By The Book - Terry Murray's Grotesque Toronto

Our By The Book tour series allows you to navigate all the sites featured in one of our great Ontario books. What better way to bring a book into your world? Walk the streets, try to see a landmark in the context it's been written. 

This tour features Terry Murray's wonderful, Faces on Places. Though it is subtitled A Grotesque Tour of Toronto it is anything but that. Murray has extensively researched the mythology and history of gargoyles, griffins, cherubs, and sculptures found on the exterior of some of Toronto's most historic buildings and we're excited to send you on a hunt to see for yourself. 

Weaving a narrative from greek mythology to contemporary restoration, Murray brings the visitor into a world of real and imaginary beings that have been watching us for more than a century. 

Out tour follows her book past some (but not all) of Toronto's key historic landmarks - most of which are within walking distance of each other. You will also find that many of these buildings offer beautiful architecture on the insde as well, and are often accessible to the public. You will also want to bring some binoculars with you, as gargoyles and griffins and faces that watch the city are often high upon the lofty perches of buildings. 

Also about Toronto's historic architecture, check out Mark Osbaldeston's Unbuilt Toronto - a historic overview of the grand plans designed for Toronto that never quite came to fruition. Also worth finding is,Toronto's Visual Legacy by Steve MacKinnon, Michele Dale, and Karen Teeple, a fascinating collection of photographs of Toronto's downtown from 1956-1857. 

Other Tours to Consider: 

Museums and Landmarks of Toronto


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