Lake Rosseau, Ontario, June 16-19, 2013
TORONTO and RELATED LINKS
TORONTO blends its multicultural heritage, 80 ethnic groups speaking 100 languages, with urban chic. It has doffed its Victorian past to emerge as a cosmopolitan financial, industrial and cultural center. It has one of North America's busiest stock exchanges and the world's third-largest theater center (after New York and London). With nearly 5,000 restaurants and cafes, fine shopping, soaring futuristic architecture (and tiny Victorian and Edwardian gems), museums, galleries, opera, ballet, symphony and a people-friendly waterfront, Toronto is a pleasant place to conduct business or to go sightseeing.
Language English dominant; little French spoken. Large ethnic populations of Chinese, Italians, Greeks and others have brought dual-language street signs. Native tongues abound.
Until recently, all telephone numbers were within area code 416. Now surrounding
municipalities are covered by area code 905 and all telephone calls are 10 digits long. If you are within the city area, dial 416 or 905 before the local number; you don't have to dial 1 if it is not a
Passport/Visa Requirements Australians and citizens of the U.K. need passport and proof of onward passage. No visa needed for up to six months. Visitors from the U.S. need proof of U.S. citizenship (passports or birth certificates for you and your children, together with photo ID). U.S. citizens not yet age 18 must present a letter from their parents giving permission to enter Canada. U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country must have a valid passport.
Time Zone Eastern Standard Time, five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. Daylight Saving Time is observed from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.
Voltage Requirements 110 volts. U.S. appliances can be used without converters; visitors from other countries will probably need to bring an adapter.
Tipping Restaurants 15%-20% before taxes; taxis about 10%; bellboys Can$1 per bag; housekeeping personnel Can$1.50-$2 per day.
Sales or Use Tax Harmonized sales tax (13%) applyies to most goods and services, though not groceries. Rebates available for those visiting less than a month (get forms from duty-free shops at the border and at airports offering departures from Canada).
Currency One- and two-dollar bills have been replaced by coins. The brass-colored one-dollar coin is known affectionately as "the loonie" because of the loon depicted on it. More irreverently, the two-toned two-dollar coin is known as "the toonie."
Currently, Canadian currency is more or less at par with that of the U.S., but this could change any time ...
Note : All prices quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars, shown Can$.
Banking Hours Major banks open at least Monday-Friday 9 am-4 pm and often 8 am-8 pm. Some branches open Saturdays. Foreign bank branches can be found in the downtown area and tend to be open Monday-Friday 9 am-3 pm.
Currency Exchange It's economically advantageous to convert U.S. dollars to Canadian dollars. Plus, U.S. dollars are not generally accepted except for restaurant or taxi tips.
ATMs accept major foreign bank cards (and credit cards with a PIN prior to travel). Canadian dollars are dispensed at the going rate of exchange. Using a debit card, your financial institution will charge a small ATM fee, but you avoid paying the larger commissions charged by Bureaux de Change. However, don't rely on just one debit or credit card to obtain cash.
American Express Travel Services, Royal York Arcade, 100 Front St. W., Unit 133-134, phone 416-363-3883. Thomas Cook Group, 10 King St. E. (at Yonge), phone 416-366-1961. Banks offering currency exchange proliferate in the downtown financial center, especially around the Bay-Yonge/King-Queen corridor.
Disabled Advisory Community Information Centre of Metro Toronto, 425 Adelaide St. W., 2nd Floor, Toronto M5V 3C1, phone 416-392-0505. Wheel-Trans provides transportation services: phone 416-393-4111.
Emergency Number 911. Police headquarters: 416-324-2222.
Emergency Health Care Emergency room closest to the airport: Queensway General Hospital, 150 Sherway Dr., Etobicoke, phone 416-259-6671. Closest to downtown: Toronto Hospital, 200 Elizabeth, phone 416-340-3111; Mount Sinai, 600 University, phone 416-596-4200. Midtown Toronto: North York General Hospital, 4001 Leslie St., North York, phone 416-756-6000.
Emergency Pharmacies Most Shoppers Drug Marts are open until 10 pm, but a few stay open 24 hours with a pharmacist on duty. A couple of central locations are: downtown at 700 Bay St. (at Gerrard), phone 416-979-2424; and midtown at 2345 Yonge St. (at Eglinton), phone 416-487-5411. For information on store hours throughout the city, call 800-363-1020.
Mail and Package Service Postal outlets are located in retail stores and shopping malls. Canada Post (Central Office), open Monday-Friday 8 am-5:45 pm, 36 Adelaide St. E., phone 416-979-8822. Federal Express, phone 800-463-3339; Dyment Distribution Services, phone 416-421-2920.
Newspapers and Magazines Four daily newspapers: The Toronto Star , The Globe and Mail , The Financial Post and The Toronto Sun .
Best entertainment listings: in Now , a free, alternative weekly available for free in restaurants and stores. Major magazines: Toronto Life and Saturday Night .
