Though not exactly a singular destination, the stretch of Toronto's King Street is well worth exploring. Knighted my favourite street in the city, King extends from Roncesvalles Ave to the Don River, running east-west as one of Toronto's first and oldest streets.
The history of it is evident as you walk along the street. The architecture of King St. is precisely what makes it my favourite. While distinctly classical and Georgian for the entire promenade, elements of the design begins to change depending on the neighbourhood that King St. overlaps. For instance, in its east end, between Jarvis and Parliament, Toronto's design district begins. The shops carry some of the most unique modern furniture pieces in the city, with European retailers and high price tags. You'll notice some of the buildings built here are more modern, but only sparsely mingling with the overall classical architecture thread of the street.
Then, as you walk more west, you pass through Toronto's financial district. The buildings here have notoriety in the city as some of the first skyscrapers to have been built in Toronto. For instance, the sleek Toronto-Dominion Centre, built in 1969 and designed by modern pioneer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, looms over the street, only to be joined by the Scotia Plaza and First Canadian Place Tower. Worth mentioning is the old Toronto Stock Exchange Tower that's been incorporated into the TD Centre which is built around it. Though now home to the Design Exchange, it was once the big building with all the action. It has a lovely Art Deco style façade and inside carries artistic murals paying homage to Canada's varying industries. With a closer lens on some of the buildings in this area, you may even notice sculptural motifs, such as bulls, symbolic for the banking industry as reference to the "bull market". These humongous buildings hold the bustling workforce of the city, thousands of people each day, making it one of the busiest areas of the city Monday to Friday.
Even further west, you have the entertainment district, with the Roy Thomson Hall, Princess of Wales Theatre, and the Royal Alexandra Theatre, as well as Canada's Walk of Fame, honouring all Canadian celebrities, decorating the sidewalk.
Some of my favourite buildings are on King Street are just west of Spadina, before Portland. Contrary to the industrial coldness of the towers on King and Bay, these somewhat symbiotic red brick buildings remind me of New York's Brooklyn brownstones, if only just vaguely. Perhaps only lacking in trees, I love the alleyways and nooks that you can uncover on this part of the street.
King Street intersects many of Toronto's neighbourhoods. Starting west at Roncesvalles, going next to Parkdale, Liberty Village, Trinity Niagara, Fashion District, Entertainment District, Financial District, St. Lawrence, Old Town of York, and Corktown, until it morphs into Queen Street. And now King Street undergoes a pilot project in which only streetcars and taxis are allowed on the street, blocking other vehicular traffic and relieving some congestion on the otherwise turtle-paced 504 streetcar.
Nevertheless, King Street is a focal point for the city and is home to a diversity of activity, making it, in my opinion, one of Toronto's best streets.