Budget Travel Guide To Toronto
Toronto in the summer reminds me of California….except the people here are nicer. This was a work/leisure trip and I’m so glad that I got to hang out with some of my friends who I hadn’t seen in a long time! This Budget Travel Guide To Toronto will give you tips on where to stay, what to see (Instagram Worthy Locations), where to eat and how to get around using public transportation.
Tips Budget Travel Guide To Toronto
The week I was in Toronto there were so many events going on. You can click here to see the upcoming events. Most places accept credit cards so be sure to input it on your mobile device for quick checkout. Uber/Lyft is available in this city however I got by with the public transportation just fine! Bring a picnic blanket so you can chill in the parks.
If you like to drink alcohol like me, you can buy liquor at the LCBO locations. You won’t find liquor in any grocery store.
Travel Cost Breakdown
Flight from BCN –> YYZ: Ridiculously expensive during this time of the year (August.) I was lucky to have work pay for the flight.
Accommodation: AirB&B $54 USD/night in Danforth hosted by Maggie and Shane – Prime location! (Updated 2020 – the AirB&B is no longer available)
Before traveling to Toronto I thought it would be a good idea to ride bikes around town so I downloaded the Bikeshare Toronto app. You can get a day pass for $7 CAD or a 3 day pass for $15 CAD. However when I got to Toronto I realized that it’s quite dangerous riding a bike through town due to the lack of bike lanes and to top that off, I’m an inexperienced rider.
No worries because the public transportation was easy to figure out. I used google maps to find my routes. If you want real time updates download the RocketMan app. You have the option of taking a bus, street car, or subway. The best thing to do is to go to a station and buy “tokens.” Tokens are $3.25 CAD each. A day pass will cost $12.50 CAD.
On the weekends you can get a day pass and share that with another adult.
When I entered a station I walked in where the ticket sales clerk is and tossed a token into the clear plastic container. Then there is a red machine for “proof of purchase.” I always got my “proof of purchase” for transfers just in case I got stopped. I didn’t get any cell reception underground but there is free wi-fi for 30 minutes.
Tip: screenshot your route.
When taking a city bus enter in the front of the bus and toss a token into the clear plastic container. Make sure to get a “proof of purchase.” You may also pay cash to the driver (exact amount only)
When taking a streetcar just hop on and there should be a machine to insert your tokens or coins. NO credit cards.
For more information on Toronto’s public transportation click here.
What To Do
Side Tip: There were so many places I wanted to see and restaurants I wanted to eat at. The best way to plan your route is to go on Google Maps on your phone and “bookmark” all the places you want to go to. Then you can see on the map which areas to hit up first.
AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario – Free on Wednesdays after 6pm
Visit Casa Loma – Tickets to go in are $26.55 CAD or you can just take a nice photo outside.
Danforth – Greektown
Graffiti Alley – Don’t worry, it’s safe!
Kensington Market – Really cool area for restaurants and shopping
Nathan Phillips Square – Toronto Sign. At night time, it’s lit up
Queen Street West – shops and stores and then have a picnic at Trinity Bellwoods Park
St. Lawrence Market – There’s a farmers market here on Tuesday through Sunday
Toronto Island – By far my favorite place to visit during the summer. Make your way to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. Tickets are $7.87 per person. Upon arrival there was a long line to purchase tickets so I purchased tickets online on my phone and walked right through. After the 10-15 minute ferry ride I walked directly to the bicycle rental shop. There are literally no cars on the island so it’s very safe and it’s the best way to explore the island.
What To Eat
If you don’t already know, my go to restaurants when I travel are Asian cuisines because I miss it so much!
Banh Mi Boys – More than 1 location and good size portions
Broadview Hotel – Top floor – Great views with great drinks and small plates
Glory Hole Donuts – Can’t have just one
iHalo Krunch – I went here 3 days in a row. It is really that good. More than 1 location
Kinton Ramen – More than 1 location
Kost – Rooftop restaurant with an amazing view
Pai Northern Thai Kitchen – Get the Miang Kung dish
Pho Tien Thanh – This hit the spot
Rol San Dim Sum – Came here twice. There are two large dining areas. Go to the one in back.
Wilbur Mexciana – Not the same as California Mexican food but the Elote was on point!!
If you enjoyed by Budget Travel Guide To Toronto and want to explore a different part of Canada, please be sure to check out my Travel Tips to Quebec City.