Driving in Toronto?

Aug 5th, 2003, 09:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 48
Driving in Toronto?

I fly into Pearson next month with my family for our first trip into Toronto. We are staying at the Novotel Centre downtown. Is it easy to drive in Toronto? Would you recommend the freedom of rental vehicle or to use the Airport Express, taxi's, underground, & coach to Niagara for a day trip for your choice of travel in & around Toronto?
ssharris is offline  
Aug 5th, 2003, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Toronto rush-hour traffic is among the worst in North America. Driving around downtown during the day should be OK, but it's completely unnecessary. T.O. has one of the cleanest, safest, most efficient mass transit systems on earth, with subways, streetcars and buses to get you anywhere in the city center, and many places outside it.
Plus parking downtown can be quite expensive, and the downtown area is great for walking.
For trips out - Toronto Zoo, Canada's Wonderland, Niagara Falls - a car might come in handy. But again, the Zoo and Wonderland can be accessed easily by transit, and there are plenty of bus day trips to Niagara Falls.
martytravels is offline  
Aug 6th, 2003, 07:50 AM
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Does economics matter?

Assuming $50 each way by cab from airport to hotel to airport, it might be cheaper to rent a car, but hotel parking fees get involved, etc.

Chances are your best bet is to take limo from the airport to the hotel. if there are three or four of you, this is probably cheaper than the airport express bus, and more convenient.

The hotel is well located for lots of interesting stuff, so you are fine without a car for a few days.

Then rent a car, picking it up early one morning, and use it for the day, going to Niagara Falls, Niagara on the lake, and back, and returning it late that night or first thing the next morning.

The rental car is a lot less expensive than taking a bus tour with three or four people, and a lot more convenient, especially if you have children.

If there's another day trip outside Toronto you want to take, keep the car another day, and use it for this trip, too.

But generally, in central Toronto, you are fine without a car.


BAK is offline  
Aug 6th, 2003, 03:14 PM
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Thank you for the advice. We really only have 4 full days in & around Toronto so I figure the only day trip we would make is to N. Falls since there's so much to see & do in Toronto area. As far as economics ... not a problem. However, you suggested a limo. We have 2 adults, 2 children (one an infant) ... is a limo economical for us?
ssharris is offline  
Aug 6th, 2003, 04:47 PM
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The airport to downtown bus info is at http://www.torontoairportexpress.com

Adult fares are $15 one way or $26 round trip. Kids 11 and under are free; kids 12 and up are full fare.

The bus takes you to any of several hotels downtown, but not your hotel. Closest is the Fairmont Royal York.

From here, you'd need to get your luggage off the bus, and transfer to a taxi, to get to the Novatel. (There are connector buses from the Royal York, but not to your hotel)

I'm guessing, based on old experience, that a limo from the airport directly to the hotel would be under $60 for all of you.

The cab from the Royal York to the Novatel would probably be about $5 - 7 dollars. So, assuming both kids ride free, $35 plus tips by bus and cab, compared to about $60, but much easier by limo. If you've got stoller, lots of bags, etc., the limo might be worth it.

Limos and regular cabs are about the same price, but limos usually are nicer. Just regular Lincoln Town Cars, usually.

BAK is offline  
Aug 6th, 2003, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Airport "limos" are not really limousines but are very nice taxis. The Toronto airport (gtaa.com) licenses "taxis" and "limos" - "limos" cost more and you get slightly better car and driver is supposed to wear a hat. A "taxi" is fine and costs $42 plus tip to downtown.

Agree with others - no need for car in Toronto. Depending on your flight times, you might consider either renting car at airport and dropping off at downtoen location after your day trip or vice-versa. Some rental agencies allow this with-out a drop-off charge but check as dropping off a car at the airport may involve an additional airport concession fee.
dial is offline  
Aug 6th, 2003, 06:37 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
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Excellent advice ... that's why I love this 'travel talk' ... this has helped me save a lot of $$ & headaches. Thanks again everybody!

ssharris is offline  

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