Muddy York Walking Tours

Join us in exploring the City of Toronto

Cinema & Scandal


We’re willing to bet you never knew that Toronto had a past this sordid. Today, Toronto is known for “legitimate” theatre. We have the third largest live stage theatre community in the world, after London and New York. We’re nicknamed “Hollywood North” because of all the filming that takes place here for films and television. Every September, we host one of the largest and most important film festivals around the globe. But over the years, cinema, scandal … and sex … came together across the dimly lit stages of Toronto.

Burlesque is making a comeback, and today it seems harmless, but in the middle of the 20th century, the good people of Toronto were shocked by how much you could see on a few of the stages in Toronto. Theatre managers threw aside their inhibitions and cavorted in secret rooms with showgirls, while booking the big acts and earning themselves millions. And in the 1970s, the seediest movies in Toronto flickered across the screens of run down theatres on Yonge Street, right in the heart of the city. If you think that the bright lights of Yonge Street are a little seedy today, you haven’t seen anything yet. At the end of the 1970s, Torontonians finally said “Enough!” to the lascivious scandals, and insisted that police shut down the 75 pornographic cinemas and massage parlours that stretched up Yonge Street between Queen and Bloor streets.

You’ll be shocked at what was shut down in the clean-up!


Things You will Need to Know About this Tour

This tour takes place in the Old Town Toronto / St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, the Financial District, Nathan Phillips Square, and Yonge Street, and lasts about 2 hours.

Please email or telephone (416) 487-9017 to make reservations for this tour.  Once your tour reservation is confirmed, you will receive all the information on exactly where the tour starts, where it ends, how long it is, and other important information.

We recommend booking ahead to guarantee availability.  Our calendar can often fill up in advance.  Although it can be difficult for us to arrange last minute tours, it’s possible that we may already have a tour booked that you can join.  Please feel free to contact us by email at or by telephone at (416) 487-9017.

We usually require a minimum of four people for a tour.  However, if you have fewer people than that, feel free to contact us by email at or by telephone at (416) 487-9017, to see if there is a tour that you can join.

The tour cost is based on the number of people in your group.

A tour for four people costs $25 per person.

A tour for five, six or seven people costs $20 per person.

Tours of eight people or more cost $15 per person.

Do you have a large group of grade school or high school students, or other large numbers?  We can usually arrange a lower rate for some groups, depending on the situation.

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