How should I get around Toronto??

Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 09:51 PM
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How should I get around Toronto??

I will be going to Toronto for a conference May 13-16 and have everything planned except my daily travel. I need to figure out how I am going to travel between the airport and hotel, as well as my daily travel.

The conference is at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

I am staying at the Days Inn Toronto Downtown (Carlton Street).

My basic needs are getting from the airport to the hotel Sunday morning, getting to and from the convention hall each day, and getting back to the airport.

Should I rent a car? Should I just use a taxi? Public transportation?

In considering the driving, traffic is always a consideration. I grew up driving around Boston and have driven through other cities, too. Most recently, I was able to drive in New York, Nashville, Philadelphia, Charleston, and various spots in Ireland without much trouble. So, unless Toronto is much worse than those other spots, I would not let the city driving be a driving factor in rejecting the car option.

Getting the most value for my money, in terms of using time efficiently and not spending a fortune, would be my main priority.

Thank you, in advance, for your advice. Even if you can not recommend one for sure, any help pointing out the benefits and drawbacks of each option is appreciated.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 10:26 PM
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Don't rent a car. The cost of a rental car plus gas & daily parking wld exceed cab fares. I wld take cabs from the airport to the hotel & from the hotel to the airport. And, cab it back & forth from your hotel on Carlton to the Convention Centre.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 10:35 PM
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Looking at my map and the TTC stops, the easiest way to the Convention Centre and back would be taking the Yellow Line from Bloor-Yonge to Union Station and then hoofing it the short distance to the Convention Centre. The TTC trip is about 7 minutes long.

I wouldn't bother with a car - it's going to cost you $18/day just to park it at the hotel, then add in the cost to park it each day at the Convention Centre and that's a lot of wasted money.

From prior posts, I think most recommend taking a limo for about $35-$40.

Hopefully the others can confirm my TTC info - I've been studying in preparation for my trip this summer.
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Old Apr 24th, 2007, 04:44 AM
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If you can, find out whether you're at the north or south Convention Centre. It's one building but BIG and if you're at the south one, leave time for walking, either through the building or around it. North is very accessible by TTC. South is still accessible but cab might be simpler, especially if your expenses are paid.
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Old Apr 24th, 2007, 05:38 AM
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Lowest priced Airport to Hotel is to take the regular Toronto Transit Commission system. $2.75, and not particularly painfuul if all you have is one fairly small rolling suitcase.

If this appeals, we can offer more info.

Next cheapet -- there's an airport express bus -- big highway cruiser typ4 -- for about $15 that will get you close to your hotel, and another $6-8 to get from the nearest hotel where the bus stops to your hotel. Perhaps it even goes to your hotel.

After that, take a limmo from the airport, for about $50. Nicer than a taxi and about the same money.

Take the subway to the convention center.

No one I know talks about colored lines (yellow, etc.) but it makes sopme sense. In my language, you walk from the hotel half a blcok to the College subway station, and get on a southbound train and get off at Uniuon, as alrready mentioned.

Yes, find out North or South building. Easy way to the North, on a nice day, is leave the station and walk west / left as you face the giant hotel across from the station, to the convention center. Just a few minutes.

For south, stay inside. Go from Union Station to the GO Transit commuter train station immediately south of the subway station. Turn right and walk past McDonalds and the LCBO liquor store and looking staight ahead you'll see signs saying SKYWALK.

Go Up the wide staircase in front of you and continue west, inside, past the candy displays and then just keep on going through above-ground tunnels. Eventually you'll be above the south part of the convention centrer and there's an escalaotr to take you down.

This is easier than it might sound, and much easier that driv8ing, parking, and walking.

Depending on how your brain feels after the convention sessions, it's a nice walk back to the hotel in the evening, stopping for dinner.

Or take a cab for around ten bucks.

BAK
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Old Apr 24th, 2007, 08:19 AM
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BAK - you're gonna have me talkin' like a local yet! Don't mention colored lines - use compass directions.

And I screwed up when I said catch Bloor-Yonge - I was looking at Carlton St with the hotel, but when I checked the TTC map, I moved up to Bloor inadvertently.
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Old Apr 25th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I might just go with the public transportation option, as long as it is not too confusing or difficult. All these replies have been helpful... thanks!
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Old Apr 27th, 2007, 01:17 AM
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I will be in Toronto in June for my fourth visit and in my opinion it is one of the easiest cities anywhere to get around. With the metro and trams you will not need cabs, just get a good map on arrival or print one out from the internet. Take the airport express bus to the bus terminal and it is a short walk to Carlton St, is your hotel the Yonge St end of Carlton? Take the College metro stop to Union to get to the convention centre.
A car is the last thing you need for the areas you will be in and you can do all of this so cheaply.
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Old Apr 27th, 2007, 06:15 AM
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The public transit $2.75 system is easy, if you are not carrying much.

