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Exploring the city of Toronto is a great experience by car. With notable attractions spread throughout and around this Canadian city, travelling by car makes for an efficient way to see and do it all. Toronto is also not far from several can't-miss attractions, with Niagara Falls being the most notable. Here, a rental car is absolutely ideal in order to make the trip. Once you've landed in town and have got your car hire sorted, get ready to make the most of Toronto's beautiful waterfront and architecture, its ample museums and dining, and more.

It’s your choice: Where to go in Toronto

This city, known for the Toronto International Film Festival, which begins in early September and runs for ten days (for the best chance of spotting a celebrity, go to Ryerson Theatre or Roy Thomson Hall), has much to offer at any time of year. Be sure to stop by St Lawrence Market Toronto at least once. This institution was designated the world's best food market by National Geographic in 2012. For sightseeing, visit the slender, 530m tall CN Tower, Toronto's main landmark. It defines the city's skyline, has four observation decks, and from the highest, you can see 160km in the distance. Adventurous visitors can take a hands-free edge walk on the 350m high main pod. Back on the ground, head over to the historic, pedestrian-only Distillery District, where popular films including 'X-Men' and 'The Hurricane' were filmed. Browse boutiques, dine at a cosy restaurant, or tour the many art galleries.

Things to do in Toronto

Particularly if you're travelling with the little ones, visit the Toronto Zoo, one of the world's largest zoos and home to thousands of animals. The indoor Gorilla Rainforest is among the zoo's highlights. The historic Casa Loma Toronto (Hill House) is an architectural masterpiece combining medieval Gothic, Norman, and Romanesque styles. Once inside the castle, you can admire early 20th century decor, and outside, you'll find a beautiful garden of flowers, fountains, and sculptures. From April to November, Toronto Island Park is a popular recreation area. Enjoy the rides at the island's Centreville Amusement Park, and take your kids to the nearby Far Away Farm to make friends with the animals. Just be sure to check ahead of time which facilities are operating in the off-season.

Important info about Toronto

Toronto is a mostly flat, lake front city. Its grid-like layout with some streets running diagonally makes getting around quite simple. If you choose to rent a car in Toronto, you should be able to easily orient yourself, particularly with many recognizable skyscrapers defining the skyline. You have several green oases in and around Toronto's downtown. Both locals and holidaymakers like Trinity Bellwoods for picnicking and sunbathing. Take Gardiner Expressway to the west from the centre to access High Park, popular among nature lovers. To enjoy cycling and discovery walks along the Beltline Trail, drive in the opposite direction. The cosmopolitan dining scene of Toronto is suitable for every budget. American, Thai, Italian, and French are just a few of the cuisines you'll find around the city. Great neighbourhoods to head to for dinner include Downtown, of course, as well as the Annex and Little Italy.

Weather in Toronto
Facts
Country Canada
Language English
Currency Canadian Dollar
Time-Zones EST
Country Code +416

Good to know

Familiarise yourself with traffic regulations before deciding to rent a car in Toronto. In Ontario, the minimum age for driving is 16. The maximum allowed blood alcohol concentration is 0.08. Drive on the right side of the street and fasten your seat belt. The speed limit within the city is 50km/h. Also, note that regulations don’t allow turning left from many downtown streets. Always stop at a pedestrian crossing to let walkers pass. Don't overtake stopped buses and trams, and stay well behind them. Avoid driving in downtown Toronto and along the nearby motorways during rush hours if possible. Morning peak hours are between 7-9:30h, while afternoon rush hours are roughly between 16-19h. City-owned parking lots are usually the most affordable. You will recognise them by green 'P' signs. In general, most lots accept credit cards for payment, but some of them accept only cash.

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What to visit in the surroundings of Toronto

There are many popular places to visit during your Toronto holiday. Some easily accessible by car are Midland-Penetanguishene, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls. The biggest lure to Midland-Penetanguishene, 140km away, is its blend of Indigenous, British, and French influences. The Discovery Harbour, a 19th century British naval base, is the main attraction. As you drive towards the Falls, take a break in the town of Hamilton. There, visit the neoclassical Dundurn Castle or take a walk in the Royal Botanical Gardens, which abound with lilacs in spring. If warfare interests you, examine the collection of aeroplanes at the Canadian Warplane Museum. The horseshoe-shaped Niagara Falls is 130km from Toronto. You can typically cover the distance in about an hour and a half by car. Once you get to the 60m high waterfall, take it in from a viewpoint, boat, or a helicopter.

What to bring to your friends from Toronto

Toronto does not lack for souvenirs or shopping. A quirky gift you'll find around town is instant snow powder. Just add water and your recipient can enjoy a winter fairy tale. The world-famous classic novel 'Anne of Green Gables' is a suitable gift for people of all ages, and children in particular. Browse souvenir stores to buy a Canadian mascot, Beaver. It often wears a hat and Mountie costume. Consider gifting gourmands with a Canadian mustard. Make a choice among sweet, spicy, and savoury mustards. Maple syrup is another iconic souvenir from Canada. If your recipient is avoiding sweets, candles made partially from maple syrup release a pleasant fragrance and burn longer than many other candles.