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Old 8th May 2009, 05:58   #1
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Default A trip to Toronto

Alright, the trip in this travelogue actually took place in 2008.Was too lazy to pen down the details till now.
So herez how the story goes.Though it had been a year since I had moved to Canada but I really had not been to the party circuit at toronto.So decided to take the plunge one long weekend and made plans with my roomies.
The ride was of course my favourite at that time.. a BMW 323i(my friend's car)
A trip to Toronto-dsc00797.jpg

We decided to start from Ottawa(Forgot to mention.I am put up here)
at 7:30am on the friday morning(it was holiday on friday for some reason which i do not remember now) and were planning to hit toronto in another 5 hours or so.
But since we are all bachelor's and could never resist a good sleep,we ended up waking at 9:30am. Bang the crisis management took over and soon all the washrooms became occupied and we were in the car in about an hour.Forgot to take my SLR too.But fortunately my friends had kept their's.
A trip to Toronto-dsc00936.jpg

It was the fall season, and driving was a pleasure.We took turns to drive this gem on wheels
A trip to Toronto-dsc00940.jpg
Straightaway went to the gasbunk and did a tank full.
We made it to toronto in 6 Hrs unlike the one planned due to stoppages in between at some really beautiful locations.

A town called Tweed on the way

A trip to Toronto-dsc00951.jpg

Stopped at a wine tasting festival at Markham
A trip to Toronto-dsc00984.jpg
Oh.I knew that as interesting it is to read a travellogue,its as boring to pen down one.
So would just let the pictures do the talking.


A war memorial on the way.
A trip to Toronto-dsc00964.jpg

The apple pie restaurant


A trip to Toronto-dsc00976.jpg

At Wonderland,Toronto

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The famous Niagara Falls
A trip to Toronto-dsc00918.jpg

A view from the top of CN towers
A trip to Toronto-dsc00850.jpg
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Old 8th May 2009, 08:56   #2
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nice photogrphs . keep them coming.
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Old 8th May 2009, 10:39   #3
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nice photogrphs . keep them coming.
Thanks Pranava.
A trip to Toronto-100_2678.jpg

Thats the smallest bridge between two countries.

A trip to Toronto-100_2694.jpg
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:00   #4
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Default Toronto, Canada : Tips and Tricks To Get More For Less!

Get more for less in Toronto, Canada!

Sightseeing:

General entry for adults at popular locations:
  • CN Tower : CAD 38.00
  • Casa Loma : CAD 26.55
  • Royal Ontario Museum : CAD 20.00
  • Ontario Science Center : CAD 22.00
  • Toronto Zoo : CAD 23.00
  • Ripley's Aquarium : CAD 32.00
Get More for Less:
Fitness:

Goodlife Fitness:
  • Try first 3 days for free, One e-coupon = One person
  • Almost all major companies have tie-ups with Goodlife Fitness which allows you to access all facilities by paying just CAD 15.00 for 15 days
  • If your acquaintance already has the corporate membership then you can request him to enroll you under the same scheme provided that you both have a same address

Getting Around:

Public Transport:
  • Get a Presto card instead of choosing pay per go, it is always cheap.
  • Use Triplinx or Google Maps to figure out a route
  • While going to the city center (Downtown, North York) from suburbs (Brampton, Mississauga), Try to maximize the journey using the local transport services (TTC, MiWay, Brampton Transit etc.) instead of using the express services (GO) right away from the boarding point itself.
Private aggregators:
  • Lyft and Uber are popular
  • Always ask your acquaintance for a referral code. It's always a win-win!
  • Lyft offers CAD 5 off first 10 rides to new users for a limited time.
  • Lyft also offers CAD 10 off 5 rides for limited time when your referral uses Lyft for first time.

General Shopping:
  • Check if any offers/discounts are available.
  • Always negotiate the estimates.
  • Pit vendors against each other. You are allowed to say that XYZ vendor is offering the same product at ABC price. In most of the cases, they will match or adjust the price.
  • Get Costco membership, it is advisable to buy household stuff from Costco. Even their gas is cheaper.
  • Whenever you buy any expensive stuff, track its price for the next one month. If you observe any price drop, ask for the refund to vendor. All major brands do the price matching.

