landmarks toronto

The best and worst landmarks in Toronto

Landmarks in Toronto not only help us get where we're going and provide useful reference points, they're also loaded with history...and everyone has opinions on how they look.

Inefficient, beautiful, beloved over the years, or just plain quirky, these are some of Toronto's most standout spots for better or for worse.

Here are my picks for the best and worst landmarks in Toronto.

Best
Sharp Centre

If you don't get this eye-catching landmark that's part of OCAD, maybe it's just a case of art going over your head. It's won multiple awards, was designed by acclaimed architects and engineers and has been critically praised. Also, lovers of crossword puzzles are into it for obvious reasons.

CN Tower

Because every real city needs a tall pointy tower, right? However, ours has the distinction of being designated the tallest freestanding structure in the world at one point. Whether you've been inside or not, or think it's ugly or pretty, every single person in this town has laid eyes on this classic landmark.

Bonus points if you've been here long enough to remember when it didn't light up with colours that change thematically for certain occasions.

Rogers Centre

Many still refuse to call it anything other than the SkyDome, but what's in a name? The fact is an afternoon spent watching a ball game in the embrace of this huge circular structure with the massive retractable roof open is a Toronto experience like no other. Even just seeing it from afar, it's hard not to be impressed.

Toronto sign

Aside from the fact that this sign at Nathan Phillips Square where it takes centre stage alongside equally iconic landmarks like City Hall and the skating rink, it's inspiring to see how this sign reflects the times with updates like a giant pink bandage added during mass vaccinations.

Aga Khan Museum

This landmark isn't necessarily downtown or part of the city skyline, but as you're driving along the DVP near Eglinton or around that area you're likely to spot a large, glowing white structure that's home to one of Toronto's most beautiful, almost otherworldly museums.

Worst

Eaton Centre

Architects don't love the blank walls that this mall puts up around what could be a much more fun and beautiful area. It makes one of our main streets less interesting than it could be, and diverts pedestrians off of Yonge in an unhelpful way.

CityPlace bridge

While the Puente de Luz ("bridge of light") pedestrian bridge has an interesting look to it, its once bright yellow hue has now faded and rather than being an inspiring landmark it's become more of a place where raccoons unfortunately wind up stuck.

St. Regis Hotel

Aside from the fact that this place has a past as the Trump Tower that was home to notoriously obnoxious restaurant America, this place just has a disjointed design with lots of disparate elements that don't add to a cluttered landscape.

ROM

This is a divisive one, we know, but there are lots of people out there who are just not into the jaggedy, dark form exploding out onto Bloor that it has become.

When an architectural transformation overtook the old historical museum building, people took sides, and some haven't budged to this day. Still lots of cool dinosaurs and stuff inside no matter what.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau


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