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Old 05-22-08, 07:13 PM   #1
JoeEasy
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canada bound! (toronto to be exact)

from july 21-28th my girlfriend and i will be in toronto. can anyone recomend cheap places to stay and places to get food...maybe some sights or any shows going on?!?! we will be on bikes so please take that into consideration. any help would be awesome! we just bought our tickets based on the fact that we have both never been and it sounded like a great idea at the time.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:44 PM   #2
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im an hour outside of TO and have lived here my whole life. check out the CN Tower for sure. i dont know much about cheap places to stay down there though. if you are into vegetarian food check out fresh at spadina and queen. the food is lovely and a great environment. all along queen street is good shopping as well. if i think of anything you should defiantly check out ill let you know. its an awesome city for sure.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:31 PM   #3
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I'll reply here instead of the Toronto thread...

As ph said, CN Tower is a must. Kensington Market I guess (just west of College/Spadina and goes south on Augusta), St. Lawrence Market (Lower Jarvis/Front). There are some cool buildings to check out Roy Thompson Hall (King/Simcoe), City Hall and old City Hall (Queen/Bay), Casa Loma (Spadina/Davenport) are some that come to mind immediately.

I personally love the greenspace we have in Toronto, the Humber valley, Don valley are two of my favourite places for a slow roll ride, both of which somewhat interconnect with paths and can take you quite a fair way north if you so choose. The Leslie spit (Tommy Thompson park south of Leslie/Lakeshore) is also a really nice place to ride, and is close (and basically bike-pathable) to Cherry beach, which is also another nice spot.

List of bike stores if you need anything while here: http://www.tbn.ca/retailer/rtdb/at.htm

Grab a copy of the free Toronto cycling map (available online too) from any city office (City Hall above, Metro Hall which is at King/John and I know for sure Urbane has them at Queen/John) - http://www.toronto.ca/parks/maps.htm

There are a bunch of hostels and stuff, the Backpackers Hostel at King/Spadina is one I remember - http://www.globalbackpackers.com/ This place is also a stones throw away from MEC (King/Peter), which is great if you need anything outdoorsy, or some cheap tubes to take on your rides.

Toronto Islands are really nice, and great to take bikes for a nice leisurely cruise.

I'm sure there are a ton of shows and stuff, when you get here look out for the Eye and NOW magazine (paper) boxes and grab a copy of each, they're more in tune with the current goings-on and such (they're both a weekly thing).

http://www.toronto.com is a fair place to start for just general things to do/see, they're somewhat commercialised so their choices can have bias, but it's a good place to start nonetheless.

Critical Mass meets at Bloor/Spadina at 6 on Friday the 25th for July which may interest you.

Enjoy your visit.
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Old 05-22-08, 09:33 PM   #4
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As Flimflam suggested, try to take in the Critical Mass, we generally have a good one here and there are not too many knuckleheads, just enough of them to make it interesting.

I'll never forget when the CM was led into the Eaton Centre (huge huge shopping mall in the middle of the city) last summer, complete and utter awesome chaos that was really and truly a site to see, I was smiling for hours afterwards. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee.

And yeah, the city is pretty good for cycling. I like the Martin-Goodman trail which winds along the lakeshore, it is nice and there is a boardwalk as well so you can lock up your bikes and go for a nice stroll.

And do please lock your bikes up well, Toronto is essentially the center of Eastern Canada so we get a lot of vagrants and homeless people that migrate here in the summer and bike thefts go through the roof at this time of the year. Just be careful and you should be fine.
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Old 05-22-08, 10:32 PM   #5
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Just come to Niagara Falls and ride with me.
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Old 05-23-08, 07:51 AM   #6
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If you have your bikes with you, definitely explore the downtown core. You can find some really nice little neighbourhoods.
And yes, Toronto has some great green spaces.
Check out the "gaybourhood", Church and Wellesly streets. Check out Parkdale, it's kind of sketchy but has some interesting history and some pretty cool bars.... not to mention big old houses and the lakeshore trails are just south of there.
I'm not familiar with cheap places to stay because I live here, but I'm sure you can find something. It's a good time of year to be around that's for sure.
While you guys are here you might want to consider renting a car and going up to Georgian Bay (Killbear park comes to mind, I go there every year) or Algonquin. No sense coming to Ontario and not seeing some of the great outdoor places we have.
Enjoy your stay!
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Old 05-23-08, 09:56 AM   #7
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what type of shows are you into? if you are into anything like punk/hardcore or indie rock i can point you in the right direction, just ask.

same with resturants, if you're a vegitarian/vegan or a meat eater i can make a list of places you need to check out in the city.
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Old 05-23-08, 11:10 AM   #8
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There's also a hostel on Clarence Sq., just south of King St. W, near Spadina (Clarence Castle). It's near the Global Village hostel on King & Spadina, but on a quieter street.

Check out Casa Loma, a soccer game (if you can get tickets) at BMO field, St. Lawrence Market on the weekends for the farmer's market, antiques market and fresh food, Kensington Market for a hippie vibe, coffee, and empanadas, and Spadina for Chinese and Vietnamese food. Hit up the Beaches Jazz fest on Queen St. East. It's an easy ride from Leslie Spit.
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Old 05-23-08, 11:32 AM   #9
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http://www.sneaky-dees.com/

i spend way too much time at sneaky dees
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Old 05-23-08, 11:59 AM   #10
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Yes, definately try to go to tomorrow night's TFC soccer match at BMO field if you have any interest in drinking beers and watching footie. The crowd is usually super entertaining.

