Greyhound provides transportation from most major Northeast cities, Ontario Northland provides service from the northern parts of Ontario and Coach Canada links Montreal and Toronto. GO Transit provides buses from outlying Toronto areas. Greyhound, Coach Canada and Ontario Northland buses stop at Toronto Coach Terminal, which is a short walk to the St. Patrick subway station of the Toronto Transit Commission.
Pearson International Airport is situated about 45 minutes by car from the downtown core and is serviced by most major international carriers.
Getting downtown from the Airport
Several options exist to make your way downtown from the airport:
A quick, convenient way to get to downtown Toronto is by the Airport Express . The bus picks up at all 3 terminals and stop at several major hotels in the downtown core. A round trip cost $26.75CDN. Travel times to and from the airport vary due to traffic conditions.
The TTC (Toronto public transit) have a few bus services that run to and from Pearson. The best TTC option is the 192 Airport rocket that runs between Kipling Station on the Bloor-Danforth Subway, in the west end of the city, and Pearson Airport. Kipling Station is the western most subway stop on the Bloor-Danforth line and it takes between 30-45 minutes to reach downtown. One way adult fare on the TTC is $2.50CDN
Toronto's City Centre Airport (TCCA) handles much less traffic. It offers short-haul flights to neighbouring Canadian and American cities. The airport is located on the Toronto Islands and is connected to the mainland by a very short free ferry ride.
Toronto is situated along a primary VIA Rail corridor. Trains travel both east towards Montreal and westwards towards Western Ontario. Express service exists between Toronto and Montreal. The only stop in between is Montreal Airport. It is a very nice service with beautifully painted carriages. Remember to ask for student fares if you have an ISIC card.
The Canadian service operated by VIA (not daily) goes past Western Ontario, across the parries, all the way to Vancouver. Daily Maple Leaf service goes to New York and is operated by Amtrak. One schedule uses a train all the way through. Other schedules use a bus from Toronto to Buffalo.
Major highways leading into Toronto are the QEW, the 404, the 401, the 400, and the 427. Toronto is in the enviable position of being the largest city in Canada, so it's relatively easy to find a sign pointing you in the right direction. Be advised that traffic on incoming highways can be extremely heavy.
Toronto is the safest city of any large metropolis in North America, even more safe than other Canadian cities such as Vancouver and Montrιal. This is a remarkable feat despite Toronto's huge downtown cores and suburban areas sprawling every year.
For instance, the homicide rate for Toronto is 1.3 per 100,000 people (1999; Statistics Canada), compared to Atlanta (34.5), Boston (5.5) New York City (9.1), Vancouver (2.8) and Washington, DC (45.5). For robbery rates, Toronto also ranks low, with 115.1 robberies per 100,000 people, compared to Dallas (583.7), Los Angeles (397.9), Montrιal (193.9), New York City (490.6) and Washington, DC (670.6).
Toronto is Canada's largest city, with a metropolitan population of more than 5 million people. It is the capital of the province of Ontario, Canada's second largest but most populous province.
In the late 1990s the city of Toronto was amalgamated with several surrounding cities and boroughs - Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, York, and East York - to form a new city of Toronto. This is also known as Metropolitan Toronto or "the 416" after its area code (although now there are some new minor area codes, the overwhelming number of phone numbers in the new City are "1-416...") and has a population of over 3.2 million people. Fully half of these were born in some country other than Canada - a fact obvious to any visitor immediately, as the city has many vibrant bustling neighborhoods with street signs in several languages. In fact, Toronto has a higher percentage of immigrants (52% of the population) than any other city in the world.
There are also several suburbs surrounding Toronto, such as Mississauga, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Markham, and Pickering. Collectively, these suburbs are called the Greater Toronto Area (or GTA). They are also known as "the 905" after their area code, although technically this code is also used in both Hamilton and the Niagara Region, stretching to the border in Niagara Falls. The entire area including Toronto is known as the "Golden Horseshoe" and has a population of over 8 million people.
Downtown -- The downtown core is the economic powerhouse of Toronto, although it lacks the cultural appeal of the outlying districts.
Chinatown -- One of North America's largest Chinese districts
The Annex -- A food and shopping Mecca, this district is well known by Torontonians as one of the friendliest neighborhoods
Kensington Market -- This district is bohemian and cosmopolitan, where cultures from all over the world mix and also home to a number of vintage clothing stores
Clubland/Theater District -- Home of entertainment and party people alike.
Church/Wellesley -- Toronto's Queer district.
Yonge Street -- Ample shopping and activity along this heavily visited main district.
Fashion District/Queen St. W
Greektown -- Located on Danforth Avenue from Broadview to Jones, "The Danforth" is a delightful place to spend a summer afternoon shopping, especially if you like Greek food. Very popular with locals.
Cabbagetown - Located along Parliament Street, this was once where the highly affluent members of the city lived.
Bloor-Yorkville. Located along Bloor Street from Yonge to Avenue Road and North to Hazelton Lanes. This area boasts some of the countries most upscale shopping, with the flagship Canadian retailer, Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen, as well as Roots, to internationally known Tiffany's, Armani, Gucci, and many others. The area also offers luxury hotels and numerous chic restaurants, very popular with visiting celebrities, particularly during the Toronto film festival held every September. It's a wonderful area for strolling, particularly on the streets directly north of Bloor, popular with locals and offers casual rooftop dining and sidewalk patios in summer, with establishments such as Hemingways, Remys, Dimmis, and The Pilot.
