Addresses in Toronto are pretty straightforward as most of the central city is arranged on a grid. Generally, street numbers start at 0 at Lake Ontario and increase as you head north. Even-numbered addresses are on the west side and odd numbers on the east side of all north-south streets. Similarly, even-numbered addresses are on the north side and odd numbers on the south side of east-west streets. The east and west designation of streets running east-west changes at Yonge Street.
Throughout this guide, we give the nearest cross street within each listing, though the venue is not always right on the corner itself.
To drink and purchase alcohol in Ontario, and to buy tobacco products, you must be 19. Note that fines for buying tobacco for minors are steep. To drive a car or truck, you must be 16 or over (21 to hire one).
The age of consent for heterosexual sex, according to Canada's Criminal Code, is 14, or 18 if one party is in a position of legal authority over the other. The age of consent for gay sex in Ontario is also 14 (18 in most other parts of the country).
Conventions & conferences
6900 Airport Road, at Derry Road, North End (905 677 6131/www.internationalcentre.com). Subway Lawrence West then bus 58B.
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
255 Front Street W, at John Street, Entertainment District (416 585 8000/www.mtccc.com). Streetcar 504/subway St Andrew or Union.
Couriers & shippers
215 Lake Shore Boulevard E, at Sherbourne Street, Waterfront (1-800 463 3339/www.fedex.ca). Bus 75. Open 9am-10pm Mon-Fri; noon-5pm Sat. Credit AmEx, MC, V.
335 Bay Street, at Adelaide Street, Financial District (1-888 744 7123/www.purolator.com). Streetcar 504/Subway King. Open 8am-9pm Mon-Fri. Credit AmEx, MC, V.
Quick Messenger Service
296 Richmond Street W, at John Street, Entertainment District (416 368 1623/www.qms-tor.com). Streetcar 501, 504. Open 7.30am-6.30pm Mon-Fri. No credit cards.
Secretarial services BBW International
2336 Bloor Street W, at Windermere Avenue, West End (416 767 3036/www.bbwinternational.com). Enquiries 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. No credit cards.
This is the mailing address only; call to make an appointment.
Translators & interpreters
ABCO International Translators & Interpreters
30 Bay Street, at Adelaide Street W, Financial District (416 359 0873). Streetcar 504. Open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. No credit cards.
Ontario has strong consumer-protection laws. To lodge a complaint against a business, contact the Ontario Ministry of Consumer & Business Services, General Inquiry Unit (416 326 8800/www.cbc.ca/consumer. Or call 211 on the phone or visit (www.211toronto.ca).
Canadian customs regulations allow you to bring the following into the country without paying tax: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, plus 1.5 litres of wine, 1.14 litres of liquor or 24 cans of beer.
You are prohibited from carrying firearms, weapons (including knives of any sort), drugs, endangered species (plant or animal) and cultural property (as in antiquities). Contact Canada Customs & Immigration for details (1-204 983 3500 outside Canada; 1-800 461 9999 in Canada, www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca).
UK Customs & Excise (www.hmce.gov.uk) allows returning travellers to bring home £145 worth of gifts and goods and any sum of money they can prove is theirs. US Customs (www.cbp.gov) allows Americans to return home from Canada with US$800 worth of gifts and goods duty-free.
Toronto is fairly well equipped for the disabled, with accessible buses and public buildings. Many restaurants and shops are also accessible, but it's best to call ahead. On the street, the vast majority of kerbs are dropped at an intersection, enabling easy wheelchair access.
Note that not all subway stations and city buses are wheelchair-equipped, and that streetcars are not wheelchair-accessible. Wheel-Trans (416 393 4111, www.toronto.ca/ttc) provides door-to-door services at normal TTC rates. VIA Rail and most long-distance bus companies can accommodate wheelchair users with enough notice. Many car rental agencies have disabled-adapted cars, though you'll need to book well in advance. Kino Mobility (416 635 5873, 1-888 495 4455, www.kinomobility.com) has various specially adapted vehicles. Vans are available for able-bodied drivers at $125 a day. Discounts apply for longer than five-day rentals.
The website www.enablelink.org is an online guide to accessible locations in Ontario.
Drug offences are taken very seriously in Canada, so avoid the use of narcotics while in the country. Though the use of medicinal marijuana is legal for those individuals who have applied for access (see www.medicalmarihuana.ca), don't expect authorities to turn a blind eye if you light up.
