Christmas In Toronto

My husband and I visited Toronto for a few days in December 2006 with my step-daughter and her friend. It was their first visit.


Christmas In Toronto

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Muchmor on March 2, 2007

The highlights of Toronto? Where do you begin? The CN Tower is a must to visit, even if you have a fear of heights. If you choose a day when the weather is good, you can literally see for miles. You can see right across the lake with great views of the Toronto Islands. In the other direction you can see across the city.

Shopping is another big draw in Toronto. There are lots of shopping streets but the Eaton Centre is a fab shopping complex and connects to the PATH system too. ${QuickSuggestions} If you are visiting in the peak tourist seasons, buy your tickets for the CN Tower, etc., on the Internet. You will then be fast-tracked through the queues and get into the places much quicker and easier. ${BestWay} Don't drive unless you absolutely have to. Toronto is a very busy city and very hard to get around in a car - at least quickly!

You can easily walk to most places within the main city area. The area is very flat too, so not too hard on the legs.

The PATH system is an underground walkway that connects many areas within the city. Using this you can walk around Toronto without actually going outside - handy in bad weather. The PATH also has an extensive shopping complex within it, so if shopping is your thing it serves two purposes.

Courtyard by Marriott

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Muchmor on March 2, 2007

Whilst visiting Toronto we stayed at the Marriott Courtyard Downtown. We had two rooms booked, one for my husband and I, and another for his daughter and her friend. Here is our review:

Location:

The hotel is located in downtown Toronto on Yonge Street, so is very central to everything in Toronto. It takes approximately five minutes to walk to the Eaton Centre where all the shopping is located.

Parking:

The hotel has underground parking that is valet parking. They charge $25 per day to park your car and you can have access to the car 24 hours and have the car brought round to you as often as you need.

If you don’t want valet parking there are two or three parking lots very close to the hotel, which cost $20 per day. We chose to have the valet service, as it was just quicker and easier.

Check-in:

Very quick and efficient, although there wasn’t anyone else checking in when we did, so this obviously helped.

Room:

We had a king room and it was of a reasonable size. There was a king bed in the centre with a bedside table either side. We had a chair by the window and a dresser with a small TV on top. There was also a desk with Internet connection available.

The bathroom was plain but functional, with a large bath with shower over and a toilet. The washbasin and vanity were located in the main room in a separate area, which consisted on a basin, large mirror, and hairdryer. The coffee maker was also in this area.

A large wardrobe was next to the vanity area with mirrored doors. There was also an iron and ironing board in here.


We found the bed to be uncomfortable and the pillows very uncomfortable, however the girls thought theirs was OK. I suppose it just depends what you are used to.

Downsides:

Our room smelt a little musty, as if there was some damp in the room, which was a little annoying. Our TV was also annoying as it had black lines scrolling down the screen all the time, regardless of the channel – this was also the case in the other room, so must be a thing with the hotel as a whole.

Food:

The hotel cost did not include breakfast and we only had breakfast at the hotel for one morning. It consists of a buffet, so all you can eat and was very substantial. The downside was the cost – for the four of us our breakfast bill came to over $70 – hence we only had breakfast once.

There are lots and lots of places to eat within a few minutes walk of the hotel.

Conclusion:

The location was great and the amenities OK, however the mustiness in the room was a definite downside, perhaps with hindsight we should have asked to be moved to another room.
Courtyard by Marriott Toronto Downtown
475 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, M4Y1X7
(416) 924-0611

Eaton Centre

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Muchmor on March 2, 2007

The Eaton Centre Toronto is a large shopping mall located in the heart of the city off Yonge Street. It also forms part of Toronto’s underground pedestrian system PATH. It is a magnificent building with a glass roof making it bright and inviting, even in the winter. One of the features of the mall, apart from the shops of course is the display of Canada Geese suspended from the roof. This is a sculpture by Michael Snow called Flight Stop and is well worth a five minute stop to appreciate.

At the time of writing, although these things change regularly, it is Canada’s third largest mall at 1,624,000 sq ft. There are lots of stores in the mall, around 300 I believe including Sears, The Bay, Canadian Tire, Indigo Books, Apple, etc. You need to allow a couple of hours to get around the mall, although my husband's daughter and her friend managed to spend over six hours in the place, no idea how.

When we visited in December the mall was decorated in full Christmas regalia, complete with enormous tree in the centre. Christmas music is piped in and it made for a really lovely shopping experience.
Eaton Centre
220 Yonge Street Suite 110
Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2H1
(416) 598-8560

CN Tower

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Muchmor on March 2, 2007

Whilst in Toronto we took the girls to the CN Tower. We had been up these before, but they hadn’t. We had pre-purchased tickets on the web, but there wasn’t a queue, so it wouldn’t have mattered if we hadn’t.

The elevator to the main level is very fast and you can see outside whilst you are travelling up, which is good. Once on the main level you can walk around freely to see the views, which are quite magnificent. Obviously the weather you get makes a big difference. We were in Toronto for three days, so managed to wait for a day when the weather was pretty good, especially for mid December. We had excellent views from the tower and couldn’t have asked for better.

The tower has a glass floor section that you can walk on. You can literally see straight down to the ground, which can be a little disconcerting. One of the girls was a little worried about heights but after a lot of coaxing managed to finally stop onto the glass floor and even managed to stay on long enough to have a photo taken. You can obviously take your own pictures or there is an official photographer there to take them for you, but obviously you pay for them if you want to keep them.

After this level and the glass floor we went up another elevator to the highest level. Obviously the views are the same, just from a bit higher up. Also the views are more restricted as the glass windows are not as large as on the main level. If cost is an issue, I would say, leave this level out as you get much more from the main level and it is not necessarily worth the extra. If money is not an issue, then you really have to go up there, just because you can!

When you get out of the elevator on the return to the ground you exit in the gift shop. This is quite a large shop and sells everything from clothing to replica towers as well as jewellery and many other things. The prices in the shop are pretty good and nothing is overpriced because it is in the tower like many other attractions do.

If in Toronto, you have to go up the CN Tower – it’s the law!
CN Tower
301 Front St West
Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2T6
(416) 868-6937

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