Canada is big. REALLY big.
There is so much to see and do here, that it would be impossible to do
everything in one trip. Western Canada is renowned for its stunningly
beautiful countryside, while Eastern Canada mixes the flavour and charm
of Europe with the bustle of trendy New York.
The Gathering of the Fellowship is being held in Toronto, the capital
city of the Province of Ontario, one of 10 provinces and 3 territories
in Canada. There is a great deal of cultural diversity across this
nation. Starting with the two founding cultures of English and French
settlers to North America, it has been enhanced with a variety of
cultures from the immigrants that have settled here. A cross-Canada
tour of the people would introduce you to all that identifies us
Canadians: a love of nature and the outdoors, a desire for peace and
harmony, a philosophy of patience and tolerance, and an inherent,
enduring strength borne of the very land and weather of this land.
We are a sovereign nation, but we count ourselves as brothers and
sisters to Americans. While we may not always agree politically, we
share greatly in their culture and we are their biggest trading
partner. The boundary between Canada and the United States is the
longest undefended border in the world. However, while travel across
this border is relatively free and unrestricted, visitors should be
aware that they are indeed crossing an international boundary.
Canada Customs Information
Most U.S. Citizens
Some U.S. Citizens*,
non-U.S. Citizens, and from outside the U.S.
You may not
be permitted to enter Canada if you have a criminal conviction,
including a conviction for driving while impaired. Find out more about inadmissibility
- You must be healthy (if you’re staying for
longer than 6 months, you may need a doctor’s
- You must respect Canadian laws.
- You will need a valid passport, proof of who
are, or other travel documents.
- You will need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
you are from one
of these countries.
- You may need a letter of
- If you are bringing equipment/goods/merchandise
for exhibits/vending at the convention, you will need the Canada
Customs Letter provided for you by us (details
Read important information on the new Advance Passenger
Information/Passenger Name Record program (API/PNR).
*If you are
uncertain about the entry requirements, contact a Canadian
embassy, high commission or consulate for information on what you
will need before coming to Canada.
Once you arrive, an officer will ask you a few short questions. To make
this go quickly, keep your passport with you and not in your luggage.
The officer will stamp your passport or advise you how long you may
stay in Canada. Feel free to ask questions if you are unsure about
After you arrive, you may want to change the conditions of your visit.
This is possible in special cases. You must do this before your status
as a temporary resident expires. Apply to extend
your stay or visit three weeks before your visa expires.
information on Visitors to Canada, please review the Citizen and Immigration
Canada website and the Visiting Canada page.
For American citizens and residents, entry into Canada is usually
trouble-free. It is important to realize, however, that you prepare for
your return entry into the United States.
The Intelligence Reform and
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires that, by January 1,
2008, travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama,
Canada have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or
re-enter the United States. This is a change from prior travel
requirements. The goal is to strengthen border security and facilitate
entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign
visitors. The U.S. passport is the document of choice because of the
incorporated advanced security features.
The travel initiative requirements will be rolled out in phases. The
proposed implementation timeline is as follows:
These requirements will be implemented AFTER the dates of the Gathering
convention (July, 2006); however, it is highly recommended that U.S.
citizens carry a valid passport for entry into Canada and their return
to the United States. The following documents are currently acceptable
for travel between the two countries:
- December 31, 2006 – Passport required for all
air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South
America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
- December 31, 2007 – Passport required for all
land border crossings, as well as air and sea travel.
In Toronto, the United
States Consulate is located at 360 University Ave., between Dundas
and Queen Streets and between the St. Patrick and Osgoode subway
stations, just 2 blocks west from the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.
- Proof of your U.S. citizenship such as your
U.S. passport or certified copy of your birth certificate issued by the
city, county or state in the U.S. where you were born. If you are a
naturalized U.S. citizen and do not have a passport, you should travel
with your naturalization certificate. A
driver’s license, voter’s registration card or Social Security card is
NOT valid proof of citizenship.
- Photo identification, such as a current, valid
- Alien permanent residents of the U.S. must
present their Alien Registration Card, commonly called a “Green Card.”
- Due to international concern over child
abduction, single parents,
grandparents, or guardians traveling with children often need proof of
custody or notarized letters from the other parent authorizing travel.
(This is in addition to proof of citizenship as explained above.) Any
person under the age of 18 and traveling alone should carry a letter
from his/her parent or guardian authorizing the trip. Travelers without
such documentation may experience delays at the port of entry.
For more detailed
information, please review the Tips
for Travelers to Canada page on
Department of State website.
Make certain that your insurance policy covers you during your time in
Canada. Consider purchasing supplemental or other insurance if your own
policy does not provide this coverage. You may also wish to check with
your health insurance company to ensure that your policy includes
coverage for medical evacuations, hospitalization abroad, premature
birth abroad, and other coverage for a beneficiary who is involved in
an accident or illness outside your country of origin. Carry details of
your insurance plan with you, and, leave a copy with a relative or
friend at home.
If you are entering Canada with prescription drugs and syringes used
for medical reasons, be sure to keep the medication in its original and
labeled container to avoid problems. Syringes should be accompanied by
a medical certificate that shows they are for medical use and should be
declared to Canadian Customs officials. It may also be wise to carry
with you an extra prescription from your doctor in the event your
medication is lost or stolen and to attest to your need to take such
THE SOCIAL SECURITY / MEDICARE PROGRAM DOES NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR
HOSPITAL OR MEDICAL COSTS OUTSIDE THE U.S.A.