Just like the United States, Canada uses 110-volt electric power with two- or three-pin plugs. Visitors from the UK and Europe will need adaptors, available at most hotels and department stores, to use their appliances from home.
American Consulate General
360 University Avenue, at Dundas St W, University (416 595 1700). Subway Osgoode or St Patrick. Open 8.30am-1pm Mon-Fri.
Australian Consulate General
Suite 1100, south tower, 175 Bloor Street E, at Jarvis Street, Church & Wellesley (416 323 1155). Subway Sherbourne. Open 9am-1pm, 2-4.30pm Mon-Fri.
777 Bay Street, at College Street, University (416 593 1290). Subway College/streetcar 506. Open 9am-4pm Mon-Fri.
Consulate General of Ireland
20 Toronto Street, at King Street E, St Lawrence (416 366 9300). Streetcar 501. Open 10am-4pm Mon-Fri.
New Zealand Consulate
Suite 2A, 225 MacPherson Avenue, at Avenue Road, Midtown (416 947 9696). Bus 5/subway St George. Open 8am-4.30pm Mon-Fri.
South African Consulate
2 Bloor Street W, at Yonge Street, Yorkville (416 944 8825). Subway Bloor-Yonge. Open 8am-4.30pm Mon-Fri.
If you require emergency assistance from police, firefighters or medical services, call 911. It's free from all phones. For hospitals, see Health. For other emergency numbers, see Helplines and Police stations.
Poison Information Centre 416 813 5900.
Toronto is a very gay-friendly city. You can freely hold hands or kiss your partner in the Church & Wellesley neighbourhood or even on Queen Street West, but play it cool elsewhere, especially in the suburbs. Toronto is a tolerant city, but gay-bashing is not unheard of. From a gay perspective, the best time to visit is during Pride Week, held the last week of June.
Help & information
For HIV/AIDS information, see the Health.
519 Church Street Community Centre
519 Church Street, at Dundonald Street, Church & Wellesley (416 392 6874/www.the519.org). Subway Wellesley. Open 9am-10pm Mon-Fri; 9am-5.30pm Sat; 10am-5pm Sun.
Gay Bashing Reporting Line
416 392 6878 ext 337.
Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line
416 962 9688. Open 4-9.30pm Sun-Fri.
Trained youth volunteers provide support for callers under the age of 27 and information on groups.
Accident & emergency
If you need immediate medical attention, dial 911 (free) from any phone.
If you need medical information but it's not an emergency, call Telehealth Ontario on 1-866 797 0000. Registered nurses take calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can help diagnose your problem over the phone. They can't send out prescriptions but can refer you to a pharmacy and help decide if you need hospital attention. The service is free, and provides help in English and French, with translation for 110 other languages.
To contact the police in a non-emergency situation, call 416 808 2222.
Contraception & abortion
Hassle Free Clinic
66 Gerrard Street E, at Church Street, Church & Wellesley (416 922 0566 women; 416 922 0603/www.hasslefreeclinic.org). Streetcar 505/subway Dundas. Open call for hours.
Planned Parenthood of Toronto
36B Prince Arthur Avenue, Yorkville (416 961 0113/www.ppt.on.ca). Subway Bay or Museum. Open 9am-4.30pm Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri; 9am-noon Wed.
For emergency dental service, contact Dental Emergency Clinic (1650 Yonge Street, at St Clair Avenue, Midtown, 416 485 7121, 8am-noon daily).
Ontario Dental Association
416 922 3900/www.oda.on.ca.
This organisation can supply information about local dentists.
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Ontario
416 967 2603/www.cpso.on.ca.
For references to local doctors.
The hospitals listed below all have emergency wards open 24 hours daily.
Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Avenue, at Gerrard Street E, Chinatown (416 813 1500). Streetcar 506/subway St Patrick.
Mount Sinai Hospital
600 University Avenue, at College Street, University (416 586 4800). Streetcar 506/subway Queen's Park.
North York General Hospital
4001 Leslie Street, at Sheppard Avenue E, North Toronto (416 756 6000). Subway Leslie.
St Joseph's Health Centre
30 The Queensway, at Roncesvalles Avenue, West End (416 530 6000). Streetcar 504.
St Michael's Hospital
30 Bond Street, at Queen Street E, Dundas Square (416 360 4000). Streetcar 501/subway Dundas or Queen.
Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, at Lawrence Avenue E, Don Mills (416 480 4207/www.sunnybrook.ca). Bus 11, 124.
