Nathan Phillips Square
Nathan Phillips Square
4
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Downtown
At the heart of Toronto, Downtown is the destination for cheap eats and fast fashion. Cut through by hip and trendy Yonge Street, the vibe here is young, with a strong student influence from the Ryerson University Campus. As a result, the Downtown area is always in flux: undergoing the construction of new facilities, with fresh retail spaces and pop-up cafes. Home to Toronto's largest indoor shopping mall, a number of vintage cinemas, and a healthy nightlife centered on the area's Distillery District bar and clubs near the East End, it's both an easygoing daytime spot and a popular party place after sunset. It also features some of Toronto's best outdoor landmarks, including Yonge-Dundas Square and the Nathan Phillips Square: perfect for a concert, a skate, or a relaxing sit-down.
How to get there
  • Osgoode • 4 min walk
  • Queen • 5 min walk
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See what travelers are saying
  • PBPG
    Yorkshire, United Kingdom6,010 contributions
    Huge and interesting
    Huge square surrounded by many fine buildings, though I was a bit put off to see a rat scuttling around in the day. The borders do need some attention, they are all a little warn as people take short cuts. Large protest group gathered on Sunday, loots of noise and traffic disruption.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written May 12, 2023
  • Czar Emmanuel
    Manila, Philippines6,260 contributions
    A popular spot in downtown Toronto
    This square is definitely the heart of downtown Toronto, where the seat of the local government is located. On the one side you'll see the imposing Court of Justice building (which used to be the old city hall) and on the other side you'll find the new city hall. In the center you'll find a fountain whose waters become frozen during winter, thus it becomes an ice skating rink. An old sign that reads "TORONTO" is a favorite spot for picture-taking, especially among tourists. It looks really nice at night when lit up. To reach the square, go to the subway Queen station and walk a few meters from there.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written August 10, 2023
  • therichastill
    Stevenage, United Kingdom2,704 contributions
    Tourist Destination
    Nathan Phillips Square is in the heart of Toronto and very busy. The old and new City Halls are here on adjacent sides and there is also the TORONTO sign which you can have your picture taken with. There is also a fountain and I was told that when the weather gets cold and it freezes over then it is a good place to go skating. I am not sure if I would try this as I am not too steady on skates ;) It is quite a big area and a good place to meet up with friends and family.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 14, 2023
  • Stewarts Vacation
    1,035 contributions
    Iconic Toronto sign!
    This large Square, directly in front of the New City Hall and beside the Old City Hall, is an absolute must visit! The main attraction is the iconic letters "TORONTO" which light up at night. A perfect spot for a photo! It's at the heart of the city and is used to host a variety of activities and special events. The day we visited, there was a Vegan Festival. In summer, the fountain has a cooling effect and it is a good place to sit for a while. There are washrooms available. The elevated walkways provide a great vantage point for photos. We purchased food from the food trucks along Queen Street West and sat on the seating in the shade of the elevated walkway to eat.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 29, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
1,107 reviews
Excellent
462
Very good
468
Average
154
Poor
21
Terrible
2

CrisslyRose
Dominican Republic16 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
This place is so iconic. You can pass a good moment here, but when we went the rink was closed, and we couldn't get a good view of the word TORONTO and the rest. But it's a must
Written February 21, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stewarts Vacation
1,035 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
This large Square, directly in front of the New City Hall and beside the Old City Hall, is an absolute must visit! The main attraction is the iconic letters "TORONTO" which light up at night. A perfect spot for a photo! It's at the heart of the city and is used to host a variety of activities and special events. The day we visited, there was a Vegan Festival. In summer, the fountain has a cooling effect and it is a good place to sit for a while. There are washrooms available. The elevated walkways provide a great vantage point for photos. We purchased food from the food trucks along Queen Street West and sat on the seating in the shade of the elevated walkway to eat.
Written December 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

therichastill
Stevenage, UK2,704 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
Nathan Phillips Square is in the heart of Toronto and very busy. The old and new City Halls are here on adjacent sides and there is also the TORONTO sign which you can have your picture taken with.

