Once upon a time, itineraries were planned by travel agents. Then, there were extensive guide books. Then, of course, there was the internet and suddenly we all became insufferable sources of information like “the coolest under-the-radar nightclubs in Berlin” and “the best coffee in Melbourne” and “the chicest vintage markets in Paris.” Now, we’re all about the insider-y info: from Goop guides to Monocle recommendations, arriving armed with curated tips from experts, influencers and locals seems to be our preferred method of travel.
As we become more and more obsessed with getting the most out of our vacations, no matter how short, lest we waste even an hour of our precious time on a subpar meal or just-okay museum (no judgement, I speak from personal experience), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the New York Times has decided to leverage its wildly popular travel column, 36 Hours, into an IRL property. The weekly series gives readers the inside scoop on how best to spend a day and a half in various cities around the world, from Toronto to Tokyo, from Marrakech to Mexico City.
Starting at 75 USD, these walking City Tours distill the 36-hour guides down to half- or full-day agendas, and seem to be developed mostly with a younger audience in mind.
“We’ve seen considerable growth in our subscription base in the last couple of years and a lot of that is being driven by younger readers,” Victoria Hanson, director of Times Journeys, told WWD. “It became really apparent that we should have a travel product for their preferences… and we know we have a huge following with our travel features like ’36 Hours’ so it made a lot of sense to take that and create these city tours.”
Here’s a quick look at what’s in store on the Times-approved Queen West tour of Toronto: a visit to 401 Richmond, the arts-and-culture hub of galleries, independent book stores and cafes; a quick swing through Graffiti Alley and Trinity Bellwoods Park (of course); and a stroll down Ossington Avenue. Sure, this is a great way to spend four hours of one’s time in the city but hopefully visitors to Toronto will wander past the contours of this guide and explore some other pockets of the lively city, from Kensington Market, Parkdale and the Junction in the West to Leslieville, Danforth and the Distillery District in the East. Go forth and explore, good people!
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