What Can I Bring
Declare everything you are carrying including, meat, animal hides, live
birds, plants and fruit. These items can harbor microscopic diseases
and pests that can seriously harm Canada’s agriculture industry and
environment. Administrative penalties of up to $400 may be imposed or
prosecution may be pursued if you do not declare restricted or
prohibited items. Inspectors of the Canada Border Services
Agency (CBSA) work with specially trained detector dogs — to
prevent the entry of plant and animal products prohibited by law.
Remember, the pest and disease situation around the world is constantly
changing. Call your local Canadian
Embassy for the most current information before you travel.
Alcohol and Tobacco
The drinking/smoking age in Canada varies from province to province. In
Ontario, which is the province where Toronto is located, the
drinking/smoking age is 19 years. Be prepared to carry ID to prove your
You can import, duty and tax free, one of the following: up to 1.5
liters of wine, or 1.14 liters of liquor, or 24 x 355 milliliter cans
or bottles (8.6 liters) of beer or ale. You can bring in more than this
free allowance of alcohol, as long as the quantities are within the
limit set by the province. However, the cost may be high, as you must
pay both customs assessments and provincial taxes.
You can import, duty and tax free, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams
of manufactured tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks. You may bring in
additional quantities, but you must pay duties and taxes on the excess
Bringing Pets Into
DOGS AND CATS:
Currently, there is no quarantine for import of pet dogs or cats. If
you have several pets, you may be asked to provide certification that
they are your personal pets and not for resale.
Dogs and cats may enter Canada if accompanied by a valid rabies
vaccination certificate issued, in either English or French, by a
licensed veterinarian, which clearly identifies the animals and shows
that they are currently vaccinated against rabies. This certificate
should identify the dog or cat, as in breed, color, weight, etc., plus
indicate the name of the licensed rabies vaccine used (trade name),
serial number and duration of validity (up to 3 years). Please note if
a validity date does not appear on the certificate, then it is
considered a one-year vaccine.
There is no waiting period between the time the dog or cat is
vaccinated for rabies and the time it is imported into Canada.
If the above requirements are not met, an inspector will order the
owner to have the dog or cat vaccinated for rabies within a period of
time specified in the order and to provide the vaccination certificate
to an inspector, all at the owner's expense.
DOGS: Service dogs that are certified as a guide, hearing or
other service dog are not subject to any restrictions for importation
where the person importing the dog is the user of the dog and
accompanies the dog to Canada.
For specific information on the importation of other kinds of pets into
Canada, please visit the Canadian government webpage describing Pet
Firearms and Other
Canada’s firearms laws make Canada safer for residents and visitors.
Contact one of the Canadian customs offices or a Canadian Chief
Firearms Officer (CFO) for detailed, specific information before you
import a firearm. For detailed information, consult the List
of Restricted and Prohibited Firearms page on the Canada Firearms
Some other types of weapons are also prohibited in Canada. Prohibited
weapons include switchblades, butterfly knives and many martial arts
weapons. Penalties, even for possession of such weapons, range from
confiscation and fines to imprisonment.
Before bringing ANY weapon into Canada, even if it is a static part of
a costume, it is wise to contact the Canada Border Services
Agency ahead of time.
Please review the Gathering of the Fellowship's Weapons Policy.
In Canada, almost all purchases you make are subject to a Goods
and Services Tax (GST), which is generally 7%. In Ontario, many
purchases are also subject to an 8% Sales Tax. Visitors to Canada are
eligible for a refund of the GST they pay on purchases made here,
through the Visitor Rebate Program. Click
here for more information...
Driving in Ontario,
If you are a visitor to Ontario and want to drive while you are here,
you must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver's license
from your own province, state or country. If you are from another
country and visiting Ontario for more than three months, you need an
International Driver's Permit from your own country or you may have to
apply for an Ontario driver's license, depending on your length of
stay. You should also ensure your automobile insurance coverage is
sufficient. Visit the Ontario
Ministry of Transportation website for more information.
If you are a member of the American
Automobile Association (AAA), you are covered with similar
privileges while driving in Canada, under the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
Here are a number of useful links to Government Websites and Pages:
Information updated January 27, 2006.
Transportation to Toronto
Holidays, a leading tour operator in the United States, is now
packages for the Gathering of the Fellowship! Yankee Holidays
specializes in worry-free travel—they arrange everything for you,
including booking hotel rooms, arranging airport transportation,
providing discounts to Toronto-area attractions, and even registering
you for the convention. They also offer SIGNIFICANT discounts for
airfare, which you can book through them!
You can call them at 1-800-225-2550
or 978-922-0461 to book your
travel package RIGHT NOW,
or visit the Registration Page for
appointed Air Canada as the Official Airline
of the Gathering of the Fellowship 2006
in Toronto, July 1 to 4, 2006.
Simply contact Air Canada's Conventions Reservations North American
toll-free number at 1-800-361-7585
or your travel agent*
take advantage of Special Discounted
Our Convention Number is CV060870.
By ensuring that the convention number appears on your ticket,
you will be supporting our organization. We thank you!
|Domestic and Trans-border Fare Discounts:
|Travel Within Canada
|Travel Between Canada
& USA (excluding Hawaii)
|Overseas Fare Discounts:
|Travel Between North America
and International Destinations (including Hawaii)
|AC Published Fares
|AC Published Fares
|S, M, B, H
|AC & Star
|*Please note: Discounts are
not applicable to bookings made via the internet. All fares listed in
the table are subject to the normal tariff rules and regulations.
