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A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

Zurich, Switzerland
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A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

Hello

In April I am heading 'home' to Toronto for a 3 week visit alone with my 2 little ones(6 and3) and since I moved away almost 15 years ago, I'm not up-to-date on the traffic I hear about these days! I go back every few years but never alone with kiddies:)

I land at 3pm, will rent a car so I will be leaving yyz around 4:30 with 2 very tired kids as it'll be 10:30pm our time and a 12 hour day travelling.

I'm in no rush to get into the city and was planning a downtown hotel the first night anyway. Now I'm re-thinking a hotel closer to the airport. I've promised my kids a swimming pool, a yummy dinner and a trip to a toy shop(Walmart or anything will do) to buy a few new things for the upcoming few weeks at friends and family.

So finally my question-is it silly to venture into the city at 4.30-5 or shoud we stay further out and make the journey in the next day? If so, where should I look? Etobicoke or Missisauga? Any hotels with some reasonable kids shops very near by, maybe even walking distance? And good pool, and kid friendly restaurants. A tall order perhaps!

Many many thanks! Looking forward to showing my kids where I grew up!

Edited: 06 February 2014, 13:45
SE Ontario
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1. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

Well ... yes, you'd be in the thick of it then... assuming you are arriving on a weekday. Remember traffic will be going out of downtown, and it will be heavy in that area. Problem here is that most airport hotels are not near shopping.

You might consider the Holiday Inn Yorkdale - across from Yorkdale Mall with tons of stores and restaurants, and the hotel has a big swimming pool. You'll still have to deal with some traffic moving across the top of the city but it might not be too bad.

http://www.hiyorkdale.com/facilities/

http://goo.gl/maps/6jsSO

Waikoloa, Hawaii
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2. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

The worst traffic from the airport will be heading north and west, in the opposite direction from downtown. Those directions will be where the nearest malls to the airport are too. Traffic is rarely light, so even though 4:30 - 5 pm is rush hour, it may only add 20 minutes to your travel time going downtown, and maybe not add any time at all. I wouldn't change your plans based on that arrival time.

Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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3. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

If it were me, and especially if I were travelling with kids, I would rather contend with rush hour traffic driving downtown from the airport than undergo an additional hotel change.

I actually think if you took the 427 down to the Gardiner and entered downtown that way, highway traffic wouldn't be as bad as on the 401. For some reason the eastbound 401 tends to be awful during the afternoon rush hour all the way across the city. Of course the best route depends on where exactly your hotel is.

If you're really so concerned about rush hour that you'd consider spending the night near the airport, why not just spend a couple of hours in that area instead, having dinner or toy shopping somewhere in Etobicoke? Traffic would be much lighter by about 7.

Edited: 06 February 2014, 15:06
Zurich, Switzerland
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4. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

Thanks for the helpful replies! Maybe I should just take a chance and do the drive in directly after we land and rent the car. I think hanging around the area could be a disaster with 2 impatient kids. Likely they'll fall asleep on the way into town-being still on Swiss time.

We would have to make our way in anyway the next morning, being due somewhere around 10ish. Perhaps the evening traffic is even lighter lighter than the morning?

So I should take the Gardener then? It's a Tues afternoon and we're staying around yorkville?

Many thanks again!

Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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5. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

Generally speaking evening rush hour is worse than morning rush hour, but since you're travelling from the suburbs (YYZ) to downtown, morning rush hour would be travelling your way, which is worse than going against rush hour as you would be doing in the evening. That's assuming you would have to be at the hotel around 9 to check in, turn around and get somewhere else by 10. If you just have to drive down there for 10, traffic might be a little lighter, but I still don't think it's worth the hassle of packing the kids out of a hotel in the morning.

Going to Yorkdale, taking the 427 and the Gardiner vs taking the 401 and Allen or Avenue Rd isn't a huge difference, I'm just suggesting the first route because during afternoon rush hour the eastbound 401 is really bad. The southbound 427 never gets too bad for some reason and the Gardiner tends to have patchy congestion during rush hour. If you ended up driving in the morning, the 401 would probably be better than the Gardiner. Google Maps has a feature where you can view current traffic or typical traffic for a chosen weekday and time, and what it forecasts about the 401 matches what I remember from when I had a job near the airport.

Toronto
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6. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

Sorry, I meant Yorkville (at the beginning of my 2nd paragraph), not Yorkdale. If you were going to Yorkdale of course you'd take the 401.

Waikoloa, Hawaii
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7. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

Driving downtown from the airport in the morning will definitely be worse than driving in the evening. Going via the 401 or via the Gardiner will just be the luck of the draw as to which will be faster to Yorkville. The 401 route is a little shorter.

Zurich, Switzerland
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8. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

Thanks again for all your suggestions!

Toronto, Ontario
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9. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

I trust you really mean YorkVILLE and not YorkDALE when you talk about heading in to the hotel? Cuz they're at 2 different ends of the city. Yorkville is Bloor St. area. I'm with the others - don't confuse the kids with the extra hotel change, just bite the bullet for the extra 15-20 minutes, and head downtown to the hotel. Traffic is bad here, period. "Patterns" no longer seem to exist; one car accident and all your good advance planning goes in the tanker. So just understand that it's not going to be pleasant, and breathe...in...out...repeat if necessary!

Zurich, Switzerland
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10. Re: A few questions about traffic and hotels..and kids

Yes tweedwolf already clarified they meant yorkville and not yorkdale.

Wow, things seemed to have changed with the traffic- when I left in 97 it was never such an issue!

Most times when I've been back for visits its been at the week end so didn't really notice.