TLTV Ep 97 – University Avenue
University Avenue is a major north-south road in Downtown Toronto. It begins at the intersection of Front and York streets near Union Station and heads north, ending at College Street where it splits into Queen’s Park Crescent East and West. Between these two roads is Queen’s Park, the home of the Ontario Legislature. The building creates a terminating vista for those looking north along University. The legislature’s site was originally home to the main building of the University of Toronto, and this is the origin of the avenue’s name. Today, the university surrounds the legislature, but no university buildings are actually on University Avenue. The street also has a median of greenery and sculptures between the north and southbound lanes for most of its length.
While Yonge Street is the emotional heart of the city and Bay Street is the financial hub, University Avenue is arguably Toronto’s most prestigious thoroughfare. The boulevard is unusually wide for Canadian cities as it expands to 8 lanes wide.
The northernmost part of the street is dominated by a series of very large hospitals. These include the Toronto General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto Rehab, and the Hospital for Sick Children. This stretch is occasionally referred to as “Hospital Row” by locals and the Media. The intersection of University and College is also home to the headquarters of Ontario Power Generation.
The rest of the street is home to a variety of corporate offices and provincial government buildings. Restaurants now dot the southern end of University Avenue. Recently completed at the intersection of University and Queen Street is the Four Seasons Centre, which is the new home of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada. Osgoode Hall presents stately architecture and a welcome green space. During the holiday season, festive lights illuminate the trees and shrubs of the boulevard. Unlike most major streets in Toronto, there are no rooftop billboards visible from University Avenue due to a city bylaw.