Toronto Dopers... where should I go?

I’m visiting the Greater Toronto Area in two weeks (exactly!) and while I know of some places that a tourist like me could visit, it looks like I still have some time left to fill the gaps.

So far, I plan to visit:

CN tower
Ontario Science Centre
Eaton Centre (a friend told me I could do some serious shopping there)

And for more shopping:
Yonge St.
Queen St.

the MuchMusic Building but that’s on Queen St. so I don’t think I’ll be going too out of the way to visit that.

Where else can I go? I’m mostly relying on public transportation, and my hotel is in Scarborough.

Since you’ll be in that area, stop by Kensington Market (not too far from Much Music – within walking distance).

When I was in Toronto a couple of years ago I did a day trip to Niagara Falls and that was very enjoyable.

Oh, and the Distillery District. Gooderham and Worts was Canada’s oldest distillery. Though they had a big fire decades ago, they rebuilt and a lot of the original buildins remain. The compound has excellent examples of Victorian era industrial architecture. Many, many films are shot there, including the Oscar-winning flick, Chicago. The complex has been renovated into galleries, artsy cafes and restaurants. They host all sorts of interesting events there too (jazz festivals, antique shows, comedy things etc.)

The aforementioned Kensington Market is adjecent (and overlapping with) our larger Chinatown. It’s a lot more interesting than the profile makes it sound. You can find weird stuff in some of the little shops, and it’s the best place to find ethnic spices.


[li]The Art Gallery of Ontario[/li][li]Catch a BlueJays game at Skydome[/li][li]Toronto Islands[/li][li]I don’t think the Canadian National Exhibition will be on by then, but go there if you get the chance[/li][li]Ontario Place[/li][li]“Caribana” is on in August[/li][li]Honest Ed’s bargain shop[/li][li]“Hairspray” & “Mama Mia” are still both playing in the theatre district I believe[/li][li]Bloor/Yorkville is a nice shopping district[/li][li]Chinatown[/li][li]The Danforth (Greek town)[/li][li]The Royal Ontario Museum[/li][li]The Toronto Zoo is excellent[/li][li]Paramount Canada’s Wonderland if you are a theme park person[/li][/ul]

How long are you going to be here? Wretchedly, I will be out of town from the 8th to the 13th of August (inclusive), or I’d be able to show you around a bit.

Yonge and Bloor is nice. Get off the TTC Subway at Bloor and walk south until you hit Eaton’s Centre.

Where in Scarborough are you staying at? If you’re not too close to the Subway you’ll be spending a lot of time on buses which can be rather slow.

Scarborough Town Centre is nice to visit and is easy to get to via TTC (Either by bus or LT Rail from Kennedy Station). If you like food there are plenty of nice resturants in Scarborough (I eat at mostly Japanese resturants in Scarborough). You can also visit Fairview mall (Don Mills and Sheppard).

If you’re looking for “fun” things and are into games, Sega City in Mississauga might be worth the trip (I don’t know how to get there via public transit). Canada’s Wonderland is accessable from York Mills Subway station via a special bus that runs up there. You can also take a trip to the beaches (Queen st and Greenwood).

To get to the Playdium in Mississauga (the games centre, badmana’s Sega City, I presume), go to Islingtom subway and take any Mississauga bus to Square One bus station.

These buses include #26, #86 (if you’re lucky–it’s an express), #20, or #3. The Playdium is across the street from the bus station. You will have to pay a Mississauga bus fare.

And once you’re there, you can visit Ontario’s largest mall (Square One).

I haven’t been to Playdium in several years (all my friends call it Sega City). They have some decent games including go carts, rock climbing and various sports (at least the last time I was there).

You can also visit Yorkdale mall (via the Subway). The Subway is the fastest way to get into various cool places so I’m familar with attractions near/at subway stations. I hate taking the bus (and these days I drive everywhere anyways).

There’s also a Wild Water Kingdom in the Finch and highway 427 area that should have TTC access (never have taken the bus there) which is pretty good.

Ontario Place is mostly for children but is also a very nice place to walk around in. It also has a water park which is much closer than Wild Water Kingdom.

Wild Water Kingdom is near Claireville conservation area, on the north/east side of Finch (the street curves), west of the 427. The site says it’s accessible by transit, but gives no details.

Thank you for all the suggestions! I love shopping, so I really appreciate the advice on which malls to hit. Although, I think your PST is higher than it is in BC! :smack:

Specifically, I’m going to be staying at Scarborough Inn. A friend I am talking to has no idea where it is, and she lives in Scarborough! So I’m hoping it’s not too obscure for buses and the subway. It looks to be about half a kilometre from Agincourt Mall.

