Muddy York Walking Tours

Join us in exploring the City of Toronto

Bloody York: Crime & Punishment


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

This tour takes place in the Old Town Toronto / St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, and lasts about 90 minutes.

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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