Yonge Street is one of the oldest streets in Toronto, but few of its current buildings date back to much before 1900. It is generally considered to be Toronto's main street and claims to the longest main street in the world, running from the shore of lake Ontario in the Harbourfront neighbourhood to Lake Superior, a total distance of 1,896 km (1,178 mi). While the street runs straight through many of Toronto's neighbourhood, this article deals with the section of the street between Front Street and Bloor Street, for more information on the neighbourhoods to the north of Bloor, see North Toronto. The section of Yonge between Front and Queen Street is typified by large office buildings, most of them built in the 1970s or later, but with several beautiful exceptions. The area between Queen and Dundas Street is dominated by the 1970s Eaton Centre shopping mall. The section between Dundas and Bloor contains smaller office buildings, several large hotels and mainly tourist-oriented shops and restaurants.
Yonge street is only one block from Union Station, the main train station in Toronto. After exiting the station, turn right and walk down Front St for a block and a half.
The Yonge subway line runs right under Yonge Street from Front St to the northern suburbs, there are stations at Union Station, King St, Queen St, Dundas St, College St, Wellesley St and Bloor St. The Bloor-Danforth line stops at the intersection of Yonge St and Bloor St.
All streetcar routes except the 509, 510 and 511 cross Yonge St at some point, and all of them, except the 511, connect with a subway station on the Yonge line.
A visitor might want to start at Front Street, as the section of Yonge between Queens Quay and Front is lightly developed and has little to offer a visitor.
- Union Station Toronto's oldest train station, now in its third incarnation, is a marvel of architecture, and a central hub for regional transportation as well as a connection to the subway and streetcar systems. A trip on one of many GO Trains is a great way to see some more of the city.
- Hockey Hall of Fame At Front and Yonge in BCE Place. The Hall was relocated to its current location in 1992 and now features a large number of interactive exhibits. BCE Place, as well as having a number of shops and being part of the Underground City.
- St. Lawrence Market, Two blocks east of Yonge on Front. One of the oldest continuously operating food markets on the continent, featuring fresh food from across the country. It is renowned for its choice of fresh fish and cheese, although just about anything edible can be found there.
- North Market open as a farmer's market, featuring fresh produce, meat, eggs and fish, often from merchants as far away as Eastern Canada. The North Market also is open every Sunday as an antique market.
- College Park, 444 Yonge Street (Yonge Subway line to College Station), ☎ . This Art Deco masterpiece was the second home of the Eaton's department store in Toronto and opened in 1930. The building was originally intended to be an extremely tall skyscraper akin to the Empire State Building in New York, however the Great Depression intervened and it topped out at a height of only seven floors. It now contains a large Winner's clothing store, a food court, a 24-hour Dominion grocery store, a restored Art Deco event space (known as The Carlu after the architect who designed it), and a provincial court house.
- AMC Cinema north-east corner of Dundas & Yonge. - one of the first new movie houses on Yonge in decades.
- Elgin & Winter Garden Theatres, 189 Yonge Street (Yonge Subway line to Queen Station), ☎ . These two theatres are the last remaining Edwardian stacked theatres in the world. They were opened in 1913, showing mainly Vaudeville acts. After the decline of Vaudeville, the upper level Winter Garden closed and the lower level Elgin was converted into a cinema. By the 1970s the Elgin was showing a mixture of B-movies and pornography, but in the 1980s the Ontario Heritage Foundation bought both theatres and restored them to their original glory. They now show mainly Broadway plays and musicals and serve as venues for the Toronto International Film Festival.
- Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria Street (Yonge Subway line to Dundas Station), ☎ . This theatre opened as the Pantages Theatre in 1920 hosting films and Vaudeville acts. In the 1970s it was split up into several cinemas to form a modern multiplex. It was restored during the late 1980s and reopened as a theatre in 1989 with Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera.
- Hudson Bay Company's Queen Street Store, at Yonge and Richmond.
- Eaton's Centre, across Queen Street. One of the largest downtown malls in the world with hundreds of prestige stores and two food courts catering for every taste.
- Sears downtown store at Dundas & Yonge at the north end of the Eaton's Centre.
- The strip of Yonge between Dundas and Gerrard, although a little run down and not a little sleazy (with strip clubs and porn shops both being part of the ambience), is a favourite of Torontonian's looking for bargains.