Toronto East General Hospital
825 Coxwell Avenue, at Mortimer Avenue, East Side (416 461 8272). Subway Coxwell.
Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth Street, at University Avenue, Chinatown (416 340 3111). Subway Queen's Park.
Toronto Western Hospital
399 Bathurst Street, at Dundas Street W, Chinatown (416 603 2581). Streetcar 505, 511.
Pharmacies & prescriptions
Pharmacies are allowed to set their own dispensing fee, an extra $6 to $14 on top of your drugs cost. The cheapest drugs are available from department stores such as Zellers (www.hbc.com/zellers) or Wal-Mart (1-800 328 0402). Pharmacies are ubiquitous in Toronto. Most open between 9am and 10am and close between 10pm and midnight, though some open 24 hours a day. For locations, contact Shoppers Drug Mart (1-800 746 7737, www.shoppersdrugmart.ca).
STDs, HIV & AIDS
AIDS Committee of Toronto
4th Floor, 399 Church Street, at Carlton Street, Church & Wellesley (416 340 2437/www.actoronto.org). Streetcar 506/subway College. Open 10am-9pm Mon-Thur; 10am-5pm Fri.
- Alcoholics Anonymous 416 487 5591/www.aatoronto.org.
- Assaulted Women's Helpline 416 863 0511/www.awhl.org. Crisis counselling and support, shelter referrals, legal advice.
- Distress Centres of Toronto 416 408 4357. Trained volunteers are available 24 hours daily for people who need to talk or are feeling suicidal.
- Kids Help Phone 1-800 668 6868/ www.kidshelpphone.ca.
- Narcotics Anonymous 416 236 8956/www.torontona.org.
- Toronto Rape Crisis Centre 416 597 8808.
- Victim Support Line 416 325 3265. Practical advice on what to do if you are the victim of a crime.
You must be 19 or older to buy tobacco products, and most corner stores will ask for photo ID if you look 25 or younger. Carding is rare in gay bars but more common in straight bars and (especially) clubs, so carry some photo ID with you.
Canada does not provide health or medical services to visitors for free, so travel and health insurance is a must. Hospitals and walk-in clinics will want the name of your insurer and policy number, so be sure to keep them handy.
Toronto hotels usually provide sockets in rooms for laptop users (though speed varies, and at some a charge is levied); some rooms have wireless access. In cheaper hotels access may only be via consoles in the lobby. Public access is available at public libraries and many cafés. For library locations, contact the Toronto Reference Library (416 393 7131).
416 310 7873/www.sympatico.ca.
A reliable, reasonably priced internet service provider that offers dial-up or DSL connections.
Insomnia Internet Bar/Café
563 Bloor Street W, at Bathurst Street, The Annex (416 588 3907/www.insomniacafe.com). Streetcar 511/subway Bathurst. Open 4pm-2am Mon-Fri; 10am-2am Sat, Sun. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, V.
English is the main language used in Toronto, although with such a multicultural population, you're likely to hear everything from Mandarin to Punjabi on the streets. Though Canada is officially a bilingual country, business and services are conducted largely in English.
Common expressions lean towards the US with a few UK remnants. You'd get in the line-up to order food to go (put the wrapper in the garbage), or ask for the bill. You may need to visit the washroom. You fill your car with gas at a gas station, put your luggage in the trunk and may need to look under the hood.
There are lockers at Terminals 1 and 3 at Lester B Pearson International Airport, and at the downtown Greyhound terminal, but there are none at City Centre Airport or Union Station (though if you're travelling with VIA Rail you can check bags in for same-day pick up).
If you run into legal trouble, contact your insurers or your national consulate (see Embassies & consulates above).
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street, at Cumberland Street, Yorkville (416 393 7131/www.tpl.toronto.on.ca). Subway Bloor-Yonge. Open 9.30am-8.30pm Mon-Thur; 9.30am-5.30pm Fri; 9am-5pm Sat; 1.30-5pm Sun. Closed Sundays in summer.
Unlike all the other branches in the city, you can't sign books out from the Reference Library. Check the website for other library branches.
Report lost luggage claims to your airline immediately. If you've lost property in the airport itself, call 416 776 7750 (Terminal 1) or 416 776 4816 (Terminal 3). For City Centre Airport, call 416 203 6942.
