Toronto’s PATH is like most jewels found underground. The network of tunnels is more than 17 miles long, covering enough area to earn it the title of largest underground shopping complex in the world. The PATH has 1,200 shops and restaurants and an array of business services. It connects more than 50 buildings and office towers as well as the adjoining parking garages and subway stations.
You can travel to the main tourist attractions in the warm comfort of the path as well. The Hockey Hall of Fame, Roy Thomson Hall, Air Canada Center, Rodgers Center and the CN Tower are all connected. We did find that the walkway from Union Station to the CN Tower is periodically closed because it cuts through the convention center. If there is a big event there like the Auto Show you have to go outside and walk around, but it’s only a small inconvenience.
The PATH isn’t a new idea. The first tunnel was created in 1900 when a store owner connected his main store with his bargain outlet annex through a tunnel. The idea was so popular (due to the cold Canadian winters) there were five more tunnels by 1917. The tunnel connecting our hotel, the Royal York, with Union Station was built in 1927(it’s currently under construction but still passable).
I know it sounds silly for me to go on and on about this large shopping mall, but it was awesome! If you have ever had to work a job, like I do, where you have to go from building to building in the middle of the winter you will be smitten with the PATH. The glorious idea of not having to wear a parka or having wet feet from walking from building to building is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize in my book. So take some time – even if you happen to visit in the warm summer months – to explore the enlightened way of the Toronto PATH.
Cute video! I haven’t been to Montreal since I was a kid, but I seem to recall a similar underground mall/transit thing there, too.