- HMV store - Branches throughout Toronto, with the main branch being the three-storey store on Yonge just north of Dundas.
- Apple Store Eaton Centre - Browse for the latest technologies, get help from an on site 'genius', or simply admire the industrial design of the latest Apple products.
- World's Biggest Book Store Just north and west of Dundas, True to its name, is the largest book store under one roof in the world and a browser's paradise with all the best sellers and thousands of bargain titles.
- College Park at College/Carlton, a small shopping mall in the old Eaton's College Street store. It's the current home of the downtown location of Winner's, a favourite of Toronto's bargain hunters looking for brand name clothing.
- Maple Leaf Gardens, just east of Yonge at Carlton and Church, is a beautiful early-twentieth century hockey arena and the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1931 to 1999. The building is being converted into a supermarket and Ryerson University's new sports arena. The recently opened Loblaws supermarket, in addition to the expected grocery store selection and an LCBO liquor store, also features an 18-foot tall wall of cheese, a cooking school, and open concept food preparation areas.
- Between College and Bloor are dozens of small shops, including several used book stores, comics stores, used record stores, dollar stores and just about everything else you can imagine. Although the stock may be a little run down, the area is safe, clean, busy and popular day and night.
- Yonge & Bloor is one of the main intersections of the city, with Toronto's main subway lines meeting at this point. This is home to the Hudson Bay's flagship store in the Hudson Bay Centre, part of a mini underground city that links it with Cumberland Terrace and the Manulife Centre. This corner is home to some of the finest stores in the city, including Holt Renfrew. A trip west along Bloor will be worthwhile for any shopper looking for the best the city has to offer.
- Movenpick Marche unique restaurant, featuring fine food in a self-service environment.
- Shopsy's, across the street from BCE Place on Front, featuring fine deli food.
- North of Lawrence Avenue, Yonge dips into Hogg's Hollow, part of the Don River ravine system. One of Toronto's oldest buildings sits just south of York Mills/Wilson, and it has recently been converted from a tavern to a fine restaurant.
- North 44)°, 2537 Yonge Street, ☎ . One of well-known chef Mark McEwan's restaurants. Excellent food, great service. Approx. $75 per person for three courses, excluding drinks.
- Salad King, 335 Yonge St. (One block north of Dundas Station, just off Yonge on Gould), ☎ . every day except Sunday until 9:15pm. Some of Toronto's best thai food in a very convenient location; just don't come here to relax. Often with a considerable line at meal times, the funky-cafeteria style seating certainly won't give you much privacy, but you'll see why people subject themselves to it. Try the golden curry chicken. $4-9.
- The Duke of Gloucester (Yonge and St Mary St), 649 Yonge St (Yonge or Bloor subway to Yonge/Bloor station then walk two blocks south), ☎ . M-F noon-2AM, Sa-Su 10AM-2AM. Great no-nonsense English pub. Good selection of beer at reasonable prices. Not much in the way of food, though. under $15.
- barVolo, 587 Yonge St (Yonge subway to Wellesley station then walk one block north), ☎ . M-F 4PM-2AM, Sa noon-2AM, Su closed. Amazing selection of beers both draft and bottle, as well as a few real cask ales. Under $15.
- 3 Brewers, 275 Yonge Street (Yonge subway to Dundas station), ☎ . Mon-Thu 11-24, Fri & Sat 11-1, Sun 11-23. Great brewpub right across the street from the Eaton Centre. The beer is excellent and the food is in the style of the Alsace region of France, where the chain started.
- Bond Place Hotel, 65 Dundas St E. Toronto, ON Canada. Downtown hotel located near Toronto Subway System (TTC) and 2 blocks from the Eaton Centre, department stores and specialty shops. Newly renovated hotel within walking distance to attractions like CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Harbourfront, theatre and dining.
- Wellesley Manor Boutique Hotel, ☎ . Centrally located in downtown Toronto this EuroStyle boutique hotel offers Elegant Mix Of Modern Comfort And Traditional Charm. Rates $89-139.
Located one block west at Bay and Front Streets is one of Toronto's oldest and finest hotels, the Royal York. Right across from Union Station, you can't miss the huge red sign. At King, just a block or two east is the renowned King Edward Hotel, built in 1903 and equally prestigious.