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RE: First time In canada

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RE: First time In canada

Hi all TripAdvisor users,

I hope you can help me.

Me and a friend are going to Canada in JJune (9th-16th) and will be staying at the Best Western PRimrose most probably or maybe Bond Place - not sure yet.

Anyway, we've decided not to hire a car because from doing research, traffic seems to be a problem and the cost of parking, let alone the possibility of finding a parking spot...so we will be relying on public transport for the duration of our stay.

However, I/We were wondering whether we should purchase a Weekly Pass or a Greater Toronto Pass as we probably will visit Playdium, Wonderland and the Zoo? And how long is the journey times to these places?

Secondly, is there anything to do in Brampton? People seem to mention that place alot, but will it be worth visiting for any tourist attraction(s)?

Thirdly, in regards to eating out, we will not be getting breakfast with out hotel stay so on overage/estimate, how much would we be looking at spending on food per day, for each person?

Fourthly, the Niagra falls seems to be a must on ANYONE visiting toronto...but how do we go about arranging a tour to Niagra from Downtown Toronto?

And finally, any good recommendations.ideas on how to organise transfers from Pearson Int'l Airport to Downtown please?

Thank you soo much in advance, for all those who can and may be able to help :D !


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1. Re: RE: First time In canada

I think tour busses leave toronto for Niagara falls every 3 minutes. You wont have a problem. Its a really classy place.. enjoy!

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: RE: First time In canada

Hi JayU89,


And I see that you are fairy NEW to TripAdvisor… so a BIG Welcome Aboard as well !!

Ok… June 9th to 16th… so approximately 8 Days…. with that amount of time you can’t count on seeing a lot of Canada… but you can some of Southern Ontario to get a feel for some aspects of Canada (Big City – Multi-Culturalism - Gorgeous Scenery – and variety of Geography)

Generally we say a MINIMUM of 4 DAYS for Toronto… Canada’s largest city… but with so much to see and do, would could certainly spend a week there !!

This part of Southern Ontario that wraps around the west shore of Lake Ontario is know as the Golden Horseshoe… from Niagara Falls to Oshawa… and represents the most densely populated portion of Canada… so yes traffic can certainly be an issue (Toronto being Canada’s biggest city only in size behind the US Cities of New YorkLA – and Chicago).

No need for a car in the City of Toronto, or for most of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area)… for as is the case for all major Canadian cities, the Toronto area (City & Suburbs) has decent transit (has to has we have such an extreme climate, and severe winters).

BUT if you want to get out into the countryside, and really see the scenery that sets Canada apart then a car is the best option, as public transit out into the countryside can be problematic… as inter-city transit leaves much to be desired being relatively EXPEN$IVE, inconvenient and infrequent (some towns only seeing service once a day… or every couple of days).

When it comes to Niagara Falls and the Niagara Region, there is evidence of both trends… good connections can be made to the City of Niagara Falls… either by Train, Bus or Organized Motorcoach Tour*

*NOTE – Organized Motorcoach Tours tend to be one-day affairs (aprox 9 to 10 Hours… which includes 4 Hours for Transportation to and from Niagara Falls). Most Tours are quite EXPEN$IVE considering they offer little more than Transportation which can be found much much cheaper ($ 100 or more VS fares starting at $ 1 … even a FUL FARE RETURN is considerably cheaper than a Motorcoach Tour)… SAVE YOUR MONEY… make it a DIY Adventure… Self Planning is easy enough to do for Niagara Falls (although Bus Tours offer VIP Service for Falls Attractions… in reality everyone still goes thru the same line ups etc).

Motorcoach Tours need to be evaluated for what it you are truly paying for. Many use the word “see” liberally in their tour descriptions, when all it really means is “drive by”. Motorcoach Tours tend to run $ 100 per person or more… and there is a lot of “misrepresentation in their advertising”… they are a good choice if they are your ONLY choice… but if you have the time, we recommend at least an OVERNIGHT in the Niagara Region… and also to enjoy Niagara By Night (Night Illuminations – Weekly Fireworks – Entertainment… Live Theatre, Comedy Clubs, Nightclubs, and Casinos).

BUT if you also want to get out into the countryside and explore the rest of the Niagara Region (recommended) then your options will be limited… there is an infrequent and EXPEN$IVE Shuttle to Historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, and no real transit out into Wine Country (Ontario’s Premier Wine Region) or to see sights such as Great Lake Beaches – Stunning Scenery of The Escarpment – Great Lake Beaches – Parkland for Camping, Horseback Riding, Hiking – Quaint Ontario Towns – or the Engineering Marvel that is the Giant Staircase Locks on the Welland Canal (that sees the ships and giant lakers “climb the mountain” UP The Escarpment from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, a difference in elevation of 100 Meters = 325 Feet).

