Toronto/Midtown

Midtown is a district in Toronto north of downtown. It isn't an area with a large number of museums, theatres, or other tourist attractions - although there are a few sights to see. The best way to enjoy it is to pretend that you live there, and enjoy the shops, restaurants, and cafés. For this guide, we look at “Midtown” in a larger geographic sense. It includes what is considered the traditional neighbourhood of Midtown, as well as Leaside and the old borough of York. Rough boundaries are Davenport Rd in the south, Lawrence Ave in the north, the Humber River in the west and the Don Valley in the east. Midtown has two axes: Yonge Street is the north/south axis along subway line 1, and St Clair Avenue West is Midtown's east/west axis along the 512 streetcar line.

Understand

Casa Loma

Toronto has many streets, or sections of streets, lined with shops, restaurants and the occasional pub. These streets are attactive walking areas that are easily accessible by public transit. Most are located in the older parts of the city. Often the local "business improvement association" (BIA) gives the area a pleasant name and arranges little things such as sidewalk benches, potted plants and street decorations.

Yonge Street

Here are the mid-town retail areas along Yonge Street:

Rosedale/Summerhill/St.Clair is a 1.6 km section of Yonge Street stretching from Crescent Road at Rosedale Station, passing Summerhill Station to Heath Street, a short distance north of St. Clair Avenue and St. Clair Station on subway Line 1. The former Summerhill railway station at Schriviner Square is a landmark south of the subway's Summerhill Station. The steep slope on Yonge Street north of Summerhill Station was the shore of Glacial Lake Iroquois which existed here 13,000 years ago. If you climb the slope, take a look at Fire Hall 311, a national historical site built in 1911, on Balmoral Avenue near Yonge Street.

The Yonge & Davisville area stretches along Yonge Street from Merton Street near Davisville Station to Berwick Avenue in the north, just 1 block south of Eglinton Avenue and Eglinton Station on subway line 1. This 900-metre stretch contains a number of restaurants.

The Yonge & Eglinton area has 2 strips. One strip runs 1.4 km along Yonge Street from Eglinton Avenue north to Glencairn Avenue, which the local BIA has branded as Uptown Yonge casting this name in plaques at various sidewalk locations. A second, short strip with restaurants and bars runs along Eglinton Avenue East from Yonge Street to about Redpath Avenue.

Yonge-Lawrence Village is the name given by the local BIA to a 1.1 km strip along Yonge Street from Lawrence Avenue (Lawrence Station on subway Line 1) to Yonge Boulevard. (The name is branded on all the street name signs in the area.) This strip has a number of shops, cafes and restaurants, most of which are north of Bedford Park Avenue. However, take at look at Fire Station 131 built in 1931 at the corner of Wanless Avenue and Yonge Street.

Here are the Mid-town retail areas near Yonge Street:

Mount Pleasant Village is the name given by the local BIA to a 800 metre strip along Mount Pleasant Road south of Eglinton Avenue East. (The name is branded on all the street name signs in the area.) This strip has shops (some specialty shops) and restaurants including two French-style patisseries. To access Mount Pleasant Village by public transit, take any eastbound bus from Eglinton Station on subway Line 1, or it's close enough from Eglinton Station to walk.

South Bayview is the name given by the local BIA to a 600-metre retail strip along Bayview Avenue one block south of Eglinton Avenue East. (The name is branded on all the street name signs in the area.) This strip has shops, cafes and restaurants including two French-style patisseries. To access South Bayview by public transit, take bus 11 from Davisville Station on subway Line 1.

St Clair Avenue West

The most interesting parts of St Clair Ave are west of St Clair West Station between Bathurst St and Lansdowne Ave where there are 4 retail areas with many shops and restaurants along the 512 streetcar line. Here are areas from east to west:

Ethnically, one sees a mixture of Italian, Portuguese and Latin American businesses among the 4 areas.

Neigbourhoods

Rosedale is generally considered to be among the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Canada and its narrow, tree-filled streets are lined with beautiful, turn-of-the-century mansions, with large front gardens. The generally accepted boundaries are: The CP railways tracks to the north, Rosedale Ravine to the south, the Don Valley to the east and Yonge Street to the west. While it serves as the neighbourhood's western boundary, Yonge Street also serves as the area's main street, filled with expensive restaurants and shops, and buzzing with nightlife.

