Moving to Toledo, OH? Here's Everything You Need to Know

Toledo is an Ohio city on the shoreline filled with fun places to visit.

The view of Toledo from across a bridge.


Stacey Fleurime


Jan 21, 2021

Image courtesy of Toledo Port Authority.

Toledo, Ohio is a city located in Lucas County. It is the county chair, and the fourth most populous city in Ohio. It is a port city that serves as a major trade center for the Midwest. Its port is the 5th busiest in the Great Lakes. It is known as “The Glass City” because of its involvement in the glass manufacturing industry. Toledo currently has a growing art community that brings a lot to the city. It has sports teams that are beloved and celebrated throughout the city as well. The downtown area has recently become a vibrant center for the entertainment industry due to a major revitalization effort. Toledo is a great city for a visit, or for a much longer stay. When you’re there, you’ll find out why it's such a great place to be. 

Here’s what you should know about moving to Toledo:

  • History of Toledo
  • Facts and figures about Toledo
  • Local favorite things to do in Toledo
  • And more!

History of Toledo

Before Moving to Toledo, Get to Know the History of Your New Home

Toledo was founded in 1836. It was built on the site of a former stockade called Fort Industry. Before Toledo, there were two small towns in the area called Lawrence and Vistula. They eventually merged to form Toledo. The Erie Canal was started as soon as the Toledo area was chosen for its construction. The city only had a population of over 1,000 by 1940. 

The canal was opened in 1845. It brought a lot of business into the area by making it into a growing seaport along Lake Erie. A lot of commerce travelled through Toledo during that time, and when railroads became a primary form of transportation in the 19th century, Toledo became a principal location for many railroad lines. 

After the railroad system was established, a large number of industries emerged in Toledo. Those industries included furniture companies, breweries, and glass companies among others. Toledo became known as the “City of Glass” because of its prominent involvement in the glass industry. 

By 1880, over 50,000 people had moved into the area. Toledo then became one of the largest cities in the state. Many immigrants began to settle in the area because of the accessibility that the railroads provided and the abundance of factory jobs. The work conditions in the factories were not often great for the workers and so Toledo became a target of progressive reformers who sought to improve working conditions. In 1897, the town’s mayor, Samuel M. “Golden Rule” Jones,  was also involved with the reformers. He did a lot to improve conditions for Toledo’s working class. He opened free school’s, built parks, and established 8-hour work days. His successor followed in his footsteps. Over time, Toledo’s industries and population continued to grow. 

Toledo by the Numbers

Learn About Toledo’s Economy, Demographics, and What It’s Really Like to Live Here

Toledo Population

Toledo is a city with a population of over 270,000. It is a densely populated city with over 3,300 people per square mile. The median age of a Toledo resident is 34, a few years younger than the country’s median age of 37. There are 2.4 people per household on average. 37% of those households are made up of married couples, and 22% of those married households also have children. About 29% of households in Toledo are run by single parents. 

Toledo’s Demographics

Toledo’s residents are about 59% white and 26% black. Around 8% of the population claims Hispanicethnicity, and about 3.5% of the population identifies as two or more races. Toledo is a very affordable place to live. The median price for a home there is around $73,000. 

Toledo’s Schooling

The Toledo City School District serves over 20,000 students every year. It is the fourth largest school district in the state of Ohio. Those schools include 8 high schools, and dozens of schools for K-12 students. 

Things to do in Toledo

Toledo is a large city that always has lots of activities available for visitors and residents. It is known for some major attractions like the Toledo Zoo and the Toledo Museum of Art. These places attract many people from outside of Toledo. There are also plenty of great restaurants in the area. You can enjoy food that comes from a variety of cuisines. There also happen to be many large shopping centers in Toledo, as well as small specialty shops that you can visit. 

Get to Know Toledo Like a Local

Where People Shop, Dine, and Hang Out in Toledo

Toledo is a city that is full of fun things to do. It is located right next to Lake Erie, leaving people in the area with tons of waterfront activities to participate in. There are ferry rides that take people where they need to be, or simply for sightseeing. 

Aside from the lake, there is lots of shopping in the area. There are several large shopping centers for people to visit. There are plenty of great restaurants in the area that serve a variety of foods. There are plenty of parks and nature preserves for people to enjoy. This city was upgraded throughout the years to make it the best that it can be. When you’re here, you’ll find out just what makes it so great!

Maumee Bay Brewing

This brewery comes with amazing food options.

27 Broadway St | Toledo |

Maumee Bay Brewing Company  is a popular Toledo restaurant and brewery. It is Toledo’s original craft brewery. It was established back in 1995 and has been a fixture of Toledo ever since. They have over 15 BBL copper brew houses on display in their main brew pub. It is where they make their much loved beers and ciders. Their menu is filled with amazing foods such as grilled chicken, cheeseburgers, and soft pretzels. The food will be as delicious as it is filling!

