As an UrbanToronto reader, we're willing to bet that you pay more attention to the architecture of Toronto — and anywhere else you many happen to be hanging out — than your non-UrbanToronto-reading friends (exasperating, aren't they?!). On any given block in your hometown you probably know facts and figures for a number of the buildings you see, their history, who designed them, and what style they are… or if you're traveling the great cities of the world, you've got a checklist of buildings to check out, and you don't want to miss anything particularly cool.

Karl van Es, and the Legend for the Hong Kong Avontuura Wanderer map

Architect Karl van Es has got your back, in a dozen of the world's great cities, including this one. Van Es, an Associate and sustainability expert at BDP Quadrangle, feels that way when he's out and about, and wanted a quick tool to find the significant buildings in cities he's travelled to, and so designed a line of fold-out guides as quick references  — the Wanderer Series from Avontuura — to help you with your touring. 

The guides are just slightly smaller than a standard fold map size, so will fit in a big pocket or any carry-all you have with you. They're not meant to give you the entire background of a building, but they include who designed the building while assuming you'll do further research about the ones that really impress you. The guides geographically group what's worth seeing, and give you convenient info that won't disappear from your screen anytime you close your smartphone. The guides provide the reliability, immediate reference, and tactility of printed materials, lasting qualities of the analogue — like buildings have themselves — in this increasingly momentary digital world. 

The series — publication of which began in 2023 — has just reached a dozen titles, with Amsterdam, Berlin, Singapore, and Toronto just having been added to the set this month. Buildings that any tourist would want to find can be found on the maps, like the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, and Sagrada Familia, but Modern masterworks can be found as well, like Copenhagen's Copenhill, London's Barbican Estate, and Singapore's Marina Bay Sands, while more obscure gems are there too, like Berlin's Bauhaus Archive, Los Angeles' Ramón C. Cortines School, and Tokyo's Fuji Kindergarten. In fact, as curated lists, the Wanderer guides will get you to buildings that you might have overlooked too.

The front of each guide features a squiggle of one of that city's noteworthy buildings — some of which you'll recognize right away, and some of which may leave you guessing (back covers reveal all!!) — but every squiggle is a single line, from a starting to and ending point, suggesting something else that you'll find in each guide: a recommended route that will help you maximize your sightseeing time.

You can buy Avontuura's Wanderer series from their online shop, but courtesy of Avontuura, we'd like to make some UrbanToronto readers happy with a chance to win a complete set of the series so far — Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, and of course, Toronto — by following two easy steps:

  1. Follow our quickly growing @urbantoronto TikTok channel, and
  2. Comment "Wanderer" on any of our TikToks by 11.59.59 PM EDT, April 30, 2024.

Three winners will be chosen at random and announced on May 1, 2024. Each winner will have the full set mailed to them! Best of luck!

Want to be alerted when Avontuura's next Wanderer titles come out? Follow their Instagram account here.

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UrbanToronto has a research service, UrbanToronto Pro, that provides comprehensive data on construction projects in the Greater Toronto Area—from proposal through to completion. We also offer Instant Reports, downloadable snapshots based on location, and a daily subscription newsletter, New Development Insider, that tracks projects from initial application.​