Toronto's climate on the whole is on the cool side and variable conditions can be expected. Downtown temperatures average -3.8°C (25°F) in January, but the extreme cold experienced further north typically lasts less than a week at a time. Despite this, come prepared. Winters are still cold and mostly cloudy, at some times snowy and uncomfortably windy and at other times, damp. At times, severe storms can impact flights into and out of the city, as well as slow down transportation and activities in the city for a day or two.
The city experiences warm and humid summers with an average high of 27°C (80°F) and a low of 18°C (65°F) in July/August, with many muggy evenings, but rarely extreme heat. The historical annual average of the temperature exceeding 30°C (86°F) is 12 days, but this number has roughly doubled over the last decade. The sun shines more often than not in the summer, but brief thunderstorms occur from time to time, usually lasting less than an hour and bringing heavy rains.
The best times to visit for the weather are late spring/early summer or early fall, with comfortably cool nights and less crowds. Mid-summer is the peak tourist season, but visitors will find that Toronto's vibrancy extends throughout the winter with outdoor ice rinks and bundled up clubgoers. Air conditioning and heating are standard in Toronto's public buildings.
Toronto has several major league sports teams:
* Toronto Argonauts [url=http://argonauts.ca]]- Canadian Football League, play at Rogers Centre.
* Toronto Blue Jays [url=http://www.bluejays.com[/url]]- Major League Baseball, play at Rogers Centre.
* Toronto Maple Leafs [url=http://www.mapleleafs.com[/url]]- National Hockey League, play at the Air Canada Centre.
* Toronto Raptors [url=http://www.nba.com/raptors/[/url]]- National Basketball Association, play at the Air Canada Centre.
* Toronto Rock [url=http://www.torontorock.com[/url]]- National Lacrosse League, play at the Air Canada Centre.
* Toronto FC [url=http://www.torontofc.ca/[/url]]- Major League Soccer, play at BMO Field on Exhibition Place grounds.
* Toronto Marlies [url=http://www.torontomarlies.com[/url]]- American Hockey League (Toronto Maple Leafs farm team). Play at the Ricoh Coliseum.
* Ontario Blues [url=http://rugbyontario.com/en-us/player/ontarioblues.aspx[/url]]- Canadian Rugby Championship. Play at Fletcher's Fields.
The Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St, [url=http://www.theaircanadacentre.com[/url].]Sometimes referred to as "The Hangar".
The Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, [url=http://www.rogerscentre.com[/url]).]Often referred to by its original "SkyDome" name.
The Buffalo Bills, [http://www.buffalobills.com[/url]. The National Football League are under contract to play one regular-season (home) game at the Rogers Centre through to the 2017 season. The contract also calls for one preseason home game in even-numbered years.
Toronto Pearson International Airport [url=http://www.torontopearson.com]]is located 28km (17 miles) northwest of downtown and is served by most major airlines. This is Canada’s largest and busiest airport and is the main hub for Air Canada and WestJet. There are two terminals: Terminal 1 hosts Air Canada and other Star Alliance airlines, while Terminal 3 hosts SkyTeam and Oneworld alliance airlines, along with WestJet, Air Transat, and other unaffiliated airlines. Free WiFi internet access is available throughout both terminals.
There is a free Terminal LINK monorail that runs 24/7 which connects you to Terminal 1, Terminal 3 (incl. the Sheraton Gateway Hotel), and Viscount Station (incl. the Value Park garage, Value Park lot, and the ALT hotel). In Terminal 1, it is located on level 5 of the parking garage. In Terminal 3, it is located in the pedestrian bridge.
Once you’ve arrived, your ground transportation options include car rentals (all the majors), public transit (UP Express, TTC, Brampton Transit, MiWay, Go Transit), out-of-town van services, taxis, and limousines. See below for ground transportation details:
* UP (Union Pearson) Express, [url=http://upexpress.com[/url]]is a modern express train that takes you to downtown Toronto in 25 minutes, every 15 minutes. It runs from 5:30am to 1:00am daily and is picked up at Terminal 1 next to the Terminal LINK train. Seats are not assigned and are available on a first come first serve basis. Amenities include power outlets, luggage racks, and WiFi. Stops along the route are the Weston GO station (North York), Bloor GO station (mid-town), and downtown's Union station (Canada's busiest rail hub). This train connects with other public transit systems in Toronto. You can access GO Transit and TTC subways, buses, and streetcars from any of these stations. UP Express tickets are not valid on GO Transit or TTC services. Fare varies depending on your travel distance and age and is lower with a prepaid Presto (transit) card. Tickets can be purchased online, on your mobile device, and at vending machines or service counters at the station. eTickets will be emailed to you, which you can then print to present on the train or display it on your mobile device. Tickets purchased on the train cost an extra C$2.00 (credit card only). Tickets can be used any day until they expire. Visit the UP Express website for operating times and route maps.
* TTC (Toronto Transit Commission), [url=http://www3.ttc.ca/Riding_the_TTC/Airport_service.jsp[/url]]is the main local public transit system in Toronto and operates three bus routes from Terminals 1 and 3. The 192 Airport Rocket bus offers express service to Kipling station (Bloor-Danforth subway line 2) in Toronto's west end. Luggage racks are available. Transit time is approx. 25 minutes. The 52A Lawrence West bus drives east to Lawrence West station (Yonge-University subway line 1), and continues east to Lawrence station (Yonge-University subway line 1), stopping at bus stops along the route. Transit time is approx. 55 minutes to Lawrence West station and 1hr 5min. to Lawrence Station. The 300A Bloor-Danforth bus provides overnight service southbound to Burnhamthorpe Road (at Hwy 427), then east along Bloor Street West and Danforth Avenue until Warden Avenue, stopping at bus stops along the route. Transit time to Bloor Street West & Yonge Street (Yonge-University subway line 1) is approx. 45 minutes. C$3.00 (C$2.80 with a prepaid Presto card) for adults. Seniors and students pay C$2.00 (C$1.95 with a prepaid Presto card). Children under 12 ride free. Fare is paid in the bus. If connecting onto another TTC bus, streetcar, or the subway, ask the driver for a paper transfer so you don't pay the fare again at the transfer point. The transfer is valid at transfer points on the day of issue for a one way, continuous trip. Visit the TTC website for operating times and route maps.
