This walk is more of a lunchtime diversion than a legitimate walk. It will only take strollers 20 minutes or so each way. However, because this is a downtown perambulation, allow plenty of time to look through buildings or shop or find a good undiscovered beer source. This walk is ideal for inclement weather, as the return portion is mostly underground. You have to complete the underground section during a weekday, as the tunnel is only open Mon.-Fri. 6-6. You can visit the restaurant anytime, however. Its hours are Noon-10pm weekdays, Noon-3pm weekends. The U of T buildings can be confusing, but keep the CN Tower in view and directions are always apparent.
Leave the Museum subway station on the west side of Queen's Park Ave. and go south from the ROM to the Faculty of Law building at U of T. Head west, skirting the south side of the first building (#78). Wind your way west, descending down to Philosopher's Walk and follow the path west through into the Trinity courtyard. The U of T buildings are not always well labeled. The Trinity courtyard is one of the most peaceful enclaves in the university. Exit the courtyard via the south door onto Hoskin. Cross at Tower Road and proceed south to the arch. Turn west before the arch along Erindale walk, which follows the south edge of the field. At the garbage bins (!) make a left through the gate into the cloisters of University College. Here you can imagine that you are in a different time and space. During this walk you may possibly run into movie crews, which is understandable to anyone who has wandered these halls. Exit the cloisters through the arch at the southwest corner of the courtyard and turn south to King's College Circle and Convocation Hall. You pass the visitor centre where you can pick up a handy U of T map if desired. Exit the campus on King's College Road, keeping the ubiquitous CN Tower in view. Cross College Street to Henry. There is not a light so "wait for the gap". Proceed south on Henry to Baldwin where you will find a plethora of restaurants, however keep going by turning left on Baldwin and proceeding east to McCaul. A few doors south of Baldwin will bring you to your destination: the Frecklebean Cafe.
This is not the usual type of pub reviewed on The Bar Towel. It is, however, a great source of food and microbrew beer at great prices. Four brews are on tap - Church Key, Cameron's, Amsterdam and St. Andre. There is also a bottled beer selection, including Steam Whistle and Big Rock. This is a fine selection for a small locale, but owners John and Tracy support the smaller brewers because they provide excellent service along with their product. John has only recently started dealing with Church Key and has high praise for their service.
Along with your beer you should certainly eat, the food is excellent. There are always daily specials, pasta, pizza and sandwich, served with salad or soup for $6-$7. The bison burger and chili are also highly recommended. All food is freshly prepared for each patron. The restaurant also serves as an art gallery. Not only do the food specials change daily but the artwork changes monthly, showcasing local talent,
Finding oneself replete necessitates more exercise so head north on McCaul to Orde. Go east on Orde to Murray and north through the parking lot to the Ontario Power Generating building where you descend a rather uninviting set of stairs to "dining and shopping" Once downstairs you will find yourself in a shopping center and can follow the signs to the subway. Do not board the train here, as there is a short fascinating wander to follow.
Head towards the subway elevator and proceed along the Queen's Park Tunnel. It is unmarked so does not appear to be a thoroughfare. It is quite a challenge to write directions for this section of the walk so view it as a kind of maze activity. Keep proceeding north, up the stairs or escalator, past the Frost building entrance. You will shortly meet a choice of doors, but only one is open so keep proceeding in the same direction and you will pass through a set of double doors and at last see some legible signage. Follow the signs to Whitney Block and you will shortly make a right turn and left again up a flight of stairs. When you reach an information/security booth turn right again and ascend the stairs to the main floor. At the top make a right and exit the building onto Queen's Park Circle. You can always pop up through some other exit if the tunnel becomes claustrophobic.
Go north on Queen's Park to the Medieval Studies building and make your way round to the back to the Marshal McLuhan program building, which has an interesting history and is worth a visit at a later date. Go around the back of the dilapidated building (waiting for restoration perhaps?) and north up the lane crossing St Joseph Street. Pass through the St Michael's college buildings and heading north you will come to an arch on your right, Burwash, which will lead you west into Victoria College. Cut diagonally northwest through this campus and you will end up on Charles and can wander a few steps west back to the Museum subway.