Discounts are not applicable to seat sales.
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
is Canada’s busiest airport, handling 24.7 million passengers in 2003.
Established in 1939, Pearson Airport currently handles more than 1,200
arrivals and departures every day—or more than 383,000 aircraft
movements last year. By the year 2020—the number of travelers
passing through the airport’s gates is expected to reach 50 million.
Lester B. Pearson International Airport is operated by the Greater
Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), a private, not-for-profit
The airport is currently undergoing a 10-year, $4.4 billion development
plan and expansion.
Toronto has airline connections with most major
airports in the United States and the rest of the world.
between the airport and downtown Toronto, as well as
rental agencies and taxi and limo services.
There are also significantly cheaper Public Transit
Connections with the subway
(one-way adult fare: $2.50 CAD).
TTC directions to
the Sheraton: Take the 192 “Airport Rocket” Bus to Kipling subway
station; take the subway to Queen station.
(1, 2, or 3)!
If you're renting a
car and driving yourself:
Pearson Int'l Airport
|Buffalo Niagara International
Airport (BUF) averages approximately 110 daily flights with
service to 18 cities, the BNIA plays an essential role in the
development of business and tourism in the Buffalo Niagara region. With
its relative proximity to Toronto (102 miles/164 km), Buffalo
Niagara International Airport is a viable alternative to flying
directly to Toronto. There are
automobile rental agencies available, and there is a direct shuttle
service between Buffalo Airport and Toronto: Niagara Air Bus.
If you're renting a
car and driving yourself:
Niagara Int'l Airport
|Inter-city Rail service is available at Union Station, which is located
in downtown Toronto. Union Station is connected to the PATH
network, so it
is possible to walk from the train station directly to the Sheraton
Centre Hotel without ever going outdoors! The hotel is located six
blocks directly north of the train
station, along York Street or Bay Street. Union Station is also a
subway station, so you can connect to Toronto's vast transit system
directly from the inter-city trains.
- Amtrak - If
you're coming to the
Gathering from the United States, the train is an excellent and less
expensive alternative to flying. Amtrak has frequent service into
Toronto's Union Station, with border crossings at Buffalo, New York and
Michigan. Use the Fare Finder
on Amtrak's home page,
a great starting point for planning your trip. For information on
crossing the Canada/USA border by train, click
- VIA Rail Canada - This is
Canada's national rail service. You can travel on VIA Rail all over the
country, as well as New York City. You can use VIA's website
your whole trip. You can also download VIA's current train schedules here
in PDF format. Click here
for information for non-Canadians.
- GO Transit -
This is the local commuter rail service. They provide convenient rail
links (and bus service) from major centres in south-central Ontario. If
you decide to stay at a hotel other than the Sheraton, and you don't
want worry about driving into the city, this option is for you. There
are many routes and stations, and service is frequent. One-way fares
run from anywhere from $3.00 CAD
to $9.00 CAD,
depending on the distances involved. Click here for information on routemaps, schedules,
| Toronto Coach Terminal
located within ten minutes walk of the Sheraton Centre Hotel, just
northwest of Dundas Street and Bay Street. It also has a direct connect
to the PATH
system of underground building connections.
- Greyhound -
This is a
large bus company that operates routes throughout Canada and the United
States. Service into
Toronto is frequent and affordable.
- Coach Canada
- Coach Canada is
affiliated with Coach USA, and has a number of scheduled routes into
- Voyageur -
This company has bus
routes for travelers from eastern Ontario and Québec.
- Ontario Northland - This company
offers service to/from northern Ontario.
- GO Transit -
As well as commuter train service, GO Transit also has an extensive
system of bus routes connecting to train stations throughout
There are, of course, a number of useful internet mapping resources:
To calculate Driving Directions to the Sheraton Centre,
use the hotel's street address: 123
Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
to drive to the Gathering, it should not be necessary to
emphasize the importance of purchasing a detailed road map! For an
up-to-date map of Ontario which you can download,
There are literally dozens of good street maps of Toronto,
available at the better book stores, usually in the Travel Section. We
strongly advise purchasing one of them before starting your trip. This
company makes the best Toronto maps: MapArt.
Toronto is fairly easy to navigate, as the streets are laid out in a
grid pattern. Traffic in Toronto can be heavy at times, especially at
the height of the tourist season, so give yourself lots of extra travel
to Toronto by road,
and approximate travel times:
miles (164 km), 2 hours
miles (391 km), 4¾ hours
miles (475 km), 5¼ hours
miles (544 km), 7 hours
New York City, NY
miles (789 km), 7½ hours
miles (800 km), 7¾ hours
Sault Ste Marie, ON
miles (855 km), 8¼ hours
miles (875 km), 8½ hours
miles (882 km), 8½ hours
miles (901 km), 8¾ hours
miles (1,627 km), 15½ hours
miles (2,462 km), 23½ hours
Los Angeles, CA
miles (4,184 km), 40 hours
There are several approaches to Toronto, from various directions. You
can find your way to the Sheraton Centre Hotel using the following map
Port Huron, MI
Nathan Philips Square Municipal Parking
On Queen Street West, across from the hotel. There is a direct
underground pedestrian connection (PATH
) to the Sheraton
Centre Hotel (Concourse Level) from the Parking Garage (Level One). The
Garage also has a car wash and several pedestrian exits to the street.