* GO Transit, [url=http://www.gotransit.com/publicroot/en/travelling/stations.aspx?station=AIRP[/url]]is the main interregional bus service in Ontario and operates two bus routes from Terminal 1. Route 34 travels east to the Finch GO bus terminal in North York; transit time is approx. 30 minutes. Bus stops include the Yorkdale bus terminal and the North York bus stop (Sheppard Ave at Yonge Street). Route 40 travels east to the Richmond Hill Centre bus terminal in Richmond Hill; transit time is approx. 25 minutes, and west to the Hamilton GO Centre train and bus station in Hamilton; transit time is approx 1hr. Bus stops include Square One (Mississauga) and Trafalgar Road at Hwy 407 (Oakville). Fare varies depending on your travel distance and age and is paid to the driver in cash or by using a prepaid Presto (transit) card, which lowers the fare. The bus connects with the Toronto, Mississauga, and Hamilton public transit systems, however you'll have to pay extra to ride them. Visit the GO Transit website for operating times and route maps.
* MiWay [url=http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/miway[/url]]is the main local public transit system in Mississauga and operates three bus routes from the airport. Route 7 - Airport departs from Terminal 1 (ground level). Heading north, its final stop is the Westwood Mall bus terminal; transit time is approx. 25 minutes. Heading south then west, its final stop is the City Centre bus terminal (Square One); transit time is approx. 35 minutes. Route 107 - Malton Express departs from the Viscount monorail station. Heading north, its final stop is the Humber College North Campus; transit time is approx. 25 minutes. Heading south then west, its final stop is the City Centre bus terminal (Square One); transit time is approx. 25 minutes. Route 24 - Northwest departs from the Viscount monorail station. Heading north, its final stop is the Westwood Mall bus terminal; transit time is approx. 25 minutes. Heading south, its final stop is the Skymark Hub; transit time is approx. 10 minutes. C$3.50 (C$1.65 - C$2.90 depending on your age with a prepaid Presto card) for adults, students, and children. Seniors pay C$1.00 (C$1.90 with a prepaid Presto card). Fare is paid in the bus. If connecting onto another MiWay, TTC, Brampton Transit, York Region Transit (VIVA), Oakville Transit, Burlington Transit, or Hamilton Street Railway bus, ask the driver for a paper transfer so you don't pay the fare again at the transfer point. The transfer is valid at transfer points for 2hrs for a one way, continuous trip. Visit the MiWay website for operating times and route maps.
* Brampton Transit [url=http://www.brampton.ca/en/residents/transit/Pages/Home.aspx[/url]]is the main local public transit system in Brampton and operates one bus route from the airport. Route 115 - Airport Express departs from Terminal 1 (ground level). Heading north, its final stop is the Bramalea bus terminal; transit time is approx. 25 minutes. C$3.75 (C$2.50 - C$2.80 depending on your age with a prepaid Presto card) for adults, students, and children. Seniors pay C$1.00 (C$1.55 with a prepaid Presto card). Fare is paid in the bus. If connecting onto another Brampton Transit, MiWay, York Region Transit (VIVA), Oakville Transit, Burlington Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, or Durham Region Transit bus, ask the driver for a paper transfer so you don't pay the fare again at the transfer point. The transfer is valid at transfer points for 2hrs for a one way, continuous trip. Visit the Brampton Transit website for operating times and route maps.
* Taxis and Airport Limousines [url=http://torontopearson.com/en/toandfrom/taxilimo/#[/url]]can take you wherever you want to go. You can pick them up on the arrivals level of any terminal. To be safe, avoid hiring drivers soliciting inside the terminals or asking you to follow them to the parking garage or any other location. All vehicles are fully licensed to ensure they meet specific safety requirements and that you are charged fair and consistent rates. Within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), rates are predetermined based on the time and distance to your destination. Fares to destinations outside the GTA cost more. C$53 for a taxi to downtown. C$58 for a limousine to downtown. You can pay in cash or with a credit/debit card. Visit the airport's website for current taxi and limo tariff maps. Any area that is not listed on the map will be charged C$1.45/km for taxis, or C$1.55/km for limos. You should ask the driver to confirm the fare from the tariff chart before leaving the terminal.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Center Airport, , [url=http://www.torontoport.com/Airport.asp[/url],](commonly known as "The Island Airport" by locals), handles short-haul regional flights only. Its main tenant is Porter Airlines [url=http://www.flyporter.com[/url],]a low-cost carrier that operates flights using turboprop planes to many cities in eastern Canada (Halifax, Moncton, Mont Tremblant, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Sault Ste. Marie, St. John's, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Windsor) and the northeast United States (Boston, Burlington, Chicago/Midway, Myrtle Beach, New York/Newark, Washington/Dulles). Air Canada [url=http://www.aircanada.com[/url]]provides service to Montreal. One of the main benefits of flying into this airport is its proximity to the downtown core. Upon landing, you can be downtown within ten minutes.
An accessible pedestrian tunnel connects the airport terminal to the mainland. Ferry service is also available. It is just 121 m (397 ft) and the world's shortest regularly-scheduled ferry route. It operates between TCCA and the mainland every 15 minutes, 6:45AM-10:07PM. Don't worry, you don't have to buy tickets or anything, you just look for the line (there are separate pedestrian and car lines) and board when directed to do so. If you are renting a vehicle at YTZ, National and Avis are on the mainland, while Hertz is actually on the island meaning you will get to experience driving on and off the ferry. Once on the mainland, a free shuttle bus connects the terminal with the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, across the street from Union Station.
TTC Streetcars are available a short walk north from the mainland ferry terminal. Route 511 Bathurst provides service north along Bathurst, to Bathurst subway station. Route 509 Harbourfront travels east along the waterfront (Queen's Quay) to Union Station. Both routes end a short distance to the west at Exhibition Place. However, the most convenient connection to TTC Subway and GO Transit services are via the free shuttle to Union Station.
Hamilton International Airport, , [url=http://www.flyhi.ca/[/url],]located about 80 km from downtown Toronto and Niagara Falls, is served by WestJet and CanJet. This airport is served by the ((Hamilton Street Railway)) from the the Hamilton GO Station (36 Hunter Street East) where you can catch a GO commuter bus to Union Station in downtown Toronto ($9.50 one-way). Buses run every 30 minutes. A taxi from downtown Hamilton to the airport is about $25.
For frugal travellers coming from the United States, Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, , [url=http://www.buffaloairport.com[/url],]is another option. Flights to Buffalo tend to be significantly cheaper than to Pearson. Megabus, [url=http://www.megabus.com[/url],]has varying prices and requires early booking. They run from the Buffalo Airport to Toronto. The trip takes 3 hours, including the border crossing. Rental cars are available at the airport if you prefer to do the drive yourself. Buffalo Airport Limo [http://buffaloairportlimo.com[/url] offers a flat rate of $175 to downtown Toronto from BUF.
