Path - Torontos Underground Walkway

By: Leaftech

There are few things in the world as impressive as PATH, the system of underground networks that connect stores and pedestrian walkways beneath the streets of bustling downtown Toronto. In fact, it is not stretching a point too far to say that the PATH project itself is a tribute to the ingenuity of the human mind and the willingness of the human spirit to adapt.

PATH was first conceived in the 1960s under Toronto's city planner. The idea was to free up Toronto's congested sidewalks by providing a walking and shopping alternative to the busy streets and sidewalks of the city, by locating shops underground. The idea was approved by the city council at that time, although newly elected government officials later halted its development. They thought busy and crowded streets were signs of a bustling city (obviously there was no thought paid as to what the people crowded into these streets might think of the situation!).

Today, PATH has been noted internationally, recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest underground shopping network in the world. Indeed, the PATH tunnels extend an amazing 27 kilometres in total, and there are plans to extend the network another 40 or so kilometres.

As the PATH network has extended, so to have the shopping opportunities of those who choose to use the network. Today PATH includes not only the stores located underground, but also the shopping opportunities that abound in the centres that the passageways connect.

Store owners in the PATH system are obliged to take care of the costs of maintenance of the section of the passageways in which their storefronts are located. These store owners also have the distinction of running, once a year, the world's largest underground sidewalk sale. Virtually every one of the 1200 service and retail shops that call PATH home participate in this sale.

In addition to the support of the local storeowners, the city of Toronto has undertaken to expand and upkeep several facets of the PATH project. Of particular note is the signage by which PATH users can navigate; this system has been overhauled several times and the city is constantly ensuring that needs of the users in regards to the navigator sign systems are being fulfilled.

If you want to be a part of a truly unique shopping experience, why not see what PATH in Toronto has to offer? It is a fun, unique, and safe way to spend some time in the city!

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