International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo
34th World Vegetarian Congress
Sharing the Vision

Toronto, Ontario, Canada • July 10-16, 2000
Hosted by the Toronto Vegetarian Association

Things to Do
What's Happening | Museums and Galleries | Theatre | Historical | Annual Summer Events | Sports | Parks | Family Fun | BACK TO THE CONGRESS

Toronto is a very vibrant city with lots to do and see in town as well as at nearby locations. Great theatre and summer events are too numerous to mention, but here are a few that usually happen around the time of the Congress. July 1 is Canada Day, our national birthday. Caribana — an event reminiscent of the great Caribbean pre Lent carnivals — begins with a number of preliminary events in mid July and culminates with the largest Caribbean street parade outside the islands. Symphony of Fire is an annual fireworks competition that takes place on the waterfront each summer. There are many other annual events such as the outdoor art exhibition in Nathan Phillips Square in front of the City Hall, and numerous street parties like the Greek festival of Krinos on the Danforth and the Italian Corso Italia festival on St. Clair Avenue West.
What's Happening Daily newspapers and two free weekly newspapers — NOW and Eye magazines — provide complete and comprehensive listings of current events in town and nearby.

T.O. TIX, a ticketing agency located in the mews level of the Eaton Centre, sells half price tickets on the day of a performance (subject to availability). Hours are noon to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. In person sales only. Contact: 416-536-6468,, or email:

Tickets for most large events can be obtained from Ticketmaster Canada. Contact: 416-870-8000,, or email: or groups@ticketmaster.

Museums and Galleries Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) 
317 Dundas Street West, TTC: short walk from the St. Patrick subway station. The gallery has a wide and varied collection of changing art exhibits and permanent ones, including an impressive number of works by the sculptor Henry Moore. Closed Mondays. Open Tuesday to Friday 12 noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and statutory holidays 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission includes entry to the fully restored, mid-19th century Grange, the AGO’s first home, which is staffed by costumed interpreters. Call: 416-979-6648 for a recorded message or 416-979-6660 ext. 245 for gallery hours.

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
Bloor Street and Avenue Road. TTC: Museum Station. The ROM is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum has a changing number of exhibits and a world famous Chinese collection. Info: 416-586-8000.

Hockey Hall of Fame
BCE Place near Yonge and Front Streets. TTC: Union Station. This excellent museum is a celebration of Canada's national obsession with hockey.

George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art
Opposite the ROM at 111 Queen's Park Crescent. This is the first museum in North America devoted to ceramics and ceramic research. Info: 416-586-8080.

McMichael Canadian Art Collection
On Islington Avenue in the village of Kleinburg, this is a home of outstanding Canadian Art. It contains one of the finest collections of the Group of Seven, First Nation and Inuit art. See ‘Excursions’ for more details or call 1-800-213-1121.

Theatre Toronto is the third largest theatre centre in the English-speaking world. Two of the city's most famous theatres are the Royal Alexandra (built in 1907) and the Princess of Wales. Located on King St. between University Ave. and John St., they are in the heart of Toronto's ‘Entertainment District’, which also includes lots of fine hotels and restaurants as well as Roy Thomson Hall. TTC: St. Patrick Station.

The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres are two more historic theatres. Located on Yonge Street at Queen Street. TTC: Queen Station. Guided tours of these beautifully restored vaudeville theatres are available.

Toronto is also home to many excellent and more affordable small theatres. Two of the best are the Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman, 416-536-5018) and Buddies in Bad Times (12 Alexander, 416-975-9130). Also, worth catching are productions from the Canadian Stage Company (416-367-8243) and Soulpepper Theatre Company (416-203-6264).

The Yuk Yuks chain of comedy clubs has hosted some of the best Canadian and international comics. Jim Carrey got his start here. Many locations throughout the city.

An older generation of comics including Dan Akroyd, John Candy, Gilda Radner, Martin Short and Dave Thomas got its start at another Toronto comedy institution, Second City. This sketch comedy theatre is now located at 56 Blue Jays Way, just north of the SkyDome. 

Historical Ontario Parliament Buildings
At Queen's Park. Over a century old, this impressive sandstone building houses the Legislative chamber and exhibits of Ontario history. Guided tours daily Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Info: 416-325-7500

City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square
At the northwest corner of Queen and Bay Streets, two striking curved twin towers are joined by a two storey rotunda. The pool in front of the hall is a fountain during the summer and a skating rink during winter. The large square also contains a quiet Peace Garden. A number of free events take place at the square including an open-air art exhibit and a weekly farmer's market.

The beautiful pink sandstone of old City Hall (now a courthouse) is just across the road on the northeast corner of Bay Street at Queen Street.

Casa Loma
Toronto's only castle, located at 1 Austin Terrace, is the legacy of a prominent Canadian financier, industrialist and military officer by the name of Sir Henry Pellatt. On a hill overlooking Toronto, it is a majestic and beautifully landscaped 6 acre estate. Info: or call 416-923-1171.

Other historical places
Some other historical places include: Fort York on Garrison Road, off Fleet Street; the House at 82 Bond Street just south of Dundas Street; the Marine Museum at Exhibition Place near the east entrance just inside the Princes’ Gate; Spadina House at 285 Spadina Road, next door to Casa Loma, and Campbell House at 160 Queen Street West.