All scheduled passenger trains in Toronto run into and out of Union Station [url=http://www.toronto.ca/union_station/index.htm],]which is located at 65 Front Street, between Bay and York Streets. Opened in 1927, Toronto's Union Station is generally considered to be one of the grandest, most impressive train stations in North America; with an enormous great hall, the ceiling rising to a height equivalent to seven stories. Despite this impressive hall, most of the activity in the station takes place in the underground concourses which link the commuter rail platforms with the subway station. The great hall is still used for purchasing intercity rail tickets with a row of ticket booths and several ticket machines. The train station is served by a subway station with the same name, accessible from the GO concourse. The main intercity concourse is accessed from the great hall, but all commuter rail platforms are accessed from the underground GO Transit concourse, as is the Union Station Bus Terminal across the street. The GO Transit concourse is accessed by taking any one of the three large staircases in the great hall or directly from the subway.
Union Station is undergoing a significant renovation and heritage restoration, scheduled to conclude in 2017. While work is in progress, some areas may be inacessible. Detours are in effect between the subway station and the concourses. Follow posted signs or ask a fellow traveller for directions.
Most intercity rail travel in Canada is provided by VIA Rail, [url=http://www.viarail.ca/en_index.html[/url].]Union Station is one of VIA Rail's main hubs and connects several of their lines. Railway lines operated by VIA Rail out of Union Station include:
*Corridor-This is VIA's busiest line running from [[Windsor (Ontario)|Windsor[/url]] and [wiki=9c84e9210764a21c23cf889d6edffecc]Sarnia[/wiki] in the southwest to [wiki=65f7000a03c4c55414b209f900489793]Quebec City[/wiki] in the northeast. Regular trains run from Toronto directly to [wiki=0004b45d97463070fbfd2c26207c427d]Montreal[/wiki], [wiki=aeee33366b173305b90377ed63c1084a]Ottawa[/wiki], [wiki=79a201800a273f617ebcff0db47917c7]London[/wiki], [wiki=b52f073303fb002edd5be46eeea67efe]Kingston[/wiki], [wiki=0051ce4c21053c59d4bd3bdcf1b5932b]Windsor[/wiki], and [wiki=9c84e9210764a21c23cf889d6edffecc]Sarnia[/wiki] as well as stations in between. The lines between Montreal and Toronto and Ottawa and Toronto are VIA's busiest and most frequent, they also have the largest discounts if booked well in advance. There are two classes of service, business and economy. Business class includes meals and alcoholic beverages.
*Maple Leaf-This service is run jointly by VIA and U.S. passenger rail company, Amtrak, [url=http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/HomePage].]Trains on this line run between Toronto and [[New York City[/url]] once a day in each direction stopping at [wiki=35464e0ed96bea89f8d741fa2e71aa12]Albany[/wiki] and [wiki=25a64527fca2b0be121ced96c3f0aba5]Buffalo[/wiki] as well as many smaller stations. Trains between Toronto and New York are extremely slow and very expensive, the coach services listed above generally take several hours less and cost several times less than the train. There are also more frequent trains that run on this line from Toronto to [wiki=d0dbc6f6b6d2faf632e0e47657015ae1]Niagara Falls[/wiki].
*The Canadian-Trains on this line run the transcontinental route from Toronto to [wiki=38278119f2c41ca7aedcbc55eabf73cd]Vancouver[/wiki] three times a week each way, stopping at a large number of smaller stations on the way. Cities that this train passes through include: [wiki=9f52f29ade262903f15dc9455eb2ddac]Winnipeg[/wiki], [wiki=0ddbc71f4c682edce4434b0583afd68e]Saskatoon[/wiki], [wiki=25d43c379dc973b097d7d3ee052d7d2a]Edmonton[/wiki], [wiki=dc0cc254de9d367b611cba6ea88f629d]Jasper[/wiki] and [wiki=b83494fc9fa0e45e8a880dbfe7eb8fe4]Kamloops[/wiki]. The full journey takes about three days. This is one of the most expensive rail journeys in North America and is many times more expensive than flying. However, [wiki=cfb1277657e69582c2ca9fbd6adbbba5]Via rail[/wiki] runs 'express deals' 2-3 weeks before travel that can reduce the price on this route by 75 percent. The trains contain both sleeper berths and cabins, as well as reclining economy seating. Three meals per day are cooked in the train's dining car. These are included in sleeper fares and are available for purchase for economy passengers.
*Ontario Northland (discontinued as of Sept 2012)-[url=http://www.ontarionorthland.ca/en/railpassenger/northlander/northlander.html].]A Government subsidized passenger rail service into the scarcely populated north of Ontario. They run trains on a single line from Toronto to [[Cochrane[/url]], Ontario six times a week. Most of this line is single track and owned by freight companies, as a result, whenever a freight train passes, the passenger train must move onto a siding and wait for the other train to pass, therefore Ontario Northland trains are generally 1.5-2.5 hours behind schedule at either end of their route.
*Commuter train-Services in the [wiki=ce1cfa24401195f8e92d8abe7900234c]Greater Toronto Area[/wiki] are operated exclusively by GO Transit [url=http://www.gotransit.com/],]who run all of their trains from Union Station. Their trains serve mainly the sprawling suburbs around the city and most of the train lines run only during rush hour; at other times of the day, they are replaced by bus services. Most of these buses originate from Union Station Bus Terminal across Bay Street from the railway station; there is an overhead walkway from the GO Train concourse to the bus terminal.
[[Ottawa[/url]] 3hrs 57min
[wiki=0004b45d97463070fbfd2c26207c427d]Montreal[/wiki] 4hrs 37min
Major highways leading into Toronto are the QEW, the 404, the 401, the 400, and the 427. Toronto is in the enviable position of being the largest city in Canada, so it's relatively easy to find a sign pointing you in the right direction. Be advised that traffic on incoming highways can be extremely heavy. In the downtown core there are many turn restrictions, particularly from main thoroughfares to other main thoroughfares (e.g. Yonge to Dundas Streets).
The main streets in Toronto are laid out in a grid pattern that makes it one of the easiest cities to get around in by car. Getting from point to point anywhere in the city can be achieved with only a few turns. Parking in the downtown core can be expensive and hard to find, but is plentiful and inexpensive or free throughout the rest of the city.
*Canada drives on the right.