All lost property found on subways, buses and streetcars ends up at Bay Station, at Bloor Street West and Bay Street. You may visit the Lost & Found office in person 8am-5pm Mon-Fri or call 416 393 4100 (noon-5pm Mon-Fri).
Call the company itself (for a list, see our getting around in Toronto section).
Where many big cities in North America are now one-newspaper towns, Toronto boasts four big dailies: the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Sun and the National Post.
Newspapers & magazines
Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail is considered the paper of record for the country, a sort of New York Times-lite. Strong arts and business coverage.
Metro/Toronto 24 Hours
Two freebie commuter tabloids that offer news in bite-sized bits.
A right-leaning rival to the Globe and Mail, launched by Conrad Black and now owned by Canwest Media.
A monthly glossy catering to Toronto's expanding bourgeoisie. Its listings are good for planning ahead.
The Star is Canada's biggest daily paper. It's small 'l' liberal in outlook, claims to defend the working stiff and covers city news well. The 'What's On' section on Thursdays is good for planning your weekend.
'The little paper that could' is a feisty, conservative tabloid rag.
Free weeklies that come out on Thursday. NOW is more granola and eye hipper to the downtown music scene. Both have extensive entertainment listings. You'll find them in street boxes and pubs, cafés and stores.
Both compete on the gay scene. They come out every two weeks on alternating Thursdays.
Other freebies include:
Covers the indie music scene every month and can be found in bars downtown.
A free monthly listings guide to art shows, available in most galleries.
A free bi-monthly about the classical scene, new music and jazz.
Covers the urban music scene and is available ten times a year at music and Caribbean shops.
Pick a country, and there's probably a Toronto-based publication that caters to its expat community. Weekly papers can be had in French, German, Greek, Spanish, Ukrainian, Hindi and Malaysian, to name a few. The Portuguese community is served by a bi-weekly and papers appear daily in Italian and Korean; there are three daily newspapers in Chinese. News-stands carry lots of UK and US press, or try Book City or Maison de la Presse Internationale (124 Yorkville Ave, Yorkville, 416 928 2328).
There are 33 radio stations (AM frequencies are difficult to tune to downtown because of interference from office towers). Talk rules – in many tongues – on AM with all sports (The Fan 590), all news (CFTR 680), more talk (CFRB 1010) and oldies (AM 740, 1050 CHUM and CKOC 1150).
Flick over to FM, where you'll find adult contemporary dominates on barely distinguishable services: Jack Radio 92.5, EasyRock 97.3, CHFI 98.1, CKFM 99.9 and CHUM FM 104.5. Urban culture can be found on Flow 93.5. Classic rock blares on Q107, while The Edge 102.1 tries to be just that, playing alternative rock. One interesting newcomer is Aboriginal Voices Radio on 106.5.
The CBC, the taxpayer-funded national service, doesn't draw the numbers in Toronto that it commands elsewhere. Radio One (99.1) is predominantly talk, with national shows that go in search of the Canadian identity blended with local and regional programmes. It's about the only place you'll hear new radio drama. The flagship current-affairs programme, As It Happens, is a much-loved national institution. Radio 2 (94.1) plays light classics mixed with Cape Breton fiddlers and weekend jazz and opera. CJBC (90.3) is CBC's French service, with superb classical, jazz and contemporary music content. More classics are on the commercial CFMX (96.3), which has a penchant for waltzes. Jazz FM (91.1) is finding its way now that it runs commercials (it was previously funded by donations).
As is often the case, it is left to campus radio to push the frontiers of programming. Their wildly eclectic tastes make them unlistenable over long stretches, but dropping in on CKLN (88.1), CIUT (89.5) and CHRY (105.5) is certain to refresh.
Toronto has entered the 500-channel universe. Speciality channels cater to niche tastes and generalised topics – history, golf, hockey, news, more news, food, home decor. But if you want a dose of mainstream Canadian TV, here are the best options: CBC (Channel 5) keeps Canadian content upfront along with strong news and sports coverage. CTV (Channel 9) is the largest private broadcaster and relies heavily on US programming, as does Global TV (Channel 6,41). Citytv (Channel 57) has shaped cultural coverage with intelligent shows on film, media, fashion and music. If you're hooking up a TV and want a cable package, contact local conglomerate Rogers (1-888-ROGERS1, www.rogers.com).