For worldwide periodicals: the main store of Lichtman's News & Books at 144 Yonge St., phone 416-368-7390, and the Great Canadian News Company in BCE Place at Yonge and Front, phone 416-363-2242.
For More Information
Tourism Toronto, 207 Queens Quay W., Suite 590, P.O. Box 126, Toronto,
ON M5J 1A7, Canada, phone 416-203-2600 or 800-363-1990. For provincial
information, call or visit the Ministry of Tourism at Ontario Travelinx
in the Eaton Centre at the corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street W.,
Most hotels have business centers. Additional resources are listed below.
Audiovisual EquipmentGabriel Audio-Visual , 95 Ontario St., downtown, phone 416-360-6848; Videoscope , 31 Prince Andrew Place, in the northwest, phone 416-449-3030.
Cellular-Phone Rental Bell Mobility Rental Express , 100 Front St. W. (Royal York Hotel), phone 416-366-2797.
Computer RentalMicrocomputer Rentals , 80 Park Lawn Rd., Suite 206, in the west end, phone 416-251-6396; Electro Rent Corporation , 955 Meyerside Dr., Mississauga, phone 416-675-3483.
Internet AccessCyberland Cafe , 257 Yonge St. (corner Dundas), phone 416-955-9628; Insomnia Cafe , 563 Bloor St. (corner Bathurst), phone 416-588-3907.
Convention CenterMetro Toronto Convention Centre , 255 Front St. W., phone 415-585-8000.
Convention Services and Meeting Planning Toronto Convention and Visitors Association , 207 Queens Quay W., Suite 590, Toronto M5J 1A7, Canada, phone 416-203-2600; The Estates of Sunnybrook at Maclean House or Vaughan Estate, 2075 Bayview Ave., Toronto M4N 3M5, Canada, phone 416-487-3841.
Messenger ServiceCycle Messengers , 606 King St. W., phone 416-504-5557; United Messengers , phone 905-738-6447.
PhotocopyingKinko's , 459 Bloor St. W., phone 416-928-0110, and 505 University, phone 416-595-2679; The Printing House , 181 University Ave., phone 416-867-1588.
Interpreters Berlitz Translation Services , 94 Cumberland Ave.,
Comedy Yuk Yuk's (best and most caustic local talent), 2335 Yonge St. (at Eglinton), phone 416-967-6425; The Second City (the launching pad for John Candy, Dan Akroyd, Rick Moranis and other stars), 56 Blue Jays Way, phone 416-863-1111.
Live MusicBamboo Club (hot reggae, calypso), 312 Queen St. W., phone 416-593-5771; Cameron (alternative, pop, rock), 408 Queen St. W., phone 416-703-0811.
Nightclubs and Dancing Reservoir Lounge (swing, jump blues and boogie woogie), 52 Wellington E. (at Church), phone 416-955-0887; La Classique (salsa, merengue and cumbia dancing, Latin crowd), 1069 St. Clair W., phone 416-658-7581.
Taverns and PubsThe
Jack Russell (downtown Scottish pub), 27 Wellesley Ave. E., phone 416-967-9442;
(casual gay bar), 465 Church St., phone 416-975-8899.
Toronto Symphony : Performs mid September-mid June at Roy Thompson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. Tickets (Can$20-$90) through Ticketmaster (416-872-1111).
Canadian Opera Company : Performs at the Hummingbird Centre, 1 Front St. E. and in other venues in the summer. Phone 416-363-8231 or 800-250-4653.
Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts : Headquarters for hundreds of musical, theatrical and dance events. 1 Front St. E. For schedule, call 416-393-7469. For tickets, call Ticketmaster (416-872-2262).
Toronto boasts 300 theatrical companies and 70 stages. Two of them are
the Pantages Theatre (site of the long-running Phantom of the
Opera ), 263 Yonge St., phone 416-872-1212; and Factory Theatre
(Canadian plays in a renovated mansion). 125 Bathurst St., phone 416-504-9971.
Expect to pay within these general guidelines, based on the cost of a dinner for one, excluding taxes, drinks and tip: $ = less than Can$15; $$ = Can$15-$25; $$$ = Can$25-$70; and $$$$ = more than Can$70. All restaurants listed take most major credit cards.
Best in TownNorth 44 (innovative cuisine, best creme brulee in town), 2537 Yonge St. (near Eglinton), phone 416-487-4897, $$$$; Centro (French/Mediterranean menu with regional ingredients), 2472 Yonge St. (near Eglinton), phone 416-483-2211, $$$$; Scaramouche (romantic, panoramic view, dressy), 1 Benvenuto Place (Avenue Road near St. Clair), phone 416-961-8011, $$$-$$$$.
Hot and TrendyPangaea (tranquil and refined, afternoon tea also), 1221 Bay St. (at Bloor), phone 416-920-2323, $$$; Rosewater Supper Club (place to be seen or have tapas in the lounge), 19 Toronto St., phone 416-214-5888, $$$; Canoe (superb Canadian cuisine, great view), 66 Wellington St., phone 416-364-0054, $$$; Xango (delicacies from Latin locales, open Thursday-Saturday only), 106 John St., phone 416-593-4407, $$-$$$.
