Toronto Mike

Toronto Hacks


Over on Reddit there was a discussion about people's best Toronto hacks.  Basically, any hacks for saving time, money or effort in Toronto.

Here's a few of the hacks posted there.

  • You can get a dozen free bagels on your birthday at What a Bagel
  • There's a change machine at the TD bank at Coxwell and Danforth. They take zero commission and you don't need to be a TD customer.
  • Morton's Steakhouse (on Avenue, just north of Bloor) has a bar where you can get free steak sandwiches if you're drinking. The drinks are fairly expensive but totally worth it for the sandwiches. They have a dress code though so you have to wear a suit.
  • Amsterdam brewery at Bathurst and lake shore is open till 11 every night and on holidays. Great for when you need to buy beer and the LCBO is closed.
  • Follow the GO bus. E.g. if a GO bus ahead of you decides not to take the DVP, you definitely don't want to take the DVP. Bail and take Don Mills instead. They have the advantage of radios and measurements, they know when things are bad enough to make alternate routes faster.
  • If you're getting on the subway at a stop where the doors are going to open on the other side for the rest of the line (i.e. getting on at Bloor, going eastbound) during rush hour/anytime when its busy, instead of trying to be one of the first on in hopes of finding a seat, be the very last to get on so you can have the sweet door spot. This works at Bloor, Bay, St. George, Union, Eglinton, Sheppard and I think a few other places.
  • Pretty sure this is illegal but you can actually very easily get behind the large Indigo sign at Yonge and Eglinton. You turn left onto the first street north of Eglinton. there is a stair well that is locked but the wall next to is super low hop over and push the door open. the stairs lead up and around behind the sign lots of space. Kinda a cool place to have a smoke.
  • Not really a hack, but in Scotia plaza on the corner of Bay and King I believe, there is an amazing little barbershop that is straight out of the 30's. It's called Truefitt & Hill and it's located inside the plaza. Great place to get an old fashioned cut, shave, and even shoes shined.
  • You know these corn beef keys? You can use them on the 25 cent carts if you happen to not have a quarter on you. I used to work at a grocery store and always spent my quarters that day and needed a few to bring all the buggies in. Just push the key into the slot with the round part going in, and once you hear the click just take it out.
  • Use Bayview/Pottery road/Mortimer rd. Best way to bypass Bloor for a quick trip from east to west end.
  • The Park Hyatt on the North-West corner of Avenue & Bloor has a tiny little lounge on the 18th floor that's open to the public and is absolutely the best place in the city to go with your laptop to spend a few relaxing productive hours. There's a small rooftop patio directly overlooking the ROM crystal and with a beautiful view of the core. Inside, there's a few small tables, a short bar, and a couple couches. For $5 you can get a coffee that they'll continue to refill for as long as you're there and they bring you free snacks (spiced olives, warm roasted almonds, and mixed crunchy snacks). If you get hungry for something bigger, there's a reasonably priced tapas menu (the oregano feta fries are great). There's free wifi, lovely decor, and the staff are super friendly.
  • You can get into the ROM for free on Tuesdays if you are attending a Canadian post-secondary institution.
  • I haven't done this in a couple years, but they almost never lock the pool at The Grande Hotel on Jarvis. After 11 pm, just walk in and take the elevator to the basement. The door is closed, but not locked. We use to swim, use the sauna, and just hang out. Hopefully it's still like this.
  • In the city and need a public restroom? Just make note of any nearby upscale hotels. They all have nice, clean spacious, private bathrooms off the lobby and no one ever looks at you twice. Everyone just assumes your supposed to be there or they don't care. I like the Royal York, the King Edward, the Sheraton, etc. Also, they're 24/7.
  • At the Inter Continental hotel by the Metro Toronto Convention Center on the 12th floor (or was it 8th...) there's actually a little cafe that serves light drinks and can serve various foods (though they do server a full breakfast in the mornings). It also has wi-fi and the staff is nice (since they probably don't see too many people I guess). There's free daily papers too.
  • Not really that secret, but if you are in the financial district and need to go north on the yonge line, walk to st patricks instead and you get a seat during rush hour.
  • The Beer Hunter compiles all the places to buy booze in Ontario, complete with hours and locations, usually open way later than the LC and Beer Store.

Do you have any good Toronto (or GTA) hacks to add?

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