The Canadian Tour Guide Association of Toronto has two categories of membership:
Guide Membership is for guides who are actively working as Toronto city tour guides or who are tour directors based in the Toronto area. In either case, the applicant must qualify as a local guide. Click on the title – Guide Membership – to learn more about Guide Membership.
Sponsoring Membership is for Tour Operators and Destination Management Companies who wish to affiliate themselves with CTGA of Toronto and support both our educational activities and professionalism among guides. Click on the title – Sponsoring Membership – to learn more about the subject. If you are not presently a Toronto tour guide and do not have experience as a guide, the following should be of use to you.
So you want to be a Toronto tour guide?
These are the qualities you need to be a guide:
Are you a quick study?
Have you a good memory?
Are you a bit of a performer?
Are you a good public speaker?
Do you enjoy working with people?
Are you patient?
Do you speak more than one language?
There are several ways you can become a tour guide at the moment. You can study the city, its past and its present and advertise your services giving walking tours. There are a number of people offering such services in the city.
Most of the members of our association are step on guides which means we step onto a bus and guide it through the city giving instruction to a driver about which way to go while keeping to a schedule of 2 or 3 hours.
Various companies need guides from time to time. These companies can be found in the Yellow pages, on the Internet and in the magazine Where.
There is a guide training course offered by George Brown College. Several of our members have taken it and subsequently found work as tour guides.
Our association is currently working towards obtaining licensing from the City of Toronto. To that end we have developed a certification programme.
Guiding is great fun but remember much of it is dealing with people – old people, young people, happy people, and cranky people, demanding people, and bemused people. While you are entertaining your group with a well rehearsed commentary you also have to keep giving the driver directions along the route. You often have to keep cool under difficult circumstances. None of this need be overwhelming and while being a tour guide is rewarding in many ways the financial rewards tend to be small.