Nathan Phillips Square is the main City Hall Square in Toronto, and
there are many activities that take place there in the summer.
per ½ hour, to the following MAXIMUMS:
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
- Daytime Monday to Friday (07:00 - 18:00):
- Daytime Saturday (07:00 - 18:00): $6.00 CAD
- Evenings Monday to Saturday (18:00 -
- Sunday and Holidays (24 hours): $6.00 CAD
Valet Parking is available at the main hotel entrance. Rates: Coming soon!
(Outdoor) Parking Information
Long-term street parking (greater than 3 hours) is not available in
Toronto without a permit. Illegally parked cars are subject to tagging
and towing. For information on parking in Toronto, click
Information updated January 26, 2006.
Toronto (pronounced tor-ON-toe, or by the locals: tor-ON-no):
The name is
aboriginal (Huron) in origin, meaning “Meeting Place”.
Welcome to the Big
the Megacity… welcome
all hobbits, rangers, dwarves and elves. For those of you who are new
to our fair city, this great
city of Toronto, here are some tips on where and how to have a great
time, when not preoccupied with all things Tolkien.
Toronto – Language
saying to yourself, “but I thought
they spoke English in Toronto
”. Our official languages are
French, but, as with all cities, there are local terms and slang that
you may want to familiarize yourself with before you hit the streets:
– a reality in Toronto as it is in New York City; in
order to access any local number, you must dial its area code plus the
number. Toronto has two area codes: 416
(original) and 647
(new). The suburban areas of
Toronto have the area code 905
which are also considered as local calls. All long distance calls to
points within the USA and Canada start with 1
. All international calls outside
the USA and Canada start with 011
– these are brown in colour, and not accepted in most stores in
Toronto. If you have $100 bills, you should go to a bank or the hotel
concierge, and have them changed down to $20 bills instead.
– what we call an ATM or Instant Teller machine. Most
machines are operated by banks, and, unless it belongs to your
personal bank, will charge a surcharge from $1.50 - $2.25 CAD per
(also referred to as a Pub
) – an
establishment licensed by the government of Ontario to serve alcoholic
beverages. By law, bars and pubs must also serve food. Many bars in
Toronto permit smoking in certain sections. As a result, people under
the age of 19 are not allowed to enter bars or pubs, even if they are
accompanied by their parents and/or intend not to drink. If you look
younger than 25, you will be asked to produce photo identification,
such as a Driver’s License or Passport. College and/or University
Student I.D.’s are not suitable forms of identification for Toronto
– pronounced gee-ess-tee
this stands for the Goods and Services Tax
which is levied on all goods purchased in Canada. If you are a tourist
from outside of the country, and you have a valid passport, remember to
keep all of your receipts as you can apply to the Canadian government
for a GST refund on all of your purchases once your trip is over. (Click here for more information.
– pronounced the gee-tee-eh
this refers to the “Greater Toronto Area”, including the suburban areas
outside of the perimeter of the City of Toronto. Sometimes called the
as this is the area code for the phone numbers located in this
– sometimes pronounced incorrectly as “Interact”. This is our term for
direct debit payment using your debit card. Look for the yellow and
black signs on doors to see if you can pay using your debit card. No
signature is required; all they need is your PIN. More convenient than
carrying cash, that’s for sure! Unfortunately, this network is only
available to Canadians.
– pronounced the ell-see-bee-oh
This stands for the Liquor Control
Board of Ontario
, and they run the stores where you can buy wine,
coolers, hard liquor, and imported beer. Alcohol cannot be purchased at
corner stores. Since the age of majority is 19 years old, if you look
under 25, the cashiers at the LCBO will ask you for photo
identification. Torontonians purchase beer at a place called The Beer
The Leafs, the Buds, the Blue
– all references to Toronto’s beloved NHL team, the Toronto Maple Leafs
. From October to
June, this town has hockey mania, and, for better or worse, we love our
hockey team. The best place to see the Leafs in action is at the Air
Canada Centre where they play, or head on down to the Loose Moose
Sports Bar on Front Street West, to immerse yourself in the mania of
– a golden coin which is valued at $1.00 CAD
nicknamed for the picture
of the bird on the tail side.
– an establishment designed to serve food to the public. Some
restaurants may also be licensed to serve alcohol. Restaurants in
Toronto are smoke-free, and as a result, are happy to serve people of
North York, Etobicoke (pronounced ee-TOE-bih-coe),
York, East York,
City of Toronto
– at one time, each of these individual boroughs
was its own city, before the amalgamation and formation of the Megacity
(now called just plain old
– pronounced spuh-DYE-nuh
Avenue (which is the same as Spadina Road) is the centre of the Fashion
District in Toronto, and also the main street of Chinatown. If you are
looking for elven-type cloth or a good leather oilskin coat to keep out
the rain on those long journeys, venture on down to Spadina Avenue.
– don’t worry; this is a family website! We just refer to the many hot
dog vendors found on our streets as vendors
of “street meat”, or “the hot dog guy”. In Toronto, we grill our hot
dogs, veggie dogs and sausages, and they come with a full range of
condiments. If you ask nicely, they may even give you cheese. The best
vendors are found on the corners of Queen and Spadina and at the Queen
Street Exit of the Eaton Centre.
– a small gold coin surrounded by a larger silver ring coin, its value
is $2.00 CAD
The toonie gained its nickname for being twice the value
of a loonie. Sometimes called a “doubloonie” by folks from outside the
– pronounced the tee-tee-see
This is the Toronto Transportation
, or the public transit system of Toronto. Please see the
section on “How to get around in Toronto” (below
for more details, but just remember
that people refer to the subway, the buses, the streetcars, and
wheel-trans shuttles, individually or collectively, as “The TTC”.
