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Thread summary:

Planning group trip to Toronto, Canada, courtyard dining, ethnic restaurants, Korean, Italian, Japanese, Mexican food, bars with character, live DJs, great shopping, best markets

 
Old 03-23-2008, 02:21 PM
 
2,204 posts, read 6,464,065 times
Reputation: 388

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Okay folks ... I know this is a little early (beginning Sept), but I'm in charge of planning a trip for about 10 people and I need to have my ***** together. Also, I'd like to give this discussion time so that everyone can chime in with their personal taste.

My blabbering on and on about how great Toronto is has birthed this interest in some friends of mine and we all decided to drive to Toronto this Sept. So, I have to make the trip live up to it's words or else I'll never hear the end of it!

A little about us: it'll be about 5 males, 5 females 25-30'ish.

What we're looking for:

Hotel: Something downtown, centrally located (close to what we'd want to see anyway). Something tall with great views. We won't be spending too much time in the hotel, but a pool and a nice bar is a plus. Something contemporary and something much cheaper than $300/night. Also, for instance when you go to a DT Chicago hotel, the rate is usually about $33/night for your vehicle to be parked there, is this the same with TO?

Restaurants: I'm really interested in courtyard dinging (something outside?). In Cincy we have plenty of German & Indian type restaurants, so I'm looking for authentic Italian, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Mediterranean specific. Also, the closer to DT the better.

Bars: Hole in the wall places. Something with a personal feel. Live bands, more acoustic than heavy. Something with tons of beer options on tap! Something old with flavor and character.

Clubs: Something with good live DJ's originalty. Specifically House Music. Also a club that spins trip hop, or acid jazz. The bigger the better. If I'm going to a club like this, I like to be surrounded by people. Also modern and contemporary is a plus!

Art Museums: Modern and Classical. Also, if there's a specialty museum that'd be great!

Shopping: You guys have a fantastic DT mall, the best I've ever seen (and this will probably satisfy), but what about specialty shopping. Are there any stores that we "just have to check out" ... something unique to Toronto?

Markets: This is another area that Toronto kicks ass in, but I've only been to about 2 or 3. Something close to the CBD ... What are the best markets to go to and on what days and what times?

Streets: Besides Yonge, what are the best streets to walk (for a couple of miles)?

(blank)Town: I've been to Chinatown (fantastic!), but what are the best villages or towns that are impressive? i.e. Cabbagetown, Little Italy, etc ...

Streetcars: I guess with whatever hotel you guys suggest, how do these places that you guys suggest coincide with the streetcar lines? Are we going to be able to traverse to these areas(places) on streetcars or are we going to have to drive? If by streetcar, is there an unlimited "token" or pass that would be cheaper?

Hockey: I think the Maple Leafs pre-season starts mid-Sept. do you know if it has the possibility of starting sooner?

Crossing the Ambassador: We went last June and all you needed was a Passport or Birth Certificate. I've heard that you need a Passport now, is this correct?

Concerts: How is the concert scene in Toronto in Sept.? I know they usually aren't announced until about a month before, but for instance I could tell you that September is a good month for concerts in Cincinnati.

Weather: We're going a little late in the year than I'd really like to go. One of the guys in our group isn't getting back from Columbia until the end of August, that's why we're not coming up earlier this summer. I saw on Weather.com, that it usually hovers around 65-70º ... Is it usually warm around then and what about rain? It'd suck to get there and it rain the whole time.




Guys, I know this is a lot, but every suggestion and reply is greatly appreciated! Seriously. Also, I know this is early, but this could be a good thread for someone else to see that's visiting!
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:48 PM
 
6 posts, read 21,551 times
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Let me take a stab at this one:

Hotels: Try 1 King West... It doesn't have a pool (well, it has a wave pool), but it's very centrally located (on top of the King Subway line). It a fairly new hotel/residence and the rooms are quite a bit bigger than most, and I believe all of them have a small kitchen along with washer/dryer... which is a bonus. The views can be great, if you get a high floor facing west. I stayed there for a month in between leases, and can't recommend the place enough. Another option - for convenience - is Holiday Inn on King. I haven't stayed there, so you might want to check tripadvisor for guest comments.

Restaurants: Flatiron and Firkin is a pub where Front St. meets Wellington... I wouldn't say the food is outstanding, but the patio is VERY nice. For italian, I would recommend Terroni on Adelaide (no patio though). Mexican is notoriously horrible in Toronto. One of my favourite places in Toronto is Torito Tapas in Kensington Market on Augusta. It's a generous walk (but definitely doable) from the CBD, but it might be a perfect meal after spending the afternoon at Kensington Market or Chinatown. They have a great patio in the back. Baldwin Street is also a charming tree lined street full of lovely restaurants with patios. For better recommendations, you might want to check out chowhound.com.