All this and the tons to see and do in Niagara Falls itself, is why we tell Travellers to plan on a MINIMUM of an OVERNIGHT for their visit… Niagara Falls and the Niagara Region is truly a Destination in its own right… and so stays of 2 to 5 Days are not uncommon.

For more information on Niagara Falls and the whole Niagara Region and what there is to see and do…and plan out your visit see the NIAGARA FALLS and the NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE TA TRAVEL PAGES… and their respective TRAVEL FORUMS… you will a good assortment of Local Advisors & DEs in each, willing to help you plan out a great visit.

Hope this is helpful,



PS… For info on getting to and from Pearson ~ Toronto’s International Airport… see the TOP QUESTIONS ABOUT TORONTO (Box to the right of this screen) and the FAQ entitled *How to get from Toronto to Niagara Falls*

PPS… Not sure what CUBAFAN123 is talking about in Reply # 1… nothing runs every 3 Minutes !!

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3. Re: RE: First time In canada

Well you have Greyhound, Coach Canada and GO buses each having many daily buses to Niagara and they usually are at sightly different times, so it might not be every 3 mins but every hour, maybe every 30 mins...another words no problems getting to Niagara.

You can even rent a car but if so I recommend going non rush hours. A car can be nice to have in Niagara, in Toronto a car is a hassle more than a benefit.

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4. Re: RE: First time In canada

In answer to the one question you have that no one's taken on yet -- no, there is nothing to do in Brampton. It is a suburban municipality like any other, and having lived in Toronto my entire life I have never once had a reason to go to Brampton. I'm curious who these people are who mention that place a lot. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh to anyone on the forum who lives in Brampton, and I'm sure it's a fine place to raise a family and the property taxes are reasonable, but there's no reason to visit the place on a trip to Canada.

Now as you say, parking in downtown Toronto can be difficult and there's good public transit in the city, but some of the attractions you mention - the Toronto Zoo and Canada's Wonderland - are well outside the city centre and easier to get to by car. Certainly they can be accessed by public transportation, but it would be a trek. Maybe you'd want to consider renting a car just for part of your visit, so that you can make the trip to Niagara, and also use it to visit the zoo (in Scarborough) and wonderland (in Vaughan).

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5. Re: RE: First time In canada

Only thing I seen about Brampton is on another forum and the opinion of the place wasn't good at all.

Toronto, Ontario
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6. Re: RE: First time In canada

Brampton is a bedroom community on the outskirts of Mississauga. It exists because it is neither close to Toronto nor the Niagara region, but rather kinda halfway between. The house prices are cheaper there as a result, hence the references to people living there. There is nothing there in the way of tourism.

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7. Re: RE: First time In canada

You could perhaps take Tai Pan Tours to Niagara Falls? Tai Pan Tours seems to be very well known in the Toronto region.


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8. Re: RE: First time In canada

Here are some answers to your questions. Location wise, Bond Place is probably a bit better.The Best Western is in a less desireable area of the city and not necessarily the best place to be in the evenings. Bond Place is right near the Eaton Centre and in the Ryerson University area. The subway is very close by. You are much better off using the subway while you are in Toronto. There is lots to see and do in and around the area you are staying in. Think about visiting the Eaton Centre, China Town, St. Lawrence Market, Yorkville just to name a few. Travelling time from Bond Place to the Toronto Zoo is going to be around 75 minutes. You can reach the Zoo by taking the subway north to the Sheppard Line. Take the Sheppard line to Don Mills Station. There is a bus from there. This would probably be a day trip. I would recommend a full day at Canada's Wonderland. Bring your bathing suit as well since they have a water park there. I know that there is a bus to Wonderland but I have never taken it. You can find out about fares for Toronto at the TTC or Toronto Transit Commission website.

In terms of Niagara Falls, there are buses that leave from the bus terminal regularly (Dundas and Bay). It is also located close to Eaton Centre, so one more reason to stay at the Bond Hotel. You could also look at taking the Go Train to Niagara Falls. I think it might just run on weekends but it would be a bit more comfortable and probably faster than the bus. You can get information about the Go Train from Go Transit.com.

Food - breakfast. There are a lot of fast food places in downtown Toronto. Tim Horten's is very popular and well as a lot a bagel shops. A coffee and bagelwith cream cheese will run you around $5 a day. There are a lot of sandwich type shops and as well very good restaurants. The skies the limit cost wise. There are also small convenience storeswhere you can pick up some grocery items.

There are several options to get to downtown from the airport. You can take the bus to York Mills subway station and then take the subway south to Dundas Street. A shuttle bus I have used stops at some of the downtown hotels. I get on at the Royal York Hotel. I think the fair is around $12.

Not sure if I already mentioned this, but Brampton is not a tourist destination.

Good luck and hope this helps.

9. Re: RE: First time In canada

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