– pronounced young
, Yonge St. is the longest
street in the world; it starts at Lake Ontario and goes all the way
around the Great Lakes to the border of Ontario and Manitoba as it
becomes part of the Trans-Canada
. Yonge Street is considered to
be Toronto's main street, and will lead you to many tourist sites, like
the Eaton Centre, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Hummingbird Centre, the
World’s Biggest Bookstore, the Canon Theatre, the Hard Rock
Café, etc. You can walk for several blocks along Yonge Street,
but the best way to travel is by using the subway (the TTC).
And in Toronto, if you call it the “washroom”, “bathroom”, “loo”,
“water closet”, “toilet”, “mens”, “ladies”, “womens”, it all means the
How to get around
The best way to get around the city is via the TTC. It truly is
better way. Whether you take the streetcar, subway, or bus, you will
always get to your location, and sometimes, when traffic is restricted
or banned because of construction, the TTC is the only way. The cost
for a one-way fare is $2.50 CAD.
If you are taking the bus or streetcar, they accept exact change only.
Tickets and tokens can be purchased at each subway station at the price
of 5 for $10.00
CAD and 10 for $20.00 CAD.
A day pass can be purchased for $8.00 CAD,
which provides for unlimited travel per day.
Centre is conveniently located on Queen Street between two TTC subway
stations: Osgoode Station to
and Queen Station to the East.
ask the Ticket Collector in the subway booths for copies of Ride Guides (the transit system
map), or you can check their website. You
can also call their information line
at 416-393-INFO (4636). The service is available 24 hours a day, but
you can speak to a live operator between the hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30
|TTC Subway System - Downtown:
Click here to
download the full Subway map.
Click here to
download the full TTC System map (Ride
The 501 Queen streetcar stops right outside the Sheraton
Centre at York St. Other streetcars may be diverted onto the tracks of
Queen Street, so be sure to look for a 501. If a car has the
destination “Roncesvalles” on the top, this means it is going back to
the yard, and it may not be the best idea to board this streetcar.
The subway hours of
Taxi cabs are readily available. The initial fare is $2.75 CAD
as soon as you sit
down. Most of the times, you can just flag a cab down from the
street if their top lights are on. Reputable taxis to look for in
- Beck Taxi
(416-751-5555): Orange cabs with the green,
orange light on top.
Leaf Taxi (416-392-3000): Blue and white
Most drivers know their way to the Sheraton Centre from
any point in the city, and from the Sheraton Centre know their way to
major attractions. Toronto has a regulatory body, the Toronto
Taxicab Commission, whose job it is to ensure that all passengers
experience a safe, clean, and quiet taxi ride. They can be
contacted at 1-800-TO-TAXIS for more information.
Other forms of transportation which will take you to points outside of
the city include VIA
, and major bus
companies (Greyhound, Adirondack
Trailways, Go Transit).
There is a shuttle bus
between the Sheraton Centre and the airport,
however, you can negotiate a flat rate with cab companies (approx $40 -
$50 depending on your point of departure in the city), or call for an
Please note the Tow-Away zones
for street parking on the major streets
of downtown. Towing is strictly observed. Even if you pay
for parking, if the zone is a Tow-Away zone, your car will be
towed. No exceptions. Look for the little pictures of tow
trucks. Towing times are usually during rush hours – 7:00 AM to 9:00
AM, and 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday. If you park
way that blocks a streetcar’s path (remember—they’re on rails—they
can’t drive around your parked car), they are particularly merciless
If you choose to park in a designated lot, parking prices can cost up
to $20 CAD
for outside lots from the hours of 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Indoor parking
lots can cost more than that, since some of them do not
have flat day rates, and charge hourly rates.
If you drive on any street where streetcars travel, i.e. King St.,
Queen St., College St., Bathurst St., Dundas St., and others,
please note that it is illegal to pass a streetcar while it is stopped
with its doors open. Not only will you get a nice horn honking
from the streetcar driver, you could hit a descending passenger or be
fined or ticketed by police. You may drive in the streetcar’s lane
unless there are signs prohibiting it. The most notable exceptions are
on Queens Quay and Spadina Avenue.
Green lights that flash mean that all other signals are indicating red
(including pedestrian signals) and that you may proceed through the
intersection, even to make a left turn.
Getting around by bicycle is often the preferred
way in Toronto. The City has made it easy by designating a number of
bicycle lanes and routes on downtown streets, and placing lock bars at
various popular locations. There are many, many parks in the City, with
lots of great bicycle paths that take you deep into natural settings in
the middle of the tall buildings. Exploring Toronto by two wheels is a
popular tourist activity. And the summer time is great for cyclists—why
not bring your bicycle with you and solve all of the traffic congestion
problems you might encounter?
Bicycles are considered vehicles and must be treated as such by
automobile drivers. Please note that helmet use by cyclists is
truly the better way
The other way that most people get around Toronto is by using their own
two feet. From the Sheraton Centre, there are many attractions
that are within a 5 – 30 minute walking distance, with a scenic route
along the way. For more information, please see the “What to Do”
So you’re a tourist
Canadians, in particular Torontonians (and Newfoundlanders), are known
for their dry sense of humour, especially when it comes to pulling the
wool over tourists’ eyes. Here is a little guide to dispel the
myths and stories which you might hear as you wander around the town...
“Hey, isn’t that
Gene Wilder on your money?”
