Lead by Dan Grant, who you might know as the co-founder of the ever popular RunTOBeer, participants join already established tours, book their own group tour, or schedule a private tour, where participants retrace the steps of Toronto’s history through well researched and expertly led, guided running tours.
Tribe participated in the Fenians & Famine tour ($30 CAD). We learned about the black summer of 1847, where nearly 40,000 Irish came ashore in Toronto; a city at the time of less than 20,000 people. Many that survived the journey from Ireland didn’t last much longer in TO and those that did faced Old World intolerance and religious divides. This tour is typically 90 minutes and you run about 8.5km on sidewalks, some grass, and a few stairs as you head around the Rogers Center.
One of my favourite stories from the tour was the Toronto Circus Riot of 1855. A hilarious story of traveling circus clowns who attended a brothel post show, however, from the title of this story, you guessed it, the clowns picked the wrong brothel. This one was a hangout for some of the men in a local volunteer fire brigade: The Hook & Ladder Firefighting Company. A fight broke out between the clowns and the firemen and the local Fire brigade got their butts beat by the clowns. So, the next night the fire brigade and all their friends crashed the clowns performance – literally – cutting the strings of the big top, and running the circus out of town. Don’t believe me? Read more here.
In total we visited 7 historical landmarks during our run (we did a 5km version of the 8.5km tour) which took us from the corner of Eireann Quay and Queens Quay to a small Irish Pub, P.J. O’Briens. To read about the other stops check out this blog post by one of our Tribe mentors Allison.
This run was enjoyable for all and we learned a lot. The pace was comfortable for everyone and Dan was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable of the stops. A run tour would be perfect for your run crew, family or friends, work experience, or solo adventure on your visit to our city or just to learn more about this place we can home.
Special for my readers, the Toronto chapter of City Running Tours has provided a promo code “TribeFitness” which will save you $5 off of your next tour and is good until June 30th.