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cd May 17th, 2008 07:49 AM

Is the Boardwalk in Toronto and the Harbourfront the same thing?
We will be in Toronto June 7th and want to walk the Boardwalk, see the harbor area and take a ferry ride to see Toronto from the water. Can you catch a ferry from the Boardwalk? Or, are these two seperate places?

We are staying at the Marriott Downtown and I understand from doing a search here, we can take the 501 Queen Street East streetcar straight to the Boardwalk. Correct? Any and all information appreciated.

BAK May 17th, 2008 10:16 AM

Two widely different places.

By Mariott Downtown do you mean the Eaton Centre one?

It seems Mariott has fairly recently added "downtown" to that name.

The Eaton Centre Mariott is adjacent to about the middle of the EAton Centre shopping centre, and the south end of the Eaton Centre is at Queen Street, at Yonge.

Yonge is the divider; Queen Street East is one side of Yonge and Queen Street West is the other side.

So, yes, catch the estbound Queen 501 Street car, and go to the streetcar loop at the very end. Some Queen cars go partway, and some chance their destination as you travel. Anyway, it should say Queen and Neville Park on the front fo the street car. If it short-turns, just wait for a few minutes and another will come along. You'll gt a transfer when you get onthe street car, covering the cost of getting on the streetcar going all the way. (This is oiverly cautious info: changes are really good a Queen car will go to Neville Park.

Get off at Neville Park, and you'll see a wonderful art deco water treatment park. Walk to the bottom of the street, and you're at the lake.

Walk west and you'll soon get to the boardwalk.

Keep walking until you get borred, and then walk a few blocks north to Queen Street and stroll past the stores you saw a few minutes before while on the streetcar.

This neighborhood is called The Beaches by smart people, and The Beach by interlopers.

At some point, you'll decide you've seen enough. Get on a west bound streetcar and return to somewhere around Yonge Street.

Harbourfront is supposedly a public park but our politicians and city planners have turned it into a condo development. Regadless, still worth a visit.

It stretches, depending on what you want to include as paart of Harbourfront, from about Jarvis Street and Queen's Quay (pronounced "key" in the east to Bathurst and Queen's Quay in the west.

You can walk from either the Queen Street streetcar or the hotel down Yonge Street to Harbourfront -- longer than you might think but pretty intresting -- or take the subway from Queen and Yonge to Union Station, and transfer inside the subway station to a streetcar that goes to hharbourfront and over to Spadina, and back north along Spadina to Bloor Street.

Once you get to Queen's Quay and Yonge, or a couple of blocks west via street car, get off and enjoy Harbourfront.

Lots of boat tours; the smaller boats get you "into" the Toronto Islands via small channels and little rivers, while the bigger boats have restaurants abord, but limited routes.

You can walk quite a ways west along Harboutrfront.

The third waterfron area of semi-central Toronto is Ontario Place, a sort of amusement part with a great waterslide. It's on the lake, immediately south of the Exhibition Park, a few blocks west of Bathurst.

If by now you've found you like taking the TTC, get yourself on the west bound Bloor Danforth line and go to Jane Street. GEt off and you'll be in Bloor WEst Village, a residential community sort of like The Beaches. WAlk east to High PArk, a giant public park with forests and a big pond.

Walk into the park and head south, downhill, until you come out of the park on The Queensway. You can walk down a few more blocks to the western beaches -- pretty boring -- or get on the Queen Street streetcar heading downtown.

Assume you're a good wlaker, get off at Bathurst Street and walk east past a huge variety of shops and restaurants until you're back at BAy Street / City Hall, and then it's a two block walk up Bay to your hotel.


cd May 17th, 2008 11:35 AM

Thanks BAK!
Yes, we are staying at the Marriott Eaton Centre. From the Boardwalk to Harbourfront, we take a streetcar west, get off at Yonge and walk to Harbourfront? Is it in our best interest to take a cab? How far apart are these two places we want to go?
Thanks again.

trubrit May 17th, 2008 02:12 PM

Hello cd and BAK,
We arrive Jun 7 Marriott Downtown, actually on Wellington, brand new hotel. Our arrival is scheduled fo 11pm and it seems the Express shuttle quits at 11.30pm.Will there be plenty of taxies at that hour?
I have the entertainment book for Toronto and it has Whitlock's and Leuty's on Queen st. any comments?Many of the restaurants are in Woodbridge is that far from Downtown?

cd May 17th, 2008 02:54 PM

I am not familiar with either of those restaurants but then I've only been to Toronto once. I wanted to tell you that we made reservations for Sunday Brunch at the CN Tower. It's a great view and I think a good deal. You can check it out and make reservations if interested:

laverendrye May 17th, 2008 04:55 PM

"Woodbridge is that far from Downtown?"