Bears Walk Down The Streets”
in many different colours. We are a
nation of drinkers; we like to make sure we can still pay for the bill
at the end of the night. Blue is for $5, purple is for $10 (and
it's not Gene Wilder, but Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's first Prime
Minister), green is for $20 and red is for $50. Denominations of
$2.00 and lower come in coin form.
If you find a bill with a picture of a man in
a Tam O’Shanter on it,
you probably have Canadian Tire Money. To redeem your cash, visit Canadian Tire
Davenport, the original hardware
superstore before the likes of Home Depot and the Building Box.
Well, since the
Gathering will be in the summer, this won’t be nearly as big a problem
as you might think. The Polar Bears don’t walk in the downtown core,
since there are too many cars. But if you do want to see polar
bears, head up to Sheppard subway station and take
the Sheppard East bus to the Toronto Zoo
the polar bears, along with penguins and snowy owls, will be there to
make a quick day trip to visit my friend in Vancouver?”
In Toronto, we don’t
snow to build igloos to live in, so
we’re forced to use materials such as bricks, wood, steel beams and
glass. While they aren’t igloos, the various buildings and houses still
show off the creativity of Canadians. If you want to browse the
architecture and neighbourhoods of Toronto, why not try a walking
Canada is the second
country (area wise) in the world. If
you want to make a “day trip”, here are driving distances to some of
the popular areas in Canada. You decide...
South of Toronto
to see, What to do
There are a lot of shopping areas within walking distance of the
Centre, and also, within 15 to 20 minutes via subway. Here are a
few of the key shopping areas you may want to check out during your
Queen Street West
From the Sheraton
minute walk west and onward
the Family Out
Trendy Queen Street West has boutique shopping and
the best comic book store on the planet – The Silver Snail
is a 5 minute walk west of the Sheraton Centre.
Accessible from the
level of the Sheraton Centre
Click here to download the map
The underground PATH leading from Union Station to
the Atrium on Bay has shopping and restaurants, and (according to
Guinness World Records) is the world’s largest underground shopping
complex with 16 miles (27 km) of shopping arcades and 4 million sq. ft
of retail space. You can find everything from fine wine to 75¢
pens in the PATH.
From the Sheraton
minutes via subway (Bloor Station)
Located at Bay & Bloor Streets, Yorkville is the equivalent of
Toronto’s Rodeo Drive, with
Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Harry Rosen, and other boutique and high-end
stores, including Holt
, Toronto’s answer to SAKS.
From the Sheraton
minute walk southeast
Located on Front Street East and Jarvis Street, St.
Lawrence Market is more than just an indoor farmer’s market. Open
daily except Mondays, no trip to Toronto is complete without a Peameal
Bacon Sandwich or some Churrasco
(Portuguese BBQ chicken) from “the Market”.
Brought the wee ones along? Need something to do before or after
the Tolkien festivities? Here are some of Toronto’s famous
attractions, that are fun for the whole family...
From the Sheraton
– 20 minute walk southwest
The world’s tallest building—please don’t call
it the “Space Needle”, or the “CNN Tower”.
an interactive video centre at the base of the tower. You can
experience incredible views and stand on a glass floor 1,000 feet up,
and you can
also have dinner at the 360 Revolving
, which has the world’s
tallest free-standing wine cellar.
From the Sheraton
Centre – 25 minute walk southwest
Formerly The Skydome
Rogers Centre is home to the Toronto
of Major League Baseball. This magnificent,
retractable-roof stadium doubles as an entertainment complex, and
includes a hotel with rooms overlooking the playing field. Summer is
baseball season—why not catch a game?
Click for details...
From the Sheraton
– 25 minute walk south
On Queens Quay along the
lake, Harbourfront has a variety of small boutiques, restaurants, and
art centres. A stroll/ride/skate along the lake front is a popular
pastime for Torontonians and tourists alike.
The Hockey Hall of Fame
From the Sheraton
– 15 minute walk south
To understand Canadians, you
must understand the game of hockey. For a better understanding,
visit the Hockey Hall of Fame. There are interactive displays for
adults and kids, and, once you visit there, you officially become an
honourary Canadian, eh?
The Royal Ontario Museum
From the Sheraton
– 5 minutes via subway
Located at Bloor Street and Avenue
Road, the ROM
undergoing major renovations. With 6 million objects in its collections
and 40 galleries of art, archaeology and natural science, the ROM
offers a whole world to explore. Four giant carved totem poles rise in
the centre of the stairwells, and the Hands-on Biodiversity gallery
offers families a fun interactive experience about the interdependence
of people, animals and plants.
The Art Gallery of Ontario
From the Sheraton
– 15 minute walk northwest
Located at Dundas and McCaul streets, the AGO
is also undergoing renovations.
The permanent collection takes you from the Middle Ages with 14th
century artist Giovanni del Biondo, to 20th century Canadian works by
the Group of Seven, to works of contemporary artists such as Andy
Warhol and Mark Rothko.
From the Sheraton
Centre – 7 minutes via subway (Dupont Station) and then 5 minute walk
On Spadina Road north of Dupont, Casa Loma is Toronto’s world-famous
castle. In 1911, Sir Henry Mill Pellatt (a prominent Toronto
financier, industrialist, military man, and unabashed romantic) engaged
the noted architect E.J. Lennox to help him realize a life-long dream -
the creation of a “medieval” castle on the brow of a hill overlooking
Ontario Science Centre
From the Sheraton
Centre – 15 minutes via subway (Eglinton Station) and then 15 minutes
via Bus (Eglinton East route 34 to Don Mills Road); 20 minutes by
Located on Don Mills Road just south of Eglinton Avenue East (Longitude
West 79° 20' 18,7745", Latitude North 43° 43' 0,5061"), the
Science Centre is a dream come true for budding scientists. There are
hundreds of displays on nature, science, and engineering, and a variety
of hands-on exhibits for the whole family to enjoy.