The trip to the Toronto Islands from the downtown core (Bay St and Queen's Quay) is a pleasant 15 minute ferry ride, with frequent summer service and the best views of the Toronto skyline.
There are also guided sailing vessels that take tours of the inner/outer harbour and circumvent Toronto Island
Toronto has a very large transit system, the third most heavily used in North America (after [wiki=d97e023dce2bb237a0d44f46d8ee9438]New York City[/wiki] and [wiki=0b4596f8efe110dc55bbe564213dfb33]Mexico City[/wiki]). It consists of buses, streetcars, subway lines, and the quasi-subway Scarborough Rapid Transit line. Buses and streetcars are prone to get caught in Toronto's notorious traffic during rush-hours, though some streetcar lines have dedicated lanes.
Toronto's long streetcar lines, coupled with more than a decade of service cuts, have resulted in chronic "bunching", where one might wait for thirty minutes at a stop, and then 4 streetcars will arrive bunched together.
In contrast to this, the subway system is quite fast and efficient; the subway lines extend well into the suburbs and have spurred a great deal of high-density, high-rise development in far-flung neighbourhoods that would not otherwise have had any large-scale development. A prime example of this is the neighbourhood of [wiki=d250d51115bc7ea690343ed0f6d9e1ea]North York[/wiki], filled with high-rise development right on top of three subway stations. As a result, the subway is the easiest, fastest and most efficient way to get around the city. Unlike many cities, Toronto's subway lines have extremely frequent service, even late at night. Trains come every five minutes or better from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. every day of the week except Sunday, when service starts at 8 a.m.
The TTC operates a comprehensive network of overnight bus and streetcar routes called the Blue Night Network. Service runs at 30-minute intervals from 1:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Night routes are numbered starting from 300, and stops with all-night service have a blue 24hr badge at the top.
Cash fare is $3.00 (discounted to $2.80 if you buy several tokens at a time, minimum purchase is 3). Be aware that some token vending machines are out of service, but do not have signs on them to indicate that. It is therefore safer to use manned ticket booths whenever possible.
A day pass is available for $11.50. This pass allows unlimited travel on all TTC services within the City of Toronto, except for Downtown Express buses. For one person, it allows unlimited one-day travel on any day of the week, from the beginning of service until 5:30 a.m. the next morning. On Saturday and Sunday, and statutory holidays, day passes function as a group pass. On these days, two passengers over 19 years old and up to four passengers 19 or under can travel with one TTC Day Pass. The day pass does not have to be purchased on the day of use.
A weekly pass costs $40.75. It allows unlimited travel from 5:30 a.m. Monday morning, to 5:30 a.m. the following Monday. The weekly pass is transferable, meaning it can be used by more than one person but only one person may be travelling under that pass at any given time.
A monthly pass, termed the Metropass, costs $141.50. This pass is also transferable, with no pass-backs.
Tokens as well as daily and weekly passes are available at subway stations, variety stores and newsstands throughout the city. Most businesses that sell passes and tokens have a TTC sticker on their front door.
The TTC is planning to roll out Presto, the Ontario government's smart card system, to all subway stations and bus routes by the end of 2016. All streetcar routes will have Presto by the end of 2015, and many subway stations already have it. Fares are $2.80 per trip, equal to the token fare, and a card costs $6. Check the TTC's Presto page for an updated list of routes and stations where it can be used. [https://www.ttc.ca/Fares_and_passes/Fare_information/Presto_Fare_System/index.jsp]
The areas that surround Toronto-[wiki=ade8a673672f0e4c3da3fa6706f04979]Mississauga[/wiki], Brampton, York Region, Durham Region, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Hamilton-have their own transit systems. There are no free transfer privileges between the TTC and these other transit systems. To use both the TTC and another system, two fares must usually be paid (though see GTA Pass below). In many places, these networks do overlap, so you can transfer easily. Prices are similar to prices for the TTC. Generally bus services outside Toronto city limits are fairly infrequent, except for a few busy routes (e.g. Mississauga Transit route 1, 19, 26, Brampton 501, 502, 511 or Viva Blue, Purple).
A weekly GTA Pass (Greater Toronto Area Pass) is available for $54. It is valid on the TTC and the transit systems in [wiki=ade8a673672f0e4c3da3fa6706f04979]Mississauga[/wiki], Brampton, York Region, but not Durham Region or Halton Region. This pass is also transferable, although only one rider may use it at a time. If you are travelling through the fare-zone boundary in York Region with a GTA pass, you will have to pay an additional $1.
The regional transportation agency, 'Metrolinx', operates the PRESTO [https://www.prestocard.ca/] farecard system which allow users to pay transit fares throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (with the exception of the TTC, where only select subway stations currently accept the card). Although fares and transfer rules are set individually by each transit operator, using the card generally provides a discount from the cash fare and discounted or free transfers between certain systems. Cards cost $6 and are not refundable, but visitors making significant use of GO Transit, or several GTA transit systems might find some cost savings and convenience over using cash or tickets.
A system of regional trains and buses, GO Transit [http://www.gotransit.com], connects Toronto to its surrounding areas. The majority of these services, especially trains, are oriented to weekday commuters travelling to and from downtown Toronto. GO Transit charges fares by distance. Trains are large and comfortable, and the vast majority run only during rush hours. The main exception is on the Lakeshore Line between Aldershot and Oshawa, via Union Station, which runs every 30-60 minutes during off peak times. The GO bus network is much more extensive and fills in for trains in the off-peak hours, but beware that buses may get delayed due to traffic congestion. The vast majority of tourist destinations are reachable by TTC, although you might want to use the GO to get to the Zoo, or to the homes of family members or friends in the Greater Toronto Area.
Discounts on the fares for connecting transit services are available under certain conditions, if you are travelling to or from a GO Transit rail station. The GTA Pass is not valid on GO Transit.
NOTE: in many cases, a GO bus will not stop unless the passengers-to-be indicate waiting to be picked up, even if they are standing at a designated stop. Users must flag the bus down, usually just by raising their hand or ticket in the air as the bus approaches. That is because GO stops often share stops with other municipal transit systems.
Also, GO Trains operate on the Proof-of-Payment system; passengers must possess a valid ticket for the entire length of their journey before boarding a train. Tickets cannot be purchased on board, and there are no gates or staff before boarding to ensure you have a fare for a particular train. GO Transit enforcement officers conduct random inspections of tickets, issuing expensive fines to anyone without the correct fare. Enforcement officers have likely heard every possible excuse from passengers who regularly try to avoid paying a fare, and are often unforgiving of any (even legitimate) reason you might give. If using a Presto card on the GO bus or train, be sure to tap your Presto card both at the beginning and end of your trip.
