Toronto is a beautiful city in Canada. As a matter of fact, it is the country’s largest city. Thanks to its diversity in cuisines, beautiful culture and arts, and an array of competitive sports, such as Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto sees more than forty-three million tourists every day. In their visit to the city, the tourists spend more than 8.8 billion USD. However, if it is your first visit to the city, there is a good chance of feeling disoriented.
To avoid this, there are a few things that you must know before you plan a travel to the city. So let us get started and address these things one by one.
Best alcohol, wine, and beer
To shop for liquor or be served in Ontario, you should be at least nineteen years of age,’ comments Anna, a representative with TrueBlueFisherMen.
If you are below the age of 19, a licensed establishment will not serve you alcohol. You can find beer at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario retail outlets, The Beer Store locations, and the craft beer outlets. In Toronto, there are also a few big grocery stores, which stock beer.
A few of them include Sobeys, Metro, Loblaws, and No Frills. Wine can be shopped at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. There are also individual outlets that stock wine, such as The Wine Rack or The Wine Shop. Other alcohol, such as rye, whiskey, and rum, is also available at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
‘If you have been to Toronto or if you ask anyone who’s been to the city, the first thing they will tell you is, Toronto is a mix of several different cultures,’ comments Steve, an associate with RazorHood.
Well, we agree with Steve on this. Toronto is, in fact, one of the most diverse cities in the world. More than two hundred different nationalities are co-habiting here, and they speak about 140 different languages.
Little Portugal, Koreatown, Little Italy, and several other neighbourhoods should not really wonder, but there are indeed many international pockets across the city.
Two of the most widely spoken languages here are French and English. However, despite the two being official languages, there are also so many other languages spoken here. Even if you call 911 from Toronto, you can converse in over one hundred and fifty languages.
Currency exchange in Toronto
Toronto is Canada’s financial center. It has thousands of international investors who visit the city and set up their business here. Since more and more investors are entering the city, there is a burgeoning demand for exchange services.
In addition, international tourists, too, rely on these exchange services. So, regardless of whether you travel to Toronto as an international tourist or as a foreign investor, you will need the Canadian currency to make transactions. Hence, you need to find the right place where you can exchange the currency. The prerequisite is finding a place that has the minimum exchange rate.
‘Once you are in Toronto, you will find an array of currency exchange provides. Many banks also offer this service, but they tend to charge a high mark-up fee. So, it is wise to reach out to an agency, which specializes in foreign exchange. One such agency is the Knightsbridge FX. It is one of the best agencies in Toronto,’ comments Julie, an associate with MyPlumberChoice.
Paying and tipping in Toronto
When you plan your travel to Toronto, it is wise to be thorough about the tipping and paying mechanism here in the city and Canada as a whole.
Of course, you can use cash in Toronto, but every place in the city accepts cards. As a matter of fact, cards are indeed one of the most preferred methods in the city. In the country, tipping is an expected culture. So, it is considered a norm to tip for every service that you avail of, too.
‘In a restaurant, the tipping amount is approximately fifteen percent of the bill amount. However, if you visit a restaurant where you really like the food and service, you can even tip a higher amount. In some large groups, the tip amount is automatically added to the bill.
So, do watch out for that, so you do not end up paying the tip twice. Please bear in mind; even if the service is bad, the tip still needs to be given. However, in this case, the tip may be a lower amount. If you do not pay a tip in Canada or Toronto, it is considered rude,’ comments Jerry, an associate with TangoLearn.
One of the most prevalent tipping methods is tossing a dollar or two to the bartender for the drinks. In this case, the tip amount would depend on the drink’s price.
Fun fact: If you pay a higher tip in the bar, you will enjoy faster drinks all night along.
Free events in Toronto
Toronto organizes a bunch of free events. So, if you are tight on the budget but still wish to explore the culture in the city, you can certainly enjoy these free events. For example, a tour of the Art Gallery of Toronto is free on Wednesday between 6-9 PM. If you love concerts, you can head out for the Canadian Opera Company’s free concert.
There are just two airports
When you take a flight to Toronto, it is vital to get a good idea of the airports in the city that you will arrive at when you land. There are two airports in the city – the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ).
The former is the city's largest airport, and most international flights go to and from this airport. On the other hand, the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) serves primarily domestic flights from one state to another in Canada. It is easier to find public transportation and car rentals in Canada.
So, if you have to take a tour of Toronto, these can be an ideal mode of transportation.