Bars/Clubs: Sorry, can't help you too much with this one. The main club scene is in the entertainment district which runs on Richmond between University and Spadina... but I'm more into the blues/jazz scene, and therefore hung out at a crazy hole-in-the wall place (emphasis on 'hole') called Grossmans, which is on Spadina just south of College. Very cheap drinks, regular patrons, and very good live blues every night. Did I mention it was a hole? Another haunt for live jazz was the Reservoir lounge on Wellington.

Art Museums: Check out the newly renovated Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) or the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). For off the wall places, check out the Bata Shoe Museum and the Textile Museum.

Shopping: The mall you refer to is the Eaton Centre. I'm having a brain cramp and can't think of any other uniquely Torontonian things... Hmmm, we have the PATH which is an extensive network of underground tunnels that connect many of the Office Towers and Subway systems downtown. These are generally for 9-5'ers and have tons of shops and restaurants. It might be worth a look if the weather turns bad.

Markets: Well, there's the St. Lawrence Market on Front Street at Jarvis. It's open daily from Tuesday through to Saturday, but it closes at six, I think. If you go there, have an eggplant parm sandwich from Mustachios! Kensington Market isn't a market, per se, but a neighbourhood. It is very cool and bohemian and on the cusp of being gentrified. One of my favourite areas of Toronto.

Streets to Walk on: Queen Street between University and Shaw. (Bohemian and shopping); Spadina between King and College (Chinatown area); Bloor between Yonge and Bathurst (High end shops); Danforth (Greektown); College west of Bathurst (Little Italy).

Transit: All the places I've mentioned are walkable from the hotels I've suggested. Some are healthy walks - but definitely done. I neither want to praise or diss the Toronto Transit system - it will get you where you need to go, it's safe, and you can get either daily or weekly passes depending on how long you're staying.

Hockey: Can't help you. Check out the Toronto Maple Leaf website.

Bridge crossings: Can't help you.

Concerts: Definitely a pretty good scene in Toronto in September. Look into V-Fest on the Toronto island (Sept 6/7). Also check out this site for specific listings: CANOE -- JAM! Canadian Concert Listings

Weather: September is unpredictible. Count on cool nights for sure, but you may have lovely warm autumn days too.

Best of luck with your trip - post back to let us know how it goes!

Last edited by Canadian_In_Manhattan; 05-12-2008 at 06:58 PM.. Reason: to correct 'some' typos!
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:39 AM
 
5 posts, read 7,422 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy-Rise View Post
Okay folks ... I know this is a little early (beginning Sept), but I'm in charge of planning a trip for about 10 people and I need to have my ***** together. Also, I'd like to give this discussion time so that everyone can chime in with their personal taste.

My blabbering on and on about how great Toronto is has birthed this interest in some friends of mine and we all decided to drive to Toronto this Sept. So, I have to make the trip live up to it's words or else I'll never hear the end of it!

A little about us: it'll be about 5 males, 5 females 25-30'ish.

What we're looking for:

Hotel: Something downtown, centrally located (close to what we'd want to see anyway). Something tall with great views. We won't be spending too much time in the hotel, but a pool and a nice bar is a plus. Something contemporary and something much cheaper than $300/night. Also, for instance when you go to a DT Chicago hotel, the rate is usually about $33/night for your vehicle to be parked there, is this the same with TO?

Restaurants: I'm really interested in courtyard dinging (something outside?). In Cincy we have plenty of German & Indian type restaurants, so I'm looking for authentic Italian, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Mediterranean specific. Also, the closer to DT the better.

Bars: Hole in the wall places. Something with a personal feel. Live bands, more acoustic than heavy. Something with tons of beer options on tap! Something old with flavor and character.

Clubs: Something with good live DJ's originalty. Specifically House Music. Also a club that spins trip hop, or acid jazz. The bigger the better. If I'm going to a club like this, I like to be surrounded by people. Also modern and contemporary is a plus!

Art Museums: Modern and Classical. Also, if there's a specialty museum that'd be great!

Shopping: You guys have a fantastic DT mall, the best I've ever seen (and this will probably satisfy), but what about specialty shopping. Are there any stores that we "just have to check out" ... something unique to Toronto?

Markets: This is another area that Toronto kicks ass in, but I've only been to about 2 or 3. Something close to the CBD ... What are the best markets to go to and on what days and what times?

Streets: Besides Yonge, what are the best streets to walk (for a couple of miles)?

(blank)Town: I've been to Chinatown (fantastic!), but what are the best villages or towns that are impressive? i.e. Cabbagetown, Little Italy, etc ...

Streetcars: I guess with whatever hotel you guys suggest, how do these places that you guys suggest coincide with the streetcar lines? Are we going to be able to traverse to these areas(places) on streetcars or are we going to have to drive? If by streetcar, is there an unlimited "token" or pass that would be cheaper?

