Past Walks

Rosedale and Yorkville Holiday Displays Walk - Monday, December 19, 2022

Start: 2:00 pm

Leader: Rene Laukat

Meet: St. Clair Centre (TTC St. Clair/Yonge) Ground Floor (Yonge Entrance) Lobby

Route: Moore Park, Rosedale and Yorkville Holiday Displays

Refreshments: Hemmingway's, 142 Cumberland (TTC Bay Station)

Allan Gardens and Cabbagetown Holiday Walking Tour  Summary - December 5, 2022

Poinsettias in Allan Gardens during Academy walk on December 5, 2022.

On December 5, 2022, our group meandered through Toronto’s Garden District (College/Gerrard Eastbound area) and Cabbagetown. We stopped first at College Park parklands where we had a view of lone skaters taking advantage of the newly installed circular skating rink. We headed south past the recently opened downtown IKEA, then through the Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) quadrangle, pausing at the historic and intact frontage of the old College.

From there, we headed along Gerrard Street to Alan Gardens. Having been warned that the usual Christmas extravaganza was not available this year due to heritage renovations of the domed Palm House,  we accessed the southern greenhouses via Agricultural Avenue. We were overwhelmed by the plethora of poinsettias in hundreds of shades of red and colours never seen before such as orange and yellow.

ALLTO members on walk at Allan Gardens viewing coi pond.

We warmed in the moist tropical air by the water wheel crossing the bridge of the turtle pond then stopped at the breathtaking poinsettia-wrapped Koi pond where staff provided information on this amazing carp species.

Academy members in Allan Gardens viewing poinsettia during walk on December 5, 2022.

Along paths of tropical plants abundantly displaying their seasonal splendor, we made a quick pass through the cactus wing and on to Cabbagetown, stopping at the Riverdale Farm including a walk-though one of the barns.

On the  route to our refreshment stop (Stout Pub), we stopped  to admire the extraordinary Christmas display on two adjoined homes on Dermott Place. We also chanced upon the  homeowner across the lane who generously offered us a tour of all 3 stories of his amazing and gorgeously renovated historic home. This also provided a view of the two houses across the street.

Rene Laukat

Walk Details - Allan Gardens and Cabbagetown Holiday Walk - Monday, December 5, 2022

Start: 2:00 pm

Leader: Rene Laukat

Meet: College Park (TTC College) Ground Floor (College Street) near Tim Hortons

Route: Allan Gardens and Cabbagetown

Refreshments: Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton Street near Parliament Street

Allan Gardens and Cabbagetown Walk Summary >

Humber North Walk - October 24, 2022

Start: 11 am

Leader: Josie Szczasiuk

Meet: Old Mill Subway

Route: North on west side to Dundas bridge and back to Jane/Bloor’s Dark Horse Pub. All paved.

Lunch: Dark Horse Pub

Humber North Walk Summary >

Summerhill Area Walk - October 12, 2022

Start: 10 am

Leader: Donna Oke

Meet: Summerhill Subway Station, end at Rosedale Subway Station

Route: This neighborhood is named after ‘Summer Hill’ house, a magnificent Regency Cottage built in 1842 by Charles Thompson. Learn some History of the Neighbourhood, Walk the Avoca Trail and end at Rosedale Subway Station.

Lunch: Rebel House on Yonge Street, Toronto

Beltline Trail Walk - October 3, 2022

Start: 11 am

Leader: Rene Laukat

Meet: TTC Eglinton WEST Station (near Bathurst)

Route: South/East along Kay Gardner Beltline to Yonge Street, circling into Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, ending Davisville/Yonge St.

Lunch: The Bull: Firkin Pub, 1835 Yonge St., Toronto

Beltline Trail Walk Summary >

Toronto Waterfront Past and Present - Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Summer 2022 Academy Walks continued on August 9 with Simon Pearson leading us on a tour of Toronto Waterfront, Past and Present. We gathered at the welcoming Big Heart at the western entrance of the Distillery District, which was at one time on the waterfront of our city, and finished near Fort York, also once on the waterfront. Simon provided much history on the various historic developments and structures along the way. We marvelled at the incredible expansion of the city southward, with nearly one km of land created south of the harbour, originally at Front Street, to the current shoreline. Passing through the St. Lawrence Market development, we stopped at the site of Ontario’s first parliament building (1798), then past the St. Lawrence Market, stopping at the newly erected billboard of the Blackburns, anti-slavery activists and community benefactors.  We headed south on Jarvis St. to wonder at the public art installation "Wavelength" (Paul Raff 2014), the metal ceiling of a parking lot passage illustrating the level of the lake once glittering and rolling near it’s level. Heading west along the lakefront’s Martin Goodman trail past Harbourfront and the beautiful Music Garden (1999), at Dan Lecky Way we looped around Ireland Park (2007), a moving memorial signifying the arrival of Irish famine immigrants who first landed on these shores in 1847. Returning east along Fort York Blvd. past Canoe Park and it’s iconic red canoe, we settled on the patio of the local Fox and Fiddle for lunch, with several of us tucking into their ample and delicious all day breakfast.


Thank you Simon for this interesting journey of re-discovery of Toronto's beginnings and expansion.

Rene Laukat