This restaurant caters large parties and events. You can choose between their indoor and outdoor spaces when planning your event. The beers, one of the main attractions, are guaranteed to please your guests. You can try unique drink creations like “Oatmeal Raisin Stout,” bubblegum flavored hefeweizen, and mango flavored wheat beer. 

“Great food, friendly staff, and good beer! We will be back! My husband had the peanut butter and jelly hamburger, I had the prime rib dip. Both were very good but I liked his burger better. I know what I'm getting next time!” -- Yelp Review

Registry Bistro

Here you’ll have access to many kinds of meat.

144 N Superior St | Toledo |

Registry Bistro is a stylish restaurant and bar that sells amazing high-quality foods and drinks. Here is where you’ll get to have a unique fine dining experience. They give out relatively small portions, but those portions are sure to leave an impression. They serve many kinds of meat that you don’t normally find in restaurants. You can order rabbit, 

Their cocktail bar is accommodating towards people who want a more social food and drink experience. They hand-select various wines from different regions that are meant to complement their menu options. The drink menu also changes seasonally to reflect the weather. Aside from cocktails, you can also enjoy craft beers and non-alcoholic “mocktails.”

“Fantastic!!! Not sure why this place has not come up on searches previously as I feel like I have been missing out. I am in awe with their libations menu - could be the best I have seen.  The food was simply exceptional and right portioned.” -- Yelp Review

National Museum of the Great Lakes

This museum will give you a unique experience. 

1701 Front St | Toledo |

The National Museum of the Great Lakes shows off the interesting history of our great lakes. You’ll get to learn a lot about these lakes, which make up about 84% of the freshwater in North America. Your tour guide will also show off some of the boats once used to traverse these lakes. You’ll get to see canoes, schooners, and steamers, some of the oldest boat models. You also get to see the types of items and pieces of equipment that were kept inside of these boats. 

This museum is open every day except on Tuesdays and on certain holidays. There is an option for a virtual tour on the website, but it is likely to make you wish that you were there in person! The great lakes will be an enjoyable sight, but you’ll also get to see the Maumee river when you visit this museum. 

“We really went to this museum to humor our dad, but what a find. Cost of tickets was well worth the material and there is plenty for older children and adults to explore. Definitely get the combination ticket to explore the museum, tanker and tug. We spent 4 hours at this museum on a hot, hot day and beyond the heat on the metal ship's deck, everything was most enjoyable.” -- Yelp Review

Toledo Museum

Here is where you’ll find amazing art pieces you’ll wish you could take home. 

2445 Monroe St | Toledo |

The Toledo Art Museum is a popular location for visitors. It is one of the best museums in the country, which is what makes it such a great attraction. The museum has over 30,000 works of art inside. They feature paintings, sculptures, glassworks, and so much more. You can easily find descriptions of the art works that explains their origins and inspirations. The tour guides will also help you get the information that you need. All this knowledge and beauty also comes with free admission!

This museum provides classes for people to learn outside of the art exhibits. As an “art education institution,” one of the museum's main goals is to educate and inspire the community. They offer art classes for youths and adults. They even offer a master class in glass blowing!

“I'm impressed. I've lived in Cleveland, OH for a decade and had no idea that this massive building of artistic treasures existed just 90 minutes to the west. The museum is much larger than I expected with artwork finely displayed from all over the world. It is free of charge and available to anyone who is willing to take the time to visit. What are you waiting for?” -- Yelp Review

Toledo Zoo

Animals you normally don’t get to see await you at this zoo. 

2 Hippo Way | Toledo |

The Toledo Zoo is a very popular attraction. The zoo houses over 10,000 animals. That number includes over 720 different species. When you visit, you’ll get to see all kinds of animals that you can’t find in most places around the country. You’ll get to see rainforest animals, desert, and ocean animals all in the same place! You’ll get to see giraffes, tigers, and crocodiles, as well as sea turtles, sharks, and red pandas. 

Aside from showing off these amazing animals, this zoo also makes great efforts to conserve many species. They do their best to improve the lives of animals and their ecosystems. Some of the endangered species the zoo is working to save are Tasmanian devils, polar bears, and brown kiwis. When you visit this zoo, you not only get to see amazing animals, you get to support their conservation efforts too!

“This was a spur of the moment decision and it was a fantastic experience. I am visiting from Los Angeles and this zoo is better!  The habitats were lovely. The layout was smart. Everyone I encountered was friendly. The animals were beautiful. I highly recommend this zoo to anyone who gets a chance to visit.” -- Yelp Review

Toledo, Ohio is a city that offers so much to those who happen to live there. It is known for being a great destination for restaurants and attractions, among other great things. When you go there, you will always find many ways to enjoy yourself!

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