Marta O’Brien has been sharing her knowledge of architecture and history for over 20 years, specializing in Toronto. She has created and presented tours and illustrated lectures for historical societies, lifelong learning groups, visitors to Toronto, and private individuals.
Marta also teaches architectural history courses that she has developed for the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Her degrees in architecture and environmental studies (concentrating on cities) provide the foundation for her ongoing research into architecture and history. Most of Marta's courses explore Toronto; others examine Western architectural history and architects.
Until 2014, Marta served seven years as a volunteer member of the Heritage Toronto Board of Directors.
TESTIMONIALS ON MARTA'S WALKING TOURS
“During March Break, a friend and I decided to take our children on a historical walking tour of Old Town. We all enjoyed the tour — it was interesting, age-appropriate and fun. I have done three tours with Marta, and look forward to doing many more. A great way to learn about the architecture and history of Toronto!” - Alicia
“Our walking tour was fantastic... We were very impressed with the depth of knowledge of architectural styles, as well as the cultural context of the era described by Marta, as she revealed the jewels in our midst. The tour appealed to everyone in our group.” - The Canadian Association of Women in Construction
“Our Group thoroughly enjoyed your walking tours of the Annex and Rosedale. Your architectural knowledge and history of the areas was most interesting and we look forward to our next walk on the Toronto Islands.” - Susan
“The Jaunters thoroughly enjoyed their walk of the Beach. Comments included: excellent, a great mix of detail and stories, information very interesting but not overpowering, great value, and good mix of walking and stopping to listen and observe.” - The Jaunters, St. Catharines
ON MARTA’S COURSES & LECTURES (anonymous surveys; University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies)
“The instructor was very passionate and knowledgeable...course materials in addition to excellent instruction were also helpful.” - Great Western Architects, 2018
“I've been fortunate to take other courses with Marta O’Brien in the past. I think she’s just wonderful!” - Toronto’s Residential Architecture: A History, 2016
“I like her style, humour, and interaction with the class.” - Architecture: All Around Us, 2015
“Marta O’Brien has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Toronto’s architecture which she presents with passion and intelligence.” -Toronto’s Commercial Architecture, 2012
“Marta inspired me to stop and look around at the city we live in...Loved the walking tour!” - Toronto’s Neighbourhood Architecture, 2010