Toronto: where to stay?

Nov 19th, 2014, 04:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Toronto: where to stay?

Next summer I'm going on a family road trip along the U.S. east coast, while I am looking forward to that, I also thought I would treat my self to a little pre-vacation vacation.

I'm thinking of going to Toronto since it's close (by air or train travel) to the road trip starting point.

I have never been to Toronto, or this "end" of Canada before, so I'm trying to figure out the layout and all.

My wish list for a hotel area would be:
- in walking distance of a park. Preferably the kind with grass to sit on and other nature features, so I can spend the days relaxing, drawing and people watching
- (short) walking distance to shopping, so I can browse to and from the park above
- area that isn't totally deserted at night, so I won't mind being out. I live in a larger city and are used to being out at all hours.... Better safe than sorry I guess

- nearby sightseeing would be great, but I have no problem using the subway
.... Bonus question - which attractions/sights are not to be missed?

I was looking at downtown, but the maps on the hotel sights show parks ans squares the same way, and so far none of the names I have googled, have been real parks....

So... Where should I stay?
LBird is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 04:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I would pick a hotel on or near Bloor Street between, say, St. George and Church. There is a variety of hotels available, some quite expensive such as the Four Seasons and Hazleton, others less so.

You will be within walking distance of Queen's Park and the University of Toronto Campus with lots of green spaces for walking and sitting.

There is good shopping in the Bloor-Yorkville district, some of it quite high-end.

To get around, there are many subway stops in the area for both the Bloor and Yonge-University Lines.

As for attractions, that would depend on your interests, but I would certainly include the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and perhaps the CN Tower. As you like green spaces, you could take the short ferry ride from downtown (Queen's Quay) to the islands. There should also be some good live theatre productions worth seeing.
laverendrye is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 05:24 AM
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Central Toronto is framed by deep ravines on both east and west sides, the Don and Humber valleys. They can be quite rugged and wild and there are some walking paths accessible by the Toronto Transit Commission services. High Park, just east of where the Humber dumps into Lake Ontario, is more urban and planned. The lakeshore itself fairly cut off by highways but the suggestion of taking the quaint ferries across the harbor to the barrier islands is a good one. Google can give you some idea of the terrain. The city core is bristling with high-rise condos so that residential and commercial uses co-exist but without a great deal of open greenery.
Southam is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 09:27 PM
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With a relaxed time in Toronto, one of the best places to stay is along the waterfront.

There are two hotels that offer really easy access. the Westin Harbour castle is also near the ferry docks and can take you out to the Toronto Islands for plenty of Park. The second choice would be the Radisson Admiral Harbourfront,also on the lake on Queens Quay. that's near shopping ...attractions...Toronto Harbour tours and plenty of people watching...

A short cab ride or 15 minute walk puts you in the heart of Toronto, with the CN tower, entertainment district and access to the transit system which is very user friendly ... Have fun...
garyt22 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2014, 08:23 PM
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It would be very helpful if you could give us some idea of how much you can spend on a hotel per night.

There are many lovely parks in the heart of the city. You might find this website helpful:

Toronto's largest park, High Park, is quite lovely. It's in the west end where there's a very nice shopping strip and it's right on the subway. I can't think of hotels along there just off the top of my head but there are likely some. The Old Mill has a very pretty inn. It's farther west but still on the subway and in a very pretty treed area.

One of my favourite inner city parks is St. James Park on King Street between Church and Jarvis. There's also a pretty little triangular park on Front Street just east of Spadina. As far as I know, it doesn't have a name.

Trinity Square is great for people watching and it's behind the Eaton Centre.

Queen's Park is a big circular park at the north end of the provincial parliament buildings and in the heart of the University of Toronto.

There are many hotels but prices vary widely so give us a hint as to your budget.
goddesstogo is online now  
Nov 26th, 2014, 05:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 403
I can't believe all the bad advice being given here. High Park, for heavens sake? That's absurd. The waterfront? It's cut off from the rest of the city by the freeway and there is no subway stop, making it hard to get around town.

The best bet is to stay near Yonge and the subway downtown, south of Gerrard and north of Front. The best low cost place is undoubtedly the Chelsea. I don't know if the Carlton is still around, but it was always the cheapest major hotel in the area. For higher end, there is the Sheridan and the Eaton Marriott plus a number of boutique places. The only realistic alternative is Bloor around Young/Avenue. There are no cheap hotels in that area.
lmhornet is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 05:50 AM
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I should add that I always stay at the Sheridan for one main reason - it is connected to the Path, the underground city that allows you to walk to most downtown locations without going outside. In Toronto, this is a big plus most of the year.
lmhornet is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 06:49 AM
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Talk about bad advice... The poster is coming in the SUMMER and wants parks...... If they want the PATH they could just walk around in their basement....

For someone who wants to walk Toronto, the waterfront is not isolated at all.... Hornet... Please pay attention or it will lead you to recommending that a poster stay in the wrong area...
garyt22 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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The PATH is boring and underground and depressing. The only reason to use the PATH is to stay out of the cold and snow if you're an office worker in the financial district -- not the OP's concern.

The OP has stated that they have no problem using the subway. High Park is on a subway line and it's quite lovely. When was the last time you were there, Imhornet?

I agree that the waterfront is a great choice in summer. Lots of art, music, theatre happening there and festivals at Harbourfront every weekend. I haven't been to the Music Garden but I understand it's very nice. The waterfront (at the centre) is about a 15-minute walk from the subway -- no big deal in the summer.

Imhornet, your advice about the PATH is consistent with your advice some time in the past that the best eating in the downtown core was in the food courts in the Eaton Centre. I'll never forget that one!
goddesstogo is online now  
Dec 13th, 2014, 12:07 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,625
hi there, i've had good experiences at:

courtyard bt marriott on yonge ; easy access to the metro and street cars and there's a sweet park ( adjacent to ryerson) w/ a small pond and grass. very peaceful for downtown

a bit more up scale but in the same area (across from the eaton cenre) w/ metro and street car access. it's just south of that pond as i recall

the holiday inn on bloor weat is just a few blocks from the ROM and a few minutes walk to the leafiness of UT

have fun

ferry out to the lake islands is fun and gives a great view of DT. nice swimming when you get there also

AndrewDavid is offline  
Dec 15th, 2014, 10:41 AM
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my bit more upscale mention is Pantages. and doesn't a suggestion just carry more importance if you include it's name!

brain dead
AndrewDavid is offline  
Dec 28th, 2014, 06:33 AM
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Imhornet stays at the Sheridan - where is that? - the Sheraton is connected to the Path though but no parks around there except the grounds of Osgoode Hall; Chelsea Inn is now The Eaton Chelsea, different management/owners and likely pricier but no green space; the Carlton is now a Holiday Inn. Getting to the island ferry is easy - straight down Bay Street on a bus or walking, cross the road and you're at the ferry docks. the 'freeway' is hardly a barrier. There's a hotel just north of St. James Park on Jarvis Street - think it's also a Holiday Inn - and both the park and hotel are close to the St. Lawrence Market.
Morningglory47 is offline  

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