• Maple Leaf help

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Canada. For specific railroad questions, see Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Canada. For specific railroad questions, see Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.

Moderator: Ken V

  by gprimr1
 
I'm planning a trip this April to Toronto Canada. I've been a life long fan of the Blue Jays and now that I'm in MA, i have this unique chance to go see them play. I may be inviting some other NSE people with me so I have some questions:

1.) What's the hotel situation around Toronto Union Station?

2.) Any rental car companies around Union Station?

3.) Things to see on board the train?

  by AgentSkelly
 
If you got the money, The Royal York is very very nice and right across the street from Toronto Union Station.

*I think* there's a AVIS desk in the Great Hall....or is it Enterprise...I forget...

  by NS VIA FAN
 
Hertz is on the lower level of the Great Hall.

Hotels: The Intercontinental is just west of Union Station on Front Street. Some rooms overlook the tracks but my favorite is the Marriott in Rogers Centre (SkyDome) Just haul your armchair up to the window and there is a constant parade of VIA and GO Trains. Another hotel is the Strathcona on York Street around the corner from Union. Small but clean and they offer a VIA discount.

  by gprimr1
 
I actually have very little money :( so the cheaper the better. I gotta afford my blue jays ticket, food, and trip to see a friend.
  by Ken V
 
gprimr1 wrote:1.) What's the hotel situation around Toronto Union Station?
There are many hotels nearby. Too many to list them all.

The most famous I would think is the Fairmont Royal York, formerly a CP hotel. It is located across the street from Union Station, but it can be very expensive. The Renaissance Skydome Hotel is right in the Rogers Centre and has some rooms with a view of the Blue Jays' playing field. Again, it is pricey. For economy minded travelers, many have recommended the Strathcona Hotel which is about a block away from Union.
2.) Any rental car companies around Union Station?
Some rental car companies have recently set shop up in the station just across the Great Hall from the VIA Rail ticket counters. I believe they include Alamo, Budget, and Thrifty. Hertz has been at Union Station for years and, although Avis was there for a long time, I think they left quite a while ago.
3.) Things to see on board the train?
Having never travelled the entire route, I can only say what I've heard about the southern portion. The best views are going up the Hudson River, on the west side of the train. The scenery north of Albany is not very spectacular. Crossing the bridge at Niagara Falls you may get a glimpse of the falls looking out the left side. In Canada, the train rounds Lake Ontario and there are some points where the lake can be seen on the east side of the train. The view climbing out of Hamilton up to Aldershot is not bad.

  by conrail71
 
Hey,
I've ridden between CRT and BUF station a bunch of times and in my humble opinion the North side of the train is the best for FRN viewing. There are a few yards with the heavier amount of trackage on the North side of the train, also when departing Rochester look out the window and you will be treated to the best view of the High Falls of the Genesee river. The rail height is greater than 100 feet above the base of the falls! It's gotta be the highest bridge between NYP and BUF!
Mike

  by ryanov
 
In a city, one does not often NEED a rental car if one can just read a couple of bus/subway maps and that sort of thing. Is that true of Toronto?

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Definitely true, Mr. Novosielski.

Toronto could well be the most mass transit minded city in North America; likely having more seat miles (better unit of measure anyone?) per capita than any US city - New York included.

While I should rightly defer to our colleagues 'North of the 49th' such as Messrs Ken V and NS VIA Fan, I doubt if they are about to disagree with this statement.

  by gprimr1
 
Well I plan to attempt a trip to University of Western Ontario if possible. That would probally require wheels.

  by Ken V
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Toronto could well be the most mass transit minded city in North America; likely having more seat miles (better unit of measure anyone?) per capita than any US city - New York included.
I can't vouch for Mr. Norman's statement but Toronto does have an extensive mass transit system. You can get pretty much anywhere you would want to go within the city on the TTC. GO Transit trains and buses reach many locations well outside the city.
gprimr1 wrote:Well I plan to attempt a trip to University of Western Ontario if possible. That would probally require wheels.
Not really... You could take VIA from Toronto to London and then a city bus from downtown to the UWO campus.

  by gprimr1
 
The trip to UWO is still up in the air.


Would I be able to return the same day or is it a once a day train? How long is it.

  by george matthews
 
ryanov wrote:In a city, one does not often NEED a rental car if one can just read a couple of bus/subway maps and that sort of thing. Is that true of Toronto?
Toronto has probably the best public transport in North America. Only Melbourne rivals it in the British Commonwealth.

  by Noel Weaver
 
Several points here:
1. I take exception to the person who made the comments about the
scenery north of Albany, first of all the line swings west at Albany and it is
quite scenic through the Mohawk Valley between Albany and Utica. The
Mohawk River/Erie Canal is on the left and is quite fascinating to follow.
2. The Strathcona was a very decent place to stay a few years ago when
I last went to Toronto. I would bet that it still is and it is very close to
the station as well.
3. You should not need a car in or around Toronto, it has probably the
best public transit network in North America or at least close to it.
Frequent and dependable service on trains, subways, trolleys (they call
them streetcars) and buses.
4. Via runs lots of service between Toronto and London, go to their
website for a full and complete timetable.
Have a good trip.
Noel Weaver

  by Container
 
gprimr1 wrote:I actually have very little money :( so the cheaper the better. I gotta afford my blue jays ticket, food, and trip to see a friend.
In college, I did a Montreal & Toronto trip on very little cash. If you want, I can point you to the hostel I stayed at.. not far from the station, accessible from transit, and it was very cheap.

But I did that trip 6-7 years ago, things may have changed.