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walking tours

Walk, Bike, Run: 5 Ways to Get Moving in Winnipeg This Summer

So you’ve discovered Winnipeg’s incredible outdoor attractions and you’re looking for more ways to get outside and get moving. Have no fear! These fun tours and activities make getting active and exploring the city easy.

walking paths

ROUTES ON THE RED

A collection of self-directed walking, biking, and paddling tours along the Red River. Put yourself in the shoes of a voyageur and try out a half-day walking tour that follows the paths of the historic fur trade. Routes and maps found on routesonthered.ca

THE LOOP

Get a crash course on the city by walking this 3.5 hour self directed route that covers Winnipeg’s significant historic, cultural, and architectural sites. Download the route map at tourismwinnipeg.com

BEE2GETHER BIKE RENTALS

Find a willing partner and take to the streets on a bicycle built for two. Bee2Gether’s cute yellow campers can be found at The Forks and Assiniboine Park, with tandem, single rider, buggy, and surry bikes for rent. Visit bee2getherbikes.com or call 204‑298‑2925 for more information.

EXCHANGE DISTRICT BIZ WALKING TOURS

The entire Exchange District neighbour-hood is designated a National Historic Site, and there’s plenty of history to explore. Tours with themes like “Death and Debauchery” bring to light the dark secrets of Winnipeg’s early years—when it earned the nickname “the wickedest city in the Dominion”. Call 204-942-6716 to book.

DOWNTOWN BIKE TOURS

Pig out and get active at the same time on the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Moveable Feast tour. Diners bike between 5 restaurant stops to sample eats at the neighbourhood’s prime restaurants. Visit downtownwinnipegtours.com to book.

More Ways to Explore Winnipeg:

Journey to Churchill at the Assiniboine Park Zoo
What to Expect at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Walk in Louis Riel’s Footsteps
Free Things To Do in Winnipeg

Hot Attraction: Heritage Ottawa Walking Tours

Heritage Ottawa Walking Tours explores the neighbourhood of Sandy Hill on Oct. 21.

Heritage Ottawa Walking Tours take visitors through historic local neighbourhoods with a series of guided tours. The fall season offers a host of interesting excursions, starting on Sept. 9 with the village of Cumberland, the history of which can be traced back to the earliest days of settlement in the Ottawa Valley. The tours continue every Saturday through autumn (except Sept. 30) and conclude on Oct. 21 with the historic neighbourhood of Sandy Hill, which has been home to four Canadian prime ministers.  Join knowledgeable guides, some of whom are residents of their assigned areas, as they pound the pavement and enjoy the season’s crisp air.

613-230-8841, www.heritageottawa.org

Discover Calgary’s Historic Homes

A house in Bankview, once owned by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Benjamin A. Huckell. Photo: Maureen Hodgen.

This week marks the second annual Century Homes celebration during Historic Calgary Week.

Featuring over 500 historic houses in numerous communities, Century Homes reveals the lives and stories of the former inhabitants of these community landmarks.

Participating homes around the city are marked with both homemade signage and Century Homes banners.

Guided walking tours are available until August 6 in the communities of Bankview, Ramsay and Mount Royal.

Check out the tour map and the guided walking tours schedule.

 

Staff Picks: 5 Types of Walking Tours

Walking tours are a great way to see the city this spring (photo by Sanjay Parekh)

Now that the weather appears to be warming, it’s a great time to get out and explore the city on foot. Whatever your pleasure, there’s likely a gregarious Torontonian offering a walking tour to your taste. Below, we present our favourites providers of five types of tours. (more…)

Shopping Quebec’s Coolest Quatier: Rue Saint-Jean

Maison Jean-Alfred Moisan. Photo by Feng & Jia.

By Amanda Halm

When it comes to Quebec City shopping, Petit Champlain and the Old Port are the beaten paths. Instead, head for the rue Saint-Jean, outside the walls, to prowl for locally made fromage, aged Italian balsamic vinegars and sexy lingerie as well as the truly bizarre: a sitar simulator, an outfit made entirely out of chocolate, a cookie-cutter in the shape of a pig’s head.

(more…)

Hot Attraction: Get In the Know with Guided Tours of Downtown Ottawa

Ottawa Walking Tours are offered year-round, rain or shine. Photo credit: Sabin Munteanu.

Get to know intimate details of the city with Ottawa Walking Tours. With the popular “Historical Highlights” tour, you’ll spend two hours exploring places that have played a part in history, seeing the city’s beautiful architecture, learning about colourful political characters, and even getting recommendations on where to grab a bite to eat. Not only that, but these guided walks also relate important landmarks back to everyday life. Some favourite spots include the Press Corps, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Prime Minister’s Offices, and more. Get your camera ready! Reservations required.

Yours to Discover: Day One

Winter’s on its way out; it’s time to get a head start on exploring. Guide yourself with our specialized itineraries, or contact one of Toronto’s many tour operators to delve deeper into this multifaceted metropolis.

