Toronto & Travel Information
One of Canada’s best kept secrets, Toronto is on par with New York City, San Francisco and Chicago when it comes to cultural attractions and urban sophistication.
The landmark CN Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the world. The elevator to the top for a breathtaking view of the city, Lake Ontario and more. Stroll next door and experience Ripley’s Aquarium as you explore the wonders of the sea or a catch a Blue Jays Baseball game at Rogers Centre or just walk around the massive engineering marvel. Check out the Royal Ontario Museum, the largest in Canada with its fascinating archaeology and natural history exhibits, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, with a fine collection of European and Canadian works. You won’t want to miss the electric shops and restaurants on Queen Street West or the elegant boutiques and fine restaurants in Yorkville.
And there’s more: harbour front is a complex of unique shops and restaurants right on beautiful Lake Ontario. From harbour front you can hop on a ferry to the Toronto Islands for a picnic and outdoor recreation such as beach volleyball.
Explore the area and take a day trip to another wonder of the world and experience Niagara Falls or take a break right next door and experience Ontario’s wine country. Toronto and the surrounding areas are a great family destination and most attractions are child-friendly. The city itself is clean, safe and easy to explore either on foot or by public transportation.
For more information on Toronto, please visit the official website.
Visitor information at: www.torontotourism.com/visitor
Location, location, location
Situated 566 feet above sea level on the northern shore of Lake Ontario (part of the Great Lakes system), Toronto is one of the most southern cities in Canada. In fact, it has the same latitude as northern California.
Toronto Fast Facts:
- Home to more than 100 languages spoken on the streets daily, Toronto truly is multicultural
- With a population of 5.5 million, Toronto is Canada’s largest city
- Toronto is the 4th-largest city in North America, after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles
- One-quarter of Canada’s population is located within 160 km (100 miles) of the city
- More than 60% of the population of the United States is within a 90-minute flight of the city
The are two official languages in Canada – English and French.
Located on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario, Toronto is one of the most accessible cities in North America by road, air, rail and water. Toronto is only a one-hour drive away for about five (5) million Canadians, and within a 90 minute flight for 60% of the US population
Toronto has two major airports: Toronto Pearson International Airport, located in the suburbs about 30 minutes away from the city centre, and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, also known as Toronto Island Airport.
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
- Canada’s busiest airport providing service to over 180 destinations around the world
- Distance from city centre: 27 km / 17 miles (approx. 30 minutes)
- Click here for more information on special offers and discounts for IUPESM WC2015 Delegates from our Official Airline Network, Star Alliance
- For more information, visit the Toronto Pearson International Airport website
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ)
- Located minutes from the heart of downtown Toronto
- Offers service to over 18 cities in Canada and the US, with connections to more than 80 international destinations
- Porter Airlines is proud to offer Congress delegates a 15% discount on available base fares (with the exception of the lowest class fare during a public seat sale) for travel to and from IUPESM WC2015. The discounted fares are available for booking until June 15, 2015 and available for travel from anywhere in Canada or US to Toronto between the dates of June 4-12, 2015; and from Toronto to anywhere in Canada or US between the dates of June 7-15, 2015. Please book online at www.flyporter.com or through your travel agent using promo code IUPESM15. Porter’s fare rules and conditions apply.
- For more information, visit the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport website
Visitors entering Canada must clear Canada Customers border security upon entry. For visitors travelling by road, Toronto’s nearest Canada-US border crossing are Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Windsor.
Entry into Canada
Visitors to Canada require a valid passport and many require a visitor’s visa. For information on visa requirements and exemptions please check with the nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.
To check online – go to: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp and click “Visit” from the menu.
Attendees from the USA may check entry / exit requirements to Canada outlined in the U.S. Department of State Consular Information website. Proof of citizenship must be provided.
Toronto’s currency is the Canadian dollar. Commonly used small coins are the 5-cent (“nickel”), 10 cent (“dime”), 25 cent (“quarter”). The two main coins are the $1 gold-coloured coin, commonly called a “Loonie” (the loon is the bird engraved on one side), and the $2 silver and gold tone coin is called the “toonie”. Paper bills come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. $1000 denominations are available but can only be exchanged at a bank.
Banks throughout Toronto are open Monday to Friday from approximately 10:00am – 05:00pm. Some banks are open on Saturdays and Sundays. You will find an Automated Teller (ATM) in most convenience stores, hotel lobby’s and other public places.
Credit Cards (including American Express, Visa and MasterCard) are welcome at most establishments throughout Toronto.
On most purchases, a total of 13% HST (harmonized sales tax) is charged on taxable items apply. There is no HST on most grocery items but restaurant meals are taxed. Please note that while shopping the prices do not include taxes and you must pay the tax over and above the price indicated on the sticker.
Restaurant tipping is left to the customer’s discretion, but the customary amount is 15%. Many restaurants automatically add a tip or gratuity to the bill for groups larger than 6 or 8 people. It is also customary to tip bellhops, luggage handlers and taxi drivers, at your discretion.
Emergency and Safety
Toronto remains one of the safest cities in the world, and the safest largest city in North America. It has the largest municipal Emergency Medical Service in Canada, with 850 paramedics based in 41 stations across Toronto. When planning your trip it is important to be aware of the safety services available to you. Please make sure you are also aware of your embassy’s phone number and location in the event you loose your travel documents.
In an emergency of health, safety or crime – Dial 911
Canada operates on 110V, 60 cycle electric power, which is the same as in the United States. Non-North American visitors should bring a plug adapter if they wish to use their own small appliances from home (razors, hair dryers, laptops etc.). If you are visiting from countries, such as Australia, that use a higher voltage, you may encounter problems charging your rechargeable batteries. Canadian electrical goods come with either a two-prong plug, which is the same as the US or a three-prong plug; most sockets accommodate both.
Smoking is not permitted in the Congress facilities.The city of Toronto has public health regulations that prevent smoking in public buildings, on public transit and in all restaurants and lounges.
In Toronto, the legal drinking age is 19; bars and restaurants are open until 04:00am in some parts of the city. In Toronto there are stiff penalties for drinking and driving so we suggest you use public transit.