Lost in The PATH

I have visited the PATH several times since I moved to Toronto. I have gotten lost every single time.

The PATH is a huge underground network of walkways connecting various downtown locations (mainly the big office towers). It is populated with stores, restaurants, cafes, and the like.

Apparently it is the largest underground shopping complex in the world with 371,600 m² (4 million sq. ft.) of retail space. Its network of pedestrian tunnels covers 29 km, or 18 miles (Source: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PATH_(Toronto)).

I thought I had seen most of the PATH, but the other day I ended up at the beginning..or, the end of the PATH (depending on your point of view) and discovered stores that have other locations further down the PATH. I suppose it’s like the West Edmonton Mall: it’s so big that there are two or three of some of the same stores.

I discovered this rather useless directional marker near the beginning/end of the PATH. I say it’s useless because even if you use it, you are bound to get lost. I followed the westerly directional marker and went in a circle, ending up at the exact same marker.



What does it MEAN?



Here is a “map” of the PATH to give you an idea of how confusing it is.

Toronto PATH system map

Yup, those black lines are the PATH. There are urban legends about hapless office workers going on their lunch breaks, never to be seen again.

One of the more unusual things I have seen in the PATH is this:



Mostly it’s a collection of run-of-the-mill cafes (i.e. Starbucks), restaurants, food courts, and shops. There are a couple of small grocery stores as well.


The PATH also features two LCBOs within a couple “blocks” of each other. One is a fancy Vintages shop where purchasing a bottle of wine can be as confusing as, well….navigating the PATH.




The hallways and walkways are largely uninspired, though some interesting points exist.



Even if you are lost, you are never far from a bank of bank machines.





You can also check your stock values, but I am not sure if anyone ever actually uses this booth.



I was happy to see this fellow in Teavana among all the rushed corporate types that mainly populate the PATH.



To sum up:

The PATH is a confusing network of walkways that is useful when trying to avoid the weather outside (i.e. The Winter That Wouldn’t Die a.k.a. The Everlasting Polar Vortex of 2013-14) or when gathering material for social studies on Bay Street corporate types.

Stay tuned!


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