Toronto Dopers! w4m - seeking dark and handsome tour guide

Girl visiting Toronto for the first time seeks Canadian cutey to show her a great time. Pic available upon request. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Er, mods, the above is a joke. Mostly. :wink: )

So I’m going to be in Toronto from August 6th - 11th (Monday-Saturday). I’ll get in on Monday afternoon - my visa interview is Tuesday morning, and I’ll be sticking around the rest of the week waiting for it to get processed. That gives me a few days to tour the city. I know absolutely nothing about Toronto, so any advice about things to check out or getting around in general would be great. I’ll probably be staying at a hostel - better get on making reservations quick. Also, if any of y’all are free, I’d love to meet up for dinner or coffee or drinks or whatever.

We’ll be in total chaos, since we’ll be moving a few days before, but you’re welcome to come over, and I’ll tour-guide a bit if you’d like it. Lots of stuff to do here. Where are you staying? Downtown, east, west, north?

I’m dark but short. Erm, and female.

My husband is tall and dark. And handsome. And flirts. :smiley:

Well, I’m sort of pale and ugly, but I’d be happy to meet up with you. A more enthusiastic tour guide you’re not likely to find, and I have a car for extra-city jaunts. Sunspace is better looking (and single), so you might want to consider him a better choice. :wink: Or maybe even hook up with a bunch of us!

So…can we see that pic? :wink:

I’ve seen the pix. I’m first in line should she visit us here in the south-west! :smiley:

Of course, my wife might have other ideas…

Welcome, HazelNutCoffee!

I never had the impression of you being short. Maybe it was that belly-dancing demonstration at the Dopefest in High Park* that I’m remembering, though.

Cerowyn is too modest. :slight_smile:

I’d be happy to introduce you to the city a little.

Do you like museuming? We have museums for shoes, textiles, ceramics, aircraft, and “everything” (the Royal Ontario Museum), and that’s just of the top of my head. Art galleries, a really good comics store, tall pointy things on the waterfront, hidden ravines full of greenery, great parks on the islands, all sorts of things. Lots of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese restaurants. Streetcars. Libraries. Really big freeways.

I leave describing the live-music/alcohol/club scene to those who know more than me.

Nawth Chucka’sthread asking about hostels had some good comments about hostels. I’ll add that the main HI hostel is on Church north of King, not in the slightly scuzzy areas described further north.

[sub]*Before she got married.[/sub]

Er…holy crapola! I’m going to be in Montreal from August 9-11. What are the odds? I mean, that we’d both be going to Canada, at the same time, visiting a new city, and both of us Dopers and all that.

Have fun in Toronto; I’ve been there plenty as it’s a short trip from Detroit to get there (where I used to live).

Dude, I almost ended up going to Montreal (Toronto didn’t have any appointments available, initially). Too bad we’re going to miss each other. Ah well; another time!

I’ll be staying at the Clarence Castle hostel . . . er, I guess it’s in the southern part of the city. Spadina Ave?

Li-Li, do you live in the city? I wouldn’t want to bother you at your place if you’re in still wallowing in moving chaos (although I don’t mind at all, if you don’t). Like I said, I have absolutely nothing planned other than my visa appointment, so whenever’s good for you is good for me.

Astroboy, I’ll be sure to give y’all a heads-up when I visit the West coast. :wink: I actually do have friends in the Bay area that have been bugging me to visit them for ages. Unfortunately, they don’t do replacement visas in California. Or anywhere in the US. :smack:

Sunspace, Cerowyn, thanks for offering to be my gallant tour guides. :slight_smile: I’d love to do dinner or whatever with any Dopers who are free while I’m there. I’ve never been to a Dopefest! And yeah, during the day I’ll be wandering around aimlessly around the city, so I’d be grateful for any kind of company. My visa appointment is at 8:30 am on Tuesday, so other than that - no plans.

Er . . . what’s the best way to get around Toronto? Subway? Bus? I suppose I should buy a Lonely Planet guide or something.

Clarence Castle is on Clarence Square, just a block or so north of Front Street along Spadina. I hadn’t heard of it before and according to the entry in, it looks impressive.

Clarence Square is one of the last remnants of an 1850s city beautification plan of linked squares and avenues that was totally derailed when the railways came to town and took over the waterfront. (Front Street ran along the shore, believe it or not. Now there’s a kilometre of skyscrapers and whatnot between it and the water.)

That’d be cool. :slight_smile: Would you be up for a Doper-type dinner? What kind of food do you like?
[sub]We can do anything and she’ll think it’s normal!


Lonely Planet would be good. Best way in the central city is subway and streetcar and selected bus routes; things get a little sparser as you head outwards. There is also a semi-vast network of interregional bus and train lines (GO Transit) that mostly operates on a commuter schedule to and from downtown; if you aren’t a commuter, it can be quite useful but you have to carefully plan your routes. And it has a maddening tendency to not quite connect in useful places.

Driving and parking in downtown TO ranges from annoying to insane. I generally don’t recommend it unless you have a free place to park. Toronto has close to all-day rush hour, especially on Friday afternoons.

Are you coming in from the airport? Cabs are ridiculously expensive there; to get downtown, I recommend the TTC bus to the subway, or the private Airport Express bus if you’ve a little more money. Unless someone is picking you up by car; it’s really a car-oriented airport.

