Image courtesy Tourism Toronto Credits: Image courtesy Tourism Toronto
501 Streetcar: With its 25 kilometres of double track, the 501 Queen streetcar route is the longest streetcar route on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) network, and one of the longest in North America. If you've got about two hours (depending on traffic), ride the track from end to end and experience the city in a new way.
Start at Long Branch Loop on Lakeshore Boulevard, the westernmost streetcar stop in Toronto, and ride all the way east to where the track ends at Neville Park Loop in The Beaches. The route offers passengers a glimpse of many neighbourhoods such as New Toronto, Mimico, super-cool Roncesvalles, trendy Queen West Village, the downtown and Leslieville. If you’ve only got an hour, get on the streetcar at Yonge and Queen Streets and continue east to Neville Park.
That curious building you’ll see when you get off at Neville Park is one of Toronto’s most Instagrammed landmarks, the R.C. Harris Filtration Plant. It’s worth a walkabout. Just a five-minute walk westward you’ll find another Toronto landmark, the 3.5-kilometre Beaches boardwalk, which hugs the shore of Lake Ontario. Be sure to take a selfie at the century-old blue-and-white Leuty Lifeguard Station. For more information visit the TTC’s route planner.
504 Streetcar: For another streetcar adventure, take the subway to Dundas West Station and transfer to the southbound 504 King streetcar. This route will take you through the up-and-coming Roncesvalles neighbourhood, the heart of Toronto’s Polish community. Family-run restaurants, vegetable stands, Polish food shops, hip cafes and art galleries are plentiful. After travelling south, the route veers east upon reaching King Street and takes you through the fashion and theatre districts. If you have time, stay on the streetcar—you’ll merge with Queen Street, turn north on Broadview Avenue and eventually pass through Chinatown (at Gerrard and Broadview).
Keep your eyes peeled to the west once the streetcar passes Gerrard Streeet; you’ll be treated to a surprisingly green, panoramic view of the city. Skyscrapers, the CN Tower and 50-storey condominums are all bracketed by the lush green of the Don Valley. (Who knew Toronto had so many trees and woodlots!) The route ends at Broadview Station, which plants you at the Broadview Danforth intersection, the eastern border of Toronto’s Greektown. Folks, now it’s time to eat! Visit the TTC route planner.
82 Rosedale Bus: Changing gears, and vehicles, catch the 82 Rosedale bus at Rosedale Subway Station, which is within walking distance of Yonge and Bloor Streets. The 82 Rosedale is Toronto’s oldest continuously running bus route, serving the (mostly) posh and exclusive Rosedale neighbourhood. Following Crescent Road, Schofield Avenue, South Road, Summerhill Avenue and Glen Road, this is where you’ll find many of Toronto’s finest mansions. By all means, get off the bus to get a close-up of these classic Old Toronto homes. For more information visit the TTC’s route planner.
Enjoy exploring Toronto this summer by transit. For more information on things to see and do in the city, visit our Guide to Toronto.