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Getting around Toronto

Public transport

Toronto has a well-developed public transport system. Principal services in the city centre are run by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) (tel: +1 416 393 3030; www.ttc.ca) and include subway and rapid transit lines, as well as tram and bus routes.

Toronto's subway lines operate Monday to Saturday 0600-0130 and Sunday 0900-0130. 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 all-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.


Within the city centre, you can hail taxis at almost any time, pick them up at taxi ranks or order them by telephone.

Most taxis operate as part of one of Toronto's major dispatching companies - Diamond Taxi (tel: +1 416 366 6868), Crown Taxi (tel: +1 416 240 0000) or Co-op Cabs (tel: +1 416 504 2667). Taxi drivers are commonly tipped around 15% of the fare.


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.

Car hire

All major North American car hire companies are represented in Toronto, including Budget (tel: +1 416 364 7104; www.budget.ca), Hertz (tel: +1 416 364 2080; www.hertz.ca) and Thrifty (tel: +1 416 515 0366; 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

You can hire bikes from Cyclepath, 1510 Danforth Avenue (tel: +1 416 463 5346; www.thecyclepath.com), and Wheel Excitement, 249 Queen's Quay West, Unit 106 (tel: +1 416 260 9000; www.wheelexcitement.ca).

Alternatively, try out the city's bikeshare scheme, Bike Share Toronto (tel: +1 855 898 2378; www.bikesharetoronto.com). Visitors can buy 24-hour or 72-hour passes, after which the first 30 minutes of any journey are free.

Maps and information on cycling in the city are available from the City of Toronto (www.toronto.ca/cycling).

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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Featured Hotels


Super 8 Downtown

Super 8 is a cheap and cheerful hotel set close to the Gardiner Expressway in Chinatown. With decent continental breakfasts, a gym and massage room, plus flatscreen TVs, microwaves and fridges in all rooms, make this an excellent budget choice. There are hot tub suites available at reasonable rates too.

Cambridge Suites

Located in the heart of the Financial District, this all-suites hotel is designed with the business traveller in mind. The experienced staff can handle all kinds of business occasions, from state-of-the-art presentations to informal breakfast meetings. All rooms have work areas that are comfortable, well designed and feature two double-line telephones and high-speed Wi-Fi access.

Hazelton Hotel

Since opening in 2007, the Hazelton in the ritzy Yorkville district has drawn a steady stream of actors and hipsters, many attracted by its proximity to luxury boutiques and Toronto International Film Festival events. Amenities include a lap pool, fitness centre, spa, private screening room and 24-hour room service.

The Westin Harbour Castle

This is a mammoth 38-storey, twin-towered hotel with 977 rooms that looks straight out onto Lake Ontario. As well as boasting spectacular views, the Harbour Castle features 70,000 square foot of meeting space, tennis courts, an indoor pool, whirlpool and giant windows throughout. The rooms are exceptionally comfortable and well equipped.

Fairmont Royal York Hotel

The tallest building in the British Empire when it opened in 1929, the massive Royal York even now is a prominent feature of Toronto's Lake Ontario skyline. Amenities include a business centre, indoor lap pool, 24-hour fitness centre, spa and children's wading pool.

The Strathcona

A popular budget hotel, The Strathcona is located directly across from the city's main railway hub, Union Station. Aiming itself at the budget business traveller, it provides corporate rooms with Wi-Fi access and has a full service meeting room and 24-hour business centre. All rooms are en suite.