Toronto (pop 2.5 million) is widely recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Whether you have 2 days, 2 weeks or more time to spend here, it is an endlessly exciting place to be. NYQUESTCamp Canada HQ is located in Toronto and all team members currently live in the city, so we’re pretty well situated to share our Toronto City Guide and tips with you.
Without further ado, here is our Toronto City Guide!
FOOD: Whilst poutine can be found on most bar food menus, we highly recommend checking out Poutini’s House of Poutine (1112 Queen St W). Ride the Queen Streetcar there and wander back through the trendy West Queen West Neighbourhood, being sure to check out Trinity Bellwoods Park. Great coffee is a stone’s throw away from the hostel at Bull Dog Coffee (86 Gerrard St E) or at Jimmy’s Coffee (84 Gerrard St W). The quickest and most varied lunch spot is the rather excellent Urban Eatery at the Eaton Centre (220 Yonge St) – try local offerings from Urban Herbivore, Big Smoke Burger and Liberty Noodle. Try the kimchi fries at Bahn Mi Boys (399 Yonge St), or grab a slice or a pie with your new camp friends at North of Brooklyn Pizzeria (469 Church St). Walk through the Entertainment District to Sweet Jesus (106 John St) and experience the most ridiculous, delicious ice cream creations ever.
DRINK: In Ontario, you must be 19 to purchase alcohol. There are heaps of bars and pubs in the downtown core, but if you’re looking for an above average experience, make your way to the Queen and Beaver (35 Elm St) – its especially great to catch UK sports events. Dukes Refresher and Bar (382 Yonge St) is a more North American offering, with 40+ beers on tap. Hair of the Dog (425 Church St) has a sweet patio and great brunch options! Toronto has some great local breweries including Steam Whistle, Amsterdam Brewery, Left Field Brewery and Bellwoods Brewery.
PLACES TO VISIT: You can walk through the downtown core, through Chinatown to Kensington Market, a unique and eclectic neighbourhood that has some awesome independent shops, cafes and bars. If Toronto feels a bit too busy and bustling for you, escape into one of the many green spaces in the city – the best being Toronto Islands. Hop on the ferry ($6 return), hire a bike, and do not miss the cityscapes as you ride around – it is arguably the best view of the city. If you’re looking for a little culture, check out the Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas St W), which has free admission on Wednesday nights. One of the best summer experiences has to be catching a Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre – tickets are super cheap if you’re ok with being up high!
CAMP SUPPLIES: Depending on what you need, there are a few dependable stores that will get you kitted out for your camp experience. Canadian Tire (65 Dundas St West) is good for cheap and cheerful basics, whereas Mountain Equipment Co-Op (400 King St W) is the spot for more technical gear.
GETTING AROUND: The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), is the third largest transit system in North America, and consists of subways, buses, and streetcars. A single adult cash fare is $3.25, but if you’re planning to use the system often, the best deal would be to buy tokens, at $2.90 each. Toronto also has a convenient Bike Share program and is a very walkable city. It even has a 30-kilometre underground pedestrian walkway (PATH) for when the weather is not so sunny! Interested in other Bike Share programs around the world? Check out Biking Expert’s “25 Best Bike Share Programs in the World” next!
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Tourism Toronto gives plenty of more recommendations if you need additional support for planning your visit to Toronto. BlogTO is also a great resource, with daily blogs about Toronto events, restaurants, and happenings. Check out their “Best of Toronto” section, for extensive lists of the most popular things to see and do in the city!