First,you nedd $2.75 Canadian, but I bet three bucks US would work, too.

Outside each of the three Toronto airport terminals you'll find a TTC stop.

There will be good signs, and various people to ask.

Several different TTC buses pick uyp passengers at these stops. You want the one with "Rocket" in its name, and signage that says it goes to the Kipling Subway station.

AGain, just ask the driver if that's the right bus.

The bus gets onto a highway, some other streets, and ends up inside the fence at the Kipling subway station, so you do not have to pay a second fare, nor go through gates, etc.

It's the end of the line, so you cannot get on the wrong subweay train.

Get on the train and look at the route signs over the doorsinside, and see where the YONGE station is.


Get off there and look for signs on the platform that give directions to YONGE SOUTH.

These signs will be near the back of the train you got off of, rather than the front.

Take the stairs or escalotr up one level, and you'll see more subway tracks. Check the signs for SOUTH.

If you see sings for north, just go upstaairs, cross the tracks, and come down again and you'll be ont he right side.

From the YONGE station get on the SOUTH train and ride past Wellesley to COLLEGE Station.

Get off, and walk up the stairs. Depending on the exit you get off...

The East-WEst street has two names. College on the west side of Yonge and CArlton on the East side. The North-South street is Yonge.

You're job now s to determine the north-east corner, and then walk east part of a block. Easier than it sounds.

Allow a little less than an hour.

BAK
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Old May 17th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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Thank you for all the great tips and helpful advice! Some of it I took advantage of and some if I have saved for my next visit. I was only there for the few days but really enjoyed the experience and Toronto has shot right to the top of my list as my favorite city in Canada. A brief summary of what I wound up doing...

Sunday- Arrived and registered for the IRA Convention, got my bearings during a brief downtown stroll. Then I took the subway to Greektown and had dinner at Zorba's (Lamb souvlaki, quail, and garlic bread). Hung out at the hotel later at night and caught up on some reading about the area.

Monday- A cheap, quick breakfast at McDonald's before going off to the conference. I attended workshops from 10am-6pm before going back to the hotel. I showered, changed, and went to Big Daddy's Crab Shack & Oyster Bar for dinner. This time it was gator bites, calamari, catfish, and coconut shrimp and I enjoyed this place quite a bit. A nice evening stroll downtown and then back to hotel for "Heroes" and a few hours of work on the laptop.

Tuesday- I was at the workshops from 7am until about 2pm and then headed back early. Lunch at the irish Embassy Pub, a walk through the St. Lawrence Market, down through the harbour front area, and back up to King Street. By the time my exploring was done, I got a small meal at Wayne Gretzky's and was off to the Blue Jays game. It was a good game, but my first in a dome and I am SO totally against indoor baseball now. It just felt wrong to play baseball under a roof. After the game it was back to the hotel for a couple hours of work and sleep.

Wednesday- Attended the conference in the morning. Ate lunch at Richtree and enjoyed that experience. Then it was a two hour stop at the Hockey Hall of Fame and off to the airport. Unfortunately, it ended with my flight being delayed by several hours and finally arriving in Philly at about 1:00AM... after being scheduled to land at 8:30.

I was so impressed by Toronto. Easy to get around quickly, super friendly and helpful people, good food, clean, modern, fun... a very cool place to be and I can not wait to go back. I was so tempted to ride up to the top of the CN Tower but decided the price ($31 I believe) was too much for me to afford. I'll try and squeeze it in next time.

Thanks again for all the tips and advice!

-BAK: The directions you gave me for the subway were PERFECT and very helpful!!! I printed them out and no problem getting to my hotel, around town, and back to the airport. The only issue I had was I did not have exact change for the bus departing the airport... the guy was amazingly nice, though. I think he saw how frustrated that I had to back into the airport and look for change and gave me the ride to Kipling anyway for the 95 cents I had. I had a $20 bill, too, but he let me keep that one! =)
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Old May 17th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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Shandy,
I'm so glad you had a good time -- it's sounds like you had some great exploring walks!

I agree with you about indoor baseball stadiums. In fact, our favourite place to watch baseball is the sweet little Dunn Stadium in Buffalo. But when the baseball season opens in early April, we could easily be having snow on the ground here, so the domed stadium is a real benefit in that way. The thing I don't like, though, is that all the food concession stands are chain restaurants. It's pretty boring for baseball game food.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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Hi, Shandy! Thx for your trip report. So happy to hear that you enjoyed Toronto. Come back soon!
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Old May 18th, 2007, 12:03 AM
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Shandy
Thanks for the eating out recommendations, I'll surely check them out when I arrive in Toronto. As I love Greek food and seafood those two look pretty good to me.
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