8 Things Every Visitor to Toronto Should Know
This week guest blogger Susan Varano from the UK provides us with a refreshing view of what visitors to Toronto show know.
- The city is easy and safe
One of the best things about Toronto, something many people from Canada and the USA take for granted, is that the city is on a grid system. Wherever you are heading, it is almost impossible to get lost as regular streets run right through the city – Yonge Street even stretches 1,896 km to the north, making it the longest street in the world. The CN Tower is a handy beacon, letting you know roughly where you are in relation to the water front.
2. The CN Tower Has A Glass Floor
Yes, it is the one opportunity you may have to stand half a kilometre in the air with only a sheet of glass between you and the ground. There is also a revolving restaurant and an outdoor area where you can listen to the buzz of the city from way up high.
3. Canadians call toilets ‘washrooms’
There are quite a few bits of Canadian vernacular that might come in handy in Toronto. The local trams are referred to as ‘cars’ or ‘streetcars’. The word ‘ey’ is slapped at the end of almost all questions and means nothing. ‘Poutine’ is a Canadian dish consisting of fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. Definitely try poutine!
4. Baseball is awesome
Even if you are not a fan, go see a game at the Rogers Centre. It is one of the most epic baseball stadiums in the world and is overshadowed by the CN Tower. Beers and hotdogs are mandatory to complete the experience. Tickets can be bought from ticket scalpers outside the stadium before games at a reasonable price, but I wouldn’t endorse that now would I?
5. Steam Whistle is one of local beers
Image source: D’Arcy Norman
It is worth checking out the Steam Whistle distillery when you are in town. By European standards the beer is fairly weak but it goes well with a hot dog, and Torontonians are proud of it.
6. There are things called ‘after hours clubs’
Alcohol is interesting in Canada, and booze needs to be bought either in a bar or restaurant, or from an LCBO shop or ‘Beer Store’ (below). Due to most bars closing at 2 AM a culture of ‘After Hours Bars’ has emerged – local celebs Finn and April Luca allegedly ran one downtown – where one has to be invited or pay about $20 cover.
7. It is very hot in summer, very cold in winter
You should make sure you’re kitted out with the right clothes. The predictable seasonal weather allows for lounging on the beach in the summer but remember that the city is prone to heavy thunder/lightening on occasion. Packing a raincoat isn’t a bad idea.
8. Toronto has a vast array of accommodation
Like with hotels in London or New York, you can stay in a great array of places in Toronto. There are plenty of hostels for young people and hotels perfect for conferences. Perhaps the Boatel is the most original of the bunch though, don’t you think eh? J