Toronto/North York

North York is one of the cities that in the 1997 City of Toronto Act became a part of the Toronto mega-city. North York has a unique charm being its own brand of multiculuralism. There are many aspects of North York that make up the vast proportion of Toronto living, from its university, historical sites, and various unique neighbourhoods, North York has become a city within a city.


The area of the former city of North York is demographically, ethnically and culturally diverse and can be classified into many areas or districts depending on one's perspective. Some examples appear below but many are largely generalisations that provide an incomplete perspective.

North York has the following districts:

Yonge St in Downtown North York in 2015.

Get in

Public Transit

With Yonge-University subway line 1, Central North York is easily accessible by transit to and from downtown from Sheppard-Yonge, North York Centre and Finch stations. From York Region, Viva express buses run to the Finch subway station, as do GO commuter buses and a large number of TTC buses. The York Mills and Lawrence stations, also on the line 1, also serve North York, but are south of the North York city centre. (Lawrence Station is actually in Toronto/Midtown but North York is within 2 km east and west of this station.)

Sheppard subway line 4 is entirely within North York. It connects with subway line 1 at Sheppard-Yonge Station and travels east through Bayview, Bessarion, Leslie and Don Mills stations. Bayview Village Mall is next door to Bayview Station, and Fairview Mall is adjacent to Don Mills Station.

Subway line 1 is U-shaped starting and ending in North York and travelling through downtown via Union Station. The west end of line 1 (often called the Spadina line) runs from north to south through Downsview, Wilson, Yorkdale, Lawrence West and Glencairn stations. Some of these stations would be convenient to visit Lawrence Manor while the Downsview station buses would take you to Jane-Finch and York University. Yorkdale Station has a GO bus terminal and a pedestrian link to Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

Other areas of North York are not served by rapid transit (subways). Some areas are well served by bus, with waiting times as little as 5 minutes between buses, while other areas are less well served, resulting in times as long as 20 to 30 minutes between buses, particularly outside rush hours.


The world's largest hydraulophone at The Ontario Science Centre



Scott Library, York University


Fairview Mall


There are dozens of plazas and strip malls in North York that beg for exploration. Don't be dissuaded by visions of suburban purgatory! If you have your own transportation, you can explore and sample tasty authentic Persian, Middle Eastern, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Jewish, Chinese, Caribbean, Indian, Latin American or classic diners and more. Often at better prices and greater quality than downtown strips. When multiculturalism is talked about in Toronto, it is the areas of North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke.


Stay safe

Like any major city, North York (as part of Toronto) has its share of crime, though far less than the rate found in American cities of equal (and even smaller) size. While it is easy to name specific areas (Jane and Finch, Don Mills and Finch) these are based as much on local legend as police data. Additionally, they tend to be out of the way and purely residential areas and so most tourists will have little reason to venture to them. A lot of the crime is gang-on-gang and in the wee hours. Practice good safety routines, keep your wits and you'll be fine. Plan your route ahead of time as best you can and avoid walking alone at night in deserted areas. Feel free to enjoy late night events, sights, sounds and smells in areas with lots of people. All said, North York is generally one of the safer areas of Toronto, and there is little to fear. If you seem lost or confused, simply ask someone!

Go next

Routes through North York

END  N  S  Midtown Entertainment and Financial Districts
Barrie Vaughan  N  S  Entertainment and Financial Districts END
END Richmond Hill  N  S  Entertainment and Financial Districts END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 18, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.