October Trip to Toronto & Montreal

Aug 1st, 2011, 10:20 AM
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Agree with gtg that the Toronto/Montreal "train view" does not outweigh the convenience of air travel.
OceanBreeze1 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 10:39 AM
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The night before we started our trip on the "Canadian" my DW and I stayed at the HI Hostel on Church St. It is within easy walking distance to/from the ViaRail station. http://www.hihostels.com/dba/hostels...onto-011006.en.
I stayed at that "other" hostel once and it was horrible.
There are some very brave (stupid?) people who are trying the edge walk at the top of the CN tower. I might go up there for a meal but I wouldn't step outside 1100 feet above the street.
tomfuller is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 11:38 AM
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OMG, I know. I saw those idiots out there walking from waaaaay up there on the CN Tower. Looks like a huge lawsuit just waiting to happen. I wonder what kind of Waiver they sign b/f "hanging" themselves out there. I feel nauseous just thinking about being up there. And, they pay to do that!
OceanBreeze1 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 04:22 PM
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I know a fellow who plans to do the Edgewalk for his 80th birthday next month. They're attached to a track with two different harnesses, have to wear a special suit and take a breathalyzer and drug test.

What is the "other" hostel?
Morningglory47 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 04:30 PM
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How much $$$ would you do it for? Assuming you felt confident that the harness was secure...how much? (Sorry, MSheinberg -- just a short digression.)
goddesstogo is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 04:32 PM
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I'm going to take that question to the Lounge.
goddesstogo is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 06:10 PM
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The other hostel is the one on Dundas with the barroom in the back. The streetcars turning the corner in the middle of the night interrupted my sleep more than the snoring.
Hosteling International has a much better class of hostel than Backpackers.
tomfuller is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 08:00 PM
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You are correct about digressing. What would it take to get back on track?
MSheinberg is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 08:19 PM
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OceanBreeze1 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2011, 03:31 AM
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No problemo, M. It's already back on track. My CN Tower question is being answered in the Lounge.
goddesstogo is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2011, 10:24 AM
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"...Casa Loma, the Art Gallery and the Museum ARE a lot in one day unless you plan not to go in ? "

I agree with this. Not that you cannot do it but you might be all 'toured out' by the end of the day. I recently hosted Swedish friends and we did the AGO and Casa Loma in a day. We got to the AGO at 10.30am and saw probably 1/3 of all there was to see by 1.00pm. The AGO is wonderful and we could have spent much more time there. Then we went for lunch at the AGO restaurant called 'Frank' which I would totally recommend. Great food and well priced. At 2.30 we set off for Casa Loma and were there until closing at 5.00pm, after which we set off for home.

So you see, depending on where you're staying and how long you want to visit each location, you could adjust your time to catch all three venues but you'd be very rushed. Especially since most of the attractions don't open until 10.00am and close at 5.00pm to my surprise, even in the peak summer tourist months. I wouldn't recommend all three in one day. There are certain days of the week (check their websites) when the AGO and ROM are open late which would give you additional hours. The AGO and ROM are just a couple of subway stops apart (St. Patrick to Museum).

Otherwise it sure looks like you've done your homework as Kodi says, and kudos to you for such good planning. Hope you have a great visit to our fair city.

Mathieu is offline  
Aug 4th, 2011, 04:48 PM
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bookmarking thanks
annetti is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 03:02 PM
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Well, I am back with, thanks to you, a more definite plan for our Toronto visit in early October. Right now we plan on spending seven full days and perhaps a half day in Toronto before going to Kingston.

Please, again, give me your thoughts.