Each dollar is made up of 100 cents. Coin denominations include the one-cent penny (copper in colour), the five-cent nickel (silver, featuring a beaver) the ten-cent dime (silver, with the Bluenose schooner depicted), the 25-cent quarter (which usually features a caribou), the one-dollar loonie (gold-bronze in colour) and the two-dollar toonie (two-tone nickel and aluminium with a polar bear).
Notes, or bills, come in denominations of $5 (blue), $10 (purple), $20 (green), $50 (pink) and $100 (brown). Shops have recently begun refusing $50 and $100 bills because of counterfeit worries. In the last few years the Bank of Canada has changed the design of its $5, $10 and $20 bills, and it's still common to use both designs.
Known in Canada as ABMs (automatic bank machines), bank machines are ubiquitous. Your best bet is to use one operated by a major bank. Privately owned and operated machines are popping up in bars and shops, and while they may be handy, most charge an additional user fee of $2-$3.
Most ABMs are part of the Interac, Plus or Cirrus network, so non-Canadians shouldn't have any trouble accessing their home account. But check in advance with your bank to find out what the charge bands are.
2 Bloor Street W, at Yonge Street, Yorkville (416 980 4430/www.cibc.com). Subway Bloor-Yonge. Open 8am-4pm Mon-Wed; 8am-5pm Thur, Fri; 10am-3pm Sat.
Other locations: throughout the city.
200 Bay Street, at King Street, Financial District (416 974 3940/www.royalbank.ca). Streetcar 504/subway King. Open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri.
Other locations: throughout the city.
222 Queen Street W, at McCaul Street, Entertainment District (416 866 6591/www.scotiabank.ca). Streetcar 501/subway Osgoode. Open 10am-4pm Mon-Thur; 10am-5pm Fri.
Other locations: throughout the city.
TD Canada Trust
65 Wellesley Street E, at Church Street, Church & Wellesley (416 944 4135/www.tdcanadatrust.com). Bus 94/subway Wellesley. Open 9.30am-4pm Mon-Thur; 9.30am-5pm Fri.
Other locations: throughout the city.
Bureaux de change
Most bank branches have foreign exchange services.
170 Bloor Street W, at University Avenue, Yorkville (416 921 4872/www.calforex.com). Subway Museum or St George. Open 8.30am-7pm Mon-Fri; 9am-6pm Sat; 10am-5pm Sun.
Most businesses in Toronto take Visa, MasterCard and American Express. You can make toll-free calls to report lost or stolen cards at the numbers below 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
American Express 1-800 668 2639.
Discover 1-801 902 3100 (long-distance call).
MasterCard 1-800 307 7309.
Visa 1-800 847 2911.
Most goods and services bought in Ontario are subject to two taxes – the six per cent federal Goods and Services Tax and the eight per cent Provincial Sales Tax. Both taxes are levied on just about everything you can imagine, other than books and most groceries, and even those are PST exempt only.
Visitors are eligible for a GST refund on goods and short-term accommodation. You must have spent at least $200 to qualify. For more information, contact the Visitor Rebate Program at 1-800 668 4748 (within Canada) or 1-902 432 5608 (outside Canada), or visit the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency website at www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/visitors. Major shops will have information and claim forms on hand. Present these at the tax-refund booth at the airport for an immediate refund.
Shops tend to open at around 10am and close around 6pm. Many stay open till 9pm from June to August. Banks generally open 9am to 5pm during the week, while a few offer evening and weekend hours. Post offices generally open between 10am and 5pm Monday to Saturday.
To report an emergency, dial 911. If it's not an emergency, call the police on 416 808 2222. Toronto Police Service headquarters is at 40 College Street, at Bay Street. See also www.torontopolice.on.ca.
Mailing a standard-sized letter within Canada costs 51 cents for anything up to 30 grammes. Standard letters and postcards to the US cost 89¢ up to 30 grammes, and standard letters anywhere outside Canada and the US $1.49 up to 30 grammes and $2.05 for between 30 and 50 grammes.
260 Adelaide Street E, at George Street, St Lawrence, M5A 1N1 (416 865 1833/www.canadapost.ca). Streetcar 504. Open 9am-4pm Mon-Fri; 10am-4pm Sat, Sun. No credit cards.
Toronto's first post office – and one of its last. The days of the stand-alone post office are numbered here, so check pharmacies and corner stores for post-office counters (use the website to find addresses) and stamps. Other locations: throughout the city.
