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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Toronto

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Toronto each year. The main ones are listed below:

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

Monday preceding May 25 : Victoria Day (national holiday)

A national holiday celebrated in honour of England's Queen Victoria, originally established as a way of recognizing Canada's ties with the British Empire. A variety of events are held on this day in Toronto and across Canada: military parades, exhibitions, guided tours, etc.

July 1 : Canada Day (national holiday)

This celebration marks the day in 1867 that Canada was officially declared a dominion, or self-governing nation. Events include official ceremonies, parades, free concerts and fireworks.

First Monday in September : Labour Day (national holiday)

Second Monday in October: Thanksgiving (national holiday)

Originally a Christian religious observance, for many years Thanksgiving has been a secular holiday in Canada, as it is in the United States, celebrated by Canadians of all faiths. Families come together to prepare and enjoy a large feast at home. The meal typically includes roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce as well as various side dishes and ends with an assortment of pies (pumpkin, pecan and apple).

Mid-November : Santa Claus Parade (local event)

A Toronto tradition since 1905. Inaugurated by the Eaton's department store with a single float, it now includes over 25 bands and more than 2,000 costumed participants, applauded by throngs of enthusiastic spectators.

December 25 : Christmas (national holiday)

December 26: Boxing Day (national holiday)

On Boxing Day and during the entire week following Christmas, stores clear out their leftover inventories by running sales. A chance to grab some great deals!

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Toronto

Toronto has a humid continental climate. Summers are hot and humid while the winters are very cold. The difference in temperatures from one season to the next can be considerable. During the winter months, low temperatures can reach −20°C (−4°F). Summer is the best time to discover the city and the beauty of the Canadian countryside (lakes near Toronto, forests, many sporting activities).

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -7/19 -1/30 61/2.4 Not the best period to go
February -6/21 0/32 55/2.2 Not the best period to go
March -2/28 5/41 54/2.1 Not the best period to go
April 4/39 11/52 68/2.7 Not the best period to go
May 10/50 18/64 82/3.2 Not the best period to go
June 15/59 24/75 71/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
July 18/64 27/81 64/2.5 Good period to go Good period to go
August 18/64 27/79 81/3.2 Good period to go Good period to go
September 13/55 21/70 85/3.3 Not the best period to go
October 7/45 14/57 64/2.5 Not the best period to go
November 2/36 7/45 84/3.3 Good period to go Good period to go
December -3/27 2/36 61/2.4 Good period to go Good period to go
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Toronto Pearson International Airport

The Toronto Pearson International Airport is located 23 kilometres (14 miles) north-west of the city centre.

  • Two terminals
    • Terminal 1
    • Terminal 2 (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Toronto and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via Highway 409 and Highway 401 or Highway 427, with a travel time of about 25 minutes.
    • Several parking facilities are available:
      • Cell Phone Lot (drivers are required to stay with their car), free for 45 minutes.
      • Express Park (drop off zone T1), CAD 5 for 30 minutes.
      • Daily Park (short-term parking garages near the terminals), CAD 30 per day.
      • Value Park Garage (covered, long-term parking near the terminals), CAD 23 per day
    • Several car rental agencies have counters on Level 1 of the parking garages adjacent to both terminals.
  • By shuttle
    • Terminal Link, a free shuttle connecting between the terminals. Trains run every 5 minutes.
  • By bus
    • Several public bus lines offer service to central Toronto from the airport (GO Transit, MiWay, Brampton Transit, and Toronto Transit Commission), to the city centre. Fares start at CAD 6.
    • Private transit companies also offer services at the airport.
  • By taxi
    • Within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), fares for taxis are predetermined, based on the time and distance to your destination, about CAD 60 to the city centre.
    • A fuel surcharge may be applied. Based on the average price per litre of petrol over the previous three months, this may range from CAD 0 to CAD 5.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +1 (0)416 776 3000
  • Website: http://www.torontopearson.com

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GETTING AROUND Toronto

Toronto offers many convenient options for getting to every part of the city: by car, public transport, bicycle, taxi and on foot. Simply choose the one that suits your needs!

By car

Renting a car is the best way to explore the area around Toronto (the city is not very far from the border with the United States). Highways 2, 401 and 407 and Queen Elizabeth Way connect Toronto with nearby cities. To travel to the United States, the closest international crossings are those in Windsor, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls.

By public transport

Toronto's public transport system is among the most extensive and efficient in North America. Getting around the city is very simple. Each day, about 2 million people use public transport in Toronto.

Fares:

  • CAD 3.25 for a single fare purchase
  • CAD 8.70 for three tokens
  • CAD 42.25 for one week

By taxi

Taxis are not difficult to find in Toronto because several taxi companies operate throughout the city. Fares are regulated and tipping (15 to 20% of the fare) is required. You can hail taxis in the street or dial 416-TAXICAB, which gives access to all companies operating taxis in Toronto.

By bicycle

Toronto has many cycling paths. You have two options for obtaining a bike, either by using Bike Share Toronto, the public bike-sharing network (800 bicycles and 80 stations in central Toronto, starting from CAD 7 for a 1-day pass), or by renting a bike from one of the 100 bike shops in the city. Be sure to pick up the Toronto Cycling Map, which shows bike lanes, shared roadways, signed bicycle routes and multi-use trails.

On foot

Walking is a very pleasant way to visit Toronto, ideal for exploring the city's architecture, its many parks and other features. In colder weather, you can stroll along the PATH, Toronto's underground pedestrian walkway linking 28 kilometres (18 miles) of shopping, services and entertainment.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Toronto, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Ontario Travel Information Centre

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD).

1 CHF = 1,32 CAD

1 CAD = 0,76 CHF

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. Medical care and hospital stays are expensive in Canada. It is therefore strongly recommended to take out travel health insurance before travelling to Toronto. In the event of a hospital stay, expenses must be paid before leaving the hospital.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Canada, though the following vaccines are recommended:

  • booster doses for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio
  • typhoid, hepatitis A and B

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Toronto.

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Administrative formalities

Citizens of the European Union need an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to travel to Canada. However, acceptable travel documents and identification must also be presented at the border.

Neither visas nor Electronic Travel Authorizations (ETA) are required for U.S. citizens.

For foreign nationals from other countries, see the information on the Citizen and Immigration Canada website:

http://www.cic.gc.ca

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Canada, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

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Good to know

00 1
+ phone number without 0
-6 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva
Start of daylight saving time: second Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time: first Sunday in November

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
120 V / 60 Hz

Tipping
In Canada, tipping is expected and is sometimes included in the bill. Before leaving a gratuity, check to be sure that it has not already been included. For waiting staff and taxi drivers, you should tip between 15 and 20% of the bill before tax. Tip hotel porters CAD 2 per large bag. In a bar, you can leave at least CAD 1 for a drink.

Air France reveals...