Note: 

Content provided for information only and is not an endorsement. 

Hours and other details subject to change. 

Please ask the local committee in Toronto for more details.

 

Coffee:

 

There are (at least) three Starbucks within a short walk from the Sheraton.

1.   Exit on the North side (Queen Steet) and walk one block West (left) to University Ave.

2.   Exit on the West side (York St) and walk one block south (left) on York to Adelaide.

3.   If the weather is bad, exit underground on the concourse level and take the PATH one block south (right) (The Lanes).

 

There are also two more Starbucks locations in the Eaton Centre.

 

Once you've had your fix, you might consider trying one of the local options: Second Cup or Timothy's (both Starbucks-like coffee shops), or even the Canadian institution, Tim Horton's (Queen St. east of the Sheraton, or in the Eaton Centre). Aroma (Bay St. north of City Hall) in addition to specialty coffees, has nice sandwiches and lunches.

 

 

Getting oriented:

 

The Sheraton takes up one block on the east side of York St. between Queen and Richmond. Most streets in downtown Toronto run North/South (like York St) or East/West (Queen St). There are several exits from the Sheraton. Most people arriving by vehicles will come in through the West entrance. Tip: Most north-south streets slope downhill towards Lake Ontario.

 

Straight across York St. to the West is the Four Seasons Centre - home of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet. If there is an event going on, it is worth going to experience the exceptional acoustics. There are sometimes lectures or chamber concerts in the glass-fronted atrium on the West side (University Ave).

 

If you go out of the Sheraton on the North side, you will be looking straight across Queen St to Nathan Philips Square and the distinctive curved towers of Toronto City Hall. Just East of Nathan Phillips Square on Bay St is the old City Hall building with its distinctive clock tower, still occupied by government offices. Further East is the main shopping mall, the Eaton Centre, spanning the area from Bay to Yonge Sts and Queen to Dundas Sts. Although Eaton's Department store no longer exists (it is now Nordstrom/H&M), the historic name was retained. South of the Eaton Centre is the huge flagship store of the Bay (Hudson Bay Company), spanning the block on the south side of Queen from Yonge to Bay. The Bay and Eaton Centre are accessible underground from the Sheraton through the PATH. Northeast of the Eaton Centre, and gradually taking over many buildings in the area, is Ryerson University.

 

On the West side of Nathan Phillips Square is the impressive Osgoode Hall, home of the Law School of York University and the Upper Canada Law Society (and the backdrop for many Hollywood movies). The West side of Osgoode Hall borders University Ave. About 10min walk northbound on University will bring you to the Hospital corridor, with Sick Children's and Toronto General on the East side, and Mt. Sinai and Princess Margaret on the West. One block further North is Queen's Park (the Ontario legislature building) and the University of Toronto campus, extending to the West.

 

 

Food/Dining

 

In addition to the Sheraton, there are some options close by. On street level, just East of the Sheraton on Queen St. is Tim Horton's, which is open 6am-midnight. The east exit of the Sheraton is right at Tim's (from the check-in area, signed to Queen and Bay Streets).

 

On the Concourse level, just outside the Sheraton entrance is a bagel place and further along is a small food court. Many places in the PATH are not open on weekends, however.

 

There is an inexhaustible supply and variety of restaurants within walking distance. The Keg (just south on York) is good quality but moderately expensive. There are a number of places in and around the Eaton Centre, including Baton Rouge (excellent ribs). For less expensive options, walk West on Queen St. to the trendy Queen West neighbourhood, about 2 blocks after you cross University Ave. There are some excellent Indian, Thai, Korean barbeque, and Crepe places (among many others) within 10-15 mins from the Sheraton.

 

Slightly further afield, keep going West on Queen St. to Spadina and you'll be in the middle of Chinatown. Most of the restaurants (Vietnamese and others in addition to Chinese) are North (right) on Spadina between Queen and College.

 

In the summer, many restaurants have outdoor patios, which can be very pleasant on a warm July night.

 

 

Museums

 

A fairly short walk from the Sheraton is the newly-renovated Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Walk West to University Ave, 2 blocks North to Gerrard, and then 1 block West, past the Grange. There are permanent exhibits of major art works as well as special exhibits.

 

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) had a wide assortment of historical and anthropological exhibits, including a world-class dinosaur display. It is at the Museum subway stop at

 

Bloor and Avenue Rd/University Ave. It is walkable for the hardy - probably about 30 mins up University past Queen's Park.

 

There are a number of other smaller museums, including the Bata Shoe museum on Bloor west of the University, and the Gardner Ceramic museum on the east side of University at Bloor across from the ROM.

