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Discover Toronto with Checkin Accommodation

Toronto, the capital of Ontario and the country's largest city, is home to a dynamic mix of tourist attractions, from museums and galleries to the world famous CN Tower and, just off shore, Toronto Islands. The city also offers a vibrant Entertainment District, featuring the latest musicals and other performing arts, and the historic Distillery District. The city center is still relatively easy to navigate, with many of the top attractions within walking distance of each other and a subway system to cover longer distances.

Known as the most multiculturally diverse city on the planet, over 140 languages are spoken in this city. It's estimated that over half of Toronto's residents were born outside Canada, and despite its complex makeup, Torontonians generally get along. When the weather is fine, Toronto is a blast: a vibrant, big-time city abuzz with activity. Some of the world's finest restaurants are found here, alongside happening bars and clubs and eclectic festivals.

Yes, winter in Toronto can be a real drag. Things get messy on the congested highways and archaic public transit system. But come with patience, an open mind and during the delightfully temperate and colorful spring or fall, and you're bound to have a great time.

 
CN Tower - A 58-second elevator ride whisks you to the 114th story of the world’s second tallest free-standing structure, the 181-story, 1,815.5-foot communications tower built by Canadian National Railway in 1976. Breathtaking views from the glass-fronted elevator set the stage for more dizzying sights from the Look Out, where on a clear day you can see as far as the Canada-US border. Visitors with nerves of steel can walk on the Glass Floor for a view 1,122-ft straight down. For panoramic views, 1,465 ft above the ground, take an elevator up 33 more stories to the world’s highest man-made observatory.
Hockey Hall of Fame - This shrine to Canada’s favourite sport celebrates all things hockey, including those who have achieved greatness in the game. Housed in part in a beautiful former bank building dating back to 1885, which is incorporated into Brookfield Place, this Hall of Fame contains the most comprehensive collection of hockey artifacts and memorabilia in the world, among them the first Stanley Cup trophy. Interactive exhibits run the gamut from multimedia trivia kiosks that test your hockey knowledge to a virtual reality puck-shooting game that allows visitors to go one-on-one against legendary players.
Toronto Islands - Originally a peninsula, the islands were formed when the rushing waters of the Don River separated a spit from the mainland during a ferocious storm in 1858. There are more than a dozen islets and mid-sized islands in this urban archipelago, some of them connected by bridges, others accessible only by boat. A thriving residential community of creative characters calls Ward’s and Algonquin islands home, while Centre Island is a popular destination for its amusement park. No cars are allowed on the islands, adding enormously to their tranquil charm. Along with exploration on foot, two great ways to get the most out of the island experience are to rent a boat or a bicycle and paddle your way through the extensive lagoon system or cycle to a secluded picnic spot. It is easy to forget that you are right beside one of the busiest ports in Canada.
Toronto Eaton Centre - Named after Canadian retail legend Timothy Eaton – whose mail-order catalog and department store, Eaton’s, was a beloved national institution until 1999, when the company declared bankruptcy. This multi-story shopping centre is the quintessential downtown mall: big, busy and boisterous. Opened in 1979 and heralded as the anchor that would transform down-at-heel Yonge and Dundas streets into an upscale destinations, the complex houses some 300 stores, restaurants and cafes.
Distillery Historic District - Walking the pedestrian-only cobblestone streets past the best preserved Victorian insturial architecture in North America, you’ll feel as if you’ve stumbled into another century. The 44 buildings of this 13-acre site were, until the mide-1900s, part of Gooderham and Worts, once the world’s largest distillery. The distillery evolved from a grist mill founded here in 1832 by Englishman James Wort and his brother-in-law William Gooderham. The 150-year-old districts has been infused with new life and is a vibrant community of cafes, restaurants, galleries, art studios, performance venues and specialty shops.
Casa Loma - This medieval-style castle, completed in 1914 for a staggering $3.5 million, looms on a hill, overlooking downtown. Designed by famed Toronto architect E.J. Lennox, Casa Loma – Spanish for “house on the hill” – was the estate of prominent financier and industrialist Sir Henry Pellatt, who was forced by financial ruin to abandon his 98-room dream home less than 10 years after it was built.
Art Gallery of Ontario - Founded in 1900 and now one of the more prominent art museums in North America, the wide-ranging Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has over 79,000 works. The outstanding pieces of Canadian art, in particular paintings by the Group of Seven, are a national treasure. Along with superb Henry Moore plasters, bronzes, and other works, the gallery exhibits significant masterpieces of European art, from paintings by Tintoretto and Frans Hals to Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. A major renovation, designed by architect Frank Gehry, was completed in November 2008. It includes a free contemporary gallery with rotating exhibits, accessible at street level during gallery hours.
Ontario Place - This internationally acclaimed cultural, leisure and entertainment complex, designed by Ed Zeidller and opened in 1971, is centred on three man-made islands along the Lake Ontario waterfront. Although many of the park’s attractions are closed for renovation, there is still a lively marina, in addition to the Molson Ampitheatre and Echo Beach concert venues. The complex is open from late May to late September.
Niagara Falls - One of the world’s most famous natural attractions, the great arcs of hissing, frothing water crashing over cliffs 20 stories high is a dazzling spectacle. Drifting spray adds to the excitement of being near the edge of a stomach-churning drop. The 188-ft.-high Canadian Horseshoe Falls is the mightiest of the three cataracts that make up Niagara Falls. Across the Niagara River is the impressive American Falls, including the smaller Bridal Veil Falls. When visiting the falls, be sure to make time to stop at some of the other sights in the Niagara region, including its renowned vineyards and historic museums.
  1. SPIN Toronto – 461 King St W; tel: 416.599.7746 - If you're into taking shots while you're taking shots, then hit up Spin. They've taken 12k sqft of space and filled it with a dozen ping pong tables and two bars, putting out cocktails, draft beers, and tallboys of Muskoka Cream Ale. Smack-dab in the heart of King West, the massive space frequently doubles as a DJ'd nightclub, too.
  2. Panorama Lounge - 55 Bloor St W; tel: 416.967.0000 - Packing one of the best views in the city from its 51st floor location on top of the Manulife Centre, Panorama throws out a sleek modern vibe with well-crafted cocktails (incl. a menu of frozens) and tap beers (like Hogaarden and Steam Whistle) that you can drink while looking out over Lake Ontario.
  3. Horseshoe Tavern - 370 Queen St W; tel: 416.598.4753 The Horseshoe may sound like the perfect place to get lucky, but it's far more than that -- in fact, seniority alone makes this bar worth the visit, never mind the countless iconic acts that have graced the stage of this Queen West institution. Since its opening in 1947, the spot's seen Stompin' Tom Connors, The Police, Blue Rodeo (!), The Barenaked Ladies, Rheostatics, The Strokes, and Joel Plasket, to name a few. The relaxed front bar often hosts neighborhood regulars, with the back bar taking the big name acts.
  4. The Drake Hotel - 1150 Queen St W; tel: 416.531.5042 - A legendary landmark in the city, The Drake wraps up a café, resto, lounge, club, and the hotel itself into one package. The real gem, though, is the rooftop patio bar, serving up a great view of the Queen West district along with drinks like Shock Top Belgian ale, drafts from local micro brewery Mill Street, and a Negroni from their barrel-aged cocktail list.
  5. Sneaky Dee’s - 431 College St; tel: 416.603.3090 - Announcing itself as the iconic dive in TO, Dee's dark space is totally covered in graffiti and has two floors for live shows, DJ's, dancing, and $3 beers. They're extremely well regarded in the local music scene, their nacho plates are the stuff of legend, and they're totally featured in Scott Pilgrim.
  6. Bier Markt - 58 The Esplanade; tel: 416.862.7575 - Proudly boasting one of the most extensive beer menus in the city -- over 150 brands from 30 countries -- Markt serves them all via a special three-gas blend used to push the brews from keg to tap, meaning it "never comes into contact with oxygen" (which is ironic seeing as you'll likely be inhaling it). The space itself has an old-world Belgian feel too, w/ brass fittings sitting alongside bentwood chairs, and a dark, class-laden atmosphere.
  7. Spice Route - 499 King St W; tel: 416.849.1808 - In the heart of King West, this Asian bistro bar offers a beautiful, lush, and shaded patio w/ impressive Asian-style stone & wood decor inside. Drinks range from the cross-pollinated Mango Tamarind Martini to their premium "Dragon Slayer" sake.
  8. Get Well - 1181 Dundas W; tel: 647.351.2337 - Get Well pairs the great advice imparted by its name with reasonable prices, lots of space & seating, quirky artwork, and old school arcade machines (Tetris, pinball, etc.) that're all free to play. The craft beer menu is extensive, and even includes a house cask number. Located in Dundas West, you're also surrounded by other bars which're also deserving of your attention, incl. The Communist's Daughter, Red Light, and The Garrison, all only steps away.
  9. The Black Hoof - 928 Dundas St. W.Toronto, ON M6J 1W3, Canada, Tel: (416) 551-8854 - The flagship of Jen Agg's admirable collection of restaurants and bars, the Black Hoof is the place that catapulted charcuterie, offal, and Manhattans into the Toronto dining vernacular in 2008. The outspoken restaurateur is unafraid to ruffle feathers, and her influence on the local culinary scene is undeniable. In this part of the Trinity-Bellwoods neighborhood, you can hop from her Rhum Corner to the Cocktail Bar for a pre- or post-dinner drink.
  10. Porchetta & Co. - 825 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V4, Canada, Tel: (647) 352-6611 - Check this sandwich shop's Instagram to find out about their limited-edition sandwiches. Sometimes it's a fried chicken sandwich or, if you're lucky, soft shell crab, but regulars flock to this counter-service spot for its signature porchetta sandwiches. The house special is four ounces of slow-roasted pork with crackling, truffle sauce, parmesan, grainy mustard, and hot sauce. There is limited seating, but there are many parks within walking distance.
  11. Bar Isabel - 797 College Street, Toronto, ON, Canada, Tel: (416) 532-2222 - Dark and old-fashioned, this is the oddest-looking dining room in which you can find pintxos and foie gras-topped rib eye, but once you get used to loud noise bouncing off the wood-paneled walls, you'll want to stay at this Little Italy establishment awhile. The drinks list is a playground for those who want something a bit different: funky ciders, a range of sherries, and creative cocktails. Whatever you do, leave room for the Basque cake.
  12. Sam James Coffee Bar - 297 Harbord St, Toronto, ON, Canada, Tofu Village — House of Soon Tofu - In 2009, Sam James opened his first coffee shop on Harbord and made his first mark on the city cafe scene. Since then, he has built a mini-empire with his perfect cappuccinos, expanding into small spaces dotted around downtown. He has even ventured into the Financial District, where few other third-wave coffee shops have dared go.
  1. Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