Hockey: I think the Maple Leafs pre-season starts mid-Sept. do you know if it has the possibility of starting sooner?

Crossing the Ambassador: We went last June and all you needed was a Passport or Birth Certificate. I've heard that you need a Passport now, is this correct?

Concerts: How is the concert scene in Toronto in Sept.? I know they usually aren't announced until about a month before, but for instance I could tell you that September is a good month for concerts in Cincinnati.

Weather: We're going a little late in the year than I'd really like to go. One of the guys in our group isn't getting back from Columbia until the end of August, that's why we're not coming up earlier this summer. I saw on Weather.com, that it usually hovers around 65-70º ... Is it usually warm around then and what about rain? It'd suck to get there and it rain the whole time.




Guys, I know this is a lot, but every suggestion and reply is greatly appreciated! Seriously. Also, I know this is early, but this could be a good thread for someone else to see that's visiting!
The Holiday Inn downtown on King St. is exactly what you are looking for. It is in the heart of the entertainment district and the hotel is quite nice. There are all kinds of activities going on around that area and if you book in advance you should get a rate of about $100.00 per night for a double. I think the parking is added to your bill and it is about $8 per day.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:51 AM
 
5 posts, read 7,422 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatads View Post
The Holiday Inn downtown on King St. is exactly what you are looking for. It is in the heart of the entertainment district and the hotel is quite nice. There are all kinds of activities going on around that area and if you book in advance you should get a rate of about $100.00 per night for a double. I think the parking is added to your bill and it is about $8 per day.
If you want a great selection of beer and scotch, there is a small bar on the Danforth, It is close to Broadview which has the largest selections of tapped and bottled beer in the world. It also has this incredible scotch
selection. It is a small place with a great patio in the back with these huge trees. It is a real cool spot. If nobody mentions this place to you it is hard to find it. The subway takes you just about to the door. The subway or the transit cost $ 2.75 a ride , but they also sell weekend passes that you can use as many times as you want and it is transferable. . Toronto has a great transit system you can get around the whole city, driving in a city where you are not use to is a real drag, it is hard on the nerves and you allways get lost. The holiday Inn which I mentioned to you earlier has a transit stop right outside its door and you are where all the action is with bars it is a real fun time and extremely safe, it is heavily policed and the staff at these places really look after tourists. If you want anoter mall to check out go you Yorkdale, the subway takes you right to the entrance and it has some unique stores especially clothing.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:51 AM
 
9,336 posts, read 21,217,777 times
Reputation: 4556
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy-Rise View Post

Hotel: Something downtown, centrally located (close to what we'd want to see anyway). Something tall with great views. We won't be spending too much time in the hotel, but a pool and a nice bar is a plus. Something contemporary and something much cheaper than $300/night. Also, for instance when you go to a DT Chicago hotel, the rate is usually about $33/night for your vehicle to be parked there, is this the same with TO?
I have stayed at the Four Seasons and Park Hyatt on Avenue Road. Nice location, nice hotel.. but parking is $40/day. Your best bet is probably hotwire.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy-Rise View Post
Art Museums: Modern and Classical. Also, if there's a specialty museum that'd be great!
Just go to Royal Ontario and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Both have online websites which describe their collection. You should buy an Insight Guide to Toronto which I lend to friends when they visit the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy-Rise View Post
Markets: This is another area that Toronto kicks ass in, but I've only been to about 2 or 3. Something close to the CBD ... What are the best markets to go to and on what days and what times?
St Lawrence Market and Kensington Market. Saturdays is best for both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy-Rise View Post
Streets: Besides Yonge, what are the best streets to walk (for a couple of miles)?
Yonge? God knows no.. there are much more interesting streets to walk about. I would walk around the Annex, the Beaches and Cabbagetown. Be sure to have a meal on the Danforth and brunch at the brewery at the Distillery district.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy-Rise View Post
Crossing the Ambassador: We went last June and all you needed was a Passport or Birth Certificate. I've heard that you need a Passport now, is this correct?
Last I read, passport is now required to get into Canada and return to the US but you can google the websites for Canadian and US immigration service is your best bet for the final word on documentation requirements.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:56 PM
 
20 posts, read 105,232 times
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For bars (I'm an expert on this so listen up ), there are some great "hole-in-the-wall" places in and around Queen St near Spadina. Horseshoe Tavern might interest you, they tend to have live music there all the time and I'm sure there are other places, just listen for the loud music pouring into the street. For more of a club atmosphere, head south a bit to the Entertainment District in the area of Adelaide St W. There's no shortage of places to be jolly and marry in this area, with clubs and bars for all types of people, they're not hard to find.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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BTW if you buy the weekly TTC pass its sold on Thursday for the following week (good for Monday-Sunday travel)...
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:20 AM
 
197 posts, read 943,272 times
Reputation: 94
This was posted a year ago.. updates? How was your trip?
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