I guess I’ll take the shuttle bus - it seems reasonable. I’m only staying a week, so I won’t have too much luggage. Taking a taxi seems rather extravagent, but I hate lugging my suitcases around on public transit. It makes me feel like a tool.

For dinner, I would like to have a traditional Canadian meal. I hear this involves something called poutine? :confused: (Is that how you spell it?) Actually, anything is fine. I’m not picky about my food. As long as it’s not too avant-garde. Or still wriggling on my plate.

So I’ll pick up a copy of Lonely Planet, make some touristy plans, and run them by y’all to approve or disapprove of. :slight_smile:

  1. Go up the CN Tower. It’s a bit pricey, but it would be silly to visit Toronto and not see its greatest landmark and one of the engineering marvels of modern civilization.

  2. Go see a Blue Jays game (which is, conveniently, located right next to the CN Tower.) August 6-8 the Yankees will be in town, always a good show.

  3. Go see “Evil Dead: The Musical,” playing at the Diesel Playhouse at 56 Blue Jays Way - which, also very conveniently, is a three minute walk from the CN Tower and baseball stadium, as the address would suggest. It’s the funniest, most original show you’ll ever see.

  4. If you’re feeling like another show, Second City is right across the street from the Diesel (notice I’m making this easy to walk) and there you’ll be treated to comedy stylings that will have you gasping for air, you’ll be laughing so hard.

  5. If you want to blow the better part of a day, go to Ontario Place, which is west on Lakeshore. Actually, just walking down the nice part of Lakeshore would be a fun thing to do.

And your hostel is within a four-block walk of all that RickJay mentions as well. Plus the Enternainment District. Theatres, clubs, and restaurants, along John Street between King and Queen. Note: Blue Jays Way is a segment of John Street. :slight_smile:

More things: Take the streetcar down Spadina (i. e. southward, or to your left when standing in Clarence Square and facing the street), get out at the water, and explore the Music Garden (just to the west of Spadina and Queen’s Quay.)

Take the streetcar up Spadina and visit Queen Street West, Old Chinatown, and U of T, in that order.

Visit the children’s books at the Lillian H Smith branch of the public library. Enjoy the bronze griffins at the entrance to the building. For a change, visit the research-level science-fiction, fantasy, and horror collection upstairs.

See whether you can locate the Cloud Garden near the Bay and Adelaide Centre.

Mallworld: hit the Eaton Centre with its hundreds of stores, then follow the underground passageways all the way to Union Station.

Sit in front of City Hall with some ice cream and watch the tourists watching you.

A great Toronto journey: take the streetcar from Long Branch in the west, along Lakeshore Blvd, the Queensway, and Queen Street, all the way to Neville park. It take about two hours, and you see all sorts of places, everything from City Hall and the skyscrapers of downtown to industrial zones to the fading beachside mansions and 1950s apartment buildings of Mimico to the grit of Parkdale to the artistically-funky Queen Street West strip to the cottagey area called The Beaches. And have inexpensive diner-style Chinese food at The Goof. :slight_smile:

By “shuttle bus” I presume you mean the Airport Express bus. This is no shuttle bus; it’s a luxury highway coach that stops at a lot of the downtown hotels. It costs about $15 from the airport to downtown.

Edit: I’m wrong. It’s $16 one way. Looking at their site, I see that they stop at the Holiday Inn on King Street, which is not too far from Clarence Square. I do not know whether they will stop at any other than their advertised destinations.

Guess the sushi is out then. :slight_smile:

Poutine (you spelled it right) is cheese curds in gravy on french fries. You can get it at fast food places here, even.

And speaking of Japanese food, there’s a rather good Japanese restaurant on Queen Quay west of the Music Garden, almost at Bathurst.

Mm, Japanese food.

Thanks for all the suggestions! I’m not much for baseball, but everything else sounds like fun. I love just wandering around and people-watching. I’ll probably spend half the day doing something touristy and the other half just reading or chilling outside - weather providing.

I guess Dopers will actually be working during the day? I hope we get to do a dinner at the very least. I’ve always wanted to meet Dopers and confirm that you guys are not just a figment of my colorful imagination. :slight_smile: Too bad I’m not going to be there for a weekend - I feel like more people would be free. :frowning:

Ack! If it’s not “real” Japanese, you realize I would be forced to commit seppuku when I got home, right? Do you have anything against Emi-tei? And, being on Queen’s Quay, how’re the prices? Or are you trying to make sure that I don’t come?

I have no idea how good/authentic/etc it is. If you know a better one, lead on! :slight_smile:

HazelNutCoffee, yes, I and Cerowyn, at least, work during the day. So we’d have to meet for dinner [sub]or I could take the day off! bwa-ha-ha… ahem sorry about that[/sub] but I have some flexibility and can come in early and weasel out of work somewhat early and be downtown for 6:30ish.

Others may of course differ.

Not to worry, HazelNutCoffee, I am thoroughly unwifed–and an equally able tour guide, to boot. Dark and handsome, too. :wink:

Do this. You’ll love it. And you’ll be within easy walking distance of Bakka/Phoenix, the lovely sf/fantasy bookstore. Lots of decent cheap ethnically varied restaurants around where you’ll be, too. And fabric stores, and a bunch of bars and clubs.

We will be in moving chaos, but you could still come and meet the cats. I work evenings, so I’m free until four if I’m downtown, five if I’m near home.

You need to eat poutine, butter tarts, and nanaimo bars. Rebel House (pub) does a very yummy poutine. I would be happy to eat some with you. Mmm.