From the Sheraton
Centre – 25 minutes via Streetcar (Harbourfront 509 from Union subway
station to Exhibition Place) and then 10 minute walk south; 15 minutes
Right on the waterfront, Ontario Place is a great place to take your
family for summer fun. There are water rides, incredible playgrounds,
restaurants, a marina, and the world’s first permanent IMAX®
From the Sheraton
Centre – 25 minutes via Streetcar (Harbourfront 509 from Union subway
station to Exhibition Place) and then 5 minute walk west; 15 minutes by
Located on the Exhibition Place grounds, Medieval Times will be
familiar to 2003 Gathering event attendees as the location of our
incredible themed banquet. Enjoy the dinner and tournament with live
horses and knights fighting for honour!
From the Sheraton
Centre – 40 minutes northwest by car/taxi
On highway 400 just north of Toronto, this theme park will entertain
and excite you with dozens of rides, roller coasters, and other
attractions; and there’s a water park too!
A Neighbourhood Stroll
One of the greatest things about Toronto is its diversity. When
you walk down the streets, you can see various cultures of people side
by side, and this diversity is reflected in the neighbourhoods of
Toronto. Summer in the City is a great time to take walking tours of
Toronto’s neighbourhoods. Here are some of the more interesting areas...
and Kensington Market
Sheraton Centre – 20 minute walk
Queen streetcar westbound to
Spadina Avenue; transfer to the Spadina streetcar and go northbound to
The Nightlife; I’ve Got To Boogie
Chinatown and Kensington Market exemplify the cultural harmony that
makes Toronto one of the most unique cities in the world. Chinatown is
home to a multitude of Asian cultures, including Chinese,
Korean, Vietnamese and Thai. For a special treat, head down to
Chinatown between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM for traditional Dim Sum lunches,
or, after a night on the town, you can still get a hearty meal at many
of the restaurants along Spadina Avenue near Dundas Street, as they are
until 4:00 AM.
Kensington Market, located just one block west of Chinatown (starting
at Dundas & Kensington up to College & Augusta), is one of the
first neighbourhoods where many cultures came together to open shop and
live, side by side. Not only does the market have fresh fruits
and vegetables, but the world’s best cheese shop, Global
, is an
adventure in itself, and they give you free samples!
Sheraton – about an hour walk
to Spadina or Bathurst
The Annex is the trendy student area located on Bloor Street, just west
of the Royal Ontario Museum, full of unique boutique shopping and yummy
restaurants. Also, in the heart of the Annex is Toronto’s own Honest Ed's Warehouse
How does he sell things so cheap? Only Honest Ed knows. As Ed
says, “Come In and Get Lost”. Also in the Annex is one of
well-known repertory cinemas, the Bloor Cinema
Sheraton – about an hour and a half walk
to Broadview or Pape stations.
The Danforth, also known as “Greektown”, is the stretch of Danforth
Avenue with small boutique shops, but with also some of the best places
to eat in Toronto.
Sheraton – over an hour walk
501 Queen streetcar east to Woodbine Avenue.
This vibrant community on Toronto’s eastern beach has a mixture of cool
shops and trendy restaurants, a variety of cafés and coffee
houses, and beautiful parks bordering the lake shore. There’s even a
boardwalk running along the beach that in the summer is packed with
walkers, cyclists, and roller bladers.
Sheraton – over an hour walk
to Union station; transfer to the 509 or 510 streetcar south to
Queens Quay and Bay Street; transfer to the Ward’s Island ferry.
The Toronto Island Park is an adventure on its own, but it has a hidden
treasure that many tourists overlook. There is a small community of
residents that live on the island, where cars are prohibited and peace
is prevalent. Small, quaint houses on narrow, sidewalk-size streets
make this area a virtual paradise for city-dwellers. It is worth a
Of course, the most important Live Event is the Lord of
stage production at the Princess of Wales theatre
on King Street West. The Gathering of the Fellowship has arranged a
reduced rate block of tickets for this show, which you can purchase here
Toronto’s theatre scene is world-famous. If you’re in town for longer
than the conference and you have the time, don’t miss this opportunity
for quality entertainment.
Productions: They are bringing The
Lord of the Rings to Toronto, and they are also responsible for
presenting a number of other stage shows, including The Lion King, Mama Mia, and Movin’ Out.
A comprehensive guide to current Toronto and area theatre.
If you arrive in Toronto early and you’re
fan, why not join other Gathering attendees and catch a baseball game
at the Rogers Centre
Skydome)? The Toronto
will be playing the Philadelphia Phillies at 7pm on
Friday, June 30. The stadium is within a
few blocks walking distance from the hotel, so you don't have to worry
about parking! There’s even an underground PATH
connection in case
it rains, and of course the stadium has a retractable roof!
But the best news of all—Gathering attendees will be able to sit
together in the stadium on reserved field level seats, and we have
arranged a special discount of 30%
off the regular ticket price! Tickets are only $29.40 CAD
each (regular $42.00 CAD
To reserve your seats, download
this document (click here)
and follow the
instructions. See you at the ballgame!
