Niagara/Toronto

Old Jun 27th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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Niagara/Toronto

Hello, My husband & I (both 62) are planning a road trip from Maine to Niagara Falls & Toronto leaving Sat. Aug 7. We think we'll stop on the west side of Syracuse, getting to Niagara (Ontario) the following morning. I've booked Sun & Mon at Sheraton Fallsview. We'll continue on to Toronto for 3 nights. I'd appreciate help with a couple of things: where to stay in Toronto - we're looking for museums/a little shopping/Red Sox game at Rogers - I've seen prices around $130 - $150 on Expedia, etc. for hotels that sound pretty decent (looks like parking is alot everywhere). It's an afternoon game & we're thinking of checking out of hotel that day, driving to stadium & leaving right from there getting us across the border & to a hotel outside Niagara. Planning on driving straight thru to Maine on Fri. One more question please - how is driving in Toronto? We're not used to driving around a major city but figure we have no choice if we wanted to see Toronto! Any hints about that would be appreciated along with suggestions on hotels & maybe what not to spend our relatively small amount of time on in Niagara Falls & Toronto. Thank you so much!!
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Actually the best way to see Toronto is using the transit system. Parking in the 'touristy' areas is expensive or hard to find and traffic during rush hours is stressful. If you like museums go to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum)

I will post the TTC website for you
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for your quick reply! Actually, we plan to park our car in the hotel parking lot & not use it again until we leave. I was just a little concerned about literally driving into Toronto to the hotel. I'm probably overreacting - we're used to Boston driving but not sure how that compares.
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 11:51 AM
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TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) website:
http://www3.ttc.ca/

ROM website:
http://www.rom.on.ca/

A Toronto tourism site:
http://www.seetorontonow.com/

Toronto attractions:
http://www.toronto.com/attractions
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Driving into Toronto should not be a problem as long as you try to miss rush hour.
My advice: It's not a long drive from Niagara Falls to Toronto - so if you haven't done it already take a leisurely drive along the Niagara Parkway to Niagara-on-the-Lake (it's quite a pleasant drive to NOTL and even with stopping for a photo op or two, it can be done in about 1/2 hour). Stop at NOTL (or at one of the parks along the way) and stretch your legs - then head for Toronto (should take between 1 to 1.5 hours to get from NOTL to Toronto).
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 12:48 PM
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We've never been to Niagara Falls & this sounds perfect as we'll be leaving after breakfast so should have plenty of time for the drive along the Niagara Parkway. Thanks also for the websites!
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 12:55 PM
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We just had a stay at the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville... a very nice hotel in the museum area and across from the Yorkville shopping and dining neighborhood... parking was under $25/day self-park and we walked everywhere.
Theres also a little breakfast place, "Over Easy" next door.

Its a bit North of the stadium on Bloor Street, but very easy to get to... with Cabs and public transit, you can see the entire city and leave your car in their ramp... on game day, leave early for one of the cheaper parking options and spend the morning near the stadium... plenty to do...

There's Toronto Hippo Tours right near the stadium, or you could head to the waterfront... or just stay there...
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 04:33 AM
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Driving to your hotel in Toronto shouldn't be a problem. Just avoid the rush hours and driving will be quite enjoyable. semiramis suggested the right way to explore Toronto. Transit system offers the best drive around town.

Visit Niagara Falls when the sun is setting as it provides really good view. The Friday night firework makes the trip to Niagara Falls worthwhile. So I suggest planning for the Niagara Falls on Friday evenings.
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 07:06 AM
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Toronto has lots of museums, but the biggest is the Royal Ontario Museum, on Bloor Street at Avenue Road.

Avenue Road, if you go south, changes its name to University Avenue, and University Avenue contines south to pass by the ball park (Rogers Centre) about two long blocks east of the ball game.

So, pretty much, one is north of the other.

It's a long walk but certainly doable on a nice day.

And the subway does a good job running betweeen them.

So you could easily pick a hotel near the ball park, and take the subwway to the museum, or the otehr way around.

In favor of a southern / ball park hotel is the ability to leave the car in the hotel garage until after the game.

Pick a hotel west of Jarvis, north of the lake (but right beside the lake is nice) south of Dundas, and east of Spadina.

