Since many Annual Meeting attendees will be travelling abroad to attend the Annual Meeting, here are some tips to plan ahead for your travel to Toronto.
Passports and Entry into Canada
American Visitors: Americans travelling by air, car, or rail require a valid passport to re-enter the United States. For more information about how to obtain a U.S. passport or renew your existing U.S. passport, visit: http://travel.state.gov/passport/.
International Visitors: For specific information on travel documents required to visit Canada from countries other than the U.S., please refer to www.cbsa.gc.ca and www.cic.gc.ca.
Bringing children into Canada: Children 15 years of age and under are now required to show proof of citizenship (a certified copy of their birth certificate is acceptable). They are not required to show photo ID. If you are travelling with children, you should carry identification for each child.
Travel to Toronto
Toronto is served by two airports:
Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is Canada's principal airport with travel connections to every continent and ranks among the top 30 world airports in terms of passenger traffic. There are over 76 scheduled and charter airlines currently serving the airport and air carriers provide non-stop service to 26 Canadian and 42 United States destinations and same-plane service to 56 other International cities.
Air Canada is the official Canadian airline for the AACAP/CACAP Joint Annual Meeting. They are offering a 10% discount for meeting attendees who purchase Executive Class Flexible, Latitude, or Tango Plus class seats. To book a flight, go to www.aircanada.com and enter Promotion Code: CQJ3TZC1 to apply the discount.
Visit http://www.gtaa.com/en/travellers/airport_information/ground_transportation/ for ground transportation options once you arrive.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) 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. Porter provides a unique and personal flying experience with air connections to regional Canadian and U.S. destinations, including Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, New York City (Newark) and Chicago. Visit www.flyporter.com for current flight schedules and additional information. Visit http://www.torontoport.com/airport_location_access.asp?id=27 for ground transportation options once you arrive.
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.
Driving in Toronto
If you are driving into Toronto from the U.S., you will need to verify with your insurance company that you are covered in Canada or may incur a fine. Call your insurance company to get proof of insurance in Canada.
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. To plan your trip, visit www3.ttc.ca.
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 using Green P's parking locator to find the nearest lot: http://parking.greenp.com/find-parking/.
The Sheraton Centre Toronto provides valet parking only and costs $45 CAD/day Sunday-Thursday and $35 CAD/day Friday-Saturday. The Hilton Toronto provides self parking for $24 CAD/day and valet parking for $40 CAD/day.
There are a number of different taxi companies in Toronto and each has a distinct look. Fares are standard, metered, and non-negotiable. The driver should start the meter at the beginning of your ride and stop it when you reach your destination. Refuse to ride in a taxi without an operational meter. If your service was acceptable, a 10-15% tip is customary.
The Underground City
PATH is downtown Toronto's underground walkway linking 27 kms (16 miles) of subterranean shopping, services, and entertainment, including the Sheraton Centre Toronto and Hilton Toronto. Follow the brightly colored PATH signs and you'll reach your downtown destination easily in weatherproof comfort.
Toronto's currency is the Canadian dollar. For denominations under five dollars, coins are used some even have cute names: the loonie is $1 and toonie is $2). U.S. dollars are accepted in most Toronto establishments, although change is given in Canadian funds and exchange rates differ from merchant to merchant Cash machines/ATMs are in most banks, hotels, and shopping centres. Travelers cheques and credit cards are accepted at most (but not all) major retailers and currency exchange is available at banks and kiosks throughout the city and at the airport.
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.
If you have a non-Canadian cell phone, remember that your phone may not work in Canada or if it does work, you will likely pay international rates for your phone and data usage. Be sure to call your phone company before the trip to find the most cost-effective way to use your phone while in Canada.
October's average high in Toronto is 57°F (14°C), average low is 38°F (3°C). The average precipitation in October is 2.5 inches (6.35 cm).
There are two official Canadian languages: English and French.
For more information to make the most of your trip to Toronto, visit www.mytorontomeeting.com.