A November 2002 trip
to Toronto by thestickman23
Quote: If you love hockey or just want to visit a multicultural city, this is the place to visit. There are luxurious hotels, fine dining, great landmarks, and of course the Hockey Hall of Fame.
When in Toronto, take advantage of everything the city has to offer. Make sure you visit Chinatown or Little Italy. Visit some of the great restaurants or catch a Broadway play. Take a drive out to wine country if you have the time. Canada makes some of the best Ice Wine in the world. Take it all in, for Toronto is North America's best-kept secret.
If you don't like to walk, no problem. The city of Toronto has plenty of taxicabs available to you. At every major hotel you can find a taxi line. There are major hotels everywhere in the city. You should not have any problem hailing yourself a taxi on the street either. The only time you might have some trouble is during rush hour.
Hotel | "Westin Harbour Castle"
The reason why I enjoy staying at the Harbour Castle is because this is where the teams stay who are playing at the Air Canada Centre. In the morning, you can see your favorite player having breakfast or reading in the lobby. Outside, there will be dozens of autograph seekers waiting by the team bus, but you can get your autographs inside if you are interested.
There are two restaurants in the hotel. The first is a buffet and the second is on the top of the south tower. The one on top of the south tower is called Toula -- you must be 19 years of age to enter and there is a dress code. We stayed downstairs and hung out at the lobby bar, which was a bit pricey.
Our room was clean and everyone in the hotel was more than happy to help with anything. Downstairs, there are also a couple of shops, if you need any toiletries or souvenirs. If I am not mistaken, there was also a salon.
I am very happy with the Westin Harbour Castle. I do stay here every time I come to Toronto and will continue to do so.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 16, 2004
The Westin Harbour Castle
1 Harbour Square
Toronto, Ontario M5J 1A6
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 18, 2004
Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant
99 Blue Jays Way (at Mercer Street)
Toronto, Ontario M5V 9G9
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 18, 2004
Hot Dog Vendors
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 18, 2004
Armadillo Texas Grill
146 Front W
Harbour Sports Grille
10 Younge Street
Now you have the choice to go down one level and see the glass floor. Now this is really cool - from here you can look straight down over 1,100 feet and see people on the streets. Many people lay down on the floor and have someone take a picture of them (I did it also). If I am not mistaken, the Outdoor Observatory is also on this floor. I recommend a windbreaker or sweater, depending on the time of year, because it gets a bit breezy up there. Don't worry, your kids can't fall out, because the Outdoor Observatory is all screened in.
Now if you have the guts to go to the Sky Pod, that is your next stop. You get back in the elevator and head back to the "Lookout," and from there you take the "Sky Pod Elevator" up another 33 stories. You are over 1400 feet high. I think it is the highest man-made observatory in the world!! There is another 360-degree view of the city from this level. If you stay still and concentrate, you can actually feel the tower swaying with the wind.
At the tower, they even have a couple of simulator rides and an arcade. I did not do either of these things. Along the way, you will learn interesting facts about the Tower and the city of Toronto. If you are hungry, there are a couple of places to eat in the tower, and of course there is a souvenir shop.
301 Front St West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2T6
Attraction | "My Apartment"
My Apartment - Bar
81 Peter Street
Tickets to go to a Maple Leafs game are going to cost you a couple of bucks -- they are in the top five in highest ticket prices in the NHL. To see a hockey game of an original six team, especially the Toronto Maple Leafs, is worth every penny. I have been to hockey games all over North America, including Madison Square Garden (I am a Rangers season ticket holder), Molson Centre (Montreal Canadians), Continental Arena (New Jersey Devils), and the Nassau Coliseum (New York Islanders) but the Air Canada Centre is the most electrifying. The history of the Maple Leafs franchise is reason enough to come to a game here.
With high ticket prices comes high food and drink prices. Nothing comes cheap once you're inside the Air Canada Centre. A beer will set you back about $8 Canadian. They serve your typical arena food at the game like hot dogs, hamburgers, and fries. Looking for something more? Have a steak sandwich, deli sandwich, or some sushi. The Air Canada Centre has quite a variety of food choices available to you.
My final word to you is this: if you are in Toronto, and you do not go to a Maple Leafs game at the Air Canada Centre, you are making a very big mistake. This city is built on hockey. They love hockey in Toronto. Ask the doorman at your hotel how many cups the Maple Leafs have won. Without hesitation he will tell you -- eleven. If you were visiting New York City, wouldn't you visit the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty? In Toronto, you go to a Mpale Leafs hockey game. It is as simple as that.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 16, 2004
Air Canada Centre
40 Bay St
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2X2
+1 416 815 5500; Eve
This place is great for everyone. There are tons of exhibits, movies, hands-on games, tests of your own skills, and Lord Stanley's Cup. Admission prices are $12 (Canadian) for adults and $8 for youths and seniors.
Here are the exhibits in which I can remember. As you enter through the foyer, you will see a lot of memorabilia on display, from pucks used around the world to goalie masks from past through present. As you head forward, you will see game-used items from Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemiuex, Bobby Orr, and so on. There are milestone showcases, and League showcases, I can go on and on. Then you can visit an exact replica of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1990s. After you pass through the locker room on your right is a small theater where you can watch hockey highlights and archives all day long if you like. On the left is another theater which shows another film which I think changes on occasion.
When I went, they had a lot of hands-on fun. They had a puck shooting game where you can test your skills as a shooter and see how hard your slap shot is. I then played goalie as Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier shot foam pucks out of a movie screen as you stand in the net. There was also a "Be the Announcer" where you call the play-by-play on a given sequence. Plus there was a "Bubble Boy" arcade game and a couple of other hockey arcardes.
Then if you like, you can check out all of the players enshrined in the HHOF, as each player has his own glass cabinet with memorabilia. From there, you must not miss the trophy and awards room, where you can touch and take pictures with the Stanley Cup!!! On your way out, they have a souvenir store where you can buy T-shirts, glasses, DVDs, and really anything hockey-related. Remember, some of these exhibits change from time to time, so check on the Hockey Hall of Fame website at HHOF.
Hockey Hall of Fame
30 Yonge St (at Front Street West)
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1X8
Saddle Brook, New Jersey