City of Toronto

Downtown Toronto is the primary central business district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located entirely within the former municipality of Old Toronto, it is approximately bounded by Bloor Street to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, the Don River to the east, and Bathurst Street to the west. The area is made up of the city’s largest concentration of skyscrapers and businesses. It also contains buildings of the municipal government of Toronto and provincial government of Ontario.

The Financial District, centered on the intersection of Bay Street and King Street is the centerpiece of the Canada’s financial industry. It contains the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is the largest in Canada and seventh in the world by market capitalization. The construction of skyscrapers in Downtown Toronto had started to rapidly increase during the 1960s.

The retail core of the downtown is the Downtown Yonge area located along Yonge Street from College Street to Queen Street. There is a large concentration of retail here, including the Toronto Eaton Centre indoor mall. There are an estimated 600 retail stores, 150 bars and restaurants, and 7 hotels. In recent years the area has been experiencing a renaissance as the Business Improvement Area (BIA) has brought in new retail and improved the cleanliness. The area has also seen the opening of the Dundas Square public square, a ‘Times Square’ of Toronto and surrounding development. The area includes several live theatres, a movie complex at Dundas Square and the historic Massey Hall. Historical sites and landmarks include the Arts & Letter Club, the Church of the Holy Trinity, Mackenzie House, Maple Leaf Gardens, Old City Hall, and the Toronto Police Museum and Discovery Centre.
The area of St. Lawrence to the east of the financial district is the oldest area of Toronto. It features heritage buildings, theatres, music, dining and many pubs. It is a community of distinct downtown neighbourhoods including the site of the original Town of York, which was Toronto’s first neighbourhood, dating back to 1793. The area boasts one of the largest concentrations of 19th century buildings in Ontario. Of particular note are the St. Lawrence Hall, St. James’ Cathedral, St. Michael’s Cathedral, St. Paul’s Basilica, the Enoch Turner School House, the Bank of Upper Canada, Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel, and the Gooderham Building. Further to the east is Corktown and the Distillery District. On Saturday there is a farmers market.

To the west of the financial district is the Entertainment District. It is home to hundreds of restaurants, nightclubs, sporting facilities, boutiques, hotels, attractions, and live theatre. The district was formerly an industrial area and was redeveloped for entertainment purposes in the early 1980s, becoming a major centre for entertainment. The redevelopment started with the Mirvish family refurbishing of the Royal Alexandra Theatre and their construction of the Princess of Wales Theatre. The area is now the site of Roy Thomson Hall and the Canadian Broadcasting Centre.

The Yorkville area, to the north, north of Bloor Street, has more than 700 designer boutiques, spas, restaurants, hotels, and world class galleries. It is a former town in its own right and has developed into an up-scale shopping district. The intersection of Bloor and Yonge Streets is the intersection of the city’s subway lines and is one of the busiest intersections in the city. At the intersection of Avenue Road and Bloor Street is the Royal Ontario Museum, the largest museum of the city, with a diverse anthropological and natural history collection.

The Harbourfront area to the south was formerly an industrial and railway lands area. Since the 1970s, it has seen extensive redevelopment, including the building of the Rogers Centre stadium, numerous condominiums and the Harbourfront Centre waterfront revitalization. The area to the east of Yonge Street is still in transition, with conversion of industrial lands to mixed residential and commercial uses planned. The PATH Underground, which is an extensive network of tunnels connecting the buildings of the area, helps take people from off the streets, especially during the winter months.

Among the important government headquarters there is the Ontario Legislature, and the Toronto City Hall.