Modern Toronto is considered one of the safest large cities in North America. However, social justice, law and order were not always the highly regarded institutions that they are today.
Travel back to a time when theft carried a mandatory death sentence, the tender age of twelve made you an adult, and laws against prostitution meant women had a regularly enforced curfew. On this tour, you will learn about the harsh history that made up life in early Toronto. We’ll show you where convicts of all ages were shackled up, and where prisoners were flogged and branded in front of a public audience. We end in a small Old Town square where townspeople would gather on a special occasion to watch public hangings.
This tour largely discusses matters of social justice – the where and why of how convicts were punished – but we talk about a few early criminal cases in Toronto, too. These include the mysterious and brutal murder of the city’s first lighthouse keeper, and the public execution of two men who participated in an 1837 rebellion.
Come and discover the gruesome history
behind our now peaceful city!!
Things You will Need to Know about this Tour
- The tour begins outside the eastern most point of the Flatiron (or Gooderham) building, pictured on the right. The Flatiron building is located at 49 Wellington Street East, where Front and Wellington Streets meet up at Church Street. The Flatiron building is a short walk east from Union Station.
- The tour ends at Adelaide Street East and Toronto Street (two blocks east of Yonge Street).
- The tour lasts an hour.
- The tour is conducted entirely outdoors, so please remember to dress accordingly and wear comfortable walking shoes!!
PLEASE REMEMBER TO CALL AHEAD BEFORE COMING ON ANY OF TOURS, TO CONFIRM TOUR AVAILABILITY. AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT BY CHECKING WITH US BEFORE THE TOUR BEGINS.
If you have any more questions, just ask!
Dates & Times
Thursdays at 5.00 p.m.
Saturdays at 1.00 p.m.
This tour is available throughout the entire calendar year. REMEMBER, if it is not scheduled for when you want to do it, just let us know, and we’ll change our schedule just for you! We suggest making reservations at least 24 hours before the tour starts.
$20.00 for one person
$15.00 each for two or three people
$10.00 each for four or more
Students and Youth – please contact us for details
We offer GIFT CERTIFICATES and special discount passes for visitors who plan to attend more than one tour. Contact us to find out more information.