The 6 Most Impressive Buildings in Toronto

CN Tower - Toronto Skyline at night with a reflection in Lake Ontario
CN Tower - Toronto Skyline at night with a reflection in Lake Ontario | ©  Inga Locmele / Shutterstock

The most impressive buildings in Toronto are not only striking in their architecture, they are also among the most vital cultural hubs of the city. Here are six examples of Toronto’s most interesting and iconic structures.

1. Royal Ontario Museum

Building, Museum, Park

The Royal Ontario Museum
© The City of Toronto / Flickr
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), designed by Daniel Libeskind, juts out over Bloor Street with its striking aluminum and glass ‘crystal’ structure erupting from the old, historical façade. There’s hardly a right angle in sight! Torontonians and visitors alike have polarizing opinions about the ROM, but it’s certainly one of the city’s most impressive buildings either way.

2. CN Tower

Architectural Landmark

View of the Canadian National Tower (CN Tower) in Toronto
© Jerome Cid / Alamy Stock Photo
An obvious choice when talking about Toronto’s most memorable buildings, the CN Tower is certainly what makes the city’s skyline instantly identifiable. One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the CN Tower stands at 1,815 feet (553.2 meters) in height. Standing right beneath it and looking straight up, and no one can help but be impressed.

3. Aga Khan Museum

Museum, Park

Aga Khan Museum, Toronto
© JohnOyston / WikiMedia Commons
Located in North York, the Aga Khan Museum was designed by Fumihiko Maki, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Light infuses the museum by casting patterns on the exterior granite walls, enrichig the varied interior spaces, and by brightening the open-roof courtyard. The museum, dedicated to Islamic art, blends contemporary design with historically Islamic elements.

5. Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery, Museum

A staircase at the AGO
© Wladyslaw / WikiMedia Commons
Though first established in 1900, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) underwent an extensive renovation by designer Frank Gehry in the early 2000s. The interior features sculptural staircases, and the most prominent exterior element is a glass-and-wood façade called the Galleria Italia, which spans 590 feet (180 meters) along Dundas Street.

6. Toronto City Hall

Building

City Hall, Toronto
© Michael Caven / Flickr
Toronto City Hall is another city landmark, close to the downtown core. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell and landscape architect Richard Strong, it was controversial when first built in 1965 but is now recognized as an important example of modernist architecture. The design incorporates two asymmetrical semi-circular towers with a domed building in between. From above, Toronto City Hall resembles a large, unblinking eye. While there, enjoy Nathan Phillips Square and take a look at the historic Old City Hall.
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