Spreading north from Gerrard Street, Uptown Toronto is something of an architectural hotchpotch, with perhaps the handiest starting point being University Avenue, whose bristling, monochromatic office blocks stomp up towards the imposing Victorian stonework of the Ontario Legislative Assembly building. The Assembly Building marks the start of a small but impressive museum district, made up of the delightful Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, the large but somewhat incoherent Royal Ontario Museum, which possesses one of the country’s most extensive collections of applied art, and the fanciful Bata Shoe Museum. The Assembly Building is also close to the prettiest part of the sprawling University of Toronto campus, on and around King’s College Circle, and is but a short subway ride away from the city’s two finest historic homes: the neo-baronial Casa Loma and the debonair Spadina House next door.

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