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Old 05-30-2013, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
3,364 posts, read 9,578,251 times
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So thinking of driving into Canada for a few days, wife wants to see Niagara Falls, spend part of the time at Niagara and part of the time in Toronto.

Basically about a 12 hour drive from the Carolina's.

Pet hate of mine is having to unpack and pack the car, we always bring too much stuff which is why we tend to drive and not fly.

Looking at the map thinking why not try and stay in between both places, saw Hamilton on the map.

Do people think this is a good idea?

If so any recommendations for hotels.

If not assuming we had about 5 or 6 days how would you split the time and where would you stay?

I know my wife saw something about Casa Loma and wanted to go there, any places that are recommended must dos in Toronto?

Thank you for your assistance.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Stasis
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I wouldn't use Hamilton as a base to visit Niagara Falls and Toronto. You'll spend all your time driving back and forth. Find a hotel in Niagara Falls (Ontario or NY) and then move on to Toronto. I wouldn't spend more than 2 full days (2 nights) in Niagara Falls. Get lunch in Niagara-on-The-Lake before moving on to Toronto.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Oakville, ON
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Agree with the poster above. Although if you do decide to stay halfway, Burlington is probably a better bet. Burlington has a great downtown along the lake with some great restaurants. Hamilton is primarily industrial and doesn't have alot to offer the casual tourist.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Oakville, ON
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For what to do, I'd say it really depends on what you're interests are. There are plenty of threads for tourists on the first couple of pages in this forum. TOKidd is an expert on attractions in the city.

Here are my personal favourites:

- Winery tours in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Toronto

- Hockey Hall of Fame.
- Toronto Islands
- St. Lawrence Market
- Yorkville
- Ontario Science Centre
- Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre

I'm not saying these things are the best, but they are up my alley. Also I've only lived in the area for 2 years, so I still haven't done everything.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
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I enjoyed the zoo and the Royal Ontario Museum. Didn't allow nearly enough time for the museum.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:54 PM
 
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Hotels in Hamilton are also way more expensive than in Niagara, as there are very few hotels in the Hamilton area they tend to charge more.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Niagara Falls is something you can see in one day or less. Once you've seen the falls themselves, done the Maid of the Mist thing, walked behind the Falls, maybe even gone jet boating over the whirlpool, there's no reason to stick around. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a nice little tourist town, and you could plan on spending maybe one day at the falls, spend the night there, then send half-a-day in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and drive to Toronto to be there by 4:00pm. The Falls are nice and everything, but the city of Niagara Falls on both sides of the border is not worth spending any time in when you have Toronto an hour away. Once you've seen the Falls, you should head straight to TO and not look back, unless you want to stop at Nagara-on-Lake for a half-day as I recommended.

Once in Toronto, there is tons to do. I'm not going to get into any detail, because there are dozens of threads from the last few months where posters (including myself) have gone into serious detail about some of the attractions here. Take my advice and read through the threads carefully. You will learn what is really worth checking out, and what is mostly a tourist trap. Follow this advice and I promise you will have a great time.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Thank you for the feedback, greatly appreciated.

So the general consensus means I will have to pack and repack the car

When I type in for hotels, they seem to point me to the downtown area, was wondering where is the best place to base myself in Toronto then.

Started scanning through the threads, as said plenty to do and as a marlins fan(I admitted that in public), a Blue Jays game would be great, think I should recognize 1/2 the players .
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingscotsman View Post
Thank you for the feedback, greatly appreciated.

So the general consensus means I will have to pack and repack the car

When I type in for hotels, they seem to point me to the downtown area, was wondering where is the best place to base myself in Toronto then.

Started scanning through the threads, as said plenty to do and as a marlins fan(I admitted that in public), a Blue Jays game would be great, think I should recognize 1/2 the players .
I don't think you'll have to repack the car if you plan strategically. Just pack a day-bag with some clothes and toiletries that you can use during your time in Niagara Falls, and leave the majority of your luggage in the car until you decamp in Toronto. Trust me, you really don't need to spend more than one day in Niagara Falls.

As far as hotels, you do want to stay downtown for sure, as the majority of the city's attractions can be reached from the downtown most easily by foot, streetcar, or subway. Like I said in my previous post, make sure you browse the threads in this forum because lots of good information has been given to visitors like yourself about where to go and what to do while you're here. Toronto is the kind of city that does have certain major tourist attractions like Casa Loma and the CN Tower, where you will spend a lot of money and probably walk away feeling dissatisfied with the experience (Casa Loma is beautiful to look at, but they really have done practically nothing to make it an actual attraction. You'll find there is nothing to see once you pay the entrance fee and go inside. The gardens are the nicest thing about the place, but there are other aces you can go in the city for free for the same experience). Instead, focus on the things that are not at the top of the tourist's to-do list, and you will get a much better sense of the city, get more for your money, and have a much nicer time.

