Toronto Baseball Stadium
Bird's eye view of a Blue Jays game (Photo credit: Tim Gouw)

Toronto Travel Guide

QUICK FACTS

  • Largest city in Canada and 5th in North America by population: ~2.6 million residents
  • Financial, business, retail, advertising, pharmaceutical and fashion capital of Canada
  • One of the most diverse cities in the world (50% of residents are foreign born)
  • Nicknames: TO, T-Dot, Hogtown, “Centre of the Universe” (joke among Canadians)

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Spoken languages: predominantly English
  • Best time to visit: from May to October (winters can be very cold)
  • Arriving via airport: public transport is $3.00 (directions), the express train to downtown (Union Station) is $27.50 one way, and a taxi is ~$50-60.

WHERE TO STAY

Anywhere in the Downtown core – bordered by Bloor St. on the north, Bathurst St. on the west, and Church St. on the east. If possible, somewhere within a few blocks of a TTC (subway) station.

GETTING AROUND

  • The TTC is the city’s public transport agency (link to official site). Consisting of bus, light rail, streetcar and subway routes, the TTC is a great way to get around downtown. Single rides cost $3.00, and include transfers. All-day and multi-day tickets are also available at any TTC subway station. 
  • Taxis can be called at 416-829-4222 or 416-751-5555 (Beck taxi). Fares start at around $4.50, with an additional $1.75 for every kilometer. Many residents prefer Uber to regular taxis.
  • BIXI is downtown Toronto’s main bike sharing service, with stations spread throughout.

TORONTO NIGHTLIFE

  • Drinking age is 19, last call is 2 AM.
  • Hip/local scene: bars along Ossington Avenue, between Queen and Dundas (directions).
  • Trendy scene: lounges/clubs on King St. West, between Spadina and Bathurst (directions).
  • College crowd: bars along Bloor St. West, between Spadina and Bathurst (directions).

UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT

  • CN Tower (world’s tallest free standing structure). Great views of the city and the lake on a clear day.
  • Prince Edward Viaduct, an arch bridge famous for connecting historic East and West Toronto.
  • The Distillery District, a collection of Victorian-era architecture and streets preserved from the late 19th century.
  • The Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest museum of natural history.

INTERESTING WALKS

LOCAL WISDOM

  • Downtown Toronto contains many unique neighborhoods, each offering a unique flavor. Just walking a few blocks in any direction will take you to a completely new area, with its own ethnic foods and attractions. You may even stumble onto a festival – Toronto is renowned for its many festivals (popular ones include Caribana, Taste of the Danforth, and Toronto Ukrainian Fest).
  • While Canadians are known to be polite and cordial, Torontonians are sometimes considered cold. This is the business city, and people are in a hurry.
  • Canadians are very politically correct, and may take offense at overly xenophobic or sexist comments.
  • Where to find good cheap eats: Koreatown (Bloor St. West), cafes on Queen St. (west of Spadina), Chinese and Viet restaurants in Chinatown (up and down Spadina) and cafes in Kensington Market.
  • Dangerous areas: Toronto is one of the safest cities in the world. Use common sense at night and you should not encounter any trouble.

RECOMMENDED TORONTO GUIDE BOOKS

Recommended trip duration: 3-4 days


SEE ALSO:
Toronto Travel Guide was last modified: September 22nd, 2016 by Nick
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