Toronto offers year-round pleasure for tourists, but depending on why you are visiting, certain seasons may be more appealing. Peak travel to the area is from June through September, with July and August seeing the highest tourist numbers due to North American schools being closed for the summer. While summer is busy, the streets come to life with pedestrian markets, patio service at restaurants, and cultural events. Temperatures rise, but so do ticket prices! For the best time to visit Toronto, late April through May or September through October are ideal. Winter time visits do have lower prices, but you also have to deal with lower temperatures.
Getting to Toronto’s city centre is quite easy from Pearson Airport.
Taxis are the most expensive, but one of the quicker ways to reach downtown. Taxis take about 40 minutes to reach the city centre, and typically charge a flat fee of $60 CAD one-way.
The UP Express train costs $12 CAD one-way and delivers you from Pearson Airport to Union station in 30 minutes.
The subway system is the most affordable but also takes about one hour to complete. The fare is $3 CAD if you purchase a ticket or tokens and $3.25 CAD if you pay cash. You will take Bus 192 Red Rocket to Kipling station and then the subway to Spadina. From there, you take the University Line to Union station. While it involves a few changes, $3 CAD makes it quite affordable for travel.
If you have time to book ahead, you can take an airport limo service, which costs $60 CAD plus tip. The drive depends on traffic, averaging 30 to 60 minutes.
There is no direct subway, train or bus line from the airport to the downtown core. Bus 192 Airport Rocket (Red Rocket) runs every 8 -15 minutes from the airport to Kipling station from where a couple of changes on the subway line take you to Union station. From 1:00 am to 5:30 am (until 8:30 am on Sunday), the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) additionally offers night buses. The 300A line goes across Bloor Street West and Danforth Avenue. The 307 line takes Eglington Avenue West. Either route stops at Yonge Street where you take the 320-night bus to get to city centre.
Rental car desks are located at the first floor of terminal parking garages. These can be booked on-site, but it is better to book ahead. Arrange your own Toronto transportation with car rentals deals from momondo.
Toronto transportation is plentiful, but navigating the city is quite easy on foot too. Using the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), you can pay just $3 CAD per person per direction. If you buy multiple rides the same day, it drops to $2.50 CAD per person per ride. A day pass is $12.50 CAD and recommended if you plan to ride the TTC all day. Day passes cover families of up to two adults and up to four children during weekends and holidays too. Taxi cabs are available throughout the city, and you can easily hail one in downtown. Cabs come in all colours, and they are available if their rooftop light indicates such. Wave from the curb and once the taxi turns on the meter, you pay $3.25 CAD for one to four passengers and the rate of $0.25 CAD every 143 metres after that.
Toronto is rich in activities and cultural events. From the aquarium to the zoo to the science center, art galleries, weekend farmers’ markets, jazz festivals, food festivals, auto shows, baseball games, Broadway-style live shows, concerts, and more, this city has lots to see and do. A few must-dos to check out while you are in Toronto include:
This engineering marvel lets you see Toronto’s skyline from above. You can walk along the edge and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city.
While not exactly in Toronto, most visitors to the area make a half day trip to see the breathtaking waterfalls.
Just across the harbour is Centre Island that has its own park and petting zoo. It is open seasonally and closed in the winter months.
Hockey Hall of Fame
For sports fans, stopping in at the Hockey Hall of Fame is a great place to celebrate the country’s favourite sport.
Visit this historic castle that has been transformed into an event center and museum.
Cuisines and Festivals
In Toronto, you can explore a variety of cuisine styles from all over the world. This city is truly a melting pot of global cultures. Enjoy the craft beers from local breweries like Steam Whistle, Granite, and Left Field. Also, make sure you try the classic poutine from local eateries. If street food is your thing, you have plenty to choose from; and don’t forget the hotdogs! Festivals and events happen year-round in Toronto, including the Cavalcade of Lights, Doors Open Toronto, Toronto Jazz Festival, Food Truck Festival, Taste of Toronto, and Blanche Toronto. See what events are happening during your visit.
In Toronto, it is customary to tip 15 to 20 percent on the pre-tax bill to show your appreciation. Some restaurants automatically charge this, so check the bill before adding the tip.
The Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) is 13 percent and is applied to taxable goods and services.
Parking on streets downtown is limited to certain times of the day, with street signs indicating allowed hours. There are public parking lots throughout the city, and a green P logo identifies them.
Walk the Underground City
The Downtown Toronto underground walkway, PATH, links up 27 kilometres of shopping, services, and entertainment. Just follow the PATH lights, and you can reach your destination without having to experience the elements. Sun, rain or snow, there’s no stopping if you are seeking out the magic of Toronto!