Yonge

Why is Yonge-Dundas Square considered Toronto’s Times Square?

Affectionately called “Toronto’s Times Square”, Yonge-Dundas Square is a city icon with a clear global appeal. Let’s find out why it earned its nickname and what you can expect in the place.

It’s the Heart of Toronto’s Social Scene

Yonge-Dundas Square is the Torontonian’s little taste of New York. It’s a one-acre open public place buzzing with energy and vibrant urban life in the southeast of downtown Toronto – simply put, it’s where the fun happens.

If shopping is your own form of exercise, you’ll have a great time sweating out at the Eaton Shopping Center. But if you’re one to support local businesses, there are tiny boutiques tucked in its corners waiting to be discovered. 

Once the hunger kicks, there are also notable food places near the square that you can check out. But if you don’t mind a little stroll, you can enjoy its computer programmed fountains all throughout the day.

By the way, unlike busy areas, you don’t have to trouble yourself with booking a ride to get to the place. It’s easy to get on and off via public transit on the subway line.

It’s a Center of Entertainment 

Since its creation as a public community in 2022, Yonge-Dundas Square has already held over 200 events and over 1,200 festivals. And whether or not it’s a broken TV that forces you to amble outdoors, the magnet of the area is truly undeniable.

Like art coming to life, the square often transforms into a community retreat where people can enjoy concerts and movie screenings – usually for free. In fact, more than 56 million people visit the square each year, making it a top tourist destination.

And while it’s not a place where aspiring Hollywood actors come to thrive, the area remains rich in its theater scene. But if community celebrations are more of your thing, then you can expect activities scheduled all year round.

Finally, the real treasures in this area are the many street performers that dot the corners in each turn. You’d wish you’d taken that piano lesson seriously because their talent is truly outstanding and worth your time. 

It Has Rich History and Architecture

In truth, Yonge-Dundas Square isn’t only modeled after Times Square in New York. Many seasoned architects will tell you how it reflects the metropolitan life in Shibuya District or the busy intersections of Piccadilly Circus in London.

Despite its global inspirations, the square remains uniquely Toronto at heart. In 1999, it took home Canadian Architect magazine’ s Award of Excellence for significant building in the design stage. 

As a symbol of contemporary architecture in the city, it established its reputation as a new form of urban space. Might soon be an icon of physical health too because smoking isn’t allowed in the entire property (take note!)

Actually, Yonge-Dundas Square isn’t really a square in its form and it is more like a pentagon. But this design makes it perfect for its industrial aesthetics that can make any contractor green with envy – it’s an attractive place after all.


Share us your thoughts about Yonge-Dundas Square and what excites you the most about it. We’d love to hear your stories in the future!