Toronto Architecture

architectural travel entry: two

We are walking down the street and overhear a group of people saying “its awful”  “I don’t get it!”

There is so much emotion as I eavesdrop on the people pointing and looking up. My friend turns to me and says “I love it” of course not everyone feels negatively, myself included.

The overtly contemporary building hovers above us, for those who look up to enjoy it – for those who never look up they will never know.  Underneath the color, extreme form and playful facade there is meaning and reason.  I wonder as I continue to eavesdrop perhaps many people are not open-minded to this ‘new’ architectural style – are people seeing it without bias or just looking and making quick determinations.  I began to worry but soon hear more people pointing and discussing and I am reassured that this building along with many others evokes feeling, conversation and debate.

Colourful architecture    

OCAD by Alsop in Toronto

Do you have an architectural travel story to share…

Toronto Architect Resource

Here are a few books to quench your thirst for insight on these great minds of Architects who work in Toronto:


The Architect of Gardiner Museum, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning,Canada’s National Ballet School, and Young Centre for the Performing Arts

The Architecture of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg

The Architect of Bata Show Museum

The Architect of Bata Show Museum

In Search of a Soul

For more information about a selection of Architects who have worked in Toronto:

Architect of AGO

 The Architect of the Art Gallery of Ontario

Gehry Talks: Architecture and Process (Universe Architecture Series)
  Architect of OCADThe Architect of Sharp Centre for Design (OCAD)
  Will Alsop: The Noise

Architect of TD Canada Trust TowersThe Architect of TD Canada Trust Towers

Mies Van Der Rohe At Work

The Architect of BCE Place:The Architect of BCE Place

 Santiago Calatrava: Complete Works, Expanded Edition

The Architect of Roy Thomson HallThe Architect of Roy Thomson Hall

Arthur Erickson Critical Works
 Toronto guide book
 Toronto Architecture Guide Book

Toronto Architecture Resources

There are many resources on Toronto Architecture,

for those who want to learn more…

Here are a few books that will help you while admiring Toronto’s modern architecture:

Toronto Architecture
Bold Visions: The Architecture of the Royal Ontario Museum
  Toronto architecture
    Concrete Toronto: A Guide to Concrete Architecture from the Fifties to the Seventies
  Toronto Architecture
Frank Gehry in Toronto: Transforming the Art Gallery of Ontario
 Toronto Architecture
  Design City Toronto (Interior Angles)

Toronto guide bookToronto Architecture Guide Book

Awesome websites to follow that feature cool Toronto Architecture and more:

Modern Toronto:

Spacing Toronto:

A Guide to Modern Architecture



The Toronto Society of Architects (TSA) was established in 1887, it is a non-profit volunteer-based organization made up of architects and members of the community interested in architecture. The TSA is the local Chapter of the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), the licensing and regulatory body that governs the practice of architecture in Ontario.

From May to October the TSA offers guided walking tours of the Toronto’s best contemporary architecture.   The guides are trained volunteers offer insightful building details, shedding light on the urban context and historical facts of the modern Toronto Architecture included on the tour.

There are currently three tours offered to satisfy a variety of interested:

Art and Performance Tour

Culture and Campus Tour

Towers Tour

Visit the TSA website:



Tours of specific architectural projects are also offered which are typically more in-depth about that particular building.  The following building’s offer tours of their spaces:

Art Gallery of Ontario:

These tours are free with admission and are held frequently.  Visit:

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts:

Tours are not frequent so be sure to visit their website for more information.


Roy Thomson Hall:

One hour tours are provided.  Visit:



This is an annual event in the City of Toronto where one weekend a year many (almost 150 buildings) open their doors to the public.  This allows visitors access to architecturally significant projects which normally charge entrance or are not open to the public, and many buildings have organized guided tours and displays.  Doors open is a great event typically at the end of May.

For more information visit:



A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto

By Margaret Goodfellow (Author), Phil Goodfellow (Author), Helen Malkin (Editor), Nancy Dunton (Editor)

A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto provides information on modern Toronto Architecture with helpful information for your travel.  Each project is featured on a two-page spread with a project description, photographs, and drawings. The projects are organized by neighborhood and allow the reader to take a self-guided tour. Maps at the introduction of each neighborhood provide context, and an index provides easy referencing of projects throughout.

A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto

Top 10 Toronto (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides)

Lorraine Johnson (Author), Draughtsman Ltd (Illustrator)

The Eyewitness Travel Guides are always a must have on my travels.  They contain reliable information, colourful illustrations and images, fold out maps and a small pocket map to help you get around.  The books are organized well and easy to follow, these books are all you need particularly for a short trip.  I like the small pocket-size and durable cover because it is easy to carry around.   They take the work out of planning any trip.


Toronto guide book5.  architectureGROUPIE

The Toronto Architecture Guide Book is a great directory of modern architecture, buildings are cataloged by image so you can decide what you want you like or don’t like before you go.  Along with clear photos and direct web links to each building’s webpage with the exact address, closest public transit stop and a feature or note about each of the projects.

Learn more at

A Guide to Modern Architecture  Visit for more information on other cities

For helps tips and information on Toronto’s Public Transportation see: