City guide: Toronto

Canada’s most populous city plays host to GBTA’s 2019 Canadian conference.

Toronto, Canada’s largest metropolis, is one of the world’s most multicultural cities. Walk its streets and neighborhoods, and you’ll hear a multitude of languages, find a variety of ethnic restaurants and come across cultural hotspots and events that reflect locals’ diverse backgrounds and lifestyles.

Ontario’s capital, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, is a hub for financial services, film, technology and tourism. The popular business travel city will host the Global Business Travel Association’s annual Canadian conference from April 15-17.

Know before you go

Time zone: Eastern Daylight Time
Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD) (US$1=CA$1.33)
Language spoken: primarily English

Airport

Toronto is served by two airports. The larger Toronto Pearson International Airport is about 25 miles from downtown. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, commonly known as Toronto Island Airport, is near downtown.

Getting around

If you land at Toronto Pearson, follow the “train to the city” signs in Terminal 1. Catch the Union Pearson Express Train. It goes to Union Station, where you can easily connect to other locations. Trains leave the airport every 15 minutes, and the trip takes about 25 minutes. A one-way ticket costs CA$12.35.

Taxis are available outside of terminals 1 and 3. You’ll pay about CA$50-60 for a ride downtown.

Flying into Billy Bishop? Use the pedestrian tunnel or take a 90-second ferry ride (free to pedestrians) to get downtown. A taxi will cost around CA$20, and you’ll arrive downtown in 10 minutes.

Workspaces

Northspace has free Wi-Fi, free coffee and a pantry with free and for-a-fee food available. Secure a day pass for CA$20.

Located in an up-and-coming neighborhood, Lab T.O. is targeted to digital professionals. For CA$20, you’ll get 9 a.m.-5 p.m. access, coffee or tea and phone booths for private calls.

Enjoy a view of Toronto’s skyline while you work from Merchants of Green Coffee. There’s plenty of seating. Select any roast (all certified fair trade), and get to work.

The Black Canary Espresso Bar offers good coffee, fast Wi-Fi, lots of seating and plenty of outlets. Bonus: Natural light streams in through several large windows.

Top things to see

CN Tower is an iconic part of Toronto’s skyline. While it serves a practical purpose, broadcasting television and radio signals, it’s also a great way to view of the city from over 1,000 feet up. At the top you’ll find floor-to-ceiling window walls, attractions and dining options.

The St. Lawrence Market offers food and artisan goods. Come hungry, wander among the stalls and sample a variety of tasty bites. Some vendors only take cash.

If the weather is warm, visit the Toronto Islands (Toronto Island Park). Round trip ferry tickets cost less than CA$8, and the ride is 13 minutes from downtown. No cars are allowed on the island, so it’s a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city. Spend the day enjoying the beaches, parks, gardens and cafés. Explore the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, too.

Food & drink

Toronto’s diversity is reflected in its food. There’s an option (or 12) for everyone to enjoy. Here are a few possibilities:

Carousel Bakery, housed in the St. Lawrence Market for over 30 years, serves a renowned peameal bacon sandwich—Toronto’s signature dish. You’ll also find wraps, sandwiches, breads and pastries. The bakery accepts cash only.

With a bright design, and traditional cuisine, Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen transports you to the Caribbean. The jerk chicken is famous among locals.

Seafood enthusiasts should look no further than Honest Weight. The simple establishment keeps the focus on fresh seafood at a reasonable price.

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