Little York, also known as Toronto is the biggest city in Canada with a lot of diversity, good food, amazing sights. It is also a leading city in business, technology, and entertainment. Definitely worth a visit, and the nice thing is, it is not too far from home if you want to have an international trip.
When should I go to Toronto?
Typically, Summer and Fall are when the best weather is, so I would say around those times. Winter is very cold and snowy and Spring is the rainy season.
What should I pack for Toronto?
It depends on when you are going, but its pretty clear cut. Spring and summer, you can wear t-shirts and shorts and open toed shoes. Also pack a bathing suit if you want to go swimming. For winter and fall, I would bundle up and wear a jacket, pack pants, sweaters and long-sleeved shirts.
- Do US citizens need a visa for Canada? No, for stays 180 days or under
- How can you get a visa and what are the entry requirements? You must not have a criminal record. Even a misdemeanor will bar your entry into Canada. If you want to seek entry into Canada with a criminal record, you must go to a Canadian Embassy to apply for Criminal rehabilitation. For more information, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/guide-5312-rehabilitation-persons-inadmissible-canada-past-criminal-activity.html#5312E3. Also, if you are not a US Citizen, certain nationalities who are visa exempt from entering Canada can apply for an ETA (electronic travel Authorization), including US Green Card Holders. US citizens are exempt from this requirement. If you are not a visa free citizen, then you must go to the nearest Canadian Embassy in your place of residence to apply for a visa. Here is more information on who can apply for an ETA: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/entry-requirements-country.html Also, here is the ETA website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta/apply.html
What should I budget to go to Canada?
- Flights – Depending on when you buy the tickets and/or your origin, tickets typically run from 200-400 USD.
- Daily spending budget – I would say about 70-100 USD/per day for food and souvenirs as Toronto can be expensive, but can still possibly travel on a budget.
- Transportation– Toronto has streetcars, metros, buses, taxis, Uber and Lyft are available. Here is more information on Toronto Public Transit, the TTC: http://www.ttc.ca/index.jsp Also, if you want to get from Pearson Airport to the downtown area on a budget, you can take the Union Pearson Express. Here is more information on the Union Pearson Express: https://www.upexpress.com/
- Accommodations– Toronto has AirBnBs, hotels, hostels available depending on your preference
- Budgeting tools– I recommend www.budgetyourtrip.com to get a good estimate on how much money to bring. Also, it doesn’t hurt to bring a little extra so that you have a cushion in case something happens.
How is the Culture and Language?
- For the average American, getting around Toronto will not be hard at all. Everyone knows English, being Canada’s primary language and all.
- Canadians are generally very polite people, and I mean polite! It will make your visit to Canada that much more pleasurable.
How is the Food?
Toronto is freaking foodie paradise. Especially the restaurants around the University of Toronto, Kensington Market and the St. Lawrence Market. Also, Toronto being a very multicultural city, you will definitely run into a lot of restaurants from other countries. Some recommendations that I have are the Lahore Tikka House in Eastern Toronto and Smoke’s Poutinerie.
What do you recommend doing in Canada?
A couple of the well-known sights are:
CN Tower: The icon of Toronto. It is an observation deck named after the Canadian National Railway. It is actually built on former railway lands. It is the 9th tallest building in the world and one of the 7 modern natural wonders.
St. Lawrence Market: A market full of fruits, vegetables, snacks, goods like honey and jam. Also, the area is surrounded by restaurants. Truly a foodie paradise.
Hockey Hall of Fame: A museum dedicated to the legendary ice hockey players in the NHL. If you are a Hockey Fan, this place is for you!
Toronto Islands: Contains a huge park where you can hike around and get amazing views of the skyline. Ferries run there every day. There is also an amusement park called the Centreville Amusement park. Here is more information on the ferries: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/parks-gardens-beaches/toronto-island-park/
I hope this inspires you to visit our neighbor to the North and I also hope that this guide helps you in planning your trip to Toronto. I promise it will not disappoint! Thanks for reading and this is Jet Lagged Jaff taking off ‘till next time!