Getting around Toronto

Public transport

Toronto has a well-developed public transport system, operated by two companies. Principal services in the city centre are run by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) (tel: (416) 393 4636; website: www.ttc.ca) and include subway and rapid transit lines, as well as tram and bus routes.

Toronto's three subway lines operate Monday to Saturday 0600-0130 and Sunday 0900-0130. The arms of the U-shaped Yonge-University-Spadina subway extend from Union in the south to Finch and Downsview to the north. The Bloor-Danforth subway connects Etobicoke in the west with Scarborough in the east, where the Scarborough Rapid Transit basically provides an eastward extension to the line. The east-west Sheppard subway serves northeast Toronto.

Streetcars (trams) and buses operate throughout the city centre approximately 0500-0030/0100 all week (although service on many routes begins later and is less frequent on weekends and holidays). These are supplemented by the 'Blue Night Network' night services from 0130-0500.
Two types of day passes are available: a pass for one person, good any day of the week; or a group/family pass for two adults or combinations of adults and children, good on weekends and holidays.

Taxis

Within the city centre, taxis can be hailed at almost any time and also can be found at taxi ranks or ordered by telephone. Most taxis operate as part of one of Toronto's major dispatching companies - Diamond Taxi (tel: (416) 366 6868), Crown Taxi (tel: (416) 750 7878) or Co-op Cabs (tel: (416) 504 2667). Taxi drivers are commonly tipped around 15% of the fare.

Driving

Traffic is heaviest during the rush hours (0700-0930 and 1600-1930), particularly on the major motorways leading in and out of the city. Although there is a lot of street parking available, it is notoriously difficult for drivers to find a spot and many opt for the simpler option of parking in a private car park. Canpark (tel: (416) 482 2203) operates a number of 24-hour locations in the city centre

Car hire

All major North American car hire companies are represented in Toronto. Those accepting international reservations include Budget, 141 Bay Street (tel: (416) 364 7104; www.budget.com), Discount, 730 Yonge Street (tel: (416) 921 1212; www.discountcar.com), Hertz, 65 Front Street West (tel: (416) 364 2080; www.hertz.com), National, 65 Front Street West (tel: (416) 364 4191; www.nationalcar.com), and Thrifty, 191 Parliament Street (tel: (416) 868 0350; www.thrifty.com).

Drivers must be at least 21 years old and pay by credit card. Those aged under 25 may have to pay an extra fee and choose from a limited range of vehicles. North American and European visitors may use national licences. Visitors from other countries are often required to have an International Driving Permit as well.

Bicycle hire

Bicycle hire in Toronto can be arranged through Cyclepath, 1510 Danforth Avenue (tel: (416) 463 5346; www.thecyclepath.com), and Wheel Excitement, 249 Queen's Quay West, Unit 110 (tel: (416) 260 9000; www.wheelexcitement.ca). Maps and information on cycling in the city are available from the Toronto Cycling Committee (tel: (416) 392 7592; www.toronto.ca/cycling).

Edited by Tina Banerjee
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