This information is for informational purposes only and may not be 100% accurate. Please do your own research before implementing these tips and tricks. I or other contributors cannot be held responsible for the failure of the tips and tricks mentioned in this thread. Additionally, I have no connection or vested interest in any of the brands mentioned above.

The list will be updated as and when something substantial is observed.

Last edited by MunnabhaiMBBS : 3rd January 2019 at 01:04.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:31   #5
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Default Re: Toronto, Canada : Tips and Tricks To Get More For Less!

Hi Munnabhai,

First of all, thanks for sharing, useful for tourists visiting Toronto/Canada. However, nothing comes for free, there are sound marketing logic behind the screen.

A suggestion, this topic would nicely fit our travelogue section. It would be great if you can write a log on Toronto with pictures and then discuss the value proposition for example as compared to the adjacent Newyork state. Those have visited Niagara Falls would know how affordable Toronto is when compared to the other side of the river.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 3rd January 2019 at 01:52.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 03:57   #6
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Default Re: Toronto, Canada : Tips and Tricks To Get More For Less!

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Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
Hi Munnabhai,

Those have visited Niagara Falls would know how affordable Toronto is when compared to the other side of the river.
In what way? Toronto is ridiculously expensive when it comes to real estate. Also your daily groceries and even petrol is slightly cheaper across the river. Yes, the real estate in Manhattan is probably more expensive but then anything beyond a certain number is irrelevant.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:11   #7
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Default Re: Toronto, Canada : Tips and Tricks To Get More For Less!

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Originally Posted by HKap View Post
In what way? Toronto is ridiculously expensive when it comes to real estate. Also your daily groceries and even petrol is slightly cheaper across the river.
Thanks for pointing out, my views are drawn from a limited data as I visited Niagara only once as a tourist. I felt the hotels on US side were significantly expensive than Canada during peak season. To compare apple to apple, Toronto should be compared with NewYork and correct me, I believe the latter is ridiculously expensive.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 13:05   #8
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Default Re: Toronto, Canada : Tips and Tricks To Get More For Less!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HKap View Post
In what way? Toronto is ridiculously expensive when it comes to real estate. Also your daily groceries and even petrol is slightly cheaper across the river. Yes, the real estate in Manhattan is probably more expensive but then anything beyond a certain number is irrelevant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
....To compare apple to apple, Toronto should be compared with NewYork and correct me, I believe the latter is ridiculously expensive...
Well having spent time at both the places - NYC and Toronto, I can tell you that HKap is right and it is only real estate that is more expensive in NYC than Toronto. Rest of the things - daily expenses, fuel, public transport and food, is a lot more cheaper in NYC. My experience is when I was a student way back in 2010 and 2011. Things may differ now but I doubt. Canada has high taxes on almost everything.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 20:22   #9
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Originally Posted by sunilch View Post
Well having spent time at both the places - NYC and Toronto, I can tell you that HKap is right and it is only real estate that is more expensive in NYC than Toronto. Rest of the things - daily expenses, fuel, public transport and food, is a lot more cheaper in NYC. My experience is when I was a student way back in 2010 and 2011. Things may differ now but I doubt. Canada has high taxes on almost everything.
Having spent time in both countries esp US east coast(DC area) and Canada(Toronto). Fuel and food and other consumer goods are costlier in Canada because of the High HST(Canadian GST). Public Transit is more or less the same. Cars and car insurance is higher in Canada. But the quality of goods you get in Canada are way more than the ones in US. Even the fruits in Walmart Canada feel organic and fresh than in the organic stores in US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
Thanks for pointing out, my views are drawn from a limited data as I visited Niagara only once as a tourist. I felt the hotels on US side were significantly expensive than Canada during peak season. To compare apple to apple, Toronto should be compared with NewYork and correct me, I believe the latter is ridiculously expensive.
The US side of Niagara falls is a rough area where no one stays except desis who could not make their canadian visa on time. Hence lesser number of properties. Even US citizens who tour Niagara Camp on the Canadian side which is a much safer and cleaner place than Niagara NY hence more properties and cheaper rates on Canadian side and also the weaker CAD helps

