Toronto is a major transportation hub with many different travel options for visitors whether coming...
Facts & Info
Here's what you need to know about Toronto while you're here.
There are two official Canadian languages—English and French. In addition to these, the top five languages spoken in Toronto are Chinese, Italian, Tamil, Portuguese and Spanish.
Toronto offers visitors world-class products without world-class prices. A favourable exchange rate doesn’t hurt, either. So be sure to pack an extra bag for the loot you’ll want to bring back home.
- Toronto’s currency is the Canadian dollar
- For denominations under five dollars we use coins—some we’ve even given cute names: the loonie ($1), and toonie ($2)
- Since 2013 our bills have been made of polymer and have a number of interesting design elements
- U.S. dollars are accepted in many Toronto establishments, although you’ll receive change in Canadian funds and exchange rates will differ from merchant to merchant.
- You’ll find cash machines/ATMs all over the city and in most banks, hotels and shopping centres
- Credit cards are accepted at all major retailers
- Currency exchange is available at kiosks in the city and at the airport
If you’re happy with the service you receive, a 15 to 20% tip on the pre-tax bill is a standard expression of appreciation when dining out in the city. Note that some restaurants automatically add this gratuity when serving large groups, so be sure to check your bill. Tips are also expected for services such as haircuts, shoe shines and taxi rides. 15 to 20% is standard in these situations as well.
The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is a 13% tax that is applied to most purchases of taxable supplies of goods and services in the Province of Ontario. The HST consists of a 5% federal portion and an 8% retail sales tax portion.
Banks, liquor stores and government offices observe these holidays, as do some stores and most business offices. Holidays that occur on weekends are normally observed the following Monday.
|New Year’s Day||Friday, January 1|
|Family Day||Monday, February 15|
|Good Friday||Friday, April 2|
|Easter Monday||Monday, April 5|
|Victoria Day||Monday, May 24|
|Canada Day||Thursday, July 1|
|Civic Holiday (stores open)||Monday, August 2|
|Labour Day||Monday, September 6|
|Thanksgiving Day||Monday, October 11|
|Remembrance Day (stores open)||Thursday, November 11|
|Christmas Day||Saturday, December 25|
|Boxing Day||Sunday, December 26|
Religion & places of worship in Toronto
Toronto is home to a vast multicultural population and is welcoming to all. Here are some suggestions for places of worship in Toronto.
Explore Toronto on one of North America’s finest transportation systems—the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). With easy-to-navigate subways, buses and streetcars, getting around the city is a snap. GO Transit is Ontario’s inter-regional bus and train service. It links Toronto with outlying areas of the Greater Toronto and beyond. GO Trains and buses depart from Toronto’s Union Station at regular intervals throughout the day. If you are planning to use public transit, be sure to purchase a PRESTO card, an easy-to-use reloadable payment card that lets you pay your fare on the TTC, GO Transit, UP Express and 8 other transit agencies in Ontario, eliminating the need for tickets, tokens, passes and cash.
Driving around town
- Toronto’s streets follow a basic grid pattern and are easy to navigate
- Speed limit signs are posted on each street
- The city’s weekday “rush hour” is more than an hour long—count on heavy traffic from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and again from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Plenty of Toronto’s major streets have bicycle lanes nearest the curb. Please respect cyclists in the city—they’re environmentally friendly!
Parking on most downtown streets is limited to specific times of day, and often requires you to purchase and display a ticket from one of the parking machines located along the street. Be sure to check and obey the signs posted along the street to make sure your vehicle doesn’t get ticketed or, worse, towed away. There are also a variety of public parking lots throughout the city. City-owned lots are indicated by the ‘Green P’ logo—a large ‘P’ in a green circle. Plan in advance using Green P’s parking locator to find the nearest lot.
Hail a Taxi, Uber or Lyft
There are a number of different taxi companies in Toronto, including Co-Op Cabs. Ride sharing services Uber and Lyft are available in the city too.
- Taxi fares are standard, metered and non-negotiable
- The driver should start the meter at the beginning of your ride and stop it when you reach your destination
- If your service was acceptable, a 10 to 15% tip is customary
Cannabis consumption in Ontario
Recreational cannabis use is legal in Canada for those aged 19 and over. Cannabis is available to buy online through the Ontario Cannabis Store, a government-run facility that delivered the product safely and securely, or through one of the many brick-and-mortar retail stores that are open throughout Toronto. You are able to purchase up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried recreational cannabis (or equivalent) in public at any time. Note: This information pertains to recreational use, as opposed to medical use, which has different rules. Please see the Ontario Cannabis site for all regulations, including where it can be bought and consumed.
Take charge of your travel needs by consulting The Canadian Travel Agencies guide for those with special requirements. For accessibility standards in Ontario, please visit Citizens With Disabilities Ontario. Accessibility is a prime objective of business establishments, sporting events, entertainment venues and public transportation in the Toronto region. For details about the accessibility of specific attractions (e.g. Art Gallery of Ontario), please check each organization’s website for information.
AccessTO is a blog-based website for reviews of the physical environments in Toronto including restaurants, bars and concert venues. The Rick Hansen Foundation features an online tool that allows you to view and rate the accessibility of places worldwide, including many Toronto venues. Find other accessibility resources below:
- Toronto Transit Commission accessibility
- Toronto Pearson Airport accessibility
- Metro Toronto Convention Centre accessibility
- Enercare Centre accessibility
- City of Toronto – includes info about beaches and pools.
- Government of Ontario – a range of information about legislation and accessibility plans.
The underground city
PATH (PDF) is downtown Toronto’s underground walkway linking 27 kilometres (16 miles) of subterranean shopping, services and entertainment. Follow the brightly coloured PATH signs and you’ll reach your downtown destination easily in weatherproof comfort.
Explore Toronto by bike
Experience the city on two wheels. Enjoy the freedom of cycling from one neighbourhood to the next and the convenience of exploring city attractions by bike. Visit the Cycle Toronto page for more info or find great rides on the top cycling routes in Toronto.