I also live in that area and I’ve never heard of the Scarborough Inn. On the plus side you are 30 seconds away from a GO Station and both the Kennedy and Sheppard busses will get you to the subway. If I were you, I’d take Sheppard, plus it’ll take you straight to Fairview Mall.

BC sales taxes are exactly the same as Ontario, i.e. 7% on all goods except for alcohol, which has a rate of 10%.

Agincourt is one of the newer Chinatowns in Toronto, so that should be an interesting area to stay.

Oh, then BC has a higher tax rate than Ontario because it was raised to 7.5% a few years ago.

Chinatown eh? :dubious: I was hoping I didn’t have to do anything Asian while I’m over there. :smack:

There is a reason why we call it “Asiancourt”.

You should probably stay away from Pacific Mall then. Good bubble tea though and cheap prices on computer parts.

My time in Toronto is looming closer and closer and I’m rapidly trying to figure out the modes of transportation there! I’m a little confused, are you telling me my inn is 30 seconds away from a GO station?

What is downtown Toronto like? Has anyone who has been to Vancouver compare it for me?

I assume this is where you’re staying? That link should have just about anything you need to know about the area.

Here’s a mapquest of the Greater Toronto Area (Often referenced as the GTA). The red star is your hotel (assuming I have it right above).

GO’ transportation isn’t the city transportation (that’s the TTC). It’s the provincial transportation… usually used by commuters (GO stands for 'Government of Ontario, FYI) and the TTC is the local bus, Subway and LRT system. That might be confusing you a bit.

You can look up GO routes and maps here and you can look up the TTC routes & schedules here.

Never been to Vancouver, but Toronto is a pretty normal downtown compared to some cities I have been (New York, Washington DC, San Diego, Amsterdam). It’s a grid system, so most of the streets are East/West or North/South.

There’s the financial district (Bay Street), several shopping districts (Young & Dundas streets area), china town (Spadina), the ‘SoHo’ kinda-artsy area (Queen Street West).

Downtown is really close to the lake, so you can only get lost going one way (North), otherwise you’ll end up swimming in Lake Ontario (South of downtown). Wander too far East or West, and you’ll definatley notice. West is all highway, and East becomes residential (mostly). I’d stick between Church Street (on the East side) and Spadina (on the West side) and you won’t get lost. It’s only like a 4 block span.

The CNE grounds, Ontario Place, Skydome and the Air Canada Centre are all near the water.

PST in Ontario is 8%.

TO vs Vancouver? They are difficult to compare. Toronto has more of a “Big City” feel I find. The GTA highways (the infamous 401 included) are vastly superior to the pitiful excuse for a highway system in BC - I compare it to the freeway system in Seattle, if you’ve ever been there. Vancouver seems to have more green space. Toronto seems to me to be more divided up into distinct neighbourhoods: Cabbagetown, Yorkville, Little Italy. Each of those has a very distinct identity and can often feel like a completely different city, whereas Vancouver, even though it has different neighbourhoods, always felt like Vancouver to me. TO has good public transportation - the GO system is mainly for intercity travel, and the TTC subway/bus system is good. TO has a lot more historic buildings: I have spent the day just wandering around looking at old statues and buildings hidden away down side streets. My chief dislike about the GTA is the smog - on bad days it is horrendous.

Visit the Royal Ontario Museum (it’s free on Friday nights) and the Provincial parliament building. The University of Toronto has a nice campus. You can find good (sometimes pricey) food in Little Italy.

It is. If you look a the G line on this link, you will see the Agincourt stop. It is literally 30 seconds away from your hotel.

However, and I apologize for not finding this out before, the trains leave Agincourt station only on Weekdays at 6:42, 7:20, 7:53 and 9:02 in the morning and 7:50 at night. So GO Transit may not be a realistic possibility to get you downtown. Sorry. :o

I lived there on and off for a total of 11 years. Everyone’s given excellent suggestions. Here’s one they left out. Starting at the Eaton Centre, you can walk in the basement level, through a maze of different shopping malls under skyscrapers, from Yonge and Dundas all the way south to Union Station, at the lake. If it’s hot outside, that’ll make for a pleasant, air-conditioned stroll.

If it’s a clear, non-windy day when you go up the CN Tower, pay the extra couple bucks and go up to the highest observation level, where you’ll be outside (caged in). You can see the steam rising above Niagara Falls from up there.