My boyfriend and I are thinking about visiting Toronto for his birthday in November. I’ve been to Toronto once but it was just overnight so i could catch a flight. Can you all tell me about it, like the best places to stay and things to do? We’re both 30, like to listen to live music and try all different sorts of foods. We’d like a clean decent hotel either centrally located or in a nice artsy walkable area.
All the other cities we were looking at visiting we know were to stay, but neither of us know much about Toronto. For example in Manhattan we’d stay in lower Manhattan. He’ll be flying in from Dublin and I’ll be driving or flying in from Cleveland.
Also he was wondering about other parts of Canada that are maybe close to Toronto or easy to fly into from Dublin, so any suggestions would be welcomed.
*kinda off the topic of Toronto and just a random idea, but if anyone has suggestions of places to visit within the areas of Boston, NYC, D.C., or Charlotte NC, those ideas are welcome too. Those places all are non-stop flights from Dublin haha.
We managed to get a hotel downtown, a 10 second walk from Dundas Square (think Times Square) and it was awesome. We would step out of our hotel, walk up one block, and VOILA! Everything would be there. The city wakes up around 7 pm or so, and tons of people walk the streets. There’s live music and shops everywhere. On our last night we saw a taiko drum performance on the river - literally the river was maybe 40 feet to our right, the moon shining off it, and these guys doing these incredibly impressive taiko songs. It was a beautiful city and I’d go back again in a heartbeat.
Not a lot of direct flights from Dublin to anywhere in Canada that doesn’t have a connection in Toronto, even if you’re flying somewhere east of Ontario! I know Air Transat serves Montreal, but I think that’s about it. I wouldn’t try and do Montreal and Toronto in one trip, unless you have a lot of time; the two cities aren’t really that close to one another!
If you and your boyfriend like wine, the Niagara wine region is a day trip from Toronto; you can give yourself a few minutes to be awed by the Niagara Falls and the tackiness that surrounds it, and drive from vineyard to vineyard trying and buying wines. You’d have to look at your import/duty-free limitations if either one of you want to bring any back home, though!
I’ll let the Toronto dopers give actual suggestions for the city; I’ve only ever stayed with friends/family and it’s been a while since I’ve visited.
Niagara’s very nice- at least the wine region is- but it’s not that close to Toronto. About a two-hour drive.
I agree about staying downtown. The middle of the city’s very walkable. Mika, what river? Do you mean the lake?
What I really like, as a local, is walking through all the downtown neighbourhoods- you start around the Eaton Centre, walk to the AGO, through Chinatown, up through Kensington market, either through university campus and environs and then Little Korea or over through to Little Italy, or south down through the trendy Queen Street area. Lots of interesting places within a forty-minute ramble.
…Little India (Coxwell and Gerrard), the Arabic district on Lawrence East, the Shoe Museum, the Museum of Television (if it’s reopened), the Distillery District… take the ferry to Ward’s Island and walk through the car-free cottage neighbourhood…
If you’re coming in November, the date in the month becomes important, because November is our transition to winter. Early November has a chance of pleasant fall days with brightly coloured leaves swirling in the crisp air. Late November? Cold, wet, grey, depressing. Into December, you start getting towards actual winter with ice and snow, though the coldest temperatures aren’t until February.
Hotel in an artsy walkable district? Try the Gladstone Hotel. (Please ignore the condos being built across the street.) It’s at the western end of the artsy “Queen West” district, though the area is being somewhat gentrified and some have said that actual working artists are going further west to Parkdale.
Thanks everyone! I’m surprised I’ve never actually vacationed in Toronto with it being so close. We always went to Niagara Falls and sorta got sucked into that area and going there like every year when i was a kid. I took the boyfriend to Niagara Falls in 2006 and realized now that I was paying for it on my own it was sort of a ripoff haha. Niagara on the Lake was beautiful, we even stayed in a hotel that I believe was haunted.
Toronto sounds really great though with all those interesting areas, I actually never knew it was such a cool city We’d be going in the first couple of weeks of November, so I’m guessing weather would still be okay. I’m used to cold and snow and the crazy weather that Cleveland has, although I’m not sure I’d want to vacation in it! I will have to head to the library and pick up some travel books.
The number of things to do in Toronto is well beyond what you could accomplish in a few days.
If you like live music, shows and whatnot, you will have an effectively endless selection. In three nights you could see several live bands, some live comedy, go see a Second City performance or a musical, visit the Art Gallery of Ontario, go up the CN Tower, see a hockey game if you have a lot of money to blow, and enjoy amazing cuisine.
The weather will be unpredictable. Be prepared for anything from subzero to pleasant.