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Before we even start City Guide : Toronto, go grab your Passport. This is not a joke. Go get it now and verify that it is current and won’t expire within six (6) months of travel. If not, follow this link to renew.

HOW TO GET TO TORONTO : 

BY AIR

Roundtrip flights from Seattle to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport often range from approx. $425.00 CAD for off peak to $625.00+ for peak, with the majority of affordable flights being through Air Canada or United. Non-stop service is available and is usually not a factor when cost is concerned, however most flights will take you through Vancouver/Edmonton/Chicago. Transport from Pearson is fairly easy with a vast majority of cabs available (approx. cost $65.00 CAD - $88.00 CAD to downtown centre) or the famous GO Train (approx. $15.40 CAD to downtown centre (For Pearson Airport select “Malton” as the arrival City/Town.)).  Alternative airports outside of Pearson International include Billy Bishop Airport which lands in the heart of downtown Toronto (ticket prices will increase at a min. $100.00 CAD to land here and give you an extra stop-over) and Buffalo/Niagara International Airport (158.4 KM/98.4 Miles south of Toronto). The Buffalo option costs pretty much the exact same as it would flying in to Toronto, however if you take this option you would only require your Enhanced Driver’s License or Passport Card to enter Canada, vice your full Passport. This option will likely also require a Rental Car.  

BY CAR 

Probably not your best bet as it’s a 4080.9 KM / 2535.75 mile journey but, if you’re looking to make the trip into a weeklong cross-country trek, this is the option for you (and hopefully a few Travel Monkeys). This also gives you more options for Border crossings as you can jump in to Canada at almost any time, depending on how much of the US/Canada you wish to see! Parking can get expensive in Toronto if you don’t know where to go. Downtown will usually set you back anywhere from $20.00 CAD to $50.00 CAD a day, so be sure to shop around where your hotel is located for the best option.  

If you take the “Fly in to Buffalo” option and rent a car, you’re looking at about a 2hr drive plus the border crossing at Niagara Falls (approx. 45min on a good day). 

GETTING AROUND THE CITY :

PUBLIC TRANSIT

While there are Taxis, you really could not ask for a better Metro Transit System than what is offered in Toronto. Remember the GO Train mentioned above? Yeah. It’s awesome and will take you virtually anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that you want, and well beyond. If that’s not your thing there’s also the old school TTC Streetcars that are great for getting around the Downtown & Uptown areas. 

The station you would require to get to BMO Field is “Exhibition.”

THINGS TO SEE & DO IN “THE SIX”

Enjoy the best views in the city from the western hemisphere’s tallest free-standing structure – the CN Tower. The CN Tower is an awe-inspiring architectural and engineering wonder of the world that is a symbol of pride for Toronto residents, Ontario residents and all Canadians. If you’re truly feeling adventurous, you can even try the Edgewalk. 

Great picnic fare and edible souvenirs can be discovered at The St. Lawrence Market, ranked by National Geographic as the world’s best food market. Set in Old Town Toronto, take your taste-buds on a stroll through its famous produce and food stalls, restaurants, art exhibits and cooking classes. Be sure to try the famous peameal bacon sandwich at Carousel Bakery, recently named Toronto’s signature dish

Featuring the most elaborate collection of hockey memorabilia and gear from across the globe, as well as interactive games, multimedia stations and exhibits on the game’s greatest players, there’s something for everyone at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Be sure to visit one of the most coveted prizes in professional sports, the Stanley Cup. 

Recognized as a National Historic Site, the Distillery Historic District is one of Toronto’s most picturesque sites with its cobblestone laneways and Victorian era buildings. It was Toronto’s first distillery–which produced almost half of Ontario’s total spirit production in 1871–and is now home to high-end boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. 

If you’re really wanting to be a proper tourist, purchase a Toronto CityPass for approximately 43% off admission to five major Toronto attractions – the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma, Ripley’s Aquarium and either Toronto Zoo OR Ontario Science Centre. See the best Toronto has to offer while saving money and skipping ticket lines.

EAT, DRINK, & BE MERRY 

For the thirsty, there’s Steam Whistle Brewery located in the heart of the downtown at the base of the CN Tower in Toronto’s old train garage. Some of you may remember it from the brewery tour event Sounders North put on during the MLS Cup final. If you need more convincing, you also get a complimentary 6 oz sampler just for walking through the door! 

Another Toronto beer pioneer, beerbistro is trendier than a pub and more casual than a fancy restaurant. It features a wide array of domestic and international beers, including numerous exclusives. It also boasts a food menu heavy on “beer cuisine.” (you can even order beer-flavoured ice-cream).

Beer is more than just a refreshing beverage to the people at Bier Markt — it’s a passion. Let the knowledgeable staff help you choose from among their 150 different beers. Pair your selection with a dish from the European brasserie-inspired menu for an unforgettable culinary experience.

Toronto’s oldest brewpub offers upscale pub food and English-style brews from its on-site brewery. Now entering its third decade of operation, The Granite is renowned for its cask-conditioned ales – English-style brews that receive their final fermentation in the barrel and are served at cool rather than cold temperatures. 

If it’s sports you’re looking for, between the 199 HD TVs (including one measuring 39 feet!), 126 draft taps and rowdy crowd of fans, RealSports offers an epic sports experience. Voted the #1 sports bar in North America by ESPN, the Toronto outpost beside the Air Canada Centre plays every sport on the pitch, court or rink.

For those who are staying a few extra nights and really want to wet their whistle on some fine ales (we’re from the PNW, of course we want to drink some craft beer!), grab a Craft Beer Passport and explore the city’s best brew pubs & ale houses!

And then, of course, there can be only one absolute “Must Stop” location… The Loose Moose. Since 1989, this indie sports bar near the Air Canada Centre has stayed true to its mission to provide a comfy and casual space to unwind and watch the game. The bar may pride itself on having “the most draft taps downtown” but there’s no beer snobbery here, nor is there sport snobbery. With room for 314 people on the roadhouse-style communal tables and mismatching chairs, even lukewarm sports fans will feel at home after a couple of shots. We know we felt at home when the Rave Green invaded TLM during the MLS Cup Final. 

WHERE TO STAY

Toronto has plenty of options for places to stay, all at very fair rates. For many who travelled on the MLS Cup Final, the Delta Hotels by Marriott was the spot to be, not just because it is in the heart of downtown (one block from the CN Tower, ACC, and Union Station) but also because it’s the hotel of choice for the Seattle Sounders. Other hotel options in the downtown core include the Holiday Inn, The Chelsea Hotel, The Hotel Victoria, and the Renaissance by Marriott.

We understand that everyone’s taste in hotels is going to vary, however we would suggest staying closer to the downtown area of Toronto as it makes life easier to navigate the city. 

MATCH DAY 

In trips past, we’ve pre-func’d at the aforementioned Loose Moose (146 Front Street West), and likely will again. When purchasing your transit tickets, buying them earlier in the day (rather than just before the match) will save you a lot of time and hassle. The station you will require to get to BMO Field is “Exhibition.” As for the March To The Match, details will be posted in the Away Match thread and on the Travel Page.

GET HOME

Head South of the 49th parallel and declare 3 points at the border.