Each GO train runs with a three-person crew. There are two engineers, who are responsible for operations, as well as the Customer Service Ambassador, who is responsible for passenger service (opening/closing doors, making station announcements, answering questions, dealing with emergencies, etc.) The CSA is stationed in the Accessibility car (the 5th car behind the locomotive), and introduces him/herself during his/her opening spiel. If you are unfamiliar with the system, it is recommended that you remain close to them.
Taxis are plentiful and safe, but not cheap. As with most big cities, driving a car downtown can be annoying; parking is often hard to find and expensive, and traffic along certain streets can make vehicle travel slower than mass transit. However, travelling longer distances, when not close to subway lines is often significantly faster by car or taxi.
There are many casual cyclists out all the time and cycling is fast: door to door, in all of downtown Toronto, a bike beats a car or transit nearly every time.
There is a lack of clear understanding about regulations regarding bicycles and as a result, there can be hostility between automobiles and cyclists. Generally speaking, if you are on the road, you are expected to obey the same laws as cars, and you are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk. In reality, cyclists have all sorts of driving styles; expect the unexpected.
The city is predominantly flat, aside from a general climb away from Lake Ontario and the deeply indented, forested Don Valley and Humber River Valley, and post-and-ring locking posts are present throughout the city. There are many bike-only lanes on major roads and threading through various neighbourhoods and parks. The city publishes a cycling map, available on the city website [url=http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/map/index.htm].]
The unimaginatively named Bike Share Toronto [url=http://www.bikesharetoronto.com/[/url]]provides a public bike system with 1,000 bikes available at 80 stations throughout downtown. Subscriptions start at $7 for 24 hours and allow you to use a bike for 30 minutes or less, as much as you like (usage fees apply for trips longer than 30 minutes). Bike Share Toronto operates 24 hours a day, all year long (but see the warning below about winter biking). Several businesses also offer rentals [http://www.tbn.ca/retailer/rtdb/ar.htm[/url].
It is a provincial law that cyclists under 18 must wear a helmet, and all riders must have a bike with reflectors and a bell. This tends to only be enforced when the police go on their annual "cycling blitz".
The TTC has taken measures to be welcoming of bicycles. All TTC buses have easy to use bike racks, and bicycles are allowed onto the subway during off-peak hours. This allows you to be able to take your bike almost anywhere in the city.
* Beware of parked cars - often accidents are not caused by moving cars, but rather by careless drivers or passengers who unexpectedly open their driver's side door. However, by and large Toronto is about as safe for bikers as most European cities, and certainly safer than most U.S. cities. Here, at least, cyclists are often expected and respected by drivers.
* Be cautious of streetcar tracks as bike wheels can be easily caught and cause a spill. Streetcar tracks are extremely slippery when the road is wet. Always try to cross the tracks at right angles.
* Although you will certainly see large numbers of locals riding the streets year-round, be warned that biking in the winter months is enjoyable only with proper equipment and reasonable skills; winter weather does get cold, it can be quite windy, and snow removal is often imperfect.
Some recommended cycling routes:
* By far one of the most popular bike paths is the Martin Goodman Trail, the east-west route that hugs Lake Ontario, spanning the city from Etobicoke to the eastern ends of the city. This path is also often used by pedestrians and rollerbladers.
* The Don River trail system begins at the lake (near Queen and Broadview) and travels very far North and East. During or after heavy rains, avoid lower sections of the trails.
* A special treat for bikers of all levels is a tour out to the Leslie Street Spit lighthouse and bird sanctuaries (no cars!). Start at Queen and Leslie and head south.
* The Kay Gardiner Beltline Trail is a pleasant, leafy ride through the heart of Midtown Toronto. Access is available from Yonge Street near Davisville Station and many points to the northwest.
* Though out of the way, the Humber River trail is nicely paved, long, and scenic. It spans from the Martin Goodman Trail to Humber College and links up to several parks in North Toronto.
* A visit to Toronto Islands from the ferry docks at the southern end of Bay Street is a great way to spend a bike-friendly, relaxed afternoon by bike. There are no cars to speak of on the Toronto Islands.
As Toronto is a very large city and many areas of the city are inadequately served by the public transit system, the car is the most commonly used method of transportation in the Greater Toronto Area. The road system (except for Highway 407 ETR) suffers from traffic congestion at almost all times of day, 7 days a week, and severe traffic congestion occurs during rush hour (approximately 6:30am-10am and 3pm-8pm Monday-Friday. Even Highway 401, with 9 lanes in each direction (making it the world's second largest freeway, after Katy Freeway in Texas) and bypassing Downtown by almost 8 miles North, can experience some slowing during off-peak hours and is jammed like any other freeway. Stay in the local lanes if you are not familiar with the local-express system. Avoid driving during rush hour, and avoid driving in severe weather. Traffic information is available on Google Maps (maps.google.ca, click on the traffic button), 680 News (radio station, AM 680, every 10 minutes on :01, :11, :21, :31, :41, :51 of each hour) and CP24 (television station). Highway 407 ETR [www.407etr.com] is almost never congested, but is a very expensive toll road, also it is strongly recommended that you rent a transponder if you use this highway regularly due to high video toll charges if you do not have a transponder.
Most Canadians don't carry large amounts of cash for everyday use, relying on their credit cards, ATMs and direct debit cards. Personal checks are rarely accepted. Also, many places in Toronto accept US Dollars for small transactions- with a rough 1:1 exchange rate.
Interbank ATM exchange rates usually beat traveller's checks or exchanging foreign currency. Canadian ATM fees are low ($1.50 to $2 per transaction), but your home bank may charge another fee on top of that.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and JCB cards are widely accepted in Canada. Credit cards can get you cash advances at bank ATMs, generally for a 3% surcharge. Beware: many US-based credit cards now convert foreign charges using highly unfavorable exchange rates and fees.
Always change your money at a recognized bank or financial institution. Some hotels, souvenir shops and tourist offices exchange money, but their rates won't put a smile on your dial.
American Express (905-474-0870, 800-869-3016; www.americanexpress.com/canada) branches in Toronto only function as travel agencies and don't handle financial transactions. Instead, tackle the banks, or try Money Mart (416-920-4146; www.moneymart.ca; Yonge Street Strip, 617 Yonge St; 24hr; Wellesley).
