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Running in Toronto: the Queen City

Cosmopolitan Toronto is the heart of the Golden Horseshoe, the immense megalopolis that extends in a crescent shape around Lake Ontario. Running in Toronto means above all visiting a new city, with its motley array of architecture and phenomenal number of skyscrapers.



En marchant ou en courant dans les rues de Toronto, vous entrapercevrez peut-être les magnifiques lettres illuminées qui forment le nom de la ville
Toronto City Hall

"I love British Columbia because it's so beautiful, but I think Toronto is the best place because all corners of the world come together here," says Rupi Kaur, a Canadian poet, writer and feminist, known by the nickname 'Instapoet'.


Canada's most populous city and capital of the province of Ontario, Toronto's colonial history began with a simple fortification called Fort Rouillé, built in 1750 by the French. Prior to that, the Iroquois inhabited the region, and the existence of Aboriginal peoples can be traced back almost 10,000 years.


During the American Revolution, Toronto welcomed cohorts of British Loyalist settlers. This led to the Constitutional Act of 1791, which divided the Province of Quebec into two parts, establishing the colony of Upper Canada. In 1793, the site of Toronto was purchased by the British Empire - controversially - from the Mississauga people.


Skyline de Toronto au soleil couchant
Toronto skyline

The city was then founded under the name of York, which can be found in the name of some of its present-day districts, and quickly became the capital of the province. It did not become Toronto until 1834, the year slavery was abolished in Upper Canada. Its name comes from one of the rivers that runs through the city, now called the Humber. Very descriptive of the islands created by the confluence of the Humber and the Don, its name means "The place where the roots of the trees dip in the water" in a Mohawk dialect.



From Yorkville to the banks of the Don


A financial, artistic, banking and commercial centre, Toronto is considered "one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world". Indeed, it has played a historic role as an immigration destination, and this is reflected in its inhabitants: it would appear that they belong to "more than 200 distinct ethnic origins", and "more than 160 languages" are spoken here!


Musée royal de l'Ontario
Royal Ontario Museum

This cultural richness is reflected in the existence of numerous institutions, including museums, art galleries and festivals. As you stroll through Toronto, you'll discover the Royal Ontario Museum, in the Yorkville district, which immediately catches the eye with its surprising deconstructivist architectural mix. From there, you'll be on the outskirts of Queen's Park, home to the Ontario Legislative Assembly!



Une visite de Toronto : marcher vers la Casa Loma
Casa Loma

Climbing up Davenport Hill, you'll come across the impressive Casa Loma, built in the early 20th century in a variety of styles: Norman, neo-Gothic, Scottish baronial...


Nearby, Rosedale and its trails, on the banks of the River Don, are waiting to be explored. You can even stop off at Todmorden Mills Heritage Site, made up of fully restored 19th-century buildings, including an old brewery. Then, along the river, up to the huge, modern Ontario Science Centre, you'll find yourself in a pleasantly wooded area. A cool walk perfect for summer days!



Old Toronto


Getting to the historic heart of the city is easy: when you visit Toronto, keep your eyes peeled for the CN Tower. A symbol of the city, the 553-metre-high CN Tower towers over the harbour on Lake Ontario. It's the tallest tower in the western hemisphere! Used as a communications tower by various media, you can visit its platform... and experience the thrill of looking down through its glass floor.


If you like running at night, you'll particularly appreciate the illuminated retractable dome at the Rogers Center, at the foot of the tower. A real marvel of technology, it was the first motorised roof of its kind to be installed on a stadium!


Courir dans Toronto vous permettra de découvrir la Tour CN et le Rogers Centre
The CN Tower and the Rogers Centre








From the port, there are many options. One would be to head for Fort York, the scene of clashes linked to the American invasions during the War of 1812. You could then head back up towards Chinatown, or take a diversion to contemplate Osgoode Hall, built around 1830 in the Palladian and neoclassical architectural styles. It has a major function, as it houses the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Divisional Court of Ontario and the Law Society of Upper Canada!



Ancien Hôtel de Ville de Toronto
Former Toronto City Hall

Nearby, you'll find the old Town Hall and Saint Michael's Basilica-Cathedral, two emblematic buildings. It's also worth taking the short ferry ride to the islands, to enjoy the beaches of Hanlan's Point and Gibraltar, as well as the various parks they contain.


And all with a breathtaking view of the Toronto skyline!




Run, walk or ride with JOOKS, from the CN Tower to the banks of the Don!


Find all the routes in the city of Toronto and over 1,300 others on the JOOKS app.







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