If you’re in Toronto for longer than just a weekend, you may wish to
attend one of the following events in the city:
A Night Out on the
Downtown Jazz Festival (June 23 to July 2): This annual 10-day
world-class festival showcases more than 1,500 of the best Canadian and
international musicians performing diverse styles from traditional to
fusion, blues to bebop. Hundreds of thousands of jazz fans from around
the world experience jazz at ticketed mainstage performances, in
concert halls, at free indoor and outdoor stages and at more than 30
clubs, hotels and lounges in the heart of downtown Toronto.
International Dragon Boat Race Festival (June 24 to 25): Around 200
teams with over 6,000 paddlers compete in over 100 races in two days.
Athletes of different backgrounds from all over the world take part in
the ancient Chinese tradition and friendly competition.
International Picnic (July 1 to 3): The CHIN International Picnic
includes many exciting and varied entertainment and festivities:
non-stop colorful and spectacular cultural and contemporary song and
dance entertainment, a circus, amusement park rides and games, beer
garden, dozens of food concessions, major sports events; an
International Shopping Bazaar, prize winning contests/competitions, Mr.
and Miss CHIN Bikini pageants; and headline singers and entertainers
brought from around the world specifically for this weekend. More than
2,000 performers entertain, and an estimated 250,000 people attend the
FREE CHIN International Picnic!
Fringe Festival (July 5 to 16): The Toronto Fringe audience has
continued to develop and grow and now more than 42,000 enthusiastic
Fringers attend Toronto’s largest theatre festival each summer. These
patrons have come to embrace the Fringe philosophy and the fun of
discovering some of the most exciting and entertaining theatre in the
city. With their support The Toronto Fringe Festival has grown to
include eleven venues and more than 120 theatre companies from Ontario,
across Canada and around the world and is now the third largest Fringe
Trek 20 (July 7 to 9): Definitely Toronto’s best Science Fiction
convention, this will be their 20th Anniversary. This year’s announced
guests include Amber Benson (Tara Maclay from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Garrett
Wang (Ensign Harry Kim from Star
Trek: Voyager), Richard Hatch (Apollo/Tom Zarek from Battlestar Galactica), Michael
Shanks (Daniel Jackson from Stargate
SG-1), Lexa Doig (Rommie from Andromeda),
and Larry Stewart (Aurora Award winner). Check out their website for
updated information. Why not make it two convention weekends in a row?
If you’re just looking for a night out, and you’ve tucked the kids
away, or left them at home, check out College Street between Bathurst
where both celebrities and locals
go for a good time at night. You’ll find everything from dining
to dancing to pool halls to a quiet coffee. You may also want to
check out King Street West or Queen Street West, just a few minutes
walk from the Sheraton Centre, where there are lots of small cafes and
restaurants for your dining and chatting pleasure!
In Toronto, last call is at 2:00 AM, but the subways shut down at
approximately 1:30 AM, so be prepared to take taxis back to the
Sheraton if you stray too far away.
I’m Hungry – Where
You can find anything
eat in Toronto, from burgers &
fries to Injeera
and Gado Gado
. There are many
walking distance from the Sheraton, of all price ranges and styles of
food. Toronto is a city where we love to eat. To help you
out, here are some places which have good food and good value.
& Yonge Streets
smoked BBQ ribs in the city.
& Wellesley Streets
Good steak, good food,
good times. The mansion itself is a designated Historical
building, and as such, there are rumours that the place is
& Beverley Streets
Home of unique maki
including the CN Tower Roll, Toronto Roll, and Queen Street Roll, the
sushi, both vegetarian and fish, is reasonably priced and very
& Jarvis Streets
Excellent Indian Food,
vegetarian-friendly, with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Former
President Clinton ate here.
– Front &
Jarvis Streets, plus other locations; Delivery 416-365-3649
Great Thai and Vietnamese food, can be made
as spicy or as mild as you like, with both meat and vegetarian
& Grace Streets
antipasto and other Italian specialties in the Heart of Little Italy,
and it’s cheap and cheerful.
& Bathurst Streets; Delivery 416-535-4444
If you just feel like ordering a pizza, order from Pizza
Gigi instead of the conglomerates. Every student and graduate in
Toronto will tell you that Pizza Gigi is simply the best.
Here's a guide to Toronto's
Fifty Best Restaurants
Just remember that pubs are not family restaurants.
Street & The Esplanade
Celtic bands, excellent mashed
potatoes, perfect pints of Guinness. Could there be anything
– King &
English fare, happy times, and hey, you
see an Oliphaunt.
This is a chain of
pubs known as The Dukes
located throughout downtown Toronto. The food is excellent, they have a
fine single malt
collection, and they can accommodate large, spontaneous groups at a
Greg’s Ice Cream
– Bloor Street & Spadina Avenue
Simply the best ice cream. Ever. All ice cream
made on the premises.
– Danforth &
cream, large desserts, open late.
7 West Café
– Yonge & Charles Streets
Open 24 hours a day, 7
days a week, serving very yummy desserts from some of Toronto’s finest
bakeries, and with excellent coffee and hot chocolates.
– Bayview Avenue, south of Eglinton
It’s far from the
hotel, but it’s completely worth it for Sonia and Bernard Rahier’s
mouth-watering croissants and pain
So we hope you enjoy your stay in Toronto. If you have any
questions, don’t hesitate to ask someone for help. We’re only too
happy to oblige.
by Naomi Mesbur,
notes by Ed Rodrigues)
Do you want to add to this guide? Are you a
local Torontonian with some information that might be useful to
Let us know!
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
updated January 26, 2006.