At the best of times TORONTO traffic is a force to be reckoned with. But this year things are bordering on chaotic. Long-term construction on two major expressways – the Gardiner and the eastbound 401 – are the main culprits. As well, many downtown streets are a maze of road, sewer and watermain building projects – along with heavy vehicular traffic from construction sites, and the ever-present potholes. It can be a zoo out there.
<PHOTO ABOVE – inbound Gardiner Expressway, Jack Boland/Toronto Sun>
FYI – “People who are exposed to frequent (traffic) congestion three or more times a week have the highest self-reported levels of stress.” – Murtaza Haider/Ryerson University
BELOW – a few timesaving tips for visitors to TORONTO’s city centre.
1. Take public transit to and from Pearson International Airport. The TTC and GO Transit operate buses to Terminals 1 and 3. The #192 Rocket is an express service from KIPLING subway station to & from Pearson. The fare is about $3.50 (exact change or TTC ticket required). It’s a bargain compared to a $60 limo or cab ride.
2. Other TTC and GO buses to Pearson: #52A Lawrence West; #300A Bloor-Danforth overnight service; #307 Eglinton West overnight service; GO Transit from York Mills and Yorkdale subway stations to Terminal 1. For complete details: https://www.ttc.ca/Riding_the_TTC/Airport_service.jsp
3. BILLY BISHOP TORONTO CITY AIRPORT and Porter Airways provide free bus transport from this downtown airport to Union Station. Plenty of taxis at the airport itself. Public transit within walking distance.
4. STRATFORD DIRECT BUS to the Stratford Festival, a real bargain, leaves from the Intercontinental Hotel at Front and John Streets. For details: http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/visitor/gettinghere.aspx?id=70
5. TORONTO’s downtown long-distance bus terminal is in a safe neighbourhood with day and night public transit and taxi service available. Connections to all parts of Canada and the US. 610 Bay Street, just north of Dundas West. Subway stop – DUNDAS.
6. Although UNION STATION is undergoing a radical renovation, it’s business as usual. Departures and arrivals from Montreal, Windsor, Ottawa, New York City, etc. Front Street at Bay. Taxis, subway and buses close by.
7. BIKE SHARE PROGRAM – http://www.bikesharetoronto.com/
8. The Toronto Transit Commission operates a vast network of streetcars, buses and subways at all hours of the day and night. The service is normally good to very good. Avoid rush hours, but otherwise the TTC is your best bet for inner city travel.