A Mini Guide to Travel in Toronto
Planning a visit to Toronto is easy (ahem, especially when you have a crew like us to show you the way!): we have two international airports, a safe and easy-to-navigate public transit system, attractions to keep you entertained and fabulous hotels to serve as your home away from home.
However, there are a few things you should know when arranging your Toronto getaway. So as experts in Toronto travel, we decided to put together this quick guide to help you out. Whether you’re visiting us from abroad or coming from the coast, these are things to consider when packing your suitcase along with other tips to ensure a smooth stay in Toronto.
The voltage in Toronto is 120 V with a frequency of 60 HZ. Plugs have two or three prongs (type A and B); this is the same as used in the United States, Japan and some of South America. Bring an adapter if you’re unsure your electrical appliance will work.
If you’ve booked a hotel during your stay, you can likely count on there being the following amenities (but be sure to double check with the property):
A hair dryer
Extra phone chargers (in newer hotels)
Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, soap, and sometimes even toothbrushes and toothpaste
Perhaps one of Toronto’s best features is its diversity and open-mindedness. We’re not hung up on culinary traditions or expecting everyone to adhere to our tastes, and you’ll find this reflected in our palettes.
Dietary restrictions aren’t a problem in Toronto. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or maybe just someone who likes having options, you can find something suited for you. (And be sure to check out our list of suggestions here!)
When budgeting for your trip to Toronto, there are two main things to factor: tipping and taxes. Toronto has a pretty non-negotiable tipping policy, and since it’s a large city with a high cost of living, you should anticipate adding at least 15% and up to 20% extra to your restaurant bill. Tipping is also expected for other services. For taxis, either tip 15% or round up the fare, depending on the cost and length of the ride. At hotels, anywhere from $2.00 to $5.00 per day for housekeeping is appropriate. And let’s not forget about tour guides! For group tours, any tip amount is a bonus and we recommend tipping $10.00 to $15.00 per person for private tours.
You’ll also want to consider taxes, which aren’t included in the price you’ll see on goods. In Toronto, there’s a 13% sales tax not included on listed costs. This tax applies to food and beverage as well. However, there's an 8% reduction for prepared meals under $4.00.
As for the currency, Canada uses the Canadian dollar. While the United States dollar is widely accepted, you won’t get a good rate on demand. To get more for your money, visit your local bank or a currency exchange in the city to buy Canadian dollars in advance.
Weather and Climate
Don’t be fooled by Canadian winters — for the cold temperatures we experience in the winter are equally hot and humid summer days. Check the weather before you come and add some backup layers should you need them. Accuweather and Dark Sky are two of our favourite apps for keeping up on weather trends.
How to Get Around
Coming in from a long flight? Don’t fuss with local transportation or a cab (which will set you back approximately 60 CAD one way). Guided Toronto can set you up with a meet and greet service and private driver who can take you to where you need to go — and make the ride fun and informative on the way!
If you decide to take on the journey yourself, the UP Express is another option to get from the airport to downtown. If you booked a hotel in the west end or the downtown core, then you can expect this train to get you from Toronto’s Pearson International airport to the Bloor Station (west end) in 17 minutes and Union Station (downtown) in 25 minutes. An adult round-trip ticket between the airport and downtown will cost you $ 24.70. From Union or Bloor, you can connect with a taxi, an Uber or the TTC (Toronto’s transit system) to get to your final destination.
Within the city:
During summer months, you’ll find most locals getting around the city either by bike, public transit or on their own two feet. Toronto’s bike share program offers over 3,750 bikes at 360 stations across the city, available 24/7 for $7.00 a day or $15.00 for a three-day pass.
As for public transit, the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) is pretty easy to navigate. A network of buses, subways and streetcars, you can get pretty well anywhere you need to go around the city and its suburbs. Download the Transit Now app for the most accurate timetable.
Is it too cold outside or you’re simply unsure about getting around on your own? Ask us about our private car and driver services or when in doubt, you can always turn to Uber.