Poste restante/general delivery
If you want to receive mail while in Toronto, but don't have a permanent address, you can have it sent to you 'care of General Delivery' to any post office with a postal code. You must retrieve it within 15 days of it being received and show at least one piece of photo ID.
Church of the Holy Trinity
10 Trinity Square, next to Toronto Eaton Centre, Dundas Square (416 598 4521/www.holytrinitytoronto.org). Streetcar 505/subway Dundas. Services 12.15pm Wed; 9am, 10.30am Sun.
Walmer Road Baptist Church
188 Lowther Avenue, at Spadina Avenue, The Annex (416 924 1121/ www.walmer.ca). Streetcar 510/subway Spadina. Service 11am Sun.
St Michael's Cathedral
65 Bond Street, at Shuter Street, Dundas Square (416 364 0234). Streetcar 505/subway Dundas. Services 7am, 8.30am, 12.10pm, 5.30pm Mon-Fri; 7am, 8.30am, 12.10pm, 5pm Sat; 8am, 9am, 10.30am, noon, 5pm, 9pm Sun.
Adath Israel Congregation
37 Southbourne Avenue, at Bathurst Street, North Toronto (416 635 5340/www.adathisrael.com). Bus 7/subway Wilson. Services usually 7am, 8pm daily; call for details.
Redeemer Lutheran Church
1691 Bloor Street W, at Keele Street, West End (416 766 1424). Subway Keele. Service 11.15am Sun.
Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto
115 Simpson Avenue, at Broadview Avenue, East Side (416 406 6228/www.mcctoronto.com). Streetcar 504, 505. Service 9am, 11am Sun.
A key player in the fight for gay marriage. Sunday services draw a gay-friendly congregation.
1015 Danforth Avenue, at Donlands Avenue, East Side (416 465 7833). Subway Donlands. Services Prayers five times daily; call for details.
1536 The Queensway, at Kipling Avenue, West End (416 255 0141/www.queenswaycathedral.com). Subway Kipling then bus 44. Services 10.30am, 6pm Sun.
Knox Presbyterian Church
630 Spadina Avenue, at Harbord Street, Harbord (416 921 8993/www.knoxtoronto.org). Bus 94/streetcar 510. Services 11am, 7pm Sun.
Metropolitan United Church
56 Queen Street E, at Church Street, Dundas Square (416 363 0331/www.metunited.org). Streetcar 501/subway Queen. Service 11am Sun.
- Use common sense Toronto is a safe city, but exercise common sense.
- Don't carry valuables Leave them in a hotel safe, and get a receipt.
- Act like a local Pulling out a map on the street makes it obvious you don't know where you are.
- Bad vibes Most homeless people on the streets are harmless. Still, stay away from anyone who gives you a bad vibe.
- Cash or cards Don't carry all your cash or cards with you at one time. Travellers' cheques are accepted almost everywhere.
The screws are tightening on smokers. A comprehensive no-smoking law has been in effect since 2004: if you want to light up, you're going outside. Heat lamps on patios keep smokers warm on winter nights.
To study in Canada, foreign students need a study permit. Depending on your country of origin, a temporary visa may also be required. Applications are through your local Canadian embassy or high consulate.
350 Victoria Street, at Gould Street, Dundas Square (416 979 5000/www.ryerson.ca). Streetcar 505/subway Dundas.
RyeSac, 380 Room A62, Victoria Street, at Gould Street, Dundas Square (416 597 0723/www.ryesac.ca). Streetcar 505/subway Dundas.
Ryerson draws on its background as a polytechnic to deliver first-rate hands-on learning in the heart of city. It is best known for its journalism, fashion and computer programmes.
University of Toronto
416 978 2011/www.utoronto.ca. Streetcar 506/subway St George or Spadina.
Students' Administrative Council, 12 Hart House Circle, University (416 978 4911/www.sac.utoronto.ca). Subway St George.
The closest thing Canada has to an Ivy League institution, U of T consistently ranks among the country's top three schools. It has a range of programmes, from medicine through law to Celtic studies.
4700 Keele Street, at Steeles Avenue West, North Toronto (416 736 2100/www.yorku.ca).
York Federation of Students, 336 Student Centre, North Toronto (416 736 5324/www.yfs.ca). Both Subway Downsview then bus 106.
Though the campus is remote and ugly, York is well regarded, known for its lefty women's and environmental studies programmes and business and law schools.