 

Toronto Science Centre was one of the first of the hands-on science museums. It is located in Don Mills, northeast of downtown and is accessible by TTC bus.

 

Toronto Zoo is excellent but located quite a way to the East of downtown, though it is accessible by TTC bus.

 

 

Other attractions:

 

Theatres:    The Toronto region is one of the top English language theatre areas in the world. Frequently, there are touring Broadway shows or previews at the major theatres on King St. or Yonge St. There are also many local professional companies. One of the best is Soulpepper, which plays out of the Distillery District (not walking distance). There are outdoor theatres, the best known of which is the CanStage Dream in High Park, accessible by subway to High Park station.

 

Further afield are the internationally known Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, both about 1.5h from Toronto. Both offer some of the best stage productions anywhere. Niagara-on-the-Lake is in the core of the Niagara Wine district. Many wineries offer on-site tours, tastings and restaurants.

 

A trip to Stratford can be combined with a visit to the agricultural tourist centre of St. Jacob's, and the towns of Guelph and Kitchener/Waterloo (home of what is left of Blackberry and noted as 'Canada's Silicon Valley'). In addition to two Universities (Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier), KW hosts offices for many software and social media companies, including Google and Facebook, and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

 

Downtown stuff:

 

The most distinctive site is the CN Tower, until recently the world's highest free-standing structure. It is not cheap and fairly touristy, but the views on a clear day are spectacular (you might be able to spot the HWI in Buffalo). You can eat at the restaurant, which, while perhaps a bit expensive for a restaurant, would also include the trip up the elevator and access to the observation deck. Reservations are probably a good idea.

 

Toronto's lakefront stretches along the north shore of Lake Ontario from, roughly, the foot of Bay Street to the West past Exhibition Place, and beyond. Walk south on Bay or York past Union Station and under the rail tracks and the Gardner Expressway. Walking and biking trails stretch along the lakeshore, and the central area, Bay to York (Queen's Quay) has restaurants, shops and boat cruises.

 

Toronto Islands are accessible by ferry from the dock behind the Westin at the foot of Bay St. There are miles (or km, actually) of walking and biking trails, beaches,  nice views back to the Toronto skyline, restaurants and amusement parks. Centre Island is the most popular area, Ward's Island ferry goes to the residential area, which is quite interesting to walk around. The ferry crossing is 15-20 mins and schedules are available on the Web. The Islands used to have a baseball stadium where Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run.

 

There are two main downtown market areas. St. Lawrence market is probably the most accessible, south on York or Bay to Front St, then east on Front. Past the SONY Centre (formerly the Hummingbird, formerly the Okeefe for the old-timers), the  whole St. Lawrence area along Front and the Esplanade is a nice destination, with shops, pubs and restaurants. The second market area, Kensington market, is west of Spadina and south of College.

 

Sports:

 

The Toronto Blue Jays play at theRogers Centre (originally SkyDome) on Front St. at the base of the CN Tower (20mins walk from the Sheraton). The Rogers Centre was the first North American stadium to feature a retractable roof. The Argos (CFL) and Toronto FC (soccer) play at BMO field on the lakeshore. The Maple Leafs and Raptors will be out of season in July, but they play at the Air Canada Centre just south of Union Station (Front and York-Bay).

 

Tours:

 

Many companies offer bus or trolley tours of Toronto. There are also organized tours to Niagara Falls and the wine district. The concierge desk in the Sheraton will have information. There is a Toronto Tourist Information kiosk next to the fountain in Nathan Phillips Square, right across Queen St. from the Sheraton.

 

Walking tours are available through Muddy York Tours. (Toronto was originally called York).

 

Emergency Information

 

The closest hospital to the Sheraton is St. Michael's, on Queen St, East of Yonge. Note that, while a visitor is very unlikely to be refused treatment, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) does not cover visitors, so you would have to pay. If applicable, you are advised to check that your health insurance plan covers out-of-country expenses and, if not, to seriously consider a travel insurance policy.

 

The US Consulate is located on the West side of University Ave, one block North of Queen St. Many other countries have consulates in the same area. (Note, the capital of Canada is Ottawa so that's where the embassies are located).

 

 

Currency:

 

The smallest paper denomination in Canadian dollars is the $5.00 bill. In addition to the normal coins available in US currency, there are dollar coins (loonies) and two-dollar coins (twonies or toonies). Pennies are no longer valid currency in Canada - if paying cash, prices are rounded up or down to the nearest multiple of 5 cents. Some outlets will accept US currency (often at reasonable exchange rates) and credit/debit cards are accepted almost everywhere.