Visit or call 416-392-6827 for further information on walking tours and more.

Annual Summer
Harbourfront Centre
At 231-235 Queen's Quay West. TTC: LRT from Spadina or Union Stations. A variety of cultural and recreational events are held here throughout the summer — many of them free. Home of the world famous Harbourfront Authors Reading Series. Info: 416-973-3000.

Usually held at the end of June and beginning of July, Caravan consists of 50 pavilions located across the city that offer great food and entertainment from Toronto's ethnic and cultural communities.

Sports Skydome
Front Street at Blue Jays Way. TTC: Union or St. Patrick stations. This distinctive domed stadium with a unique retractable roof is the home of Toronto's baseball team, the Blue Jays and our football team, the Argonauts.

Air Canada Centre
40 Bay Street. TTC: Union. This newly built arena, which opened in 1999, is the home of the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team and Toronto Raptors basketball team.

Maple Leaf Gardens
60 Carlton Street. TTC: College station. Even though the Toronto Maple Leafs have moved on to a new home, it is worth stopping by the Gardens for a peek into the lobby of this hockey landmark in the heart of downtown.

Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant
99 Blue Jays Way. TTC: St. Patrick station. Your chances of bumping into the world's greatest hockey player at his restaurant are even better now that Wayne Gretzky has retired. This sports bar/restaurant features all kinds of memorabilia. Reservations: 416-979-7825.

Parks Toronto is a very green city with close to 10,000 acres of green space. There are free guided walking tours of the U of T campus which is in a park-like setting. They happen Monday to Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Call the Public Relations department at 416-978-5000. The tours leave from the Nona McDonald building — close to Convocation Hall between Knox and Convocation Hall. A free guided Historical Building Tour takes place at 11:00 a.m. daily.

The grounds around the Provincial Legislative buildings are quite beautiful and numerous waterfront parks abound. Well worth visiting are: the unusual and dramatic Scarborough Bluffs and the Beaches area — with its extensive boardwalk — in the east end; Edwards Gardens in North York; the magnificent High Park — where the outdoor summer theatre of Dream in the Park is held — in the west end. The Toronto Island parks are readily accessible by ferry from the foot of Bay Street.

Toronto is one of the best cycling cities in North America with numerous marked paths and trails in the city. Many of the walking/cycling trails are along Toronto's river valleys and ravines including the Humber, Don and Rouge Rivers. For more outdoor ideas see the book Great Country Walks Around Toronto by Elliot Katz or contact:

Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
5 Shoreham Drive
Downsview ON M3N 1S3
ph: 416-661-6600

Family Fun CN Tower
301 Front Street West. TTC: Union Station. At a height of 553.33 metres (1,815 ft.), the CN Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It has a revolving restaurant, night club and observation tower from which Niagara Falls and the city of Buffalo, NY are visible on a clear day. Observation decks are open Sunday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday). A number of amusements at the base of the tower include simulators and virtual reality centres. Contact: 416-360-8500.

Ontario Place
955 Lakeshore Blvd. West. TTC: Streetcar south from Bathurst Station. Ontario Place is a 39-hectare (96 acres) one-price, all-inclusive playground with a variety of watersports and land sports. Geared to families, it contains a children's village and features winding canals and lagoons, a rush river and raft ride. The Naval museum on Board the HMCS Haida battleship is part of the attraction as well as the Cinesphere IMAX cinema. The Molson Amphitheatre, a 16,000-seat outdoor concert facility, is also located on site. Contact: 416-314-9900.

Ontario Science Centre
770 Don Mills Road. TTC: Don Mills bus from Pape Station. The world-renowned Science Centre provides interactive, hands-on science and technology exhibits. The Omnimax Theatre is a cinematic experience like no other with its state-of-the-art 24-metre high dome screen and 44-speaker, six-channel wrap-around sound system. Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer.. Contact: 416-696-3127

Centreville is a children's playground and amusement centre in the parkland setting of the Toronto's Centre Island. It is a ferry ride away from the foot of Bay St. Picnicking, walking and biking are some of the activities available. You can also enjoy a great view of downtown Toronto from across the water.

Sega Playdium
90 Rathburn Road West in Mississauga, next to the Square One Shopping Centre. The Playdium contains over 11 acres of adrenaline-pumping indoor and outdoor fun with 180 multi-sensory, interactive games. Indoors is Sega City with various simulation activities. Outdoors are numerous games and challenges such as variable speed batting cages, raceways, greens and climbing towers. Open seven days a week. Contact: 905-273-9000. A smaller downtown location just opened at 355 King St. West. Contact: 416-593-9703.

Paramount Canada's Wonderland
Canada's largest theme park is located in the Town of Vaughan, less than one hour north of Toronto on Highway 400. Contact: 905-832-8131.

Black Creek Pioneer Village
Jane and Steeles Streets. Experience life in Ontario as it was in the 1850s. Info: 736-1733

What's Happening | Museums and Galleries | Theatre | Historical | Annual Summer Events | Sports | Parks | Family Fun | BACK TO THE CONGRESS