Affiliated with Marlin Travel (www.marlintravel.ca), Thomas Cook (www.thomascook.ca) branches include the following:
* Bloor-Yorkville (416-975-9940, 800-267-8891; 1168 Bay St; 9am-5:30pm Mon-Fri; Bloor-Yonge)
* Financial District (416-366-1961; 10 King St E; 9am-5pm Mon-Fri; King)
* Travelex (www.travelex.com/ca) has branches:
* Financial District (416-304-6130; First Canadian Place, Bank of Montréal, 100 King St W; 8am-5pm Mon-Fri)
* Pearson International Airport Terminal 3 Arrivals (905-673-7042; 8:30am-midnight)
* Pearson International Airport Terminal 3 Departures (905-673-7461; 3:30am-10pm)
Another organization, Calforex Currency Services (290 Queen St West) give good rates for cash, buying and selling GBP, USD, EUR; on substantial sums can be as little as 1% from interbank rates.
Surrounded by the extensive fertile farmlands of Southern Ontario, Toronto has an abundance of farmer's markets - one is happening, in season, almost every day. Several markets are year round, while others are seasonal, generally running from May to October.
* St. Lawrence Market, [url=http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/].]Has been bringing the freshest foods into the city for Torontonians and visitors alike since 1901. Located at Jarvis and Front, the St. Lawrence Market stretches over 2 buildings, the 'North Market' and the 'South Market' - and often over the section of Front street between them! The North Market is home to a Farmer's Market, open Saturdays year round. It features fresh vegetables in season, preserves, spices and herbs, and direct from the source foods, such as honey direct from the beekeeper or maple syrup from the people who tapped and boiled it, as well as quality Ontario wines. The South Market has over 50 specialty vendors, with a large seafood section, a dozen butchers, several bakeries, and three very extensive cheese shops. In the basement, there is also a specialty area for handcrafters, and an extensive foodcourt, with merchants often cooking food that they bought fresh that morning from upstairs. The South Market is open year round, Tue-Thu 8AM-6PM, Fri 8AM-7PM, Sat 5AM-5PM.
* Riverdale Farm, 201 Winchester Street, (three blocks east of Parliament Street), [url=http://www.toronto.ca/parks/prd/facilities/complex/345/index.htm[/url].]A year-round producing farm owned by the City of Toronto as part of its extensive park system, open daily for tours, education, and more 9AM-5PM. The Friends of Riverdale Farm operate an onsite store and restaurant, Shop at the Farm and Farm Kitchen, in Simpson House (daily 10AM-4PM), and a weekly Farmer's Market (Tuesdays, May 10 - Oct. 25, 2005, 3:30PM-7PM. Riverdale farm is a working farm, with barns and outdoor paddocks, and animals of all types. In an attempt to provide education about farming, the staff is approachable, and will discuss chores as they go through the daily tasks of keeping a farm running. Tours are available, or you can wander the 7.5 acres freely.
Other farmer's markets in Toronto:
* City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West. Wednesdays, 1 June-5 October, 10AM-2:30PM (except June 29 due to Jazz Festival).
* East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue. Tuesdays, 24 May-25 October, 9AM-2PM.
* Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall. Saturdays, 4 June-29 October, 8AM-2PM.
* North York Civic Centre, Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St. Thursdays, 16 June-20 October, 8AM-2PM.
* Scarborough Civic Centre, Albert Campbell Square, 150 Borough Drive. Fridays, 3 June-14 October noon-5PM.
* The Dufferin Grove Farmer's Market, [url=http://www.dufferinpark.ca/market/market.html[/url],]875 Dufferin St. (across from the Dufferin Mall). Thursdays, year round (outdoors around the rinkhouse in summer and in the rinkhouse in winter) 3:30PM-7PM.
* Green Barn Market, [http://www.thestop.org/green-barn-market[/url], 601 Christie St. Saturdays 8AM-12PM (located within the restored Artscape Wychwood Barns).
Cabbagetown,' is a designated Historic District in the eastern half of the downtown core.
* Baldwin Village, small section of Baldwin Street (east of Spadina, north of Dundas) has many small outdoor cafes ideal for summer lunches.
* Chinatown, now features many Vietnamese and Thai restaurants.
* Hakka Food, is a style of Chinese food that originated in India with the migrant Chinese of Kolkata. Also known as India-Style Chinese food, outside of India and certain Southeast Asian countries, Toronto is the only city in the world to have such a variety of Hakka Restaurants.
* King Street between University Avenue and Spadina Avenue has many restaurants appealing to theatre goers.
* Queen Street East between Empire and Leslie has a number of casual, trendy restaurants that match the vibe of Leslieville.
* College Street to the east of Bathurst has a cheaper set of eclectic restaurants popular with university students from nearby University of Toronto.
* Bayview Avenue south of Eglinton, is the location of some of Toronto's best French pastry shops.
* Bloor Street to the west of Spadina in the Annex has a similar set of restaurants to College, with a particularly heavy concentration of budget-friendly Japanese restaurants. Most restaurants here tend to be very laid back. Continuing west on Bloor, past Bathurst, one heads into Koreatown which has a number of Korean restaurants.
* Yorkville', it's more about being seen than actually eating but there are a few hidden gems, and this area is famous for sightseeing celebrities. Restaurants often charges premium for otherwise mediocre meals. Mere 1 subway stop away from Yorkville, a meal of similar size and quality can be purchased for nearly half the price.
* The city's largest newspaper, the Toronto Star, once chose the Downsview Park Flea Market food court as the best in the city. Although it is open only on weekends and rather remote, it offers a variety of authentic food from Afghan to Trinidadian and lacks the chain restaurants that dominate the city's food courts. It is located north of downtown, but is accessible from the Downsview subway station on the Spadina line and shares space with over 400 independent retailers.
Cakes to die for--they supply desserts for a number of the city's best restaurants. Limited seating, but taking out a coffee to go and strolling along this interesting stretch of Queen St is ideal in warmer weather. You can also buy customized birthday cakes here.
* Bulldog Coffee, 89 Granby St, [url=http://www.bulldogtoronto.com].]Espresso and espresso based drinks. One of the owner/baristas regularly wins competitions for his latte art. Daily 7AM-7PM.
* The Red Tea Box 696 Queen Street W. Excellent teas, good food, cozy atmosphere, and decadent desserts that look too good too eat. Not cheap, but worth the cost. Open only for lunch. 416 203 8882.