The Lakefront, in the downtown core offers biking and walking trails, with an excellent view of the Toronto skyline.
The Distillery District - the former Gooderham & Worts distillery lands have been rejuvenated into a pedestrian-only village dedicated to the arts and entertainment. It has fantastic restaurants, festivals, and art galleries.
Toronto has some excellent beaches in the east end that offer typical beach activities.
The much-acclaimed CN Tower costs just $20CN (Budget) or $28CN to go up. It's the world's tallest free-standing structure and attracts large amounts of tourist, best times are weekdays in the morning.
The Ontario Science Center allows you to explore science (mainly aimed towards children ~8-14) in a fun and exciting way.
Camp Miniyowe is a camp with various programs for different ages.
There are also many excellent museums:
Royal Ontario Museum is home to many permanent and temporary exhibits.
Art Gallery of Ontario is home to many famous pieces of art ranging from very recent to artwork hundreds of years old. Artists from Monet to Warhol are represented here and the AGO has one of the largest collections of Henry Moore sculptures in the world.
Most hotels and hostels are situated directly outside of the downtown core. Prices for rooms generally range from $150+ for a standard hotel, $60-80 for a motel, and $20-40 for a bed in a hostel. Another popular alternative for over nighters are Bed and Breakfasts. There are hundreds in Toronto and many of them are in the downtown core. Prices range from $60 to several hundred dollars depending on the house and amenities offered.
Toronto is generally considered to be one of North America's top food cities. It has the same variety as New York or San Francisco, many places are open much later, and the compact and safe downtown keeps them closer together. The immigrants make them authentic, and the Canadian dollar makes them cheaper. It is easy to eat out in Toronto and have a superb meal for cheap.
Le Commensal in Downtown
Fresh by Juice for Life in The Annex - 521 Bloor Street West, 416-531-2635, and in two locations on Queen West, 336 Queen Street West, 416-599-4442, and 894 Queen Street West, 416-913-2720
Fressen on Queen West - 478 Queen Street West, 416-506-5127
Hey Good Cooking The Annex 238 Dupont St. (near Spadina Road and Spadina subway station) 416-929-9140
Interesting Food Districts
A small section of Baldwin Street (east of Spadina, north of Dundas) has many small outdoor cafes ideal for summer lunches.
Bulldog Coffee 89 Granby St. This place serves the best espresso and espresso based drinks in Toronto. One of the owner/baristas regularly wins competitions for his lattι art. Open 7 AM - 7 PM daily.
The Red Tea Box 696 Queen Street W. Excellent teas, good food, cozy atmosphere, and decadent desserts that look too good too eat. Not cheap, but very good. Only open for lunch. 416 203 8882.
The majority of Nightlife in Toronto is centered around the appropriately named Clubland, and in the fashion district on Queen Street West. Nearly anywhere is packed to the brim with pubs, bars, but none so much as Adelaide and Queen Street in those districts.
Hipper more art and music oriented crowds tend to gravitate towards Parkdale (Queen West past Bellwoods Park). The hipsters hangout out and comment on their outfits (and sometimes the art) in a wide array of bars, galleries and clubs that dot the area. Of particular note are: the Stones Place (mostly Indie and sometimes gay crowds), The Social (a mixed bag really) and the Drake and it's poor cousin Gladstone Hotels. However note many smaller venues / bars are in the area. Additionally these same folks also frequent the Annex / Kensington Market Area of the city at night for club nights, casual drinks and art / music events. One of the main "corsos" of the city is Little Italy: College Street, between Bathurst and Ossington flows over with music, sidewalk cafes and excellent food and a crowd that enjoys the summer heat and the offerings.
George Brown College is known for its business and culinary faculties which are located right behind its St. James Campus which is located downtown. Its other campus, Casa Loma Campus, is obviously located near Casa Loma.
Toronto, like other Canadian cities, is home to dozens of English as a Second Language (ESL) Schools. International students often prefer to study in Toronto because of its safety, proximity to other tourist destinations and favourable exchange rates and visa policies. More information on ESL schools can be found at CAPLS (the Canadian Association of Private Language Schools)
The University of Toronto is spread out all over the city of Toronto, including the Mississauga campus, the Downtown campus, and others. It offers many programs including engineering with science programs that are even more extensive than that of Harvard University (USA).
Toronto is home to two other universities. York University, the third largest in Canada, is located on the northern border of the city. Ryerson University is located in the heart of the downtown core.
York University Website
Ryerson University Website
Toronto is a great starting point for exploring southern Ontario. The Niagara Region, including Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake, is less than an hour's drive from Toronto towards the United States border at the Falls. The Waterloo region to the west has colleges and culture, and Muskoka, to the north and The Kawarthas to the east of Toronto, is cottage country, with country inns, hundreds of lakes and rivers, camping, fishing/hunting, provincial parks, and a wealth of year-round outdoor activities.
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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