Toronto - Getting Around -

Toronto has a well maintained and effective public transportation system, the TTC , and you can get pretty well anywhere you want in the main part of the city with the subway / streetcars / buses. Current fares are $2.50 (discounted to $2 if you buy 5 or more tickets or tokens at a time). A day-pass, which allows unlimited travel on the TTC, is available for $8. It allows unlimited* one-day travel after 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. the next morning. On Saturday and Sunday, and statutory holidays, up to 6 people can travel with the pass, from start of service until 5:30 a.m. the next morning:
   2 adults alone, or with up to 4 Children/Youths (Youth = *19 years of age or under).
   1 adult alone, or with up to 5 Children/Youths (Youth = *19 years of age or under).

A weekly pass was introduced in September, 2005, for $30 a week. It lasts from 6am Monday morning to 6am the following Monday. At this time the monthly and weekly passes were made transferable, allowing owners to transfer the pass to another person at the end of their trip.

There are three primary subway lines:
  The Bloor line runs east-west along Bloor/Danforth Street
  The Yonge/University line runs in a U formation, traveling North-South along Yonge Street, and North-South along University, Bathurst and Spadina street.
  The Sheppard line Runs in a West-East direction along Sheppard from the Sheppard station on the east side of the Yonge line.

Other TTC services are provided by buses, streetcars, the Scarborough "Light Rapid Transit" line, and Wheel-Trans vans (for people with disabilities). In the Mississauga region, the Mississauga Transit Commission has buses to take you around (The TTC does not generally travel in the Mississauga area). Prices are similar to prices for the TTC.

Taxis are plentiful and safe, but not cheap. As with most big cities, driving a car downtown can be annoying; parking is often hard to find and expensive, and traffic along certain streets can make vehicle travel slower than mass transit. If you need to get out of the city, the GO Trains  (commuter trains) go out to the outlying areas.

By Bike
In recent years the "core" central area has become quite bike friendly. The city government has installed many new bike only lanes that span major east-west or north-south corridors. It takes a reasonably pro-bike position and a bike-map is available on the City Web site . Doughnut shaped bike lock racks have been installed on many sidewalks, usually in front of shops, restaurants or major points of interest.

By far one of the nicest bike paths is the east-west route that hugs lake Ontario, spanning the city from Etobicoke to the eastern ends of the city. Take care, this path while busy is also enjoyed by pedestrians and rollerbladers who are not a speedy as the typical biker. Biking is fairly common on major routes without bike paths too, such as Yonge Street, King and Queen Streets and Dundas and College. Beware of parked cars - often accidents are not caused by moving cars, but rather by careless drivers or passengers who unexpectedly open their drivers side door. However, by and large Toronto is about as safe for bikers than most European cities, and certainly safer than most US cities with their much reduced density of bikers. Here, at least you are expected. Also be cautious of street car tracks as bike wheels can be easily caught and cause a spill. The city is general pretty safe and in the centre of the city mainly flat which makes it ideal to bike, while dodging busy public transit, traffic jams or taxi fares or the severe parking fees and scarce spaces, and most of all SEE the city. And it is fast: door to door, in all of downtown Toronto bike beats car every time.

A special treat for bikers of all levels is a tour out to the Leslie Spit lighthouse and bird sanctuaries (no cars!) east of the islands (bring a picnic); as well, the island ferries transport bikes at no extra charge (again, no cars on the islands) and this is just the best way to get around by far. Biking in the winter months is only enjoyable with proper equipment for regular bikers though, it does get cold, it can be quite windy, and the Canadian attitude to clearing snow on the street can be, shall we say, relaxed.

Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License


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