• We’ve been everywhere: Toronto

    Toronto's skyline. (Photo by Paul Bica)

    Toronto’s skyline. (Photo by Paul Bica)

    Vicky Laflamme
    2015 promises to be a busy year in Toronto.  The city has the distinct honor of hosting the Pan Am Games this year, which will bring thousands of athletes and visitors from around the world to experience what Toronto has to offer. For those traveling in to see the games in July and August, or business and leisure travelers experiencing Toronto for the first time, here’s the inside scoop on what Toronto has to offer.

    How to get there: Toronto is a major hub for Canada for both domestic and international travel.  When flying to Toronto you have two airport choices – Toronto Pearson Airport located just northwest of the downtown core as well as Billy Bishop Airport located directly in the downtown core.

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    Upon arriving at Toronto Pearson Airport, you can expect a 30 minute to one hour (or longer) transfer to downtown.  Rush hour traffic exists virtually all day on the main arteries, so make sure you allow for enough time to get to or from your destination.

    Following are a couple of important tips for Toronto Pearson airport travelers:

    • Baggage carts are finally ‘free’ to use.
    • More than 2,500 iPads are now located in the airport where you can sit down, surf the web, check your flight status, and even order food from the restaurants.
    • Toronto Pearson launched its app in 2014 http://www.torontopearson.com/app/#
    • Getting to and from Toronto Pearson is about to get easier with this year’s launch of the Union Express rapid train to/from downtown. Avoid the traffic on this 25 minute ride, which will run every 15 minutes. http://www.upexpress.com/en/information/information.aspx
    • The downtown core has a lot of construction scheduled through 2017, so check local traffic levels before hitting the road.

    Billy Bishop Airport is a good alternative if you are traveling to a downtown location, although this airport only services domestic Canada flights and flights to/from the USA.  This airport is unique in that you fly onto an island, then take a ferry to the mainland!

    Things to Do & Places to Eat:Toronto has a plethora of things to see and do, with far too many to actually list.  Toronto’s ethnicity, including the numerous community ‘villages’ that you can zero in on, make it truly unique. If you like Italian culture and food, visit little Italy. If you prefer the beach vibe, head to the neighborhood known as The Beach. Or head downtown to partake in the hustle and bustle of the city.

    It has been said that in Toronto, you can eat in a different restaurant every day for two years and never go to the same place twice. I haven’t tried it yet, but I have visited a plethora of great places to eat. If you’re looking for something off of the beaten path, try Mezes Restaurant in Greek Town. Another great alternative is Southern Accent in the Mirvish Village. Both are truly an experience.

    And of course, if you’re a sports nut Toronto has you covered. Check out the Leafs, the Blue Jays, the Raptors and the Argos! Or are you the type who’s more into museums?  There are more than 50 in the greater Toronto area.

    Check out www.toronto.com/things-to-do/ for a more comprehensive list of things to do.