Toronto, Ontario, is a cosmopolitan city located on the shores of Lake Ontario and offers excitement, entertainment, and beautiful sights to visit. Head over to the CN tower for a 360-degree view of the lake and city, or go to Muggs island for Hanlan’s Point Beach and Centreville Amusement Park. The Fashion District is a great place to pick up clothes from the outlets as well as check out the output of the artists that call the district home. If you want to get out to areas of Toronto that aren’t easily accessed by public transit, pick up a car rental in Toronto so you can have the freedom of driving wherever you want, whenever you want. Now for some advice on how to not look like a tourist in Toronto.
Get Used to the Metric System for Distances and Temperature
If you’re visiting Toronto from the U.S., you’ll quickly notice the use of kilometres and Celsius for measurements. You’ll need to adjust your measurement processes, but it’s not a difficult adaptation to make, such as when renting a car. The speedometer on a car rental Toronto is going to have its speeds listed in kilometres, but may or may not have the speeds listed in MPH underneath the KPH. The best way to adapt to the difference is to match your car’s speed to the posted speed limits and stay in the slower lanes for safety. When it comes to figuring out the temperature in Fahrenheit, multiply the temperature in Celsius by 1.8 or 9/5, then add 32. No one is going to test you on your math, but you can get a good estimate of how fast you’re going and the current temperature without resorting to looking at your phone.
Avoid Shopping in the Malls
Toronto is home to some really great malls, but many of the stores feature chains found across the U.S. and Canada. They tend to offer the same kind of merchandise in Toronto as they do everywhere else. There are some Canada-only chains that can make a trip worthwhile, and they do have parking in case you do a car rental Toronto, but if you want to bring home something interesting and unique, check out the indie boutiques that are located around downtown and in the outlying neighbourhoods.
Don’t Complain About the Differences Between Toronto and Home
Toronto has the look and feel of a northeastern American city, but that’s where the similarities end. Remember that you’re visiting another city for the experience, the opportunity to see and do different things, and get away from your daily life. That includes adjusting to different types of food chains, creature comforts, and a different pace of life. Complaining loudly about how things are different in Toronto than they are back home is not going to endear you to anyone, and make you stick out like a sore thumb. If you’re really homesick about a type of food or just want a good cup of coffee, ask around to find out where to go for what you’re seeking.
Stay Somewhere Other Than Downtown
Downtown Toronto has plenty of hotels to choose from and offers the convenience of being close to major destinations. However, it’s pretty easy to get around town by car, and that frees you up to stay in a B&B or smaller hotel located in the neighbourhoods outside of the downtown area. You also get to feel like a local when you stay in neighbourhoods such as The Annex, Yorkville, Chinatown, Liberty Village, and the Distillery District. These are safe neighbourhoods that give you the feeling of being a resident instead of a tourist. Make sure that the place you stay has accommodations for your car rental in Toronto as parking can be tight in some neighbourhoods.
Eat Local and Avoid Eating at Chain Restaurants
Toronto is full of chain restaurants as you’d expect, and serve up the dishes that you’re familiar with. But why eat at a chain when you can eat at a restaurant that’s unique to Toronto? The Distillery Historic District is loaded with restaurants and bars that serve a wide variety of unique dishes and at prices that beat out the chains. The city is also home to immigrant populations that have arrived from all around the world and brought their cuisine with them. You’ll find plenty of small restaurants and take-outs that serve meals that you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Perhaps the only exception to this advice is to stop at Tim Horton’s for coffee and Timbits.