My husband and I are considering a 2 night "layover" in Toronto this July. We would not be renting a car and would like to stay downtown (either the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre or the Courtyard Toronto Downtown). Any suggestions about restaurants, activities or hotels would be appreciated. What would be the best way to get from the airport to downtown?
Hi and welcome to Insiders! I've been to Toronto several times and heading back in a couple of weeks. I've stayed at both the Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre and the Courtyard Downtown. Both hotels are in a good central area of Downtown with easy access to their subway system. I do recommend the Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre property over the Courtyard as it has more amenities. The Courtyard is clean and comfortable but its rooms are very plain and boring.
If you are flying into the Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) you should be able to take the new "Union Pearson Express" Train which is scheduled to open on June 6th. This new high speed rail train can get you downtown to Union Station from the airport in 25minutes. http://www.upexpress.com/en/
My preferred airport for Toronto travel is the Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ) which is located in downtown Toronto on the islands. This convenient small airport is primary served by Porter Airlines. http://www.flyporter.com
There's lots of things to see and do in Toronto. I do recommend checking out Casa Loma which is an old castle that is now a museum. http://www.casaloma.org/
And of course there is always the CN tower which offers incredible views of the city. http://www.cntower.ca/en-ca/home.html
I hope this helps! Let us know how your trip goes!
Thanks for all the great tips, vaboywnder. I was leaning towards the Marriott Eaton Centre over the Coyrtyard, and you just confirmed my impression. I will have to look into the union express train since we will be flying through YYZ, (flying AirCanada from St. John's, NL back to Houston).
I'm particularly interested in this, as I have never been to Toronto, but would very much like to go! A great topic to start here in the forum, flyingsouth, and an awesomely helpful response vaboywnder (as usual )
Below is thread that contains some information that you may find helpful as you solidify your plans:
Thanks for posting!
Our favorite hotel is the Downtown Marriott Eaton Centre with the Renaissance on Blue Jay Way running a close second. These two Marriotts are my home base for a couple of weeks every month and the staff at both are A-1. Both concierge lounges are closed on the weekends but the Eaton Centre has so many restaurants withing walking distance that you will not go hungry. I am not sure what types of activities or excursions you are looking for but will ramble off a few of our favorite past times. If you are looking to spend some time doing indoor things, there is the new Ripley's Aquarium at the base of the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum(ROM), Hockey Hall of fame, if Blue Jays are in town, there is always a ball game. If you are more the outdoorsy type, renting bikes to go over to Centre Island (which is car-free) or biking along the waterfront with its numerous parks and bike paths. The daredevil in you might want to try the Edge Walk at the CN Tower. Kensington Market and St. Lawrence Market are wonderful ways to spend part of a weekend. The Distillery District off of Front St and Parliament has been refurbished and is both wonderful for a bite to eat as well as saunter around any temporary exhibits.
Restaurants abound in the downtown area and are easily walked to from you hotel. Both Barberians Steak House and Donatello's Restaurant are on Elm Street which is a couple of blocks from the Eaton Centre...both are delish. If you are looking for something different Lee's Restaurant at 603 King St. W. has an amazing menu. For something more casual and quick Pizza Rustica at Wellington and Blue Jays Way has a great variety of fresh pastas and yummy pizzas.
Walking around downtown is probably an activity in itself with shopping and street musicians. There are also Broadway type entertainment with Mirvish Theater across the road from the Eaton Centre.
Hope you have an amazing time!
This summer, July 10-26, Toronto will host the Pan Am Games, Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan American Games, so you may want to look into getting tickets, but also to book soon your accomodation because it will be very busy!
I also like the Eaton Centre Marriott, excellent concierge lounge and centrally located.