With a sprawling city like Toronto--and its many boring in-between areas--you unfortunately have to do some shrewd planning to get a thoroughly good impression of the place. My point is that you could walk part of the waterfront or see the island(s) before the game (BMO field is basically on the waterfront). Have a transit map on you, otherwise you'll be forced to take cabs or walk boring areas for most of the day...bleeegh. Toronto's city planning absolutely sucks and defies intuition, so you need to know where you're going.

What came of the Distillery area? I haven't been there in years. I'd say you definately have to check it out, but a quick Google yielded "Toronto's Hippest Area" and scared me away from discovering more about what's happened to that place. Either way, if the weather's nice and you want to do some outdoor eating and drinking, I'd say it's a good bet.

Edit: Oh yea, China Town is great, even just to walk through. Find a good recommendation and you'll be eating some of the least Westernized Chinese food in the West. It's also very central, so from there you can make your way to other things downtown.

Last edited by bexley; 05-23-08 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 05-23-08, 02:16 PM   #11
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AGREED KYLE!

sneaky dee's is the best place ever. same with the coffee shop Manic.
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Old 05-23-08, 02:54 PM   #12
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well, were coming up with both our bikes and not going to be driving at all. how far away would ya say the airport is from down town? i only as because we are on a super awsome budget of spending as least as possible so paying for a cab is going to be saved to go back to the airport with our bikes boxed up
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Old 05-23-08, 03:30 PM   #13
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You can take a bus/subway ride from the airport to downtown (takes between 35 and 1:20 depending on where you are going) for $2.75
Its the 192 Kipling Express Bus which takes you to Kipling station.

A cab is $50 plus tip and takes around 40 minutes.
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Old 05-23-08, 03:54 PM   #14
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I remember a cab from downtown to the airport being about $35, unless they jacked up some new flat rate.

There's a few buses you can take besides the city bus, which would probably only stand a chance of taking your bikes if they're still boxed (don't take my word though). Or, like most airports in major cities, there must be a $10-20 shuttle you can take into downtown.

If you're cycling then you've got to bike the waterfront--and take your bikes onto the islands, which are car-free. Use Google maps/satellite hybrid view to get an idea of where the paths, beaches and green spaces are. The eastern-most point to bike to would be Cherry Beach, a great place to relax for a while after a ride. Lots of windsurfers and sailers on that side, and the water looks great from there. The western-most point to bike to would be a few km beyond Exhibition (an area that includes BMO field), where some wetlands and a park sit adjacent to some highrise apartment buildings. You'll cross a white suspension bridge right before this area. The beach that you'll be biking by for part of this ride is packed on sunny days...in a pretty good way. Stop and have a hot/veggie dog from a stand, the Toronto streetfood.
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Old 05-23-08, 04:53 PM   #15
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I remember a cab from downtown to the airport being about $35, unless they jacked up some new flat rate.
The rate depends on where you are going...
there's a pdf on www.gtaa.com

to go to bloor + dufferin is $37
to go to bloor + yonge is $49

the airport express bus (last i checked) was $17 each way, and they might not let you take the bike box on due to size.

(i used to do reservations for a hotel, so this was all stuff i dealt with daily)
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Old 05-23-08, 05:38 PM   #16
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Cool. I appreciate the correction.

Cabs are so f'ing expensive, but if that fare stays the same for two people it's not much different from two Airport Express bus tickets.
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Old 05-23-08, 05:56 PM   #17
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Unfortunately, you can't 'get food' in Toronto.

Sucks.
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Old 05-23-08, 06:48 PM   #18
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Quoi? You're from Hull, fer chrissake.

It's not true anyway. Your thinly-veiled Toronto hate needs to do better than that. Bad food can be found anywhere, and your Hull sense of haute cuisine must've guided you to the crap in Toronto.
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Old 05-23-08, 07:01 PM   #19
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There is great food in Toronto, even tourists can find it. The great great yet cheap food is when it is good to know some of the locals.

And yeah, those who live in Hull should not throw stones.
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Old 05-23-08, 07:39 PM   #20
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There is great food in Toronto, even tourists can find it. The great great yet cheap food is when it is good to know some of the locals.

And yeah, those who live in Hull should not throw stones.
Hehe, I lived in Gatineau aka Hull for a year. I don't think I ever ate there once. Was a fun year though, having a female stripper roommate.
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Old 05-23-08, 08:34 PM   #21
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i slept on the ground in a park because all the hostles were booked....it was cheap. I started sleeping in my car but I got a parking ticket while I was in there.
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Old 05-23-08, 08:45 PM   #22
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I am so hardcore I don't even sleep.
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Old 05-23-08, 08:47 PM   #23
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There is great food in Toronto, even tourists can find it. The great great yet cheap food is when it is good to know some of the locals.

And yeah, those who live in Hull should not throw stones.
Oh come on now, I would like to think that when I make a blanket statement about a city of millions of people that it will be respected on this, the most respectful of sub-forums.
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Old 05-23-08, 08:56 PM   #24
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Huh. I find it odd that people would diss the food in Hull. Everyone from Ottawa knows that when you want truly good food, you cross the river to Hull.
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Old 05-24-08, 07:17 AM   #25
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You forget, awc, that people in Toronto have no humour. Sucks.

Oh no, now I did it.
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