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11 Weird AF Facts You Didn’t Know About Toronto

Who doesn't love fun facts?
11 Weird AF Facts You Didn’t Know About Toronto

Every city has its quirks, and Toronto is no exception. The tale of Toronto is an interesting one, featuring lots of dark and twisted secrets. Victorians didn't mess around when it came to punishment for petty crimes. 

Read more8 Bizarre Things You Probably Didn't Know About Toronto

So, here are 11 weird AF facts you didn’t know about Toronto.

1. The TD Towers were the first skyscrapers to dominate the Toronto Skyline

Before that, the tallest building was only 36 storeys.

Source: The Globe and Mail

2. The Liberty Village Townhomes was once home to the Toronto Central Prison

All that remains is the prison chapel on Liberty Street.

Source: Liberty Village BIA

3. The Lamport Stadium in Liberty Village was once the Mercer Reformatory for Women

This is where “incorrigible” or “promiscuous” women were sent. It had a notorious reputation for abusing the women, facing allegations of torture, beating and experimental drugs. As a result, it was closed in 1969.

Source: Liberty Village BIA

4. Sugar Beach was named for its proximity to the Redpath Sugar refinery

Probably an obvious connection but not something you would ever actually put together.

Source: Wikipedia

5. Old City Hall is not actually Old City Hall

The OG City Hall is actually St. Lawrence Market. Built in 1834, it served as the City Hall until the great fire of 1849. St. Lawrence Hall was built across the street, and still stands today as the home of Heritage Toronto. City Hall then moved to what is now as Old City Hall in 1899. Still following? New City Hall was then opened in 1965.

Source: Toronto Star

6. Criminals in the 1800’s were strung up alongside the beef in St. Lawrence market as punishment

This practice went on for about thirty years. Most of them were petty criminals; some were even put in stocks on market day. Heckling and having food thrown at them by passersby was part of their punishment.

Source: Toronto Star

7. The Leslie Street Spit is a manmade headland

Although not technically a spit, it is the result of five decades of lakefilling by the Toronto Port Authority. The northern half serves as Tommy Thompson Park while the southern half is an active dumping zone.

Source: Tommy Thompson Park

8. Toronto was home to “Immigrant sheds” in the late nineteenth century

Toronto was the first stop for immigrants on their way out west. The government devised accommodations for these immigrants that were close to the railway, had easy access to water and were easily disinfected. A plot of land was obtained between Ordnance St. and Strachan Ave. By the 1870’s, Toronto became most important immigrant sorting station in Ontario. In 1875 15,592 immigrants passed through these sheds.

Source: Heritage Toronto

9. Parkdale paid the biggest price for the Gardiner Expressway

Not only was Sunnyside closed to make room for the highway, about 150 homes and 400 families in South Parkdale were displaced after the plan was announced in 1954.

Source: Spacing

10. The CN Tower’s grand opening in 1976 was based entirely on height jokes

Almost all the people participating in the CN Tower ceremony were over 6 ft tall, while a Toronto Star reporter wrote: “The only place higher that man’s ever stood on a stationary base, except for a mountain peak, is the moon.”

Source: Spacing

11. Yonge Street was the "Sin Strip" of the city 

By the 1970’s, theatres were playing movies titled “Vampire Vixens” while bars began advertising topless go-go dancers. The stretch between Yonge, Gerrard, and Dundas streets earned the nickname “Sin Strip.”

Source: Spacing

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