Toronto City Runs recently changed ownership. New information will be added soon. In the meantime, if you're interested in seeing the sights, you can reach Dan Grant by completing the web form in the Contact section, or by emailing email@example.com
Curious about Toronto's history? Have an interest in how the city shaped popular music? Simply want to see the sights? We love sharing Toronto's history and character.
Some details are listed below. More information is coming soon.
Beer Runs (COMING SOON)
My area of expertise (I'm a certified Beer Specialist and frequently published Beer Writer) keeps me in regular contact with local brewers and publicans. I'm well acquainted with the history of Toronto's industry, from the original breweries that supplied British soldiers at Fort York to the revival of craft beer in the 1980s. Today, Toronto boasts 20 active craft breweries within the city, a few others near completion and several more beginning construction or in the planning stages.
FENIANS AND FAMINE Irish History Tour (Dates now posted on CityRunningTours.com)
At the height of the Irish Potato Famine in 1847, 38,000 refugees landed on Toronto's shores. At the time, the city's population was only half that number. Still today, more than 50% of Ontarians claim at least one line of their family history reaching back to the Emerald Isle. Near the waterfront, several markers testify to the challenges and contributions of Irish settlement. Ireland Park – a harbourfront memorial to the passengers that arrived (dead and alive) on coffin ships – was opened by Ireland's President in 2007. To the east, plaques now mark the spots where fever sheds and mass graves dealt with victims overcome by typhus. An Irish pub now occupies the corner where Fenians gathered at Michael Murphy's tavern to plot the overthrow of the Queen's government in British North America. Even Toronto's Great Circus Riot of 1855 – where clowns brawled with a local fire crew in a brothel one night, then again at the Big Top tent the following day – has its roots in Irish Toronto's rich history.
VINYL TORONTO Musical Highlights Tour (Dates now posted on CityRunningTours.com)
If you're hooked on HBO's VINYL, you're going to love this tour. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Toronto was home to some of the biggest events and awakenings in popular music.
It was here that John Lennon decided the Beatles were through and the Prime Minister's wife disappeared for days with the Rolling Stones. Neil Young and Joni Mitchell found their voices in a Yorkville coffee shop, and Bob Dylan met his band... which went on to become The Band.
TorHAUNTo Ghost Tour (starting summer, 2016)
Toronto's consistently ranks among the world's most livable cities... but it's not just for living. Like any big city, ours has had its share of murder, mystery and mayhem, leaving behind souls with stories of their own. The TorHAUNTo Ghost Tour shares tales of tragedy and torment that refuse to die.
Harbourfront Scenic Tour (returns in 2016)
Travelling west from downtown, runners along Lake Ontario are treated to spectacular views and changing landscapes, from a butterfly habitat to a boardwalk that connects historic dance halls and summer clubs. Monuments mark the site where Marilyn Bell became the first person to swim across Lake Ontario, at the age of 16. Gardens and tall grasses line the path, bordered by water on one side and parkland on the other. North America's first urban wind turbine towers over the site of a French trading post dating back to 1750, before the British arrival.
War of 1812 Historical sites (starting in 2016)
Just west of the Town of York (now Toronto), 1,700 American troops arrived in a wooded area and made their way East. By the time they reached Fort York, the 600 British regulars and militia were ill-prepared and retreated as the casualties started to mount. As they fled however, they ignited the Fort's artillery magazine, creating an explosion that killed 38 U.S. troops and wounded 222 others. Among the fatalities was Brigidier General Zebulon Pike (he of Pike's Place fame). In the days that followed, the American troops completely overtook the town, torching Canada's first parliament building (which led to the British troops retaliating by burning the White House).
Toronto Sports History Tour (starting in 2016)
Although known mostly for its hockey team, Toronto's association with the athletics runs deep. Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run here. George Chuvalo went the distance with Mohammed Ali at Maple Leaf Gardens. Snow covered the ground on opening day, 1977, when the Blue Jays played their first ever MLB game. From engineering feats like the world's first stadium with a retractable roof (SkyDome, now called the Rogers Centre) to architectural gems like the Hockey Hall of Fame, runners on this route will experience tales of international greats as well as learn some local legends that changed the course of athletic history.
The Toronto Islands (starting in 2016)
Stretching more than three miles from end to end, the Islands form the barrier that create Toronto's inner harbour. It was here that Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run (the ball was never recovered from its watery resting place). Home to a small zoo, an amusement park and Toronto's only clothing-optional beach, it also boasts a lighthouse rumoured to be haunted by its former keeper, who fell victim to an unsolved murder. About 50 homes occupy a tiny neighbourhood on the east end of the islands. Its most famous resident however, came from the western island that shares his name. Ned Hanlan was a rower who lost just six out of 300 races. From 1880 to 1884 he was the world sculling champion; a title he held seven times in total.
Our PERSONALIZED RUNNING TOURS are completely customizable to the day, time, distance and sights you want to see.
For details, visit www.CityRunningTours.com
Every two weeks (sometimes more) we lead scores of runners to this city's best beer-focused pubs and breweries. Running with us is free, and usually your first beer is as well.
Find out when where and when we're running next, on Facebook.