Here is a brief list of some things you should definitely see while in the city:

- A baseball game at the Dome...err, Roger's Centre is great for baseball fans. Baseball isn't huge in Toronto like it used to be, so all you have to do is look up the Jay's schedule online, see when they're playing during your vacation, and show up at the box office that day to buy tickets any time before the game starts. You can also walk to the Dome...err, Roger's Centre from most downtown hotels.

- A visit to Queen's Park and the U of T Campus, especially the eastern flank if the campus. The Royal Ontario Museum is also in the area, as well as the popular Bata Shoe Museum.

- Chinatown and Kensington Market

- St. Lawrence Market, especially on a Saturday morning. If not a Saturday morning, any morning during the week (it's busiest during the morning)

- The Don Valley Brickworks

- Little Italy (College St.)

- The Art Gallery of Ontario

- Instead of going up the CN Tower, book reservations at Canoe (Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants - Canoe - Toronto Fine Dining Canadian Restaurant) where you can eat high-end Canadian cuisine on the top floor of the TD Bank Building (betcha didn't know that TD Bank, one of the biggest in America, stands for Toronto Dominion and is based in Toronto!). Same great views as the CN Tower, but much better value for the money.

- Bloor St. and Yorkville for high-end shopping

- To see some of Toronto's beautiful Victorian architecture, take the Carlton/College/Gerrard streetcar east to Parliament, and walk the streets of Cabbagetown. Or you could incorporate a look at Toronto's architecture with a walk of Queen St. West., one of Toronto's most happening streets. Take Queen west to Bathurst, and keep going to a street called Palmerston. Now walk north and keep walking - the houses get more beautiful the further north you go, and are at their most beautiful north of College. The Annex neighbourhood also has incredible Victorian mansions, and its adjacent to both U of T, the AGO, and Yorkville.

- The Beaches. Another great way to see Toronto is to take the Queen streetcar east to Woodbine, and the Beaches neighbourhood. Once you get off the streetcar at Woodbine, walk east to Beaches Park, then down through the park until you reach the beach, and the boardwalk.

- the Danforth and Greektown.

- Eaton Centre and Yonge-Dundas Square.

- Trinity Bellwoods Park - a busy urban park smack in the middle of a busy, happening downtown neighbourhood. Lots of great residential architecture to be seen on the nearby streets.

- Allen Gardens.

- The Toronto Islands

- The Entertainment District. Come on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night and let the good times roll. Considering taking in a show.

- I'm not sure what the schedule is this year, but Toronto has an excellent opera company if you like opera, a world-class symphony orchestra and ballet company, and tons of musical theatre, big-budget theatre and local theatre. Here's an excellent guide to Toronto's arts and culture happenings: Events / Toronto Arts Online / Root - Toronto Arts Online

- if you like amusement parks and roller coasters, Canada's Wonderland (just north of the city) is one of the best in North America.

This should help get you started.....hope you have a great time.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Toronto
13,351 posts, read 13,610,779 times
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I think Closer to the end of August would be a great time to come to Toronto this summer:

One of my favourite festivals is buskerfest and it will be on yonge street this year (pretty much the most famous street in Toronto - Eaton Centre is on it).

Scotiabank BuskerFest in Support of Epilepsy Toronto ~ August 22-25, 2013 in the Downtown Yonge Neighbourhood - Toronto (Canada)

While you are at it you can check out the CNE - Canadian National Exhibition
Plus....

The brand new
Ripley's Aquarium of Canada | Toronto Aquarium | Things to do in Toronto

Check out the Toronto City pass as well because it includes tickets to Casa Loma and although some don't recommend the CN Tower it has tickets to that it and really the view is extraordinary! and the ROM is included as well which is a fantastic Museum. Heck you can spend a whole day at the Toronto Zoo it is one of the best out there! All these are in the city pass for a great price! Seriously Three days worth of stuff for 62 bucks each person

Official Toronto CityPASS¬ģ | Visit 5 Toronto Attractions for US$*62.12

You can seriously spend a full week just in Toronto during the summer! As others mentioned off the beaten track there are amazing nabe's in Toronto!

As others have said, Niagara Falls can't be missed but Toronto should be the focus of any trip up here!

Last edited by fusion2; 05-30-2013 at 06:59 PM..
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