Toronto

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NathanPrior

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Has anyone used the transport system in Toronto before? Heading out there for a week next Friday so it'll be good to know what to expect.
 
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Groningen

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Go Transit map:
 

100andthirty

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I have visited Toronto three time over 30 years. It's easy to get around. The key things I find I always need when abroad is a map, and details of the ticketing rules.

These days an App is useful too although beware of data roaming charges which for UK phones in North America can be large.

Fares info here:

https://www.ttc.ca/Fares_and_passes/index.jsp

and if you Google the TTC Toronto and "Android" or "IPhone", I am sure you will find and App
 

krus_aragon

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The first map posted by Groningen is a bit ambitious: it shows some planned LRT and Subway developments. You'd be better off looking at the TTC's website for maps of the subway and streetcar sytems.

There are two main subway routes (Bloor-Danforth running East-West, and Yonge-University, running North-South in a 'U'). In addition, there is a grade-separated rapid transit (Scarborough RT) extending the Bloor-Danforth subway to Scarborough, and a "Stubway" along Sheppard Avenue that is symptomatic of Toronto's political paralysis with transit expansion. Think of the endless arguing London's had about expanding Heathrow/Gatwick/other airports, and apply that to TfL. :( One of the proposed LRT routes is under construction, the Eglington Crosstown route. In addition to the above, there is a network of bus and streetcar routes operating throughout the inner city.

Virtually all mainline rail is concentrated on Union Station. It's currently at the tail-end of major redevelopment work, to cope with increased passenger numbers. The GO Trains are (provincial) government-funded commuter routes, operated by diesel-hauled double-decker trains. Some routes (e.g. Lakeshore East/West) operate throughout the day, others (e.g. Richmond Hill) only have inward services in the morning, and homeward services in the evening. The newest portion of the GO network is a service operating between Union Station and Pearson airport, which started last year. There are also GO Bus routes that operate further afield.

The local equivalent of Oyster is the PRESTO card. It's accepted by the TTC (subway, streetcar), GO Trains, and surrounding regions' buses.

If you want some reading material before you go, you can while away many an hour on the Transit Toronto website, which covers the history and current operation of the subway, rail, streetcar and bus operations of Toronto.
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A further post to add: in the downtown area, between the skyscrapers, there is a network of underground walkways known as the PATH network. These are open to the public, and many have shops along them (or even go through larger stores). If the weather or traffic above ground gets to you, you may be able to walk under it all. A map is available here.
 

jamesontheroad

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Not been in more than ten years, but a few thoughts...

The subway is similar in appearance and operation to that in New York: i.e. wide bodied trains with corrugated stainless steel bodies, stations quite shallow below street level, etc The next nearest Canadian subway, in Montreal, is very different, with rubber-tyred trains and fibreglass bodied trains.

In addition to the Subway, Toronto has an excellent streetcar system. Most rolling stock are single or double/articulated examples of the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle, built in the late seventies / early eighties by Hawker-Siddeley in Thunder Bay, Ontario. There are also newer Flexity Outlooks now in service. Streetcars either share streets or have their own rights-of-way in the middle of larger streets. A couple of routes dip underground through Queen's Quay station to Union; I think Queen's Quay is the only underground streetcar station that isn't connected to the subway? Regardless; at Union there's a rather unusual streetcar stop on the outside of the underground turning loop.

The newest portion of the GO network is a service operating between Union Station and Pearson airport, which started last year.

The new UP Express is somewhat unusual in Greater Toronto (and much of North America) as it's operated by a small fleet of DMU railcars. The units were built by Nippon Sharyo. There aren't many DMUs in service in North America because of the much stricter crash worthiness regulations, which always favour a locomotive hauling carriages. If you can manage a day trip to Ottawa, you'll see more familiar Bombardier Talent DMUs operating the O-train network there, which is classified as light-rail.

There are also GO Bus routes that operate further afield.

Watch out for two small fleets of Alexander Dennis Enviro 500 double deckers, similar to those in the UK.
 

DRSavenger008

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Toronto Transport Commision have a fantastic app for your phone which displays a virtual map of the city and allows you to track streetcars and buses
 
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aformeruser

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at Union there's a rather unusual streetcar stop on the outside of the underground turning loop.

Indeed. Note the signage to find it is not very good and also it's a very bendy track approaching that stop so if you see a streetcar coming you might want to stick your fingers in your ears!

The subway and streetcars seem to be frequent and efficient, although some people claim the streetcars aren't that reliable. Slightly strange if you're paying a single fare by cash you put it in a cash box and don't get a ticket, you can also get a scratch off day ticket or if you're staying for a while there's the PRESTO mentioned. On the new streetcars you can't buy on board.

UP Express is somewhat unusual in Greater Toronto (and much of North America) as it's operated by a small fleet of DMU railcars. The units were built by Nippon Sharyo. There aren't many DMUs in service in North America because of the much stricter crash worthiness regulations, which always favour a locomotive hauling carriages.

It goes from terminal 1 at the Airport so if your flight arrives at terminal 3 you need to catch the people mover across to terminal 1 to catch the train. They do sell tickets on board but there's a something like $2 surcharge for buying on board.

If you can manage a day trip to Ottawa, you'll see more familiar Bombardier Talent DMUs operating the O-train network there, which is classified as light-rail.

Ottawa is really a bit far for a day trip. There's also currently a lot of construction work going on in the city centre due to the building of the LRT.
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These days an App is useful too although beware of data roaming charges which for UK phones in North America can be large.

When I was in Canada I finished up staying at 6 different hotels - 4 of those had complimentary wi-fi, the 2 which didn't were both in Toronto so it seems complimentary wi-fi is less common in hotels in Toronto than in other places.

The UP Express and Toronto Airport both have complimentary wi-fi. If you buy any business class tickets for Viarail there's also complimentary wi-fi available in the business lounge and on the train.
 
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