A worm’s eye view of a regal court, with a golden fountain in the foreground.

Frontenac County Court | Destination Ontario

Historic and architecture walking tours in Ontario

A worm’s eye view of a regal court, with a golden fountain in the foreground.

Frontenac County Court | Destination Ontario

Learn about Ontario’s rich history and heritage through its architecture.

Embark on a guided or self-guided walking tour that showcases building designs and styles from various eras and their historical context. Interesting anecdotes and stories from the past provide different social, cultural and political perspectives.

Please respect the privacy of residents and property owners and enjoy the view from the sidewalks.

Greater Toronto Area

City of Toronto Architectural Tours

With a sizeable collection of walking tours, you’ll learn something new about the city of Toronto whether you’re a tourist or a local.

All self-guided tours include a route map, directions to the closest transit stop and some fun trivia about the neighbourhood. Get a new perspective on well-known neighbourhoods like Kensington Market and take a ghost tour through Toronto if you're feeling brave.

View The Annex neighbourhood through writer and activist Jane Jacob’s eyes or explore Canadian scholar Marshall McLuhan’s Toronto with an audio tour to enjoy at your own pace.

Toronto Society of Architects Walking Tours

Uncover the untold stories of Toronto as you visit well-known landmarks and hidden treasures with a local tour guide.

Peer up at Toronto’s skyscrapers or learn about the evolution of Toronto’s queer spaces in the Church and Wellesley Village.

Tours are available every weekend this summer and early fall. Find past virtual tours for free on their website.

Heritage Toronto

Learn about Toronto’s heritage on a self-guided tour of the city’s downtown core.

Discover how the architectural development of Yonge Street has shaped how people come together and experience life in Toronto with a self-guided tour.

Fascinating tours include King Street East’s Black history and the University of Toronto’s architectural heritage.

Heritage Mississauga 

Tour the historic buildings in Mississauga in places such as Port Credit, Streetsville, Meadowvale Village and Clarkson.

Print copies are available for free at The Grange.

Southwestern Ontario

Geranium Heritage House Tour in London

Each year in June, Geranium Heritage House Tours invites visitors to explore a different historic neighbourhood in London. Homes that are open to visitors are marked with red geraniums. Afternoon refreshments are offered at a public building along the tour route.

With a booklet that includes descriptions of the streetscapes and a map of the tour route, you will grow to appreciate London’s architectural heritage.

Hamilton, Halton and Brant

Hamilton Architecture Crawl

Travel like a local on a self-guided tour through downtown Hamilton.

Visit the Lister Building, a brown and white terracotta retail and office complex with a decadent classical Renaissance facade.

See Hamilton City Hall, which appeared in Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-winning film The Shape of Water. The handy guide includes nearby dining destinations.

Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington

Kitchener Walking Tours

Download a guide and map of Kitchener’s historic buildings.

The tour features buildings from a 19th-century Italian-style bank to the modern Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work building at Wilfred Laurier University.

Wilmot Township Walking Tours

Take a self-guided tour through a neighbourhood in Wilmot Township.

The Baden walking tour features Castle Kilbride, a grand Victorian home with rare Trompe l’oeil painted wall and ceiling murals.

On the New Hamburg walking tour, you’ll pass by the Carnegie Library, built circa 1914 in the Beaux Arts/Classical Revival style.

Cobourg Street Stroll in Stratford

Stroll down one of Stratford's original streets and admire the Victorian and Edwardian details of houses on display. The self-guided tour maps details when the house was built and a short history of the homeowners.

Stroll Walking Tours in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge

Uncover interesting stories and characters from the past in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. Expertly curated walking tours will help you explore the sights and see the city from a whole new perspective.

Clinton Historical Walking Tour

Explore nearly two centuries of local history at iconic Clinton landmarks, like the Town Hall, Hotel Normandie or the Roxy Theatre.

Learn about the history of each site and how it connects to larger events or trends in history, such as temperance in Huron County, the Second World War or the legacy of railway hotels.

York, Durham and Headwaters

Caledon Heritage Walking Tours

While historic hamlets have disappeared over time, Caledon's present-day communities continue to reflect early Euro-Canadian settlement patterns. Take a self-guided tour through historic villages throughout Caledon and see a medley of architectural styles, from Edwardian Classical to Regency.

Bruce, Grey and Simcoe

Collingwood Heritage Walk

Starting and ending at Town Hall, choose between one of three self-guided walks in Collingwood.

Discover Collingwood's rich history on three different heritage walks through the town's east, west and downtown areas.

The West Heritage Walk features Regency cottages with large gardens and Queen Anne houses that mix picturesque towers and turrets with classical windows and trimmings. Look for sunflower designs on buildings, a popular Victorian motif used by builders as a symbol of their craftsmanship.

Barrie Heritage Walking Tours

Stylish homes and buildings from the nineteenth and early twentieth century survive along Barrie’s modern streetscapes.

Uncover fascinating stories on several self-guided tours, some of which include an audio accompaniment. Follow the live GPS and play a trivia game at each destination.

Kawarthas and Northumberland

Port Hope Heritage Tours

If you like a good story, Port Hope has plenty to tell. Walk down Walton Street, named the best-preserved Main Street in Ontario by TVO.

For instance, Hotel Carlyle’s 19th century Italianate architecture has been restored, retaining its impressive grand pillars in its dining space and converting the grand carriage house into a lounge.

Walk Cobourg Heritage Tours

Visit one of four heritage conservation districts with an interactive map.

Among the architectural wonders in Cobourg’s Commercial Core are a Gothic brick church with handsomely carved woodwork and stained glass windows and a Palladian town hall with a massive Corinthian-columned clock tower.

Colborne Heritage Walking Tour

Take in Colborne’s architectural gems on a self-guided walking tour, from the grand Neoclassical Joseph A. Keeler House to the Thornton House, considered thought to be one of the oldest homes in Colborne.  

Southeastern Ontario

Kingston Architectural Tours

Admire the beautiful heritage buildings designed by local architects that have stood the test of time.

The Newlands + Coverdale self-guided tour showcases William Newlands and William Coverdale’s architectural contributions, while the John + Joseph Power tour highlights father-son duo John and Joseph Power’s designs, which include the Frontenac County Courthouse and several Victorian mansions.

Algonquin Park, Muskoka and Parry Sound

Gravenhurst Heritage Walking Tour

Explore the town of Gravenhurst on a walking tour. Previously known as Sawdust City for its milling and lumber heritage, Gravenhurst is home to rail, steamship and other fascinating historical and architectural sites.

Port Carling Walking Tour

Join a local resident on a guided walking tour through the village of Port Carling and learn all about its colourful history.

Visit the locks, the First Nations village, the famous photo wall and other significant sites. Tours set out from the Muskoka Lakes Museum and last about an hour.

Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma

Walking Tours of Sault Ste. Marie

Join Blaq Bear tours for a guided walk in downtown Sault Ste. Marie and explore the art, architecture and culture that has shaped the history of this northern Ontario city.

Last updated: June 25, 2024

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