Day 1--St. Lawrence Market
Cathederal of St James
First Post Office
Historic Distillery District
Harborfront Center & Music Garden
CN Tower

Day 2--Kensington Market
China Town & walk on Spadina Ave
Art Gallery Of Ontario

Day 3--(Thanksgiving Day)
Ferry to Wards Island
Union Station
Dundas Square
St. Michaels Catholic Church
Eaton Center

Day 4--Casa Loma
Corso Italia
Fort York
McKenzie House
City Hall

Day 5--Royal Ontario Museum
Queens Park
University of Toronto & Art Center
Hart House

Day 6--Ontario Science Center
Allen Gardens
Cabbage Town
Greek Town or Little Italy

Day 7--Zoo

Half day open to catch up and travel to Kingston

It looks like we can walk on days 1, 2 & 3 as we plan to stay at the Hilton Hotel on University Avenue. On day 4 what is the best way to get to Casa Loma, Corso Italia, Fort York and back to PATH? The remainder of the day looks like more walkiing. Day 5, how should we get to ROM and back from Hart House? Day 6 is the same question. What is the best way to get to Ontario Science Center and back to Allen Gardens? I think we can walk to Cabbage Town. Then which in our opinion would be more fun Greek Town or Little India. We always visit the ethnic communities when we travel. We always walk, look, smell, eat and enjoy these areas. Then how do we get to either one?

We wish to also visit some of the other areas you have suggested for example, Bloor/Yorkville, Queen Street West, High Park or the Bloor Viaduct to see the leaf color and city views. I think you get the idea. I just do not know how to fit them in.

Again, thanks for your opinions and information.
MSheinberg is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 03:07 PM
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Queen St W is near Spadina/ Kensington Market so include a walk on Day 2...
garyt22 is online now  
Aug 8th, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Bloor/Yorkville is near the Museum so maybe add it to Day 5? - you can walk Yorkville and Cumberland Streets in about 20 minutes. Or take a rest and sit on the big rock on Cumberland if it's warm enough.

For leaf colour, walk (or take the subway to Castle Frank) to Bloor East near Castle Frank subway station and walk across the Viaduct - you'll then be on Danforth Avenue and close to Greektown. Subway stop is Broadview at the east side of the Viaduct, walk another few blocks to Chester Avenue (Chester subway stop is near the corner) and you're in the heart of Greektown.

To get to Casa Loma from the Hilton, take the subway from Osgoode Station - a block from the hotel - go northbound to St. George, get off, change platforms (it's up or down, I always forget which but there are only 2 platforms) get the train going north, get off at Dupont, go outside, look up and you'll see the Castle so walk north on Spadina to Davenport (you'll pass the City Archives which usually have a photo display of some sort in the lobby), there are stairs from Davenport up to the Castle. To avoid the stairs, walk west on Davenport and up the street along the west side of the Castle.

Since you like to walk and anyway, even if you don't, there's no bus so, after visiting the castle, take Spadina Road north to St. Clair Avenue West and take the streetcar there west (cross St. Clair to get the car going west - streetcar stops along St. Clair have islands on which to wait) to Corso Italia which starts about Dufferin Street to Lansdowne you could just ride through the neighbourhood to Lansdowne.

After Corso Italia, for Fort York, take the Lansdowne bus from the corner of Lansdowne and St. Clair West (across from Prospect Cemetery), if you're not using a weekly pass, ask the bus driver for a transfer, get off at Bloor (the bus will tell you when you get to the subway), the bus at Lansdowne you get off on the street so that's why you'll need a transfer, go into the station and take the train going east, get off at Bathurst station, go upstairs and take the streetcar, #511, it only goes south, exit at Strachan Avenue and there's a road which leads up to the Fort near that corner just past the Fort York Armouries (which is not the same thing as the Fort). Hours - Labour Day - Victoria Day

Monday - Friday
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Saturday - Sunday
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

You can wander through the PATH at any time of day or night...it's more interesting when there are people around though. It's REALLY busy from 8 to 9 and again from 4 till 5 but it's always busy as people head for the commuter trains, the subway, for lunch, coffee and just rush to get away from the office. Whatever you do, DO NOT STAND in the way of someone rushing for their commuter train.

Mackenzie House is on Bond Street, a few doors from St. Mike's Cathedral so maybe you should do those two the same day? Opening Times - September - December

Tuesday - Friday
Noon - 4 p.m.

Saturday - Sunday
Noon - 5 p.m.

City Hall is close to your hotel - I think it might be closed by the time you visit Casa Loma, wander along St. Clair and see Fort York - there's a self-guided tour booklet available according to the city website but I'd try to get there well before 5. Old City Hall is worth visiting, too, but I'm not sure, because there are courts there, how easy it is to visit.