Last edited by moralfibre : 3rd January 2019 at 20:37. Reason: Back to back posts.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 22:33   #10
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Default Re: A trip to Toronto

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilch View Post
Well having spent time at both the places - NYC and Toronto, I can tell you that HKap is right and it is only real estate that is more expensive in NYC than Toronto. Rest of the things - daily expenses, fuel, public transport and food, is a lot more cheaper in NYC. My experience is when I was a student way back in 2010 and 2011. Things may differ now but I doubt. Canada has high taxes on almost everything.
Bro, real estate is catching up. Although not really at NYC levels, the Toronto real estate market has been on fire for the last 10 years with some cooling down in the last year or so. However, on an average I think real estate in Canada will be more expensive than the US. SFO and NYC aren't the real indicators. Even today you can get cheaper homes in most major cities in the US compared to the major cities in Canada. Vancouver real estate is off the charts! But its probably one of the best cities on the planet.

The GST is 13% on most items and 0% on groceries. What I like is that the GST on cars is also 13% regardless of whether you buy a Honda or a Ferrari

The direct taxes are higher than India but I think are pretty comparable to the US. Maybe a touch higher. However, medical aid is paid for and the public schools are pretty darn good (also paid for). The roads are fantastic too. You wouldn't mind paying higher taxes if the money is put to good use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hondatoyotafan View Post
Having spent time in both countries esp US east coast(DC area) and Canada(Toronto). Fuel and food and other consumer goods are costlier in Canada because of the High HST(Canadian GST). Public Transit is more or less the same. Cars and car insurance is higher in Canada. But the quality of goods you get in Canada are way more than the ones in US. Even the fruits in Walmart Canada feel organic and fresh than in the organic stores in US.
Absolutely. I've lived in the US for about 3 years in the 2000s and have been in the Toronto area for 1.5 years now and I can clearly see the difference in the quality of food. As a rule I generally avoid buying stuff that says "product of USA". It's for this reason that Trump was forcing Canada to open its market for US dairy products. The Canadian standards do not allow growth hormones to be administered to cows. Cows that are on antibiotics are taken out of milk production for a few weeks (6?) after treatment. The US has no such standards and hence the milk is cheaper (and unhealthy) across the border. Canada also does not encourage GMO products but the Americans are fed anything and everything. So I don't really mind paying that little bit extra for better quality.
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Old 5th January 2019, 00:53   #11
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Default Re: A trip to Toronto

Invite a guest and save $$$ in Downtown, Toronto.

As you know, the downtown stay can be costly. Here is a money saving trick for you!

Example:
- Avg monthly rental - 1 Bedroom Apt - CAD 1500 (A)
- Avg monthly rental - 2 Bedroom Apt - CAD 1800

Try,
- Renting - 2 Bedroom Apt - CAD 1800 to CAD 1900 (B)
- Rent out - 1 Bedroom of 2 Bedroom Apt - CAD 800 to CAD 1000 (C)

Net:
You pay for 1 bedroom - CAD 1900 (B) - CAD 800 (C) = CAD 1100 (D)

Benefits:
Savings = CAD 400/month [(A) - (D)]
Location = Downtown stay at a cheaper rate

Points to be considered:
- You will be inviting a person as a guest
- Lease will be in your name, no way your guest's name will appear on any document
- Check with apartment leasing manager if "Guest stay" is possible
- Your safety is more important than anything, If in doubt, strictly stay away
- This solution is more suited for bachelors due to shared bathroom
- It is advisable to invite guest through a "Known" referral
- Clearly define dos and donts, other conditions and communicate them to guest through an email
- Always commit a short duration (2 months) so that separation becomes easier in case something goes wrong
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