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To rent a car or to Taxi

Taipei, Taiwan
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5 posts
11 reviews
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To rent a car or to Taxi

I am planning to visit some family members for 2 months (nov and Dec) with my 2 years old toddler and my mother. Since we will be staying with my family, we will be saving a lot on that, but they don't have an extra car that I could borrow. So I looked up renting out a car with full insurances it will costs us around CAD3500, which is a bit too much for us.

Am wondering if taking a taxi might be the right thing to do (cheaper) instead of renting a car. We will be staying at Pickering, and I will love to take my toddler out for a walk everyday (if it gets too cold then we'll grab a cab and head to some indoor play area). Weekly travel to Zoos or other kid friendly places such as YMCA? Would also love to go the farmer's markets and do grocery shoppings. We'll like to visit Niagara falls as well for a 2 day trip, and likely head over to Buffalo for some shopping trip.

I know I could probably grab a cab to GO and use the subway, but I've been told that it's too cold waiting for the subway and that it's not a good idea specially with a toddler.

We are from a hot South American country where the snow is unknown to us, so might not have cold resistance.

St. Lawrence Market
Flea & Street Markets, Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Brookfield Place
Art Galleries, Points of Interest & Landmarks
SE Ontario
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21,370 posts
14 reviews
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1. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

Taxi costs will add up quickly, especially travelling from Pickering, which is a good distance from the city. Babies and toddlers in Canada deal with cold temperatures just fine when they are dressed appropriately - no reason that yours cannot adapt. The key for all of you is to have appropriate cold weather clothing - which can be found easily at any major department store (which your family should know about). You can also find good second hand winter clothing at budget and second hand clothing stores. There's no such thing as "cold resistance" - thousands of people from warmer climates immigrate to Canada every year and adjust. You just need to dress properly.

You'd be best to use public transit, and rent a car when you have a day trip planned, or are going longer distances. Transit schedules - whether by GO or TTC are posted online, and it's easy to plan your trip without waiting outside too long. Note that November & December temperatures are actually not as cold as later in the winter.

Also note - farmers markets don't happen in the winter.

Lastly - if you have no experience driving in winter conditions - snow, sleet, ice - then we recommend you don't do it.

Edited: 21 July 2013, 13:09
Toronto
Destination Expert
for Algonquin Provincial Park
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4,116 posts
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2. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

Some farmers markets run through the winter, such as the ones at St. Lawrence Market north building and the Wychwood Barns (both saturday mornings), since they have indoor spaces. But of course the fresh local produce is more limited in the off season.

Most subway platforms are indoors, not as warm as inside a house but warmer than standing outside.

Ontario
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999 posts
14 reviews
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3. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

If your relatives are unable to pick you up from the airport, a taxi may be your best option. I would suggest renting a car locally in Pickering for a few days or a week at a time and planning to do the activities that are more easily done by car then. Off airport rentals can be cheaper if you shop around and they often have weekend specials that are good from Thursday to Monday.

Burlington, Canada
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28 reviews
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4. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

Theoretically speaking, you could always buy a cheap used car for $1,000....but since you don't have winter driving experience I don't know if I'd go that route. However, I've heard of people doing that when visiting countries for a long stretch. You could find something online like on this website......

www.kijiji.ca

But of course there is the hassle of getting it certified, getting license plates, car seat etc... though. But for a 2 month visit it's sometimes worth it. Unfortunately Pickering is kind of far to travel toToronto if going by transit....over 1 hour each way for sure . It's pretty easily done but if you're like me, who uses a car daily, you just might tire of using public transit quickly. Transit is great if you are in the city but being out in the suburbs like you will be is a different story.

Edited: 21 July 2013, 22:03
Taipei, Taiwan
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5 posts
11 reviews
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5. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

Oh no, from the map it looks pretty close LOL Guess I will have to rent a car no matter what, and don't worry folks, I def. won't be driving when there's ice or snow, might not even drive when it rains just to be superb safe with my toddler onboard. I will be flying with our car seat so that is not a big issue. But still, thanks tons ppl for your input, I will be looking into warm 2nd hand cloth shops and perhaps try to plan out our trip in advance.

Krustytripper, thanks for the suggestion but buying a car and go through the whole hassle is really a bit too much to do all the paper works and stuffs with my fussy toddler... (sigh) and honestly am not really great with fixing cars if anything goes wrong on the road.

traveller_yyz, can you recommend some local car renting companies? most that I can find I'll have to pick up from airport the day I arrive... Thanks!

Toronto, Canada
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15,174 posts
778 reviews
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6. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

I'd try Expedia.ca for renting a car, even priceline, I've had some success there renting in Canada....

Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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4,116 posts
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7. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

Pickering is "pretty close" to Toronto, yes, in that they are adjacent municipalities. But Toronto itself covers a huge area extending far from the downtown core. Toronto's public transit system (the TTC) with its subways etc does not extend into Pickering, through Durham Region (which includes Pickering) has its own bus system. GO Transit is a regional commuter service that crosses these municipal boundaries, but its stations are much more sparsely distributed and its vehicles less frequent than a local service's.

Taipei, Taiwan
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5 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

quick question, are all of those transportation systems' ticket/pass interchangeable?

Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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4,116 posts
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9. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

Nope. That's the other annoying thing about it.

Toronto, Ontario
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for Toronto
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10. Re: To rent a car or to Taxi

Perhaps you might consider taking one of those weeks (earlier rather than later, to avoid Christmas price bumps) and staying in downtown Toronto. Look at the things you might want to do in the core of the city (visiting the CN tower, seeing the St. Lawrence market, which most kids love), perhaps taking in a museum (ROM has great stuff for kids). Book a hotel for 3-5 days and do all that stuff in the core, and you can easily use the subway in downtown.

Pickering is just outside our city limits (which at that side is Scarborough). While adjacent to Toronto, it is outside the subway and bus transit for Toronto, but accessible by our public GO Train system. You could use the GO Train to get into the city, and then use TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) to get around. Two separate sets of tickets.

Driving in from Pickering isn't that long; about 25-30 minutes WHEN IT WORKS. I emphasized that specifically because when it's rush hour...aaaarrrrgggghhhhh, that can easily double.

Have a look at Pickering's own website, https:/… and also ask your family there for their sugggestions of stuff to do. If you keep going EAST of Pickering, instead of coming into downtown Toronto, there's Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa, all of which have things that can easily keep you and your wee one occupied, and are just as accessible to you out that way, than coming into downtown Toronto.

Ajax: http://www.ajax.ca/en/#

Whitby: http://www.whitby.ca/en/

Oshawa: http://www.oshawa.ca/ (Oshawa is very much centred on car manufacturing here in Ontario, which is a huge part of our business base in this province.)

Between those 3 communities, you may find some more of what you're seeking, i.e. local markets (even in November!), local community centres, etc.

Enjoy your trip.