Henry Moore's Two Forms sit outside the AGO

SIGHTSEEING FOR SHUTTERBUGS
These landmarks are ready for their close up.

ALLAN GARDENS Featuring a glass domed Victorian-style “palm house” and an alluring architectural symmetry throughout its 16,000 square feet, Allan Gardens Conservatory is a popular photo-op spot. Venture inside for a lovely view of numerous flowers and plants, from orchids to cacti.

ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO The arcing glass facade and titanium tower comprising this Frank Gehry-designed museum are prominent in the midst of a largely residential quarter. Directly south is another intriguing edifice: the floating “tabletop” of OCAD University’s Sharp Centre for Design.

CASA LOMA This Gothic Revival mansion in midtown keeps imposing watch over the city and is surrounded by five acres of gardens. Inside, visitors can explore nearly 100 opulently decorated rooms.

The Allen Lambert Galleria in Brookfield Place

CN TOWER One of the tallest buildings in the world, this concrete needle makes for an iconic image from the ground. Or, ascend to its observation decks and snap a sky-high panorama—on a clear day it’s possible to see for  many kilometres into the distance.

CITY HALL Toronto’s seat of government is a modernist landmark—at the north end of Nathan Phillips Square sit two towers parenthetically embracing a saucer-like Council Chamber. Within its rotunda you can view a scale model of the city, plus a variety of public art works.

FINANCIAL DISTRICT Canada’s power brokers swing deals amidst this area’s superior structures, including the Santiago Calatrava–designed galleria at Brookfield Place, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s TD Centre towers, and the Renaissance Revival–style Commerce Court North.

HIGH PARK If the weather is agreeable, this hilly, 399-acre greenspace offers ample opportunity for photographic pursuits—and general enjoyment. There’s nature’s bounty, of course, but also a small zoo, historic Colborne Lodge and more. Return in late April to see the cherry trees in bloom.

The Royal Ontario Museum's Michael Lee-Chin Crystal (photo by Brian Boyle)

HOCKEY HALL OF FAME This shrine to Canada’s favourite sport is located in a heritage Beaux Arts bank building. Its cathedral-like Great Hall enshrines the National Hockey League’s coveted trophies—including the famed Stanley Cup—for all to see.

OLD TOWN The city’s original blocks date to 1793 and feature photo-friendly historic sites like the Gooderham “flatiron” Building and St. Lawrence Market. The area’s eastern end is home to the circa-1850s Distillery Historic District.

ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM Arguably the most controversial site in Toronto, the ROM’s “Crystal,” conceived by architect Daniel Libeskind, is nothing if not striking. The geometric structure bursts forth from a neo-Byzantine heritage building. Set your sights on thousands of historical artifacts and natural specimens inside.

Many of these famous attractions can be spotted from the comfort of a coach or even a double-decker bus. The Toronto City Tour and Gray Line Hop-On, Hop-Off City Tour offer popular, fully narrated excursions.

Essential to the City: Trio of Tours

Shirley Lum offers you A Taste of the World

As the weather gets warmer, why not amble across Toronto with tours on foot? At A Taste of the World, Shirley Lum guides you through edible paradise, haunted history or literary enlightenment on such tours as “Toronto’s Lost First Chinatown” and “Swansea and Lucy Maud Montgomery.” Art enthusiast Betty Ann Jordan helps you discover gems in the city’s art, architecture and design world through her Art InSite walks in the West Queen West neighbourhood. Or put your itinerary in the hands of the friendly Tour Guys, which offers free streamlined walks and more comprehensive urban adventures, including a “Beer Makes History Better” tour and tasting.

This Weekend: Stroll the City

photo by TorontoCityLife

Spring has officially sprung in Toronto (though if recent, relatively balmy weather is any indication, the season snuck in unannounced at least a week ago). In this city and any other, there are few better ways to celebrate the temperature’s rise than by getting outside for a nice long walk.

Tomorrow—Sunday, March 21—the Canadian Tour Guide Association of Toronto offers an extra reason to partake in a reinvigorating amble. From 10 a.m. until noon, the organization’s learned and friendly members will be leading free walking tours of Toronto’s downtown core. Starting from Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St. W.) and departing every 15 minutes, these hour-long excursions are sure to give you a new perspective on Toronto’s history, architecture and unique urban fabric.

Frugal Faves: High Park Walking Tour and Devilicious

There’s so much to see and do in this city, but after a while, admission fees, restaurant bills and shopping sprees start to add up. Where Toronto helps you get the most out of your trip without burning a hole in your pocket. Check back each week for our thrifty tips on discounted tickets, exclusive sales, free events and more.

Enjoy the autumn colours while strolling in High Park (photo by bensonkua).

Enjoy the autumn colours while strolling in High Park (photo by bensonkua).

