TRAVEL INFO FOR PLANNERS AND GUESTS
The first step to a successful business event in Toronto is: just get here, it’s easy! From flying in to getting around, some handy travel information for international event planners, visitors to Canada and Toronto first-timers.
Fly on over. It’s easy to travel to Toronto by air from just about anywhere. Our two international airports handle more than 1,400 flights a day. It’s a breeze to fly in for a meeting, anytime, with a truly global choice of airlines.
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is Canada’s busiest airport. It was named North America’s best large airport for customer experience, and was ranked the world’s fifth-most connected “megahub,” by the Official Aviation Guide 2018 Index. From, here, travel easily to downtown Toronto aboard the UP Express train that connects to Union Station in 25 minutes.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) may be best known by global travellers for its scenic landings on Toronto Island, just across the harbour from downtown Toronto (hop aboard the free ferry or take a 6-minute walk across a tunnel to the mainland). Its airline networks offer service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 80 international destinations.
Hop on a train: VIA Rail and AMTRAK brings visitors from across Canada and the U.S. into the heart of Toronto each day, arriving at downtown Union Station.
GO by bus or rail. The Go Transit network provides inter-regional bus and train service with frequent connections in the Greater Toronto Area, including Brampton and Mississauga. It also operates rail service between Toronto’s Union Station and Niagara Falls on weekdays, and seasonally on weekends.
Walk and ride. Our downtown Toronto neighbourhoods are safe and enjoyable to walk around. It’s also easy to get from place-to-place by public transit: our Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) was recently named one of North America’s best transport systems. Meeting planners can purchase unlimited day passes for their out-of-town participants and attendees (contact the TTC for details).
Cab or ride-share: It’s no problem to flag down a taxi in downtown Toronto, or book a ride anywhere via a taxi company or ride-share such as Uber or Lyft.
Bicycle: Explore on two wheels with Bike Share Toronto: 3,750 bikes stationed around the city can be unlocked for a single trip or a day pass.
Money: the low-down on the loonie
Our currency is the Canadian Dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. All denominations under $5 use coins: The $1 coin is known as a “loonie” and $2 is a “toonie.” The one-cent coin is no longer in circulation, so if you pay with cash, change is rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents.
U.S. dollars may be accepted by many businesses, however exchange rates vary by merchant and you may get change back in Canadian funds.
If you need cash, you’ll find ATM machines and currency exchange kiosks at the airport, banks, most hotels and major shopping centres. All major retailers accept credit cards, and a growing number of Toronto attractions accept mobile payment options such as China’s WeChat Pay and Alipay, including the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.
Where To Shop
Toronto is a major shopping destination with lively many street-front retail areas to explore as well as 10 urban malls.
Look for luxury designer items in stylish boutiques along Bloor-Yorkville. Hunt for unique finds and vintage items in the quirky shops located in Kensington or in trendy West Queen West’s Fashion District. Plan a group excursion to Yorkdale, a mall that boasts the country’s largest collection of designer labels and luxury brands, in 270 stores and restaurants.
Toronto is home to Canadian flagship stores for international designers including Prada and Chanel, as well as local favourites such as Roots and Hudson’s Bay.
And, below street level, the underground PATH links a network of 1,200 shops and restaurants. Love designer deals? Venture just outside of the city to the Toronto Premium Outlets.
Before You Fly: Do You Need an eTA?
An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is now a mandatory requirement for all visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air, with the exception of U.S. citizens or travellers with a valid Canadian visa.
Be prepared: Eligible travellers should apply online for an eTA prior to booking a flight. It will be valid for five years or until your passport expires. To find out if you’re eligible and how to apply online, please visit the official government website at www.canada.ca
Tips for Event Organizers
Once you begin planning your international or global event in Toronto, our Destination Toronto team is ready to assist with any cross-border questions.
We’ll help you make sure guests and delegates are aware of the customs and border requirements for entry to Canada so they can plan ahead and attend your meeting without delay!
To start border clearance planning for your event early in the process, Destination Toronto can connect you to partners in the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and other government agencies, for smooth arrivals.
Here are a few important cross-border tips you can share with your travellers:
TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS
All visitors must have valid travel documents and identification to enter Canada, such as a passport or visa.
Find current information on entry requirements on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website.
Requirements may vary depending on the country you’re travelling from — or transiting through.
To anticipate any questions about the purpose of your visit, it is always a good idea for anyone entering Canada to attend a meeting or convention to carry a copy of the meeting agenda or registration, or any official letter of invitation from organizers.
Visa-exempt foreign nationals need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) BEFORE travelling to Canada by air. (No eTA required if entering by land or sea.)