To enter Canada you will require a valid passport. If you are not a Canadian citizen, Canadian permanent resident or dual national, you may also need an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or a Visitor Visa (TRV) to enter Canada. For an overview of documentation needed to enter Canada, please check the Government of Canada’s website.
Use this questionnaire to find out what documentation you need to enter Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp
Note that the ETA is a new requirement, and must be applied for in advance. It applies to citizens of countries who don’t normally need a visa to enter Canada: More information about the ETA.
If you need a letter of invitation to arrange your travel visa, please register for the conference first, and then check the box to indicate you need a letter at the end of the registration process.
Note: If you are not a citizen of the country where you currently reside, you may need to obtain a permit to re-enter that country again. Prior to your visit to Canada, please contact immigration authorities in the country where you reside in order to determine whether you require such a permit.
Travel to Toronto
Toronto is served by two airports:
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is the largest airport in the region, with travel connections to every continent, and non-stop flights to major cities throughout the world.
- Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) is located on the Toronto Islands, minutes from the downtown core with links to the city by a short ferry ride or passenger tunnel. It is served by Porter Airlines (with flights from most cities in Eastern Canada as well as Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC) and Air Canada (daily flights to Montreal).
Two major inter-city train services will bring you to Toronto’s Union Station, in the heart of downtown Toronto:
- Via Rail offers regular daily train services to and from Toronto and cities in Ontario and Quebec
- Amtrak offers a train service from New York City, with connections across upstate New York, and crossing the border near Niagara Falls.
From Toronto Pearson International Airport, you can travel to downtown Toronto in a number of ways:
- The new UP Express offers a rapid train link between Pearson Airport and Toronto’s Union Station every 15 minutes throughout the day. Journey time is 25 minutes. You can buy tickets online, or from the vending machines at at stations. Tickets are currently CAD$12 one way or CAD$24 return.
- Via the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The trip from Pearson Airport is 45 minutes, via bus and subway, and costs a single TTC fare (currently CAD$3.25 for adults). The 192 Airport Rocket bus connects between the airport and Kipling Station on the subway, and the subway serves the University of Toronto at St George Station.
- Also, there is an overnight 300A bus service between the airport and the Bloor-Danforth subway corridor between 2am and 5am.
Getting around in Toronto
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates bus, rapid transit, streetcar, and paratransit services in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fares are integrated across the network, so you can transfer between bus, streetcar and subway on a single fare.
- For current fares: http://www.ttc.ca/Fares_and_passes/index.jsp
- Maps: http://www.ttc.ca/Routes/General_Information/Maps/index.jsp
View the interactive Subway Map. The Toronto subway system consists of 4 main line:
Line 1 Yonge-University has 32 stations, and is a “U-shaped” route running generally in a south and then north direction. The route operates from the northern area of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue East, south to Union Station in downtown Toronto, and then north again to the area of Allen Road and Sheppard Avenue West. Line 1 connects with Line 2 at Bloor-Yonge, St George and Spadina stations, and it connects with Line 4 at Sheppard-Yonge Station.
Line 2 Bloor-Danforth has 31 stations, running generally in an east-west direction along Bloor Street West, Bloor Street East and Danforth Avenue. The route operates from the western area of Dundas Street West and Kipling Avenue, east to the area of Bloor Street and Yonge Street in downtown Toronto, and continues east to the area of Eglinton Avenue East and Kennedy Road. Line 1 connects with Line 2 at Bloor-Yonge, St George and Spadina stations (both on the north edge of the University of Toronto downtown campus), and it connects with Line 3 at Kennedy Station.
Line 3 Scarborough has six stations, and is “L-shaped” running generally in a north and then east direction. The route operates from the area of Eglinton Avenue East and Kennedy Road, north and east to the Scarborough Town Centre, and continues east to the area of McCowan Road and Progress Avenue. Line 3 connects with the Line 2 at Kennedy Station.
Line 4 Sheppard has five stations, running in an east-west direction along Sheppard Avenue East. The route operates from the area of Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue, east to the area of Sheppard Avenue East and Don Mills Road. Line 4 connects with Line 1 at Sheppard-Yonge Station.
The Presto card is a contactless smart card fare payment system used on participating public transit systems in the province of Ontario, Canada, specifically in Greater Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa. Cards can be purchased at subway stations and load their card automatically at the payment kiosks. Users tap their card on a Presto card payment machine as they enter TTC subway stations/surface vehicles, and the fare is automatically paid through money already loaded on the card, on which the card itself then acts as proof-of-payment (POP) to show TTC fare inspectors or special constables on streetcars (on which they carry hand-held devices to verify Presto fare payments) and can also be used as a transfer for connecting TTC routes. As of December 23, 2016, it is available widely on all TTC conventional buses, streetcars and at at least one priority subway station entrance across the TTC network.
Cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity
The TTC is installing wireless routers in many subway stations for the TCONNECT Wi-Fi network. The service is supported by advertising, and is free for users.
Be sure to ride the streetcar while you’re in Toronto!
Toronto is one of the few cities in North America that never ripped out it’s streetcar network. It is now the biggest and busiest light rail system in North America, with a total of 11 different routes, including route 501 on Queen Street, which, at 25km, is one of the longest streetcar routes in the world.
Toronto is slowing undertaking a modernization of the streetcar network, with modern low-rise light rail cars replacing many of the traditional streetcars, and some routes (e.g Spadina, St Clair) now running in their own dedicated right-of-way, rather than mixed in with other traffic.
Toronto has a city-wide bike share program, called, perhaps not surprisingly, Bike Share Toronto, with bike rental locations throughout the downtown area. See the Bike Share map for locations. Bikeshare is a membership-based program, but you can buy day passes for $7, or a 3-day pass for $15.
The University of Toronto is also host to a new app-based instant bike share program called Dropbike. If you see orange bikes around campus, they’re probably from Dropbike. Get the app, and rent any available bike for $1 per hour.
If you need mechanical help with a bike, visit the University of Toronto’s Bikechain workshop.