An Autumn Stroll in High Park
Spend a leisurely morning on a free walking tour of High Park, Toronto’s impressive, 398-acre public greenspace. The moderately paced hike traverses the park’s wooded trails and explores its extensive ravines and gardens, giving city-dwellers a chance to reconnect with nature. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the impressive fall foliage, and remember to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

Tours run every second and forth Sunday of each month, 10:30 a.m. to noon. Meet at the benches just south of the Grenadier Café. For more information call 416-392-1748, ext. 5 or email walkingtours@highpark.org.


Pull up a chair at Fuzion for a scary-good meal deal.

Pull up a chair at Fuzion for a scary-good meal deal.

Trick or Treat Yourself to a Devilishly Good Meal
Hoping for a hell of deal on your next dinner out? Head to the Church Wellesley Village for its Devilicious culinary tour.  As part of the neighbourhood’s annual Halloweek festival, Byzantium, Fuzion and other popular restaurants in the area will be offering wickedly discounted prix fixe menus featuring delectable Halloween-themed dishes. After you’ve finished your meal, wander through the village and check out fabulously frightening decor displays in retailers’ windows.

The Devilicious culinary tour runs October 24 to October 31. For a list of all participating restaurants click here or call 416-393-6363.

Weekend Roundup, September 18th to 20th

Explore the city on foot with a walking tour a day.

Friday: check out downtown with Muddy York Walking Tours (photo by amish.patel).

Friday: check out downtown with Muddy York Walking Tours (photo by amish.patel).

Friday, September 18th
Discover the history behind the names of some of the city’s major avenues on the Toronto Street Names: Downtown tour by Muddy York Walking Tours.

Check out the art show, food, music, dancing and demonstrations at the Toronto Ukranian Festival, the continent’s largest street celebration of Ukranian culture.

Saturday, September 19th
To commemorate its 10th year as a Canadian Heritage River, follow the flow of the Humber waterway on a guided Heritage Toronto Walk.

Catch remix kings Electic Method at Yonge-Dundas Square, as part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s outdoor closing party.

Sunday: Harken back to pioneer days of yore (photo by Gary J. Wood).

Sunday: Harken back to pioneer days of yore (photo by Gary J. Wood).

Sunday, September 20th
Explore the city’s first post office, St. Lawrence Market, St. James Cathedral and other charms of Old Town Toronto on today’s ROMwalk.

Watch butter churning, try out Victorian dancing and bid on handmade country quilts at the Pioneer Festival at Black Creek Pioneer Village.

You Are Here: Mount Pleasant

This leafy midtown neighbourhood borders Rosedale, one of Toronto’s toniest districts. Reap the benefit of this posh proximity.

View Mount Pleasant in a larger map.

1 UPTOWN CHINESE Lai Toh Heen is an elegant option for enjoying savoury dim sum and upscale Chinese fare. This sister establishment to the internationally renowned Lai Wah Heen shares its predecessor’s artful approach to small bites with such offerings as steamed sticky-rice balls filled with pork, shrimp and lotus root. 692 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-489-8922.Lai Toh Heen

2 GO ANTIQUING The area features a good concentration of antiques stores. Start your search at Ingram Antiques & Collectibles. The shop carries a well-curated selection of country Canadiana: folk art from Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario, as well as original wood furnishings circa 1800 to 1880. 669 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-484-4601.

3 KIDS’ LIT You can’t miss the colourful exterior of Mabel’s Fables, a cozy bookstore specializing in children’s literature. The vast offerings are easy to navigate: kids’ lit is arranged in reading departments from newborns to adults. Mabel’s Fables also hosts storytime events most Wednesdays. 662 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-322-0438.Linda Penwarden

4 LOCAL LUX Take home a dazzling token of your trip. Linda Penwarden Jewellery is the boutique of local designer Linda Penwarden. Find bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces in gold, platinum and silver (precious gems and pearls, too) made on-site by the jeweller and her staff. Custom designs and engagement rings, too. 631 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-484-1843.

5 FINE FARE Chef Pascal Ribreau’s acclaimed French bistro Célestin makes a virtue out of decadent dining with such mains as butter-basted Nova Scotia lobster with sweetbread and chanterelles in a Madeira truffle sauce. 623 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-544-9035.

Little Dollhouse Company

6 BIG ON MINIATURES Get inspired by the more than 65 model dollhouses on display—many of which were built in the workshop at The Little Dollhouse Company. No detail is too fine. Find more than 50,000 miniatures—including china, paintings, furnishings, wallpaper and even tiny pets—from 300 suppliers and artisans. 612 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-489-7180.

7 EXPRESS TO FUN George’s Trains has specialized in model trains for nearly 50 years. The charming hobby shop has an extensive selection of locomotive sets, model accessories and scenery—tunnels, bridges and trees. Kids get in on the fun at the Thomas the Tank Engine play area. 510 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-489-9783.

8 RESTFUL RESPITE More than 130 years old, Mount Pleasant Cemetery is the final resting place of many prominent Canadians, including pianist Glenn Gould and former Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. It also offers one of the city’s most tranquil green spaces for walking. 375 Mount Pleasant Rd.