Day in Toronto

Dec 17th, 2008, 02:43 PM
  #1  
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Day in Toronto

Hi my wife & I just changed plans & now expect to spend this Saturday 20th Dec in Toronto. It'll be our first visit there. We live in Ireland (but are from UK). Our son lives 2 hours from Toronto & may or may not be joining us, perhaps with his girlfriend. We've just quickly scanned through a few ideas such as the CN Tower, maybe getting a city pass. (We may be able to spend another day there during our two-week holiday).

We would appreciate any of your recommendations. We don't want anything Christmassy or very expensive! What about lunch? Anything ethnic would probably be interesting, I suppose by ethnic I mean oriental or even perhaps native american, I don't really know what may be on offer!
Thanks in anticipation.
Ricardo_215 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2008, 04:18 PM
  #2  
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I should perhaps add we are both very young (well, early 50's!). At least we feel young. Enjoy walking. Weather looks cold on Saturday, 10% chance of precipitation. Weatherbonk.com gives 17 F is I think about -8 Celsius which is colder than anything we are used to. But we have warm clothes. I suppose the problem comes when going in & out of heated buildings.
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Dec 17th, 2008, 06:32 PM
  #3  
BAK
 
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We call them First Nations up here in Canada, and to the best of my knowledge, here's no Indian-specific restaurant in Toronto.

It's hard not to be Christmasy in Toronto a week before the big day.

In the last little while we've re-opened two museums following major architectural overhauls.

The Royal Ontario Museum at Bloor St West and Avenue Road / Queens Park is at the Museum subway stop, and has a spectacular Daniel Libskind exterior.

The ROM is a general purpose museum -- dinasours to armor.

A few blocks south, the Art Gallery of Ontario reopened just a few weeks ago, following a Frank Gehry giant renovation. Two blocks west of the St. Patrick subway station.

AGO is an art museum -- painting, sculptures, photos.

Not as new, The Museum of Inuit Art is in the Queens Quay Terminal at Harbourfront.

Gardiner CEramic Museum is across the street from the ROM.

You can get to all these via the subway and streetcar system without getting out in the cold too much.

As for restaurants -- once we get past the non-existant / hard to find Indian restaurants, we can supply almost any other kind of cuisine.

Do you know where you will be at dinner time (evening meal) on Friday and SAturday? We can point you to somewhere good, and close.

BAK


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Dec 18th, 2008, 06:43 AM
  #4  
 
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The weather forecast for the 19th and the 21st is diabolical, so the key thing to have is good solid footwear. Everything BAK says is fine, but getting around is going to be tricky. Long johns and a woollen hat are necessities for a Canadian winter.
almcd is offline  
Dec 18th, 2008, 07:29 AM
  #5  
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The good news is that the snowstorm in planned for Friday, not Saturday.

All assuming the forecast turns out to be accurate.

If you need to get downtown from the airport during a snowstorm, and you have lots of luggage, the best bet is the big highway express buses, where the drivers have the best view of the road ahead and the best training.

Where you are going on Friday (or Saturday morning if that's your arrrival) makes a difference.

A downtown hotel onthe subway route, and, even better, a hotel that the airport bus serves directly, is your best bet.

As long as you're near a subway, life will be resonably easy.

I don't think you'll need long underwear. A hat may be handy. I wear a 50 year old Stetson fedora myslef, most of the time, but it leaves my ears uncovered and this isn't much of a problem, five minutes at a time.

FEET, HOWEVER are a genuine problkem. I was int he heart of the big city yesterday, a few hours after a snowstorm, and watched as a stylish lady wearing cutaway high heels tried to get out of her BMW and place her feet into the tire tracks between the six inch high rows of slush, and then jump over the foot wide rivers of salted-water by the curb.

So, on Saturday, the day after a big snowstorm, if you want to do much walking, you should start the day in a store buying some boots that will serve you well for the rest of your holiday, too.

Sidewalks are usually OK. The problem is crossing intersections.

BAK




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Dec 18th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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Another great museum to visit is the Bata Shoe Museum, on Bloor St a couple of blocks west of the ROM (and almost beside a subway stop). The museum is both entertaining (e.g. Elton John's shoes) and educational (e.g. footwear of the Plains aboriginal people, footbinding practices in China), and it has a great little gift shop.

I'm sorry to hear that snow is headed to Toronto. Mr frogoutofwater are scheduled to arrive on Saturday for Christmas.
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Dec 18th, 2008, 03:52 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I just hope the plane gets there, we fly via Chicago as there are no direct flights from Dublin in winter. Have boots, scarves, hats, gloves, etc. Sorry it's probably too late for any more comments. I just hope my son can safely drive from Aylmer near London to meet us.
Ricardo_215 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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I bought a great hat in Zakopane in Poland with ear flaps that I never use here. Perhaps I will use them now!
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Dec 19th, 2008, 07:10 AM
  #9  
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Ricardo, please report back when you return from your trip.

I know I speak for many of the regulars here when I wish you good luck on the trip.

You've probably already learned of the bad weather now in Chicago -- let's just hope you are not stranded there or in some other US city because O'Hare is snow-blocked.

It's about 11 a.m as I write, and I'm just back from a two KM drive where it was impossible to see very much, and I'm glad I know where the street are and how they curve. But the Torotno airport knows how to ccope with snow, so we're hoping things clear enough for you to land later today.

By tomorrow, assuming your plane can land safely today, you'll see real Canada.

There will be lots of beautiful snow, no matter where you are in Toronto. It's a city of parks and trees.

You'll see people shovelling, usually happily, too.

And with your Polish hat and Irish boots, you'll be fine.
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Jan 12th, 2009, 12:03 PM
  #10  
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Ok ok I am home now. Still recovering from jet-lag. Thank you for all your suggestions.

In the end our Aer Lingus flight was an hour late leaving from Dublin and so we missed our Air Canada from Chicago. [cheaptickets.com sold us the tickets - 1 hour 45 min change at Chicago & we HAD to collect our luggage & re-submit as it's US law that at the 1st stop in US you have to collect luggage, they won't put it through automatically. I think 2 -3 hours connection time should be more realistic for Chicago O'Hare. At least there was a later flight with availability & they didn't charge us any extra.] We were put on a later flight which was delayed because of the snow storm, and we arrived Toronto 2 am. It was -13 C and about 12" (30cm) of snow. Our son drove up from London Saturday morning but he was also delayed, so at 11:30 or 12 we went into Toronto, and decided it wasn't worth getting a city pass. So we parked & did the CN Tower, including sky pod, but not the ride. We spent about 4 or 5 hours up it, including a meal, but not the expensive one in the revolving restaurant. There's another good restaurant up there. And we stood on the glass floor, although many around us were too scared to! We did enjoy it & afterwards enjoyed a good brisk walk along the lake front for some exercise & appreciated all our warm clothing.

We hope to come again and spend a proper day there, and will plan it properly!
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Jan 12th, 2009, 02:03 PM
  #11  
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Thanks for the report.

BAK
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