Woodbridge is so far from downtown that it is not even in Toronto. I remember it as a small country town, but it is now a very large suburb to the north-west of Toronto. Unless you have a compelling interest to go there, I'd forget it.

BAK May 18th, 2008 09:00 AM

Re>From the Boardwalk to Harbourfront, we take a streetcar west, get off at Yonge and walk to Harbourfront? <

If this is one continuous trip, take the streetcar from The Beaches area along Queen Street to Yonge St. Get off and use your transfer to get on the southbound subway (entrance is inside The Bay department store) and ride on the subway the two stops to Union.

Inside the Union subway station look for teh signs for the Harbourfront Streetcar, and get on this.

It travels undergound for a while, emerging on Queens Quay. Stay on for a stop or two, to York Street. There's a highway off ramp, an little boathouse converted to a coffee shop, and a big terminal warehouse that's now stores and apartments at this corner. Plus it will look like the place to get off.


about the Rsidence Marriott on Wellington. Glad you clarified. There's too many Mariotts (Courtyard is downtown, too)

Anyway, assuming you are talking about getting from the airport to the hotel, yes should be lots of taxis at that time of night.

Whitlocks is a million miles away, and Woodbridge is even farther, in another direction.

Yonge street divides the city into east and west. For restaurants on east-west streets, look for "west" int he street names (King Street West, etc.) and look for numbers form 1 to about 400. These will all be walking distance from your hotel, as far as east-west goes. Distances north and south make a difference, of course.

I've eaten in Whitlocks a dozen times, years ago, but it is not worth the trip., There are dozens of very good to excellent restuarnts within ten minutes on foot from the hotel.


Apres_Londee May 18th, 2008 10:56 AM

Some great info here, just thought I'd add a few thoughts.

The Beaches is a real neighbourhood and people come in from all corners of the city on nice sunny days. If you spend an afternoon strolling the boardwalk and browsing some shops, you'll be joining locals and not just other tourists. So it's a nice way to get some sense of the "real" city (fyi- if you don't like dogs or are afraid of them, maybe rethink a trip to this neighbourhood)

If you go on a weekday, I highly recommend you avoid taking the streetcar during rush hour, when traffic can be a nightmare on that route both coming and going. I'd time it for between 10am-4pm, and after 7pm. Avoid that streetcar on weekdays between 3:30-6:30pm like the plague.

The Beaches doesn't have any really good restuarants, like worth going out there in the evening just for dinner good, but it has lots of coffee shops and hotdog stands and Licks for hamburgers and of course ice cream. There will be tons of ice cream trucks, make sure to try some.

Now Woodbridge...forget Woodbridge. It's waaaaay out there in 705 territory. It's not a neighbourhood, it's an entirely seperate town from Toronto.

An ex-boyfriend took me to Woodbridge once to a bare-knuckle boxing match. I'm sure it was completely illegal, with kicking and face punching and lots of blood, and of course betting. It was put on by the small-time mafia types that tend to live in Woodbridge. Before attending this match I really thought brillo creme, white pointy shoes, and body guards called Bruno and Sal were the stuff of bad hollywood films.

garyt22 May 19th, 2008 06:47 AM

If you are looking for a water experience in Toronto, just jump on the ferry to the Toronto Islands at the Harbour Castle hotel and walk Centre island through the park to the beach... heading to the Beaches is fun and funky, but more of a neighborhood experience than a water one... to make it even more fun, grab some picnic food and have lunch at the beach... save the Beaches neighborhood for their annual Jazz Festival when the park comes alive with free concerts and thousands of lawnchairs...

cd May 19th, 2008 07:00 AM

Thanks Gary
I wondered which Island we should go to. So, Centre Island instead of Hanlan's Point or Ward's? And can I buy those picnic supplies on the Island or should I take them with? Can we take a bottle of wine for our beach picnic or is that prohibited?

