Toronto Vacations & Travel Tips
Despite its size, Toronto is a very walkable city and its grid layout makes it relatively simple to navigate. It has a good subway, bus and streetcar system, operating under the umbrella of the Toronto Transit Commission.
Traffic congestion and expensive parking makes driving a better bet for out-of-town excursions. Toronto's taxis are reliable, and in summer sweaty pedicabbies trawl the theater and Yorkville districts. Ferries will take you to the Toronto Islands, and GO Trains leave from Union Station for points throughout the Toronto suburbs.
Deluxe bicycle rickshaws pedalled by fit young women and men can be hired around downtown during summer. Fares for longer trips should be negotiated with the driver before boarding. Tip generously.
Taxis can be flagged on the street or you can find taxi ranks outside of hotels, museums, shopping malls and entertainment venues. Reliable companies include Crown Taxi (tel: 416 240 0000), Diamond Taxicab and Royal Taxi (tel: 416 777 9222), which has a fleet of wheelchair-accessible taxis.
The city center is pedestrian friendly, with leafy residential neighborhoods as well as retail strips.
Toronto has 50km (31mi) of on-street bicycle lanes and over 25mi of marked routes for bicycles. In-line skaters can use sidewalks, but it is illegal for cyclists to do so. Bicycles are allowed on some, but not all, ferries to the Toronto Islands; restrictions usually apply during peak periods.
The main subway lines are the crosstown Bloor-Danforth line, and the U-shaped Yonge-University-Spadina line which bends through Union Station. Stations have clearly marked Designated Waiting Areas (DWAs) monitored by security cameras and equipped with a bench, pay phone and an intercom link to the station manager; they are located where the subway guard's car stops along the platform
Streetcars are slower than the subway, but they stop more often (usually every block or two). Streetcars display their route number and final destination on both the front and rear cars. Routes are numbered in the 500s and streetcars roll on St Clair Ave and College, Dundas, Queen and King Sts (all of which run east-west). Bathurst St and Spadina Ave streetcars mainly run north-south, then turn at the lakefront west toward the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds (511 Bathurst) or east toward Union Station (510 Spadina). The 509 Harbourfront streetcar travels from Union Station along Lake Shore Blvd west to the CNE grounds.
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