TRAVEL INFORMATION

TORONTO, CANADA

BANKING

Regular banking hours in Canada are 8:30am to 4:30pm., Monday to Friday, with extended hours including weekends at some locations. Visitors who wish to cash cheques or require other banking services are advised to check times of operation with the institutions. Main branches of Canadian chartered banks, particularly in major centres, are equipped to exchange foreign currency.

Most banks have automatic teller machines, which can be accessed 24 hours a day, using bank or credit cards on major international banking networks such as Cirrus, Plus and Interac.

CURRENCY

The monetary system in Canada is based on dollars and cents. Foreign currencies may be readily exchanged at banks, your hotel front desk or at currency exchange bureaus located throughout the city. Bank debit or credit cards are the most convenient means of getting cash at the many 24-hour automated banking machines (ATMs). As in the U.S. and Europe these machines accept cards with Plus, Interac and Cirrus symbols and are easily found in Toronto. Many Canadian businesses will accept U.S. currency and traveler's cheques, as well as major credit cards (Visa, Master Card, and American Express). For current rate of exchange information, please visit: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca

CLIMATE

Toronto experiences four distinct seasons with warm, humid summers and cold winters. The summer months can experience long stretches of humid weather, usually in the range from 23 to 31°C. An average year sees Toronto experience 2,066 hours of sunshine. Spring and Autumn are transitional seasons that generally see mild or cool temperatures with alternating dry and wet periods.

CUSTOMS/ENTRY

Overseas visitors require a valid passport and may require other documentation such as an entry visa (ask your travel agent). For more information on what is required to visit Canada, Visa's and other important Customs information, please visit: www.cic.gc.ca.

LANGUAGE

The official languages in Canada are English and French.

TIME

Toronto, Ontario lies within the Eastern Standard Time Zone, i.e. GMT -5 hours

ELECTRICITY

The electrical current is the same in Canada as in the United States: 110 volts AC at 60 Hz. Adapters are required for appliances from other countries.

MEDICAL INSURANCE

Visitors are not covered by Canadian health insurance plans. Check with your personal medical plan before leaving your home country to ensure you have adequate traveling insurance. Delegates are urged to take out insurance to cover loss incurred in the case of cancellation, medical expenses and damage to or loss of personal effects whenever traveling outside of their own country.

SMOKING LAWS

Smoking is not permitted by law in public buildings, on public transit, in shopping malls, and in most restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and casinos. Many restaurants and other establishments have designated smoking areas such as patios or outside heated seating areas. Please smoke in designated areas only.

TIPPING

The standard and customary gratuity in most restaurants is 15%.

GETTING AROUND

PUBLIC TRANSIT

There are a number of transit agencies serving the communities around Toronto including GO Transit connecting the city with surrounding communities and the Toronto Transit Commission, serving Downtown Toronto . You can navigate your way around Toronto easily using the TTC bus, subway or streetcar services. The TTC uses a single fare system, to change between the different modes of transportation or routes a transfer is sometimes required from either your driver or from a machine in a subway station. The TTC will accept cash but offers discounted tokens, day, week and monthly passes. The day passes being particularly popular for visitors. For more information and maps on the subway, bus and streetcar routes please visit http://www.ttc.ca/Routes/index.jsp

GETTING TO DOWNTOWN TORONTO FROM THE AIRPORT 

UNION PEARSON EXPRESS

Union Pearson Express is a dedicated air-rail link that speeds travellers from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Union Station in the heart of downtown Toronto. It’s fast, reliable, and the trip only takes 25 minutes, with trains leaving every 15 minutes between 5:30am and 1:00am. 

The Up Express station is located in Terminal 1 next to the Terminal Link Train, for more information please visit www.upexpress.com

TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION (TTC)

The TTC offers travel options from Pearson Airport to several downtown Toronto areas. All day accessible airport bus service is available from the following subway stations: Kipling Station, Lawrence Station and Eglinton West. For more information, please visit: http://www.ttc.ca/Riding_the_TTC/Airport_service.jsp

TAXIS

Taxi service in Toronto is easy to find and there are many taxi companies to choose from. Fares are standard, metered and non-negotiable.

CYCLING

Whether you arrived by bicycle, are renting one in Toronto or using our BIXI bike share system, there are many resources to explore Toronto by bike including a city wide Cycling Map.

WALKING

Toronto is an accessible, walkable city that is easy to navigate. Toronto is laid out in a north-south, east-west grid with Lake Ontario at the south. For street maps look for an Infopillar on the street with an "I" and 15 minute walking map or vicinity maps in the subway stations.

There are a number of Toronto maps available including a Visitor map available in most hotels and Tourism Toronto Visitor Guide is available at sites such as the Toronto Information Desk located at 20 Dundas Street West inside the Ontario Travel Information Centre. There are also a number of Toronto apps rich in information on things to do and how to get around.

Stepping off the street, Toronto's Underground PATH is an over 28 kilometers covered trail of shopping, entertainment and other services linking the downtown while Parks and Trails link all corners of the city.

NEIGHBOURHOODS

Old Toronto is home to many historically wealthy residential enclaves such as Yorkville, Rosedale, The Annex, Forest Hill, Lawrence Park, Lytton Park, Deer Park, Moore Park and Casa Loma. Bustling commercial and cultural areas can be found East and West of the downtown core such as Kensington Market, Riverdale and Chinatown.