Toronto’s Financial District has been the heart of Canada's finance industry since a mass relocation of global bank headquarters from Montreal in the 1960s. Situated in historic Old Toronto, the area hosts an impressively dense collection of skyscrapers and architectural gems, from First Canadian Place to Scotia Plaza.
One of Toronto’s busiest neighborhoods, the Financial District is a stop on most hop-on hop-off bus tours, a convenient way for visitors to explore without the hassle of navigating on their own. Others opt for private tours, including a walk through Downtown and Old Toronto in the day’s customized itinerary. A private guide provides context about historic landmarks that visitors often miss when exploring alone, from the Flatiron Building to the Fairmont Hotel.
What to Know Before You Go
- As home to three of Canada’s tallest skyscrapers and a variety of historic 19th-century buildings, Financial District is a must-visit for architecture buffs.
- Don’t forget comfortable shoes, as the area’s best explored on foot.
- There’s a 3-hour time limit for parking in the area unless otherwise specified.
How to Get There
Situated in the heart of Old Town Toronto, the Financial District is easily accessible using the city’s comprehensive public transit system. Take the metro’s 1 line or street car 509 to Union Station, or take bus 6 or streetcar 504 to Bay Street and King Street. Alternatively, the area has a number of bike-share docks, which can be easily located on the Bike Share Toronto website.
When to Get There
As a major hub for banks, law firms, and insurance companies, the Financial District is buzzing during weekday business hours. For a quiet visit, explore in the evenings or on weekends. Summer farmers markets are held at various locations in the Financial District, including Scotia Plaza, Brookfield Place, and Royal Bank Plaza. In addition, a range of restaurants in the area offer prix-fixe menus during Summerlicious restaurant week every July.
Toronto’s PATH holds the title of the largest underground shopping network in the world. At 4 million square feet (371,600 square meters), PATH connects public transit stops, shopping centers, and office buildings in the core of Downtown Toronto. A visit to the Financial District offers an opportunity to explore the tunnels, which are lined with shops and cafes hidden beneath the city.