* Red Rocket Coffee 401 Logan Ave, [url=http://www.redrocketcoffee.com[/url].]None of this eclectic space-themed café's three locations (401 Logan Ave, 1364 Danforth Ave, 154 Wellesley St E) are difficult to find; look for the red circle with the white rocket inside. Licensed by LLBO, serving wines from Niagara Region, beer from the Mill Street Brewery, and Waupoos cider from [[Prince Edward County[/url]].
See '[wiki=948ce72be6c871b84f6d0dab24f209ed#Districts]district articles[/wiki] for further information
* Fresh, [wiki=b76c22abc7a341d4a5738943e020a313#Vegetarian]The Annex[/wiki] & [wiki=56d5fce222766143349eaf9095f9bfdb#Vegetarian]Richmond Street West[/wiki]. This is a local vegetarian chain with four locations in Toronto. Good for a sit down dinner and lunch.
* Buddha's Vegetarian Food, Bathurst and Dundas; 666 Dundas West. One portion serves at least 2 very hungry people and costs $8. Closed on some Tuesdays.
* Staff are friendly and the restaurant is clean and charming, very filling, big portions, outdoor seating a big plus, although some find the food underflavoured.
* Simon's Wok, Gerrard & Logan. Vegetarian Chinese cuisine served in communal manner.
*Green Earth Vegetarian Cuisine', 385 Broadview Avenue [url=http://www.greenearthveggie.com].]Don't be fooled by the name - all three locations (others in [[Ottawa[/url]], and [wiki=5437249604733e2a4447dbcfaa82f7d6]Pasadena[/wiki], [wiki=356779a9a1696714480f57fa3fb66d4c]California[/wiki]) are vegan. Features vegan versions of international dishes (USA, Italy, Mexico, China, Thailand, Vietnam). TV mounted above counter shows Supreme Master Television. Closed Tuesdays.
Toronto has a wide variety of hotels that can suit every budget.
Toronto has several youth hostels, including ones in the downtown area.
Another popular alternative for over nighters are bed & breakfasts, of which Toronto has hundreds, many of them in the downtown core. Prices range from $60 to several hundred dollars depending on the house and amenities offered.
Homestays are an ideal option for mid-term stays of a few months, or for newcomers who need a few months of accommodation while searching for a place to rent. Homestays are very popular for ESL students, often coming from South Korea, Japan, China, and Brazil. It's estimated that there are hundreds of homestays in Toronto, usually in the price range of $750 to $900 per month, and including home-cooked meals. Payments are typically made in cash. Homestays are often listed in online indexes, presented in a manner much like selecting a hotel.
Toronto is a city with many internet cafés, especially on Yonge Street around Bloor, and also on Bloor Street between Spadina and Bathurst. It's not hard to find a place to call home and the costs range from $3 for 30 minutes. The widespread availability of high-speed internet access means that internet cafes are largely becoming a thing of the past, so on repeat visits to the city, you may find that the one you used last time has disappeared. Most major hotels offer high-speed internet in their rooms and in their business centres. In addition, most independent coffee shops in Toronto offer free Wi-Fi for their customers, as do the major chains such as Tim Horton's, Second Cup, Starbucks.
Cogeco operates a public WiFi network called One Zone [url=http://www.onezone.ca]]that covers six square kilometres in the downtown core. Rates are $4.99 for one hour, $9.99 for a day, or $24.99 for a month.
The TTC offers free WiFi in many downtown subway stations. Look for the "tconnect" network. [url=https://www.ttc.ca/Customer_Service/Station_WiFi/index.jsp[/url]]Free WiFi is also offered at most GO Transit stations and bus terminals. [http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/travelling/wifi.aspx[/url]
Free internet access is available on computers at Toronto Public Library [url=http://www.tpl.toronto.on.ca]]branches, and the Toronto Reference Library [http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/hou_az_trl.jsp[/url] also provides free wireless access on the first two floors.
Unlike in much the rest of the English speaking world, the 2007 Recession was not as devastating to the newspaper business in Canada as it was to many other venerable organs such as The New York Times or the Times of London. While business and readership have declined notably, the signature papers of Canadian record have not shown the same sudden catastrophic losses, and newspapers in Toronto are stocked in most places, with paper advertising still considered a "must buy" for some companies.
Papers such as the following are still considered to be standby sources of the day-to-day news, regularly breaking substantive stories first with highly respected pieces of investigative journalism, and purchasing a paper for a dollar (or two for the weekend editions) in order to read the day's events does not carry the same old-fashioned air it does elsewhere, especially in the States:
* The Toronto Star [url=http://www.thestar.com/],]a major daily newspaper, covering local, national, and world news. Generally the most widely read by Torontonians and within the Greater Toronto Area, and available almost literally everywhere as a result. Strongly identified with the city itself and its culture.
* The Toronto Sun [url=http://www.torontosun.com/[/url],]a tabloid-style newspaper, covering local, national, and world news. Tends toward sensationalism in reporting, and features the "Sunshine Girl" pin-ups. Styles itself as a populist voice.
*The Globe and Mail [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/[/url],]a national daily, published in Toronto, with ties to Bay Street banks. Well-respected like The Star, though with less focus on metropolitan Toronto and more on national affairs, its relative popularity is lesser inside the city than outside.
*The National Post [url=http://www.nationalpost.com/[/url],]a national daily, also published in Toronto and often more right-leaning than The Globe and Mail. Its conservative position is even more stark when compared against The Star, and it is noticeably less popular in the city.
*Metro [url=http://www.metronews.ca/toronto[/url],]a free daily, with brief articles covering local, national, and world news, distributed on the street and in subway stations.
*24hrs [url=http://www.toronto.24hrs.ca[/url],]a free daily, with brief articles covering local, national, and world news, distributed on the street and in subway stations.
Free weekly newspapers, distributed from boxes on street corners and in racks in stores and restaurants can be good sources of information on cinema, dining, music, theatre, and other events and local news:
* Now [url=http://www.nowtoronto.com[/url]]- Comes out on Thursdays.
Depending on where you go in Toronto, you will be able to find locally printed newspapers in a variety of languages. For example, in Chinatown, you will find Chinese newspapers. In "Little Italy", you'll find Italian newspapers. You'll also find newspapers in Spanish, Portuguese, Persian, Arabic, Tagalog, Greek and more.
Other alternative weeklies include the popular Xtra! [http://www.xtra.ca/toronto.aspx[/url], which reports for Toronto's large and active LGBT community.
Toronto is remarkably safe and the streets are vibrant with pedestrians and bicyclists, even in most neighbourhoods at night. If you use common sense, you should have no trouble at all.
