Old Town Toronto

What stands out to me the most in Toronto is the abundance of high-rises across the vast city. And in contrast to the modern skyscrapers are the old buildings from the early 1800s. Side-by-side or towering nearby, these old and new buildings reflect history and time. If you wander the city and notice these differences, you’ll know there are stories passed down for every building.

On a recent breezy, sunny day, we toughed out the cold and went sightseeing in Old Town Toronto. This neighborhood resides in downtown and was the first neighborhood named in the city. Starting at the Old City Hall, we ventured into areas we had yet discovered.

In front of Eaton Centre, where some older buildings have converted into modern businesses.

Holy Trinity Church, built in 1847 and funded by an anonymous donor.

Old vs. New

St James Cathedral and Park

St James is the oldest cathedral in Toronto, established in 1797 and built at first with wood in 1807. Destroyed by the Great Fire in Toronto in 1849, the cathedral was rebuilt in brick and stone in 1850.

St James Park was formerly a cemetery. Where the tulips grow, the bodies have been removed. But at a different section of the park, the bodies remain buried from the cholera epidemic. Because the cholera is still infectious, the bodies are left alone, even though the site is no longer deemed a cemetery.

St Lawrence

From the cathedral, we visited St Lawrence area to check out St Lawrence Market. Nearby is the Cholera Memorial, the “ugliest memorial” in Toronto, true words spoken from a local. The faucet is the source of the cholera outbreak in 1839.

St Lawrence Market has a myriad of shops and restaurants. We shopped at an organic market and grabbed a couple of cold-pressed juices from a raw cafe, Cruda Cafe, before visiting the cutest fountain for dog lovers.

Sightseeing in Toronto has proven fun and pleasant, especially when sunny. We expected the cold, but we didn’t expect a lot of rain here. The downpour we’ve experienced here has been much worse than being in London. People always talk about London being rainy, but we found it to be more gloomy than rainy. Even Seattle has London beat for rain. Perhaps we’re here in Toronto during their rainy months, but at least there are sunny days to compensate the wetness. We got lucky with this sunny day out in Old Town; it was such a gorgeous day.