Four nights in Toronto - please advise!

Sep 23rd, 2011, 03:41 AM
  #1  
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Four nights in Toronto - please advise!

DH and I are pretty excited about our upcoming trip to Toronto. It's been years (like since I was in elementary school) years. We are not staying downtown - we are staying in Mississauga. Due to a limited budget, we just couldn't stay downtown where parking is a bit steep. We will have a car and I have factored in the fact that it will take about 30 minutes to get downtown each day. What I am looking for are dining suggestions, and your feedback on my attempt at a plan for our lovely four days!

We will arrive mid-day on Friday and will check into our hotel. Will be looking for a spot to grab lunch, probably in Mississauga. Our plan is to head downtown and hang out until 4:30 at which time we are going to the ROM (half price on Fridays after 4:30 can't be beat!). I imagine we will be there until 8:30. Dinner after. Thought that Fieramosca Trattoria looked interesting for dinner...any comments?

Saturday will begin at the St. Lawrence Mkt. I am very much looking forward to this. I love farmers markets! We want to visit Carousel Bakery, Olympic Cheese, Schefflers Deli and El Gaucho Chorizos. Is there any other stand we should go to? Also on Saturday I want to visit the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre for their 11:00 tour (not sure if this will be before or after the Mkt). Other things on the list for Saturday are: Hockey Hall of Fame, St. James Cathedral, and the Distillery District (more than likely for dinner - any suggestions?)

Sunday will be the Kensington/Chinatown tour with Urban Adventures at 10:00. Lunch in Chinatown (any suggestions? I really want to try a bahn mi sandwich?). We also plan on doing a tour at Castle Loma and the Spadina Historic House. Want to end the day with a visit to the CN Tower - is it better during the day or at night? Need suggestions for dinner in the area of the CN Tower or in Mississauga.

Monday we plan on heading for a scenic drive. I love fall colors and will have my camera in hand! I have a link to watch the progress of the colors changing. It has been suggested that we may miss the peak colors North of TO. If that is the case we will head to the Niagara on the Lake area. Any suggestion for this day are most welcome! I want to make an entire day of our scenic drive complete with charming towns, boutique shops and yummy food.

Tuesday we will head home. We will probably do some shopping before we hit the road. I'm assuming we should go to the Eaton Centre?

A few things I'm not sure of...what is Yonge-Dundas Square closest to? Are there any specialty food stores worth visiting - I just love them!

What am I missing? We love food, history, tours. As far as dining, we are open to just about anything. We are on somewhat of a budget so it won't be super fine dining every evening.

Thanks so much!!!
tdmort is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2011, 05:20 AM
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If you are driving back and forth into the Downtown Core, it may be better to find a set "all day" parking lot near public transportation and leave the car there, rather than using your car... if you pull in-and out of several parking areas near separate attractions, it will add up to much more than the hotel fee if you stayed downtown... those $5 and $6 per hour lots quickly add up...

If you haven't booked yet, consider Priceline or Hotels.com and you can save the equivalent of the parking AND stay downtown... its much more convienient than the daily commute with a million other citizens... we got $129 per night at the Intercontinental Yorkville which is across the street from ROM... we never needed to move the car from the ramp...

Toronto public transit is very easy and people in Toronto are very, very helpful ( except the meanies on the Lounge)... so consider that you won't save that much on parking if you commute...
garyt22 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:04 AM
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Thanks for your feedback. I am a little afraid of Priceline because I don't know Toronto that well. Is there any area we should avoid (i.e. unsafe) in the priceline neighborhoods?
tdmort is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2011, 07:01 AM
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Drive from Mississauga to the closest Subway stop that has good parking - probably Kipling.
Park car and take the subway downtown - you do NOT want to drive and park in downtown Toronto. We live in Etobicoke (just East of Mississauga) and my husband only drives downtown under duress and in off hours.
Parking downtown will cost you an arm and a leg and part of your torso - it is expensive and NOT always easy to find.