Local FavoritesMessis (inventive pastas, warm atmosphere), 97 Harbord St. (near Spadina), phone 416-920-2186, $$; Southern Accent (cozy Cajun place), 595 Markham St., phone 416-536-3211, $$; Ouzeri (raucous Greek), 500A Danforth Ave., phone 416-778-0500, $-$$; Jerusalem (Middle Eastern fare uptown west), 955 Eglinton Ave. W., phone 416-783-6494, $-$$; Rodney's Oyster House (bustling with devoted oyster fans), 209 Adelaide St. E. (at Jarvis), phone 416-363-8105, $$.
Italian and FrenchGrano (rustic, homey Italian), 2035 Yonge St. (at Eglinton), phone 416-440-1986, $$-$$$; Le Select (Left Bank bistro food and atmosphere, zinc bar), 328 Queen St. W., phone 416-596-6405, $-$$.
Garden (fresh, MSG-free Cantonese), 331 Spadina Ave., phone 416-593-9524,
$-$$$; Ematei (authentic Japanese, fresh sushi), 30 St. Patrick
St., phone 416-340-0472, $-$$$; Young Thailand (reliably good food
at two locations), 81 Church St., phone 416-368-1368 and the nicest one at 165 John St., phone 416-593-9291;
Best Department Stores Holt Renfrew , 50 Bloor St. W., phone 416-922-2333; Eaton's , Eaton Centre, 290 Yonge St., phone 416-343-2111; The Bay , corner of Yonge and Queen, phone 416-861-6112.
Trendy Shopping Areas Queen Street West (west of University Avenue to Manning Street)a SoHo-type area with international boutiques, bazaars and cafes; Yorkville or Bloor/Yorkville the heart of Toronto's high-fashion district; Bloor Street West top-quality shops, European bakeries and cafes.
Malls Eaton Centre , get off the subway at Yonge and Dundas. From there you can enter the underground city , 6 mi/10 km of underground malls and concourses underneath the downtown financial district.
Queen's Quay Terminal (shops on Toronto's waterfront) 207 Queens Quay W., phone 416-203-0510; Hazelton Lanes Shopping Centre (downtown in the fashionable Yorkville district), 55 Avenue Rd. (north of Bloor), phone 416-968-0853.
Browsing areas flush with curio shops are King Street East and Queen
Street West for decorator items, and the intersection of Avenue
Road and Davenport Road (the "Ave-Dav" area) for antique furniture
The CN Tower : At 1,815 ft/553 m, one of the world's tallest structures. Revolving restaurant, nightclub and observation deck. 301 Front St. W., phone 416-360-8500.
Queen's Quay/Harbourfront Area : Galleries, arts and crafts studios, theaters, shops and restaurants. Phone 416-973-3000 or 416-973-4600.
Ontario Place : Lakeshore park, beautifully landscaped, with picnic spots, lagoons, an IMAX theater, amphitheaters, pubs and restaurants. 955 Lake Shore Blvd., phone 416-314-9900 or 416-314-9911.
The Toronto Islands : A ferry-boat ride from the city's downtown core, with more than 6 mi/10 km of trails.
Casa Loma : Idiosyncratic castle estate and gardens, complete with secret passages, built in 1917. 1 Austin Terrace, phone 416-923-1171.
Skydome : Home of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. Organized tours are given. Call 416-341-1770.
Chinatown : Actually, there are three, all bustling with shops and restaurants: On Spadina (between College and Dundas); on Dundas, around the Art Gallery of Ontario; and around Broadview at Gerrard.
Royal Ontario Museum : Canada's largest. Primarily a natural history museum, with a Chinese collection, dinosaur exhibit, Egyptian gallery and bat cave, as well as an exemplary silver and glass collection. 100 Queen's Park, phone 416-586-5551.
Art Gallery of
Ontario (AGO ): Impressionist paintings, the Canadian Group
of Seven and "Art in the Age of van Gogh." Also the largest public collection
of Henry Moore's work in the world. 317 Dundas St. W., phone 416-979-6648
Pearson International Airport, 30-60 minutes from the heart of downtown, depending on time of day. Toronto Island Airport is on Hanlans Point, one of the Toronto Islands. It handles small aircraft and commuter shuttles to such cities as Montreal and Ottawa.
Taxis Stands at the main entrance of every terminal. Fare to the city center: around Can$50. A dependable Airflight taxi charges around Can$55.
Rental Cars Five rental car companies operate out of Pearson International: Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty and National Tilden. Within shuttle reach but off-site are Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Discount and Pay-less.
Shuttles/Buses Pacific Western's Airport Express operates a bus shuttle between Pearson International Airport (Arrivals level, Terminals 1, 2, 3) and most major downtown hotels every 20 minutes. Call 905-564-6333. Hotel Airporter provides a convenient shuttle to airport area hotels, phone 416-798-2424.
For further information please contact: