Our Toronto Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help planning your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Canada. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from the airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need? We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips.

It’s all compiled in this Toronto Travel Essentials. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip in Toronto, Canada.

  • When is the best time to travel to Toronto?

    When is the best time to travel to Toronto?

    Toronto has a humid continental climate, with average temperatures ranging from -3°C in winter to 22°C in summer.

    • Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, with an average of 10-15 rainy days per month.
    • Snowfall can be expected between November and April.
    • June-August is peak tourist season, with hotel and flight prices rising accordingly.
    • April-May and September-October are great times to visit as you’ll avoid the peak season’s throngs and flight and hotel prices are more affordable. The weather is pleasant, but pack a jumper as temperatures can be brisk after sunset.
  • Toronto basics

    Toronto basics
    • Languages: Primary: English; Secondary: French
    • Plug types: A and B
    • Electricity: 120 V
    • Currency: Canadian Dollar (C$)
    • International dialling codes: +1 416
    • Emergency telephone number: 911
  • How to get to my hotel in Toronto?

    How to get to my hotel in Toronto?

    Toronto Pearson International Airport

    Toronto Pearson International Airport is the primary airport serving Toronto. One of the largest and busiest airport in Canada, it sits 20 km west-northwest of the city centre. It has 2 passenger terminals and 1 infield terminal. Terminal 1 is one of the largest buildings in the world. The airport hosts a great range of dining and shopping options, as well as facilities including banking and currency exchange services. There are several transfer options to reach Downtown Toronto:

    • A taxicab takes around 25-35 minutes. Taxi ranks can be found outside door D on the Arrivals Level of Terminal 1 and doors D, E and F on the Arrivals Level of Terminal 3.
    • You can also use Uber and Lyft apps at Toronto Airport. The pick-up areas are at doors Q and P on the Ground Level of Terminal 1 or Arrivals Level door D in Terminal 3.
    • The UP Express air-rail link can take you to Downtown Toronto in around 25 minutes. The Union Pearson Express Station is accessible on foot from Terminal 1 and via a short ride on the free Terminal Link Train from Terminal 3.
    • Public bus services take around 75 minutes. The bus stops are in the Terminal 1 transit hub. It’s the cheapest way to reach central Toronto.
    • Car rental agencies can be found on Level 1 of the Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 parking garages.

    Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

    Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is the secondary airport serving Toronto. It’s on Toronto Island, 2.5 km southwest of the city centre, it’s one the busiest Canadian airports that serves the US. Billy Bishop Airport has 1 passenger terminal, in which you’ll find dining and shopping facilities as well as banking and currency exchange services. There are several transfer options to reach Downtown Toronto:

    • A complimentary shuttle bus can take you to Union Station in around 15-20 minutes. The bus stop is just outside the terminal.
    • A taxicab takes around 10-15 minutes. The taxi rank is right in front the terminal exit.
    • You can also use Uber and Lyft apps in Toronto Airport. The pick-up area is just outside the terminal.
    • Car rental agencies can be found in the arrivals hall.

    If you come by train to Toronto

    Union Station is a major transportation hub in Toronto. It has a stunning Beaux-Arts-style Great Hall and the 22 columns of the façade makes it look like a Roman temple. Served by Via Rail and Amtrak lines, it’s home to dining and shopping outlets. From here, you can get anywhere in the city by metro, bus or taxi.

    photo by abdallahh (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • How to get around Toronto?

    Travel tips

    How to get around Toronto?

    Downtown Toronto and the Old Town cover a 6 sq km area that can easily be explored on foot. You’ll find many landmarks and attractions within walking distance, such as Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, St. Lawrence Market, and the CN Tower, just to name a few. The city centre also hosts a great choice of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options. For longer journeys, a good choice of public and private transport services is at hand.

  • TTC - Toronto Transit Commission

    TTC - Toronto Transit Commission

    The TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) is in charge of public transport in Toronto. It operates subway, bus and streetcar networks, which cover the entire city and much of the Greater Toronto Area (commonly known as the GTA).

    • Tickets are slightly cheaper if you purchase a token with a minimum of 3 tickets.
    • Weekly Passes are available.
    • Tickets and passes can be purchased in subway stations and at over 1,200 authorized TTC Fare Sellers throughout the city.
  • Taking a taxi

    Taking a taxi

    Taxis can be hailed on the street in Toronto and you can easily find cab stands outside hotels and near the main attractions and shopping areas.

    • You can also directly call popular companies such as City Taxi (416-740-2222), CO-OP Cabs (416-504-2667) or Beck Taxi (416-751-5555), just to name a few.
    • Prices are regulated.
    • Most taxis accept the payment of the fare by credit card, but it’s better to ask the driver before you get in.
    • It’s common to give a 10-20% tip to the taxi driver.
    • Uber, Lyft and local taxi apps can also be used to hail a taxi in Toronto.
  • Cycling with Bike Share Toronto

    Cycling with Bike Share Toronto

    Bike Share Toronto features over 300 docking stations across the city. Download the Transit app and purchase a 1-Day Pass or a 3-Day Pass. These give you unlimited 30-minute rides for 24 or 72 hours respectively.

  • What are the main annual events in Toronto?

    What are the main annual events in Toronto?

    Winterlicious and Summerlicious Festivals

    • What: Winterlicious and Summerlicious are 2 annual food festivals. Over 150 restaurants participate, offering discount menus during the 2 main slow times of the year.
    • When: Early February and Early July
    • Where: In over 150 restaurants throughout the city

    Pride Toronto

    • What: One of the largest Gay Pride festivals in the world, Pride Toronto celebrates the LGBT community through events held across the city centre. The highlights of the festival are the Dyke March and the Pride parade.
    • When: Last week of June
    • Where: In many locations throughout Downtown Toronto

    Toronto International Film Festival

    • What: The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the most attended film festivals in the world, after Berlin and Cannes. You’ll discover new movies and have the chance to see many world-class actors, directors and producers during lectures, discussions and workshops.
    • When: September
    • Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox