Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting Around Toronto

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates a huge system of connecting subway, bus, and streetcar lines that serves the entire city. It is one of the safest and cleanest systems of its kind anywhere in the world.

There are two major subways lines, with 60 stations along the way. Be sure to get a free transfer pass if you intend to continue your trip by bus or streetcar after you leave the subway.

To ride buses and streecars, you must have exact change, a ticket, or a token. Tickets and tokens are on sale at subway entrances and stores. The "Pick up a Ride Guide" shows every major place of interest and how to reach it by public transit, and is available at most subway ticket offices. A Light Rapid Transit line connects downtown to the lakefront (called Harbourfront). The line starts at Union Station and terminates at Spadina/Bloor subway station.

It is easy to catch a cab in Toronto; they can be hailed in the street, called in advance, or found outside hotels. There are several outlets that rent bicycles, but as downtown Toronto is busy with traffic, it is best to confine your cycling to the parks. The Martin Goodman Trail is a well-marked scenic bicycle route along the long, scenic waterfont.

As in Vancouver, you will need the right coins for the bus. The regular adult fare is Can$2 across the whole system, and transfers are free for up to an hour. If you are going to be in Toronto for an extended period, it is worth considering a MetroPass for one month, or you can buy 10 tickets or tokens for Can$17. There are day passes for use during off-peak hours.

Ferries to the Toronto Islands run several times an hour at peak times in summer and continue well into the evening. There is also a road bridge.

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