The overall violent crime rate in Canada, and particularly in Toronto, is much lower than that found in major cities in the United States and below the average of other large Canadian cities to the west. Over the last decade, there have been an average of fewer than 70 homicides per year in the city, a rate of fewer than three per 100,000. Organized gang violence occurs but has been very sporadic since a noticeable rise mid-last decade. Petty crime is generally not a large-scale problem in Toronto, but as always, keep vigilant with your possessions and avoid keeping valuables in outer pockets. Car and bike theft are comparable to other large North American cities and many stolen automobiles wind up being exported overseas.
Some neighbourhoods are known in the media and on the street as being more dangerous, but police statistics evaluate crime in a given area based occurrences per 10,000 residents, not including incoming non-resident traffic. The Bay Street financial downtown core actually experiences the highest rate of assault and drug crimes using these parameters, but this has not been well publicized by local or national media. Higher than average crime (compared with the city overall) does occur in certain neigbourhooods. These include:
* Areas in the old city (close to or downtown): Regent Park, parts of Parkdale, St. James Town, Cabbagetown and Moss Park, Alexandra Park, Danforth East. Former Inner Boroughs: Crescent Town, Pakview-O'Connor, Flemingdon Park, Weston-Mount Dennis and Lambton.
* Outer areas in North York: Jane & Finch ("Jane Corridor"), Lawrence Heights, Westminster-Branson, the Peanut (Don Mills/Sheppard).
* Etobicoke: Rexdale/Jamestown Cresent and Long Branch.
* Scarborough: Malvern, Kingston & Galloway, Steeles-L'Amoreaux, Dorset Park, and Eglinton East-Kennedy Park.
Parts of Toronto have a visible homeless population, many of whom will ask you for money. This can be a bit startling for newcomers from outside North America. You do not need to give them money and can simply say "no, thank you," or ignore them. They nearly always leave you alone. There have been occasional occurrences of aggressive homeless people, with one resulting in a fatality. If a person becomes aggressive, move away quickly and alert a police officer.
Be careful when getting off the streetcars and look always to your right before leaving the car. Although vehicles are supposed to stop when the streetcar doors open, some motorists and cyclists will ignore this and keep going.
Avoid river/creek banks or bridge underpasses during periods of excessive rain, during/after heavy thundershowers or melting snow. Recent flooding can soften soil and cause it to suddenly collapse into the water under any weight.
Occasionally, Toronto will be hit with a severe winter storm accompanied by significant snowfall (quite often mixed with freezing rain, ice, or sleet). Avoid driving during and immediately after the storms if at all possible. This is especially true for those unfamiliar with winter driving and controlling a car in a skid. Take public transit, walk, or stay inside.
[url=://www.mzv.cz/toronto/en/index.html" hours="" price="">
[wiki=bd2e99397896a431f68ec2dab74da86d]Niagara Region[/wiki] - A lush region known primarily for its vineyards as well as the thundering waterfalls at [wiki=9ca87d0d003aaaa565b8a713a9a11044]Niagara Falls[/wiki] and the beautiful town of [wiki=eb4825be6b93091fc067849c7381c6f4]Niagara on the Lake[/wiki]. About 1 to 1.5 hours south along the QEW.
* [wiki=25a64527fca2b0be121ced96c3f0aba5]Buffalo[/wiki] - Gorgeous early 20th Century architecture including some Frank Lloyd Wright work and excellent museums are just a 1.5 hour drive from Toronto. There are also a number of outlet malls near there.
The Niagara Escarpment - A world biosphere, protected by UN mandate running from the Niagara Falls west to [wiki=a374d6f8111d54c5f5f01671ed2e9471]Hamilton[/wiki] then northward to Georgian Bay. It is covered by forest with high cliff views along the Bruce Trail bordering the western edge of the Greater Toronto Area, at its closest point about is about an 1/2 hour drive from the western end of Toronto.
* [wiki=210e9b4576373d3f548583b32c345993]Waterloo Region[/wiki] - This area 1 to 1.5 hours west of Toronto has large university campuses, rolling farm hills and Mennonite culture.
* [wiki=458296cd278d0aaf786e27d53eb0552f]Stratford[/wiki] - This cute town 2 hours west of Toronto is host to the world-renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival (April-November).
[wiki=452bff5789b035ec849f25dc65298292]Prince Edward County[/wiki] - This charming rural island on the north-eastern shores of Lake Ontario is increasingly being recognized for its vineyards, beautiful scenery, and great food.
* [wiki=93d2ae600803edbb4d2489d4c69f7a06]Thousand Islands[/wiki] and [wiki=b52f073303fb002edd5be46eeea67efe]Kingston[/wiki] - This scenic area and its nearby historic city are 2.5 hours east, on the way to Ottawa
* [wiki=aeee33366b173305b90377ed63c1084a]Ottawa[/wiki] - The Canadian capital is about a 4 hour drive from Toronto.
* [wiki=0004b45d97463070fbfd2c26207c427d]Montreal[/wiki] - Montreal is more distant, but still a doable six hour drive (or a faster 4.5-hour train trip) from Toronto.
[wiki=3ca6a654b5eb0592040731eadfcc6ff9]Muskoka[/wiki], [wiki=16e08696401fd04fbd85d3a3647256a8]Georgian Bay[/wiki] and [wiki=5c967ddd0e760b0fca7a267ecf8c21f2]The Kawarthas[/wiki] - All in the range of 1.5-2 hours north are cottage country areas with more rocky and hilly terrain speckled with hundreds of lakes and waterways. The Muskokas and the Kawarthas are known for their country inns, cottages, spas/resorts, provincial parks, and a wealth of outdoor activities including camping, fishing/hunting, snowmobiling, nature viewing, and hiking set amongst natural beauty. The Georgian Bay area is where the hilly terrain and cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment meet its shores, the area has renonwed ski facilites frequently blasted with high snowfall amounts but beaches [wiki=9f1ec157bbf7351489b8060137164de9]Wasaga Beach[/wiki], wineries and golfing are the choices in summer.
Many people visit these regions in fall to experience some of the best fall-colour leaves anywhere in the world.
There are also several golden sand beaches along the clean fresh waters of the [wiki=4c20e8fc52648d007577c680372eca7e]Great Lakes[/wiki] that are ideal for hot summer days. Popular beach destinations within 1.5 - 2.5 hours of Toronto include Wasaga, [wiki=4c677b409969ea297b9445276022e128]Sauble Beach[/wiki],Sibbald Point Provincial Park, Sandbanks, Grand Bend, Long Point, and Turkey Point.