There is also a fountain and I was told that when the weather gets cold and it freezes over then it is a good place to go skating. I am not sure if I would try this as I am not too steady on skates ;)

It is quite a big area and a good place to meet up with friends and family.
Written November 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cloud
Frankfurt, Germany602 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
Nice to take a few pictures, with a big city name and a pool and a few points to take a picture at due to the contrast between old and new.
Written November 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

09robbins
Swanley, UK206 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
We visited in the evening, as the Toronto sign is lit then - lovely for photos. At the bottom of the middle concrete arch is a piece of the old Berlin wall.
Written September 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anonymous855
Trabuco Canyon, California1,712 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
A very large plaza next to the Old City Hall with seating around it to rest and enjoy. They were setting up on one side of the fountain for a Fiesta...wish we would have time later to come back. I suggest when you visit, find out what's on tap there to plan better than I did.
Written September 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BJ
5 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
Prior to our cruise of the Great Lakes with Viking (a story in itself), we stayed right off Younge at the Omni King Edward which is a great location, surrounded by restaurants. We flew in Monday night, too late to do anything, but on Tuesday we’re off to the art museum. It was very good, but not a Met, nor even as good as Chicago’s Institute. We nearly walked by the 7. It wasn’t highlighted. Very nice restaurant and gift shop. On Wednesday, we walked and walked and walked. Toronto is a beautiful city, easier to walk in than NYC. We did 15000 steps from our hotel up Younge. The architecture is wonderful with old 20th century buildings kissing brand new glass behemoths. Then we walked to city hall and the Toronto sign. From there we headed to the Asian area via Queen. Boutiques use the first floor of old cottages. Photos galore. We were surprised that so many Asian restaurants were closed at lunchtime. Many open at 4. We stopped in at Gwartzman’s to look at art supplies. They have some wonderful Canadian suppliers. From there we headed to the CN tower. Not to be missed. Tickets and the Line took about 45 minutes at 4 pm. We stayed about an hour and made the mistake of going to the upper level as well. Total waste. Less of a view because there are structural beams at eye level. Wish someone had mentioned that in a Toronto posting. We had a terrible time leaving the area because of a very fast ball game next door. The Blue Jays stadium is next to the tower. The police shut down the river side street so we couldn’t get a ride. Traffic on the other surrounding streets were at a standstill. It took us an hour to find a ride and move 3 blocks. Dumb move. We should have just walked north, but my feet were screaming. On Thursday we went to the Royal Ontario museum. Fabulous. The dinosaurs. Wow. Loved the museum. High, high, highly recommend it.
The only restaurant I’d recommend is a local place that was delicious. Le Papillon on Front. And for breakfast, the croissants, sandwiches, and other goodies at Au Pain Dore were better than any I had in Paris.
Written September 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

minimize940314
Los Angeles, CA3,528 contributions
Dec 2022
I visited this place in the winter, so I was able to enjoy beautiful decoration as well as food markets. I wanted to do the ice skating too, but the line was too long. Wish I could visit again in the winter.
Written August 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gr8P8Travel
Frisco, TX14 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
This is where the Toronto sign is! Just a pretty photo op or great place for a break. I enjoyed the surrounding buildings and garden
Written August 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Czar Emmanuel
Manila, Philippines6,260 contributions
Aug 2023 • Solo
This square is definitely the heart of downtown Toronto, where the seat of the local government is located. On the one side you'll see the imposing Court of Justice building (which used to be the old city hall) and on the other side you'll find the new city hall. In the center you'll find a fountain whose waters become frozen during winter, thus it becomes an ice skating rink. An old sign that reads "TORONTO" is a favorite spot for picture-taking, especially among tourists. It looks really nice at night when lit up. To reach the square, go to the subway Queen station and walk a few meters from there.
Written August 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Nathan Phillips Square

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