All the information you'll need to know for planning your trip to Toronto!
Toronto has 2 international airports: Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). Toronto Pearson is Canada’s primary airport with travel connections to every continent and also ranks among the top 30 world airports for passenger traffic and aircraft movement. The airport is also less than a 90-minute flight away for over 100 million Americans. The UP Express train quickly connects Toronto Pearson and downtown Toronto with a 25-minute direct transfer.
Located right in the downtown core is Billy Bishop, served by both Air Canada and Porter Airlines. A smaller airport, Billy Bishop primarily connects to Canadian and U.S. destinations, while being easily accessible by a 5-minute ferry or its downtown pedestrian tunnel.
As a 4-season city, any time is a great time to visit Toronto. In the summer it’s warm, festival-filled, and brimming with lively patios. In the wintertime, it shines with a sparkling skyline, winter markets, colourful street art, dreamy snowfalls and of course, skating. Autumn in Toronto is crisp with beautifully changing leaves, while spring marks the start of patio season and High Park’s whimsical cherry blossoms. Whatever your favourite season, Toronto wears it well.
Toronto is a trendy, cosmopolitan city whose fashion depends on the time of year. Light summer clothing from shorts to dresses to sandals are ideal during the city’s warmer months, while boots, parkas, hats, gloves and scarves are recommended for wintertime, as temperatures drop significantly. Spring and autumn usually call for light jackets, closed shoes and scarves, depending on the day-to-day changing temperatures. Overall, the city’s look varies from contemporary street fashion to business casual or chic.
Toronto offers visitors world-class products at reasonable prices. The favourable exchange rate doesn’t hurt either. The Canadian dollar is Toronto’s currency with coins called loonies ($1) and toonies ($2) for denominations under $5. Since 2013, the bills are made of polymer with interesting design elements – recently, Viola Desmond became the first non-royal woman to appear on Canada’s $10 bill. U.S. dollars are accepted in many Toronto establishments, however you’ll receive change in Canadian funds and exchange rates differ from merchant to merchant. You’ll find cash ATM machines all over the city, including all banks, most hotels and shopping centres. Credit cards are also accepted at all major retailers. Currency exchange is available at kiosks in the city and at the airport, and most recently the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada have agreed to accept Chinese mobile payment options: WeChat Pay and Alipay.
Canada has two official languages: English and French. In addition to these, the top 5 languages spoken in Toronto are Chinese, Italian, Tamil, Portuguese, and Spanish. Since 50% of the city’s population is born outside of Canada, 180 languages and dialects are spoken in Toronto.
There are a number of hospitals throughout Toronto including Toronto General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital, and the Hospital of Sick Children, to name a few. Unless the patient is covered by Canada’s health plan, hospital visits do come with a fee. However, medical travel insurance is always an option for travelers and is recommended. If your issue is minor, Toronto pharmacies and walk-in clinics are a quicker and less pricey option.
If you’re happy with the service you receive, a 15 to 20% tip on the pre-tax bill is a standard expression of appreciation. Note that some restaurants automatically add this gratuity when serving large groups, so be sure to check your bill. Tips are also expected for services such as haircuts, shoe shines, and taxi rides. 15 to 20% is standard for these services as well.
Explore Toronto with one of North America’s best transport systems, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). With subways, busses, and streetcars at every corner, getting around the city is a breeze. A single fare takes you anywhere, on a one-way trip. You can transfer between subways, streetcars and busses, and always keep your transfer as proof of payment.
Go Transit is Ontario’s inter-regional bus and train service. It links Toronto with its surrounding Greater Toronto Areas and beyond. Go Trains and busses mainly depart from Toronto’s Union Station at regular intervals throughout the day.
Other forms of transportation include taxis – there are a handful of taxi companies in Toronto – as well as Uber, and cycling. Toronto has cycling paths throughout the city that can get you where you’re going safely.
Canada introduced a new entry requirement, known as an eTA, for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid visa. Entry requirements for other methods of travel (land and sea) have not changed. Eligible travelers can apply online for an eTA. As of March 15, 2016, this entry is mandatory and travelers will need an eTA before they can board a flight to Canada.
Toronto is a four season city, which means that the temperatures vary greatly depending on when you visit. In the wintertime, temperatures can drop as low as -35° or rise to a mild 5°. The average temperature during winter is usually -10° with some snowfall. Spring in Toronto is usually rainy with temperatures that range between 5° to 20°, while summer is mostly sunny with temperatures between 20° to 35°. Although mostly sunny during its warmer months, Toronto is susceptible to stormy weather due to its high humidity. In the autumn the city is both sunny and rainy depending on the month, with average temperatures of 15° to -5°, with occasional snowfall. Because it borders Lake Ontario, Toronto is also noticeably windy year round.