8 Best Tips for Travelling to Toronto
July 12, 2015
July 12, 2015
Like most big cities, there are a few things you need to know when travelling to Toronto. The biggest city in Canada is still fairly small in comparison to the likes of London, Paris, or New York. Yet, what it lacks in geographical vastness, it makes up for in culture and charm. Below are the Best Tips for Travelling in Toronto so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb, and blend like a local.
Well okay, there are exceptions to this rule but in Ontario and most of Canada, the general rule of thumb is – if there is a service provided you will most likely need to tip. Restaurants are a big one. Wait staff is paid below minimum wage because they rely very heavily on tips (15-20% is the standard). If you are in a salon, taking a cab, or even being helped by hotel staff make sure you tip.
While there are a number of tourist attractions in Toronto – and it seems as if more and more are being built as Toronto gears itself to be a major tourist destination – walking through the Toronto neighbourhoods is still the best way to experience the city. If you are centrally located – you can get pretty much everywhere by walking. Key neighbourhoods to note: Distillery District (my favourite), Kensington Market, Yorkville, Queen West, Entertainment District and Dundas Square.
Yes we know, our public transportation is not even comparable to come of the other major cities but we’re getting there. Our subway only has two lines; Yonge-University Line (running North and South in a big U shape) and the Bloor-Danforth Line (running East and West in a straight line). If you are travelling out of the city Go Transit is your best bet. For other destinations in the downtown core there is the streetcar, although I do advise against taking them in the heat of summer during rush hour!
Seriously. I’m told it can be an acquired taste, and for those who aren’t used to it, the drink can take some getting used to. It’s a bit of a competition in Canada and especially Toronto on how elegant a restaurant can make a Caesar. One of my favourites remains the Rock Lobster Caesar which comes with a full lobster tail!
Unfortunately, many don't know about the island or it's natural beauty, and it's often overlooked. The Toronto Island is one of the best parts of the city. The picturesque 15 minute ferry ride across the lake to the island is just the beginning. There are things to do for everyone – a small theme park (Centreville), sandy beaches, a boardwalk, biking trails, lots of gardens and wide-open areas for picnicking.
I can appreciate that sports aren’t always a persons thing (can’t say I understand it) but you absolutely must head to a game. If you’re travelling to Toronto in the fall or winter, the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Toronto Raptors make for a great night out. If visiting in the summer, catch a Toronto Blue Jays Game in the open dome, or a Toronto FC game at the BMO open stadium.
Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Toronto exemplifies this in the various culturally focused neighbourhoods and the food. You’ll find anything and everything you’re looking for if you know where to look. Little Italy, China Town, Little Portugal, Korea Town and the likes can all be found in and around the heart of the city.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a Torontonian who doesn’t love to sit out on a patio on a nice summer day, have a drink and people watch. Take some time and enjoy some of the best patios around in Toronto. A few of my favourites include; Amsterdam Brewhouse, Hunters Landing, Java House, and Porch.
So there you have it. 8 quick tips to remember and note when travelling to Toronto. Let us know if you have an extra tip to add!
July 12, 2015