some quick-stop shops; to the north it connects with the huge flagship location of The Bay. The futuristic feel of the underground matches the building that rises from it—the glass-walled building is the city’s first and only high-rise office tower to lay claim to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Standard. 333 Bay St., 416-369-2300.
The exquisite vaulted ceiling of Commerce Court's CIBC bank building
4. SQUARE DEAL Commerce Court’s quadrants boast a food court, as well as healthy Four, an upscale restaurant where every dish is under 650 calories. Above ground, check out power-lunch favourite Far Niente plus the historic Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce headquarters—with its stunning Beaux Arts–style atrium—and the surrounding towers designed by I.M. Pei. 25 King St. W., 416-364-2281.
5. SPLENDID SITE Arguably the best-known southerly section of the PATH is Brookfield Place. Just a short walk from Union Station, its subterranean component has a food court and a few modest shops, but you’ll also find the entrance to the Hockey Hall of Fame—a shrine to Canada’s cherished pastime featuring exhibits, artifacts, trophies and more. Or, follow the sunlight up to street level, where soaring white buttresses and an arched glass ceiling create a futuristic cathedral-like effect in the Allen Lambert Galleria. 181 Bay St., 416-777-6480.