garyt22 May 19th, 2008 03:46 PM

I'm not sure about the rules ON the beach, but my wife and I love to stop at the Kensington market or St. Lawrence Farmers Market and buy fresh bread,cheese, cold cuts, fresh chicken and bring a bottle of our favorite Niagara Wine and eat in the park... we've never been questioned about the wine... the beach is great and seems like what you are looking for...

cd May 20th, 2008 05:14 AM

That sounds exactly like what we would like to do. How far from the Marriott Eaton Center would either of these markets be? Should we take a streetcar there? Taxi? Or drive? How about we drive to the markets and then drive to the Marina for the ferry? Will traffic be bad on a Saturday? Or should we park our car at the hotel and do public transportation?

laverendrye May 20th, 2008 05:58 AM

Don't drive--take public transit or walk.

From your hotel it's about a 20 minute walk to the market. You can also take the Dundas street car to Spadina. To get to the ferries, take the Spadina street car south. It stops at the ferry terminal. On your return, take the Harbourfront (509) streetcar to Union Station and the subway back to Dundas.

cd May 20th, 2008 06:19 AM

Thanks Laverendry
I've been on their website and would really like to drive in order to purchase items to bring back home, and we would have our car to put them in, it looks like a great place! I love those kind of markets! Why do you say not to drive? Is the traffic horrible?

laverendrye May 20th, 2008 07:34 AM

The traffic will not be too bad to get there, but parking can be problematic in the Kensington Market area, and streets are very congested within the Market. However, if you need your car to store your purchases, then by all means drive. You'll eventually find a spot. You should have no problem finding a spot near the ferry terminal on the weekend, unless there are events taking place at the Rogers Centre or Air Canada Centre. (just checked-- Blue Jays are at home on the 7th).

garyt22 May 20th, 2008 08:01 AM

by all means... do not try to drive around near the waterfront... it costs upwards of $30 on game days near the stadium making any purchases not worth the savings... the better solution might be to purchase a rolling shop cart or cooler that you could drag around until you could get back to the hotel... or better yet... shop at Kensington...drop at hotel and cab down to ferry... you will save enough to pay for the taxi...

BAK May 20th, 2008 11:08 AM

Driving and parking and how good or bad it is depends in large part on where you come from.

And what your in and out privileges are with the hotel garage.

Kensington Market is a dump. Somehow we seem to think it is quaint, but it really isn't, and there's far to much garbage.

But anyway...except for Sunday and Monday, the south building of the St. LAwrence Market is open, and there's usually parking on the street, nearby. Plus there are several parking garages close by, so there's no real problem parking there.

It makes sense to combine various activities on single car trips. St. Lawrence Market is close to The Distillery District, for instance, so this makes a good combo, and if you're already in the car, why not drive out to The Beaches.

St. Lawrence Market will sell you bread, cheese, pate, cold cuts, fruits and vegetables, etc., but you'll need to combine them yourself into picnic format. i.e. sandwiches.

Do not expect to buy anything very good on Toronto Island. If you have your car, there's a huge, very good, Loblaw supermarket with an excellent takeout section a couple of blocks east of the ferry terminal.

On the subject of "far too much trouble when time is limited" I would put a picnic on Toronto Island right near the top.

Go to Harbourfront, have lunch is a restaurant, take a one hour harbour tour, be done with it. There are places to go and things to see that beat walking around on grass for an hour after going grocery shopping for another hour.


cd May 20th, 2008 12:53 PM

Thanks again everyone!
We thought we would have lunch at the St Lawrence Market, some of their fare looks pretty good. What do you think? I'm sure we will spend considerable time at the Market but not buy a lot since it is best we not drive because it is a game day and parking at the Harbourfront will be bad. Did I get it right? ( We will go to the Harbourfront from the Market) I think we will probably just do the hour tour. What is the name of the hour tour ferry/boat? Am I confused or do I have the facts?

laverendrye May 20th, 2008 02:12 PM

cd: In my earlier posts, I assumed that you were going to Kensington Market. I think that St. Lawrence Market is a better choice. I would drive there, make your purchases, then return to your hotel and take the subway to the ferry.

Here's everything you need to know about the ferries:

cd May 21st, 2008 05:35 AM

Thanks lav, I think that is what we will do and while we are in the car drive either to The Distillery District or the Beaches. I hope we have enough hours!

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