Where are you staying in Mississauga (nearest major cross streets)? I know a few restaurants there but it is a big area.
semiramis is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2011, 09:31 AM
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It's near the mall, but the name of the mall escapes me right now. I will have to look later today. I did notice several restaurants at the mall, but mall restaurants can be hit or miss.
tdmort is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2011, 10:03 AM
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I'd suggest that you go to the St. Lawrence Market on Saturday morning, wander around there and in the farmers market across the road and have lunch back at the SLM. There are lots of places to buy food (and some sitting) downstairs but everyone seems to love the Italian sandwich stand. Upstairs you can get the traditional back bacon on a bun and we recently had a great seafood lunch at a stand at the south end of the market (sorry, I don't remember the name but it's on the south wall and you can't miss it). If it's a nice day, you can take your lunch to the tables outside.

If you don't want to have lunch at the market (which, admittedly, is crowded and noisy), there are plenty of alternatives on Front Street. To the west of the market you'll find SpringRolls (pan Asian), the Hot House (a wide variety) and Le Papillon (Breton-style crepes). There are plenty of other restaurants around there too, especially on Wellington, across the road from the little triangular park behind the Flatiron building.

Be sure to look for the mural on the back (park-side) of that building. It's fun.
goddesstogo is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2011, 10:23 AM
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If you use the Hotel bidding sites, just select 3 or four star properties in Downtown... all are safe and you can save a ton of money on four nights... way more sense than staying 30 minutes outside of the city... be brave morty... once you try them, the fear of using them goes away...
garyt22 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2011, 12:35 PM
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Mississauga Restaurant recommendation: Bombay Bhel
The following is a small chain of Indian restaurants. We have eaten at the Hurontario/at Eglinton location and enjoyed it very much:

http://www.bombaybhelrestaurant.com/
semiramis is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:42 PM
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Ok Garyt22...I'm going to bite the bullet and do Priceline!
tdmort is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2011, 07:13 PM
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Well...that was a failure. I didn't win any bids. When can I bid again?
tdmort is offline  
Sep 24th, 2011, 05:40 AM
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I suggest visiting Casa Loma and/or taking a harbor cruise if you have the time. We also went on the hop on/hop off bus, which we really enjoyed. Got to see a lot of the neighborhoods & got off at sites that interested us. The revitalized Distillery/Brewery area is very nice, too.
Kwoo is offline  
Sep 24th, 2011, 07:12 AM
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Buy a hop on hop off bus pass. This gives you flexibility to visit all areas of downtown including the DIstillery, Chinatown, Casa Loma plus the one I purchased included a boat tour of the lake. I think it cost us $75 for unlimited usage during the 3 days we were there.
Tanya is offline  
Sep 24th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Thanks Tanya and Kwoo. Do you know the name of the company? That sounds like a great plan!
tdmort is offline  
Sep 25th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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Please keep the suggestions coming! I have decided we really need to stay downtown TO. But haven't been successful at all with Priceline. Not too worried, we still have 2 weeks.
tdmort is offline  
Sep 25th, 2011, 08:56 AM
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Have you tried Hotwire? No bidding, but no hotel name or parking fees given. They sometimes have good last-minute deals; Downtown Toronto West would be the safest area to try.
What about Travelzoo? I've gotten some good deals from that site also.
nfldbeothuk is offline  
Sep 25th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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I don't know hotwire's geographical areas, but what constitutes Downtown Toronto West?
goddesstogo is offline  
Sep 25th, 2011, 03:15 PM
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I believe Yonge St separates west from east...
garyt22 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2011, 03:40 AM
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Gary...does what time you bid on Priceline make a difference? My bids were rejected again yesterday but I got an email saying that a bid I had tried was accepted at 12:35 am!
tdmort is offline  
Sep 26th, 2011, 06:08 AM
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I'm not sure whether its the time of day, or when they add more rooms, but it does have a lot to do with what is happening in the City when you want to go...

If your bid was accepted, what hotel did you get????
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Sep 26th, 2011, 03:00 PM
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Gary...my bit hasn't been accepted yet. I am going to be up late tonight doing homework and am going to try after midnight.
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