Muddy York Walking Tours

Join us in exploring the City of Toronto

About Us

Building Partners

Over the last few years, Muddy York Walking Tours has built up some great alliances with heritage buildings in Toronto. Click here for a listing of buildings that can be incorporated into your Muddy York trip.

A Message to Teachers

Click here for some suggestions on planning an educational trip with Muddy York Walking Tours.

An Explanation of our Company Name

The contemporary city of Toronto was known as “York” up until 1834. The adjective “muddy” came as a result of the squalid nature of its streets. In its early days at the end of the 1700s, the town of York spread over just a few blocks, but those streets were covered in mud and the whole area was infested with mosquitoes. The town was soon nicknamed “Muddy York”. Perhaps not an attractive advertisement for a walking tour company operating in the modern city – rest assured that the last 200 years have brought a lot of improvement – but our company name is a gesture towards how far we have come.

  • In 1798, because of increasing tensions with our American neighbours, the colonial capital was moved from Newark (now known as Niagara-on-the-Lake) to the town of York
  • The man responsible for a lot of early development in the town of York was John Graves Simcoe, whom you can learn about on our “Royal Toronto” walk. He built fortifications and initiated construction of Yonge Street – the longest street in the world
  • The city of York was invaded during the War of 1812, and occupied by American troops. They burned down our Parliament buildings, an act which led to the setting fire of the American White House in retribution. The White House was in fact painted white in order to conceal a lot of the fire damage
  • York became Toronto in 1834. It’s first mayor was none other than William Lyon Mackenzie, whom you can hear about on our “Rebel’s March” tour and our “Haunted Streets of Downtown Toronto” tour. Back then, a mayoral term of office only lasted one year. Mackenzie was not reelected.
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