Osgoode Hall, next to new City Hall, has a beautiful interior...the fence on the Queen Street side was built that way to keep cows out or so I've always heard but this site http://www.osgoodehall.com/ disputes that. It also has a restaurant in the Great Hall http://www.lsuc.on.ca/menu/

It will be a full day, that's for certain.

Day 5 everything is close together and should be a snap!

If you go to Kensington Market, go to Wanda's Pie in the Sky for well, obviously, PIE but salads, coffee, too, no meat though - they have a patio out front to rest your feet and for great people watching. http://www.wandaspieinthesky.com/

Kensington has car free Sundays on the last Sunday of the month - http://www.pskensington.ca/
Morningglory47 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 06:32 PM
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morningglory47, WOW!! This is great information, just what I was looking for. Using this info I will now fine tune even more. Thank you again for your assistance.

I am now moving on the the Montreal portion of our trip.
MSheinberg is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2011, 03:53 PM
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Just wanted to add to everyone else's advice. If you are interested in historic buildings, there is a historic house called Spadina House right next to Casa Loma. It was owned by the same family for three generations, so all the furniture is original to the house - which is not the case with Casa Loma. They just renovated to how the house would have looked in the 1920s and 1930s. It is literally next door to Casa Loma, so stop by if you have the time. I'm getting married there this September, so I may be biased but I really think it's worth a visit.

Goonies86 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2011, 04:27 PM
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It is a lovely house with beautiful gardens but they must have greatly improved the kitchens if they're now hosting weddings. The restoration notes in the link says they only replaced the linoleum in the kitchen. On a tour of Spadina (Spadeena) House a few years ago, they showed us the kitchen which was straight out of the '30s - the group was told that the elderly woman who owned the house and her maid lived there on their own till the owner's death in the '80s. I suppose they were used to it but those of us on the tour were surprised that such a wealthy woman would have a kitchen like that. Anyone remember Ralph Kramden's kitchen on The Honeymooners - it was almost that bad.
Morningglory47 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2011, 07:26 PM
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Goonies86, now you tell me about the wedding. Sorry I will have to miss it. Congrads.
MSheinberg is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 10:12 PM
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On Thanksgiving day after you have walked through Union Station, be sure to walk through BCE Place which runs between Bay st. and Yonge. My favourite route would be to check out the main concourse level of Union Station, then go downstairs and follow the signs to the subway. Go through the subway following the signs for PATH (you don't have to pay as the entrances for the subway are on either side of this walkway.) As soon as you get past the subway, hang a sharp right towards the BCE Place and follow the pathway around until you see glass stairs leading up to the street level and you will know you are in the right place when you see a ceiling of white steel and glass. (This place always makes me think of it as a cathedral of commerce.) Walk to the far end towards Yonge St., on the right is the Hockey Hall of Fame which is in a historic former bank. At Yonge, hang a left and walk north to Richmond and enter The Bay Store, go up one level to the second floor and follow the signs to the Eaton Centre walkway over Queen St. (You may have to ask someone as I don't remember it being well signed) When you enter the Eaton Centre you can see the whole mall spread out before you with the sculpture of the flying geese right in front. It is one of my favourite viewpoints of the mall.

The other little side trip that I would recommend is when you exit BCE Place at Yonge, cross Yonge and Front St heading east on Front on the south side. To your right is the Sony Centre and further along are several interesting shops including a great book store called Nicholas Hoare Book Store. (No, I am not the owner, but I wish I was as it one of the most charming indie book stores in TO.)

Across the road is Berczy Park and an interesting mural on the back side of the Flat Iron Building which is the iconic triangular building that you see in so many photos of Toronto. At this point you are only a block away from the St. Lawrence Market, so I would head back towards Yonge and Richmond or Queen.

My other interesting tip for seeing TO is when you go the new City Hall, go in the main doors and on your right is a large floor to ceiling sculpture made out nails and screws that are mounted at various depths to create a variety of interesting patterns. It is also great for playing a variation of plinko - drop a couple of coins in at the top and watch (and listen) as they take different routes to the floor. If there are couple of little kids around, it is a lot of fun to watch their reactions.

Enjoy your trip to our fair city.
cantw82go is offline  

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