 

The TTC provides subway, streetcar, and bus service within the City of Toronto. Most downtown routes have very frequent service and some run 24 hours.

Fares

You pay a single fare for each one-way trip. The same fare covers subways, streetcars, and buses within the City of Toronto -- there are no fare "zones" to worry about. You can transfer between routes for free as needed to reach your destination, but you'll need to pay a new fare for the return trip, or if you make a stopover (e.g. to shop, eat, or explore an area).

For adults, the most common fare options are:

  • Cash $3.00     Bus and streetcar drivers do not make change
  • Day Pass - Weekday $11.00   Unlimited rides all day
  • "Family" Day Pass - only good on   Saturdays/ Sundays/ Holidays $11.00   Unlimited rides all day; a single pass covers two adults and up to four youths (19 or under) or one adult and up to five youths
  • Weekly Pass $39.25   Unlimited rides from Monday to the next Sunday
  • Monthly Metropass $133.75                 Unlimited rides from the first to the last day of the month

Tokens and passes are sold at subway stations; while there, ask the fare collector for a free TTC Ride Guide map. You can also buy tokens and passes at convenience stores displaying a "TTC Fare Media Seller" or "TTC Ticket Agent" sign.

If you are paying cash or a using a single-ride token, you can get a paper "transfer" which acts as both proof of fare paid (required on the 501 Queen and 510 Spadina streetcar lines, which have roving fare inspectors) and allows you to change between routes at street level without paying again, so long as you're making a continuous one-way trip. Since it's free, it's a good idea to always get one. A transfer is dispensed by a red machine inside subway stations, or by the driver on a bus or most streetcars.

 

Toronto subways run very frequently, as often as every two minutes in rush hour and about every five minutes at other times. Service runs approximately 6 am to 1:30 am, with a 9 am start on Sundays. All subway trains stop at all stations along the line (there are no "express" trains or diverging routes).

Downtown Toronto lies within the U-shaped part of Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina, shown in yellow); the Yorkville area is along Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) between Bloor-Yonge and St. George stations.

Streetcars - Much of the above-ground public transit through downtown Toronto is provided by a large fleet of streetcars (known in some parts of the world as trams or trolleys). In 2007, National Geographic named the 501 Queen streetcar one of the world's 10 best streetcar rides, and many of the routes are a great way to see the city.

Some of the route highlights -- from west to east for each route -- include:

  • 501 Queen: High Park (south entrance), Queen West shopping districts, City Hall, Eaton Centre, Beach neighbourhood
  • 504 King: Liberty Village, entertainment district, financial district, "old town" Toronto, Distillery District, Chinatown East
  • 505 Dundas: Chinatown, Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundas Square, Chinatown East
  • 506 Carlton: High Park (east entrance), Little Italy, University of Toronto, Cabbagetown, Little India
  • 509 Harbourfront: Exhibition Place, central waterfront, Toronto Island ferries, Union Station
  • 510 Spadina: [from north to south] University of Toronto, Chinatown, central waterfront, Toronto Island ferries, Union Station

Buses - TTC buses operate the same way as most buses in other North American cities. Outside the downtown core, it's important to plan your trip carefully, as some buses run infrequently and not all routes run at all times.

  1. Toronto Island Ferry - The ferries to the Toronto Islands operate separately from the TTC. Fares are $7 for adults, $4.50 for students and seniors, and $3.50 for children under 14. The return trip from the islands is free. In the summer, try to go on a weekday: sunny summer weekends see ferry lineups more than an hour long. In other seasons, the ferries do still operate, but less often. The Toronto Island ferry cannot be used to reach the Island airport.
  1. GO Transit - GO Transit is the commuter rail and bus service that connects cities and towns across the greater Toronto area. It reaches as far north as Barrie, west to Hamilton, and a bit east of Oshawa. It also runs summer weekend service to Niagara Falls. You can find schedules and calculate fares on the GO Transit web site. GO trains and buses arrive in downtown Toronto at Union Station. Service is much less frequent than the TTC — often an hour between trips — and some routes only run during rush hour.
  1. The ROM - Address: 100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6, Canada Phone: +1 416-586-8000, E-mail: [email protected]
  2. The AGO - Address: 317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada Phone: +1 416-979-6648. E-mail: [email protected]
  3. Bata Shoe Museum - Address: 327 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W7, Canada Phone: +1 416-979-7799. E-mail:[email protected]
  4. The Design Exchange - Address: TD Centre, 234 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5K 1B2, Canada Phone: +1 416-363-6121. E-mail:[email protected]
  5. The Textile Museum of Canada - Address: 55 Centre Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 2H5, Canada Phone: +1 416-599-5321. E-mail: [email protected]
  6. Riverdale Park - Address: 550 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 2N6, Canada Phone: +1 416-392-2489. E-mail: [email protected]
  7. Riverdale Farm - Address: 201 Winchester St, Toronto, ON M4X 1B8, Canada Phone: +1 416-392-6794
  8. Toronto Music Garden - Address: 479 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5V 3M8, Canada Phone: +1 416-338-0338
  9. Centre Island - Address: Toronto,Ontario Phone: -E-mail:-
  10. Ashbridges Bay - Address: 1561 Lake Shore Blvd E, Toronto, ON M4L 3W6, Canada Phone: +1 416-392-8186. E-mail:[email protected]
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