Toronto Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Toronto, Ontario - ON, Canada)
Canada's largest city, Toronto offers a truly striking skyline, which is instantly recognizable by the city's signature building, the CN Tower. Toronto's population has increased greatly over recent years and much of the city is centered around the scenic Lake Ontario. Dating back to the late 18th century, Toronto is one of Canada's most important cities and Toronto's downtown district is home to many major companies, head offices and striking office blocks.
With many important businesses, locals in Toronto know how to work hard, but also enjoy a host of recreational activities and evening entertainment, with numerous atmospheric restaurants and animated nightclubs in central Toronto. City life in Toronto is generally well-balanced and the multiethnic residents are relaxed, friendly and high-spirited.
Tourism and Tourist Information
Metro Toronto Convention Center
Address: 255 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario (ON), M5V 2W6, Canada
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 20:00
Ontario Travel Center
Address: 220 Yonge Street, Level 1, Eaton Shopping Center, Ontario (ON), M5B 2H1, Canada
Tel: +1 416 314 0944
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 21:00, Saturday - 09:30 to 18:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00
Toronto Convention and Visitors Association
Address: 207 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario (ON), M5J 1A7, Canada
Tel: +1 416 203 2600
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 17:00
Address: Lakeshore Boulevard, Strachan Avenue, Toronto, Ontario (ON), M6K 3C3, Canada
Tel: +1 416 263 3607
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to midnight
With over 300 languages spoken throughout America and Canada, English and French are the main languages in Toronto, and the majority of highway signposts and tourist leaflets display both. Canadian English is widely spoken in Toronto and is based upon British English, with many interesting expressions. In the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba, Canadian French is the main language. Toronto contains numerous different nationalities and a number of regions in Canada are known for their local dialects and colorful colloquialisms, particularly around the Newfoundland area of Canada.
Currency in Toronto, Ontario and throughout Canada is structured in a similar way to the USA, with Canadian dollars. Noteworthy denominations include:
- 1c - penny
- 5c - nickel
- 10c - dime
- 2c - quarter
- $1 dollar - loonie
- $2 dollars - twoonie / toonie
Paper notes in Toronto consist of $5, $10 and $20 notes, which are daily currency in the city, with higher notes such as $50 and $100 dollar bills being less commonplace. Tourists staying in Toronto can use their credit and debit cards at ATMs, which are situated almost everywhere, providing a convenient way to exchange currency. Also, travel agent companies in Toronto, such as American Express and Thomas Cook, offer competitive rates of exchange, together with local banks. Most banks in Toronto open from Monday through Friday, with opening hours being shorter than regular stores in the city of Toronto. A number of banking branches in Toronto city center are also open during the evenings and on Saturday mornings.
Visas and Documents
Visitors to Toronto and other cities in Canada need photo ID and also at least two or three types of formal identification. Passports are always necessary when visiting Toronto, except for those arriving from the USA and Greenland. A driver's license is no longer sufficient identification for US citizens arriving in Toronto and must be used together with a valid birth certificate or similar, such as an official certificate of citizenship. People visiting Toronto from Commonwealth and Western countries do not require visas, although visitors from most other countries do, except for Mexican citizens. Visa applications for travel to Toronto and Canada must be made at least one month in advance. All inquiries should be directed to Canadian Immigration Centers.
Motorists planning to drive in the city of Toronto must obtain a 'Canadian Nonresident Interprovince Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card' or 'Visitor to Canada Insurance', issued by most US insurance companies. Car rental agencies in Toronto require you to be at least 21 years of age when hiring a car, although for some centers this is 26 years. In Toronto, Ontario and all over Canada, cars always drive on the right-hand side of the road.
Tipping in Toronto is the norm and many restaurants expect around 10 to 15 percent of the bill as a tip, although a number of restaurants do automatically add service charges to the bill. Taxi drivers, barbers, hairdressers and hotel staff in Toronto also expect to be tipped.
Smoking and Alcohol
All over Canada you may only purchase alcohol at local government-run shops, although in the provinces of Alberta and Quebec, privately-owned stores are allowed to sell a range of alcohol. The current legal drinking age in Toronto and throughout Canada is 19 years old, with the exception of Alberta and Manitoba, where the age is only 18. Smoking is now restricted at many places in Toronto, including public transport and eateries.