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Toronto, located in Southern Ontario, is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), part of a densely populated region which is home to over 8.1 million residents- the largest in Canada and the seventh largest urban region in North America. Toronto is also the most ethnically diverse city in the world with approximately half of its population born outside of Canada. The city is home to more than 80 ethnic groups and more than 100 languages, and is marked by an incredible diversity of distinct neighborhoods, cultures and communities.
For more information about Toronto, dining options, entertainment and shopping, please visit Tourism Toronto.
In addition to Canada’s official languages- French and English, the top five languages spoken in Toronto are Chinese, Italian, Tamil, Portuguese and Spanish.
The average temperature in Toronto in February is -5ºC (23ºF), and the daytime temperature highs are about -1ºC (30ºF). Visitors can expect wet, cold, snowy conditions, so it is best to pack a warm coat, boots, gloves, scarf and a hat. Please check out the Weather Network, and plan ahead!
Toronto is proud to be an accessible destination, accommodating travelers of varying special needs! Start planning your trip with helpful maps, guides and tours from Travel with a Challenge, Accessible Toronto, Beyond Ability and Abilities. Travel with a Challenge lists accessible accommodations, and to savour Toronto’s global cuisine, visit Resto Toronto and Dine.TO which highlight accessible restaurants around the city. Looking for Accessible Transportation in Toronto? Dignity Transportation is Ontario’s largest transportation provider for those with special needs. Not all disabilities are obvious, so be sure to advise those accommodating you of your special needs.
If you’re happy with the service you receive, a 15-20% tip on the pre-tax bill is a standard expression of appreciation when dining out in the city. Note that some restaurants automatically add this gratuity when serving large groups, so be sure to check your bill.
Tips are also expected for services such as haircuts, shoe shines and taxi rides. 15-20% is standard in these situations as well.
The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is a 13% tax that is applied to most purchases of taxable supplies of goods and services in the Province of Ontario. The HST consists of a 5% federal portion and an 8% retail sales tax portion.
Religion and Places of Worship in Toronto
Toronto is home to a vast multicultural population and is welcoming to all. For places of worship in Toronto please click here
Toronto is served by two airports:
Pearson International Airport is Canada’s principal airport with travel connections to every continent. Air Canada, Canada’s flagship carrier relies on Pearson International Airport as its major Canadian hub with a wide variety of domestic, US and international connections.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (formerly Toronto City Centre Airport) is one of the most convenient urban airports in the world. It is located on Toronto Island, minutes from the downtown core with links to the city by a short ferry ride and shuttle, and is served by Porter Airlines and Air Canada.
VIA Rail and AMTRAK bring visitors into the heart of the city each day. Toronto's Union Station is centrally located downtown and connects to the subway by underground tunnel.
Several highways, including Highways 2, 401, 407 and the Queen Elizabeth Way, link surrounding cities to Toronto. Nearest Canada-U.S. border crossings are at Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Windsor. Please see, Directions to the Venue for more information.
For International Visitors:
Please be sure to check with your nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate well in advance of travel to obtain the appropriate documentation. If you require a letter of invitation, please contact us as soon as possible. A letter of invitation is issued solely for the purpose of assisting participants with visa applications and/or to obtain funding for their attendance at the conference. Such a letter does not imply any financial obligation on the part of the conference organizers.
Explore Toronto on one of North America’s finest transportation systems – the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). With easy-to-navigate subways, buses and streetcars, getting around the city is a snap. When using the TTC a single fare will take you anywhere in the city on a one way trip. You can freely transfer between subway, streetcar and bus, but make sure you obtain a transfer when and where you pay your fare. On buses and streetcars, exact change is required.
GO Transit is Ontario’s inter-regional bus and train service. It links Toronto with outlying areas of the Greater Toronto and beyond. GO Trains and buses depart from Toronto’s Union Station at regular intervals throughout the day.
Driving Around Town
• Toronto’s streets follow a basic grid pattern and are easy to navigate
• Speed limit signs are posted on each street
• The city’s "rush hour" is more than an hour long – count on heavy traffic from 7:00-9:00 a.m. and again from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Parking on most downtown streets is limited to specific times of day, and often requires you to purchase and display a ticket from one of the parking machines located along the street. Be sure to check and obey the signs posted along the street to make sure your vehicle doesn’t get ticketed or, worse, towed away.
There are also a variety of public parking lots throughout the city. City-owned lots are indicated by the ‘Green P’ logo – a large ‘P’ in a green circle. Plan in advance on using Green P's parking locator to find the nearest lot.
Insurance is the responsibility of each individual delegate. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan does not cover non-residents of Ontario. Delegates should therefore have their own medical coverage.