There are lots to choose from in this rectangle.

BAK
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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And make sure you ride on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls.
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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Toronto is pretty easy to drive into - sometimes traffic is a hassle but it is an easy city to navigate. If you drive around Boston, you should have no problem with Toronto.

As far as hotels, there are quite a few good options. It is nice to be on the Harbor in the summer so you could look into the Westin Harbour Castle. Also, if you are going to a Blue Jays game, you might want to look into the Renaissance, which is attached to the Stadium (you can actually see the field from some rooms). As garyt22 said, Yorkville is another interesting area with quite a few hotel options - lots of restaurants, unique shops.
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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I checked the Intercontinental & it's a bit steep for us but thanks for the suggestion. How about the Hilton Garden Inn? I'm seeing lots of positive remarks about it & found it for $132. But now with the comment about staying on the Harbor, wondering if we should be looking there. I'll check for deals at the Westin. We'll be spending more time downtown but do like the idea of staying on the harbor. After seeing the comment about the fireworks at Niagara on Fri nights, I'm wondering if we stop back in Niagara to see that. We could but would definitely be driving all the way to Maine on Sat. Thanks all!
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 07:40 PM
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You could also try Hotwire and pay $110/nt for 4 star properties in the Toronto Downtown West... everything in that category in downtown Toronto is very nice and you can save $100 a night if you aren't set on a location... thats what we paid for the Intercontinental....
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Old Jun 29th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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i second the hotwire suggestion. stick to a 4 star in downtown west and you'll be happy.
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Old Jun 30th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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NOTL is a very nice place to visit. It is one of our vineyard areas as well as Shaw Festival every summer. Many B&Bs. if you had not booked, I might have sugessted staying here and driving in to see the Falls.

A prime hotel might be the Holiday Inn on King St West. An easy walk to stadium, lots of restaurants, and subway is a couple of blocks away (for AGO, ROM, Gardiner, Bata shoe museum)
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Old Jun 30th, 2010, 04:59 PM
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Hi marthav,

if your schedule into The Big Smoke© (aka Toronto) from Niagara on the Lake permits, I'd recommend this partially-back-country routing that takes you along the most scenic routing.

http://tinyurl.com/NOTL-Toronto-scenic

This is the historic routing along the Iroquois Road which parallels the Niagara Escarpment.

Driving in Toronto can be hectic. We have two seasons: winter and construction. Seriously though, I'd recommend trying to time your arrival somewhere between 9 and noon as a way to minimise your exposure to the morning commuter traffic. 680 AM gives good traffic updates at :01, :11, :21, :31, :41 and :51 after the hour. If things are jammed, keep the Lakeshore Boulevard exit as an alternative if the Gardiner Expressway is jammed between Jameson and Spadina.

As for getting back across the border, from the radio reports I've heard, it seems it's better to be at the crossings earlier in the morning than later (before 11am). After that, it seems that you can expect an hour or so wait in traffic. You might even want to consider crossing at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie as it always seems to be a shorter wait (even if farther away).

HTH
K
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Old Jun 30th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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That Holiday Inn is now the Hyatt Regency at 370 King St W... they converted last year...
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Old Jul 5th, 2010, 05:43 PM
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We stayed at the Fairmont in Toronto and loved it. We kept our car at the hotel, and driving there wasn't too bad. It was hard to turn left I remember, no turn signal or something but we got there eventually. If you are used to Boston I'm sure it's fine as we are not used to city driving at all.
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Old Jul 11th, 2010, 02:19 PM
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I'm still checking websites - I'm discovering there are lots of rooms in Toronto (!!) & the closer we get to August, the more they're discounting them! Found a ridiculous price on Travelzoo but didn't jump on it quickly enough. Oh well. BTW, I did jump last summer & got in on an great price of $219 for a way overpriced room at Fairmont in Bermuda of $678, but it was Bermuda after all! Concierge level - beautiful room, huge balcony, great array of goodies laid out several times/day, staff treated us like royalty. Great anniversary! Thanks again for all your suggestions - I'm printing everything along with the website suggestions. Oh, one more question... can we do the zoo in a half a day? And is it worth it?
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