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Past TOURS / Sidewalk Stories: Old Meets New

Sidewalk Stories: Old Meets New

Photograph of the Royal Ontario Museum showing the building architectural history

Explore over 150 years of unique architectural history in and around the University of Toronto’s St. George campus, delving into how architects have worked around, added to, repaired, adapted, and even relocated some of the earliest structures in the area. Play a game of Heritage Bid as you tour through one of the most remarkable architectural collections in Canada, taking stock of buildings such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Faculty of Arts and Science, and Robarts Library. Led by Joël León of the Toronto Society of Architects, this walk will challenge preconceptions of what heritage is and raise questions of how to preserve our past while meeting the needs of the future.

Developed in collaboration with the Toronto Society of Architects.


Meeting point: Royal Ontario Museum, east steps, 100 Queens Park (Weston Entrance on Queen’s Park, across the street from the Gardiner Museum)
End point: Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St George St
Length of the tour: 90 minutes
Total active walking time: 45-55 minutes
Total walking distance: 2km
Longest walking time between stops: 12 minutes


Joël León is a Toronto-based architect, researcher and Programming Director for the Toronto Society of Architects. Joël completed his Masters in Architecture at the University of Toronto, and was recipient of numerous graduating awards including the Alpha Rho Chi Medal and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Honour Roll. A strong believer in interdisciplinary learning, Joël also holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies and Urban Studies, as well as a minor in Economics. A strong advocate for architecture, Joël strives to promote public awareness on the impact of design in everyday life, helping to build a dialogue between the public and the architectural profession.


Toronto Society of Architects
Established in 1887, the Toronto Society of Architects (TSA) is a non-profit volunteer-led organization dedicated to bringing people together to discuss, learn and explore around our shared passion for the built environment. torontosocietyofarchitects.ca


Get to know Toronto’s unforgettable stories with a unique series of walking tours. There’s something for everyone in these five distinct experiences that will transport you back to the formative Toronto of the 17th century, all the way through to the gritty 1980s.


Led by Joël León and developed in collaboration with the Toronto Society of Architects.

Myseum of Toronto is made possible with the generous support of Diane Blake and Stephen Smith.

Image credit: Royal Ontario Museum. Photo by Luqman Yasin, 2020.

Sidewalk Stories: Old Meets New

15 Oct 2022 –
16 Oct 2022

Saturday October 15, 2022
1:30 PM
4:00 PM

Sunday October 16, 2022
1:30 PM
4:00 PM


Royal Ontario Museum, east steps (Weston Entrance on Queen’s Park, across the street from the Gardiner Museum)
100 Queens Park
Toronto, ON

Tours will be in large groups of people. We recommend wearing a mask because physical distancing cannot be possible.

This tour will take place on entirely flat terrain and paved sidewalks, and will feature regular city traffic. This tour involves walking and standing for long periods of time. If you require mobility assistance or have any accessibility requests, please notify us at [email protected] and we will do our best to accommodate.

Rain or shine the tours will move ahead. However, in the event that the forecast calls for storms or very heavy rain, a notice of cancellation will be sent out 3 hours prior to the start of the tour.

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