Deer Park is centred around the intersection of Yonge Street and St Clair Avenue, both of which have a variety of large office buildings and restaurants. The boundaries of this neighbourhood are roughly defined as: the CP railway tracks in the south, the Belt Line trail in the north, Avenue Road and Oriole Parkway in the west and the Rosedale Ravine in the east.

Part of the old borough of York, Weston is bordered on the north by Highway 401, on the west by the Humber River, and on the east by Jane St. and on the south by Weston Rd. Weston has a large Caribbean population, and is home to some of the best authentic Caribbean food in Toronto. The town's symbol is an old-fashioned bicycle, outlines of which are hung on streetlights on Weston Road. This originates from Weston once having a CCM bicycle factory, and being a manufacturing centre.

Get in

By subway

Taking subway line 1 along Yonge Street to Rosedale, Summerhill, St. Clair, Davisville, Eglinton, or Lawrence station will put you in Midtown Toronto.

Castle Frank station, on subway line 2 (Bloor-Danforth), provides connections to the Rosedale neighbourhood of Midtown.

Rail fans might want to view the Davisville subway yard at Davisville subway station from a pedestrian bridge crossing over the yard. The bridge is part of the Kay Gardner Beltline Park which runs along a former railway right-of-way.

By bus

Bus 82 runs from the Rosedale subway station, travels the neighbourhood and terminates immediately north of Rosedale; bus 75 terminates in the eastern end of Rosedale after serving Sherbourne Street through downtown.

By streetcar

The 512 Streetcar runs along St Clair Avenue from St Clair station to Weston Road. It operates in its own right-of-way with a raised curb between the streetcar tracks and regular traffic and a limited number of stops compared to regular services. As a result, the 512 Streetcar is an excellent way to see St Clair Avenue. The 512 Streetcar is often described as the midtown streetcar line.

By car

Coming from the 401, Yonge Street will take you through the heart of Midtown. Other exits, like Bayview Ave and Avenue Rd, will also provide access to the district. Eglinton Ave is the main east-west crossroad.

See

Casa Loma

Loring-Wyle Parkette
Ramsden Park in winter

Toronto has a number of older, classic-looking fire stations located mainly in the central districts. If you are in the area as a tourist, you should take short detour to view their exteriors. One of the mid-town stations is a designated National Historic Site.

Do

Take a self-guided Discovery Walk through the area's parks, the Don Valley Ravines and Mt Pleasant Cemetery (Central Ravines, Belt Line & Gardens - PDF map). This walk is 11km long and takes about 3 hours to complete. You can just do a portion of the walk if you prefer. There will be signs along the way to indicate that you're on the Discovery Walk route. For safety in the ravines, take a friend with you.

Buy

Summerhill

Yonge & Eglinton

The "Uptown Yonge" area along Yonge Street from Eglinton Avenue to Blythwood Road tends to have more of the larger stores than other Midtown commercial districts.

Yonge-Lawrence Village

Mount Pleasant Village

There are several specialty shops in this area south of Eglinton Avenue.

South Bayview

Bayview Avenue south of Eglinton forms its own little village with some specialty shops.

Eat

There are a lot of restaurant choices in Midtown, ranging from some of Toronto's best (and priciest) restaurants to neighbourhood establishments. Midtown also has some of the best pastry shops in the city.

Yonge & Davisville

Yonge & St. Clair

Yonge & Eglinton

Yonge-Lawrence Village

Mount Pleasant Village

South Bayview

St Clair West

St Clair Ave west of Bathurst St; see also Yonge & St Clair.

Leaside

Drink

Mount Pleasant Village

Yonge & St. Clair

Yonge & Eglinton

Sleep

To say that there are very few accommodation options in the area would be an understatement. It's better to choose a downtown hotel and travel to midtown.

Connect

Go next

Routes through Midtown

END North York  N  S  Yorkville and the Annex Entertainment and Financial Districts
Kitchener Etobicoke  W  E  West End Entertainment and Financial Districts


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, February 10, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.