Dialling & codes
Greater Toronto has three area codes: 416, 905 and 647. Generally, businesses and residences in the city have 416 numbers, while those outside the city proper (Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Markham, Pickering) have 905 numbers; 647 often applies to mobiles. Keep in mind that as well as being a local code, 905 is also a long-distance code for southern Ontario cities such as Oshawa and Hamilton. Dialling numbers in those cities means dialling a 1 before the code and paying a long-distance charge.
The following codes are all toll-free numbers. Depending on the company or service, some numbers may not work if calling the US. You must dial 1 before the following: 800, 855, 866, 877, 888.
Making a call
All calls within Toronto must be dialled by using a ten-digit number (the first three are the area code; dial it even if you share it). To make a long-distance call within Canada or to North America, dial 1, the area code, and then the seven-digit phone number. To call overseas, dial 011, the country code, then the number (in some cases dropping the initial zero). The country code for the UK is 44, for Australia it's 61, New Zealand 64, Republic of Ireland 353 and South Africa 27.
If you can find one, payphones cost 25¢ per local call. A Bell pre-paid phonecard available from most phone shops, grocery stores and pharmacies works only in Bell phones. Dial-in phonecards are your best bet for long-distance and international calls.
Operator services: dial 0 from any phone to speak to an operator (free from payphones). Dial 00 for the international operator.
To find a number, dial 411 for information from any phone. From Bell phones the service is free. Other private phone companies charge 75¢, irrespective of whether the operator finds your listing.
As in the US, Canada's mobile phone (cellphone) network operates on 1900 megaHertz. This means that US travellers should be able to use their usual handset (but should check their tariffs for costs). Tri-band phones will work throughout most of North America; quad-bands tend to give some additional coverage but there is still the odd area with no coverage at all. If you have a dual-band phone or think your tri- or quad-band phone might not work, contact your service provider to find out if there is a solution (some will arrange for you to have a temporary phone while away).
If none of this works, there are three options. If you're a frequent visitor, consider setting up your own local account. A better option is to buy a pay-as-you-go phone, starting at around $125. One of the local carriers – Fido, Bell Mobility, Rogers or Telus Mobility – will be able to help you.
Alternatively, you could rent a phone via your hotel or from a private company such as Hello, Anywhere (416 367 4355/1-888 729 4355, www.helloanywhere.com; credit card required) or Cell Express (905 812 1307/1-877 626 0216, www.cell-express.com; credit card or $350-$500 deposit required), which deliver phones to your hotel for $24-$50 a week ($50-$80 a month).
Faxes: send faxes from corner stores or copy shops.
Toronto is in the Eastern Time Zone – just like New York – which is five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. Daylight Savings begins at 2am on the second Sunday in March and ends at 2am on the first Sunday in November.
Tipping is expected. Bar and restaurant staff have a lower minimum wage than most Canadians. Generally, tip 15 per cent on pre-tax meal bills (add the amount you'd pay in tax – it's the same percentage), and a buck or two at the bar. Hotel cleaning staff and bellhops also deserve a buck or two. Hairdressers expect tips of between ten and 20 per cent.
Public toilets are scarce in Toronto, so use one in a restaurant or coffee shop, though note that most are reserved for customers.
Ontario Travel Information Centre
Atrium on Bay, 20 Dundas Street W, at Yonge Street, Dundas Square (905 274 1721/1-800 668 2746). Subway Dundas. Open 10am-9pm Mon-Fri; 9.30am-7pm Sat; noon-5pm Sun.
Queens Quay Terminal, 207 Queens Quay W, at York Street, Financial District (416 203 2600/1-800 363 1990/www.torontotourism.com). Subway Union Station then streetcar 509, 510. Open 8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri.
Residents of Britain, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland do not need visas to visit Canada. For all other visitors and immigration information, see www.cic.gc.ca.
The metric system is used in Canada:
- 1 centimetre = 0.394 inches.
- 1 metre = 3.28 feet.
- 1 sq metre = 1.196 sq yards.
- 1 kilometre = 0.62 miles.
- 1 kilogramme = 2.2 pounds.
- 1 litre = 1.76 UK pints, 2.113 US pints.
Toronto is a relatively safe city for women. Rohypnol (the 'date rape drug') has been used at bars but a new law permits patrons to take their drink with them to the bathroom.
While every effort and care has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this guide, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors it may contain. Before you go out of your way, we strongly advise you to phone ahead and check the particulars.
Getting to Toronto
Getting around Toronto
When to go to Toronto