Picture this – It’s a gloomy winter morning and the weather forecast says “Expect severe weather with wind chills of -15 °C!” You live in Downtown Toronto so atleast you are spared the drive to work. All you have to do is get on the subway and head to work. However, you can’t escape the rush hour nightmare at the subway station. Fortunately, Toronto has the PATH .
The PATH Toronto
What is the PATH?
No, no I am not talking about the Hulu Original Series starring Aaron Paul. The PATH Toronto is a walkway that connects many commercial centers and office buildings in the Financial and Entertainment districts of Toronto that enable easy commute between buildings akin to the +15 walkway in Calgary.
What’s On the PATH
That’s great! but why is this featured on a Travel Blog? Well, the PATH is not JUST an easy commuting route for locals, it is also a covered walkway that tourists can take advantage of. Check out the list below.
Brookfield Place, home of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Allan Lambert Galleria and the steel arches at Sam Pollock Square are all on this walkway.
This walkway also connects you to the CN Tower Skywalk at Union Station that also leads you to Ripley’s Aquarium Of Canada, Rogers Centre and the CN Tower. To get to the Skywalk, walk up a flight of stairs at Union Train Station up to the Great Hall. From the Great Hall, follow sign boards leading you toward the CN Tower.
The other notable buildings that are reachable through the PATH are : Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto City Hall, Air Canada Centre and Harbour Plaza.
Shops and Restaurants
The PATH has over 1200 shops and restaurants ranging from High-end brands to local businesses. Also, it also has direct access to popular shopping malls such as Eaton Centre, Hudson’s Bay and Saks.
Connections to Subway Stations
The subway stations that are present on the “U” part of Line 1, that is Dundas, Queen, King, Union, St.Andrew, Osgoode and St.Patrick stations are all on this walkway. It also has has access to GO Train station and GO Bus Terminal at Union Station and Toronto Coach Terminal.
Getting Around the PATH
PATH is well marked by signs and maps. However, people with no knowledge of the color codes, find it a little confusing to navigate. So here is a brief explanation of how to interpret the color codes of the PATH.
Understanding the Color Codes of the PATH Toronto
You will observe that the four letters of PATH are written in four different colors – Red, Orange, Blue and Yellow. These colors also represent the four directions.
North is Blue (meant to represent cold weather of the North)
South is Red (representing the warmth of the south)
East is Yellow (representing the rising sun in the east)
West is Orange (representing the setting sun)
If you remember this, it becomes very easy to interpret the boards along the PATH just by looking at the color of the arrows. In the picture above, apart from the the actual written words, the color codes show that Bay Adelaide Centre is to the North and the Commerce Court is to the South. Also, look for the maps that are posted all throughout as shown below:
A newer and easier to interpret map is in the works and will be released this year. I will surely update this blog post with the new pictures when the map is out.
A Free Walking Tour of the PATH
The tour guys from tourguys.ca run a 90 min FREE tour of downtown Toronto where they also take you down to explore parts of the PATH. Especially, if the weather is bad the entire tour is done using the PATH. Check them out!
Is the PATH Open on Weekends?
During Weekdays, this walkway is abuzz with people, hot cups of coffee in their hands, hurrying along as they take determined strides towards work. In the evening, there is mad rush towards subway stations.
However, on weekends some parts of the PATH almost look like a scene from a Apocalytic flick. While the walkway itself is open, the restaurants and shop along the PATH are closed giving it a deserted appearance.
Even though the PATH is partially closed on weekends, I am glad this walkway exists, specially during bad weather! Make sure you explore it when you visit Toronto and help spread the word of this amazing undergorund shopping walkway by sharing this blog post.