Secrets of Confederation: Walking Tour - Atlas Obscura
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Toronto, Canada

Secrets of Confederation: Walking Tour

Celebrate Canada's 150th birthday with an in-depth tour offering insights into everything from Canada's railways and skyscrapers to secret banking codes and design inspiration from the Beatles.

It’s been said that Canada is the only country in the world that talked its way from being a former colony to a sovereign nation, and this year marks the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation back in 1867.

This tour—through the heart of downtown Toronto—will uncover some of the lesser-known stories behind the way that Canada’s largest city has developed in the last 150 years. We’ll start out at the 167-year-old building where some of Canada’s early leaders talked up becoming a country. It was also home to a riot or two, in addition to being a refuge for American slaves.

We’ll talk about how important the railway was to early Canada, in addition to the great skyscraper race that started with a 15-story building in 1913 and ended with the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. We’ll also find out where the Beatles stayed when they were in Toronto, and learn the “secret code” used in old carvings to inspire bankers decades ago in Toronto's Financial District. We’ll end by seeing Toronto’s current City Hall, which was once overrun by zombies (on screen) and made a guest appearance on Star Trek.

This tour is a great way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, drawing you in with a number of seemingly random stops that will fill you with fun and eclectic stories, and give you a much better appreciation of quirky Toronto!


  • Meeting point: Outside St. Lawrence Hall, located at 157 King Street East, at the southwest corner of King Street East and Jarvis Street.
  • How to get there: There is a public transit TTC streetcar stop right there and it's a walk of 5 minutes from the King Street subway station.
  • You will be walking around for at least 2 hours; be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • If the tour fills up, another will be added in the afternoon.
  • In the event of rain, the tour will be cancelled and attendees' ticket costs will be refunded.



Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.

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