Join us on our very first trip to Canada, as we will visit the multicultural, scenic, and world class city of Toronto, Ontario!
VERY IMPORTANT: A passport book or card is required in order to enter Canada. The MegaBus attendant will ask to see your passport and your bus ticket before boarding the bus. A passport book can be purchased for $125 and is good for all international travel. A passport card is $55 and is suited only for land travel to Canada, Mexico, and traveling by ship to island destinations. For those who do not have a passport, a passport can be obtained at your local post office. Call them in advance and schedule an appointment as early as possible to begin the process. Once the process is complete, your passport should arrive in the mail within two to six weeks. Visit www.usps.com for more information.
We will spend Friday visiting some of the main attractions of Toronto and venturing around the downtown area. Our first stop will be the CN Tower, the world’s tallest free-standing structure. From a height of over 1,200 feet, we will see a 360 degree view of the Toronto skyline. Tickets are $23.00. We will also walk through Toronto’s underground passage system called the PATH, which connects the majority of the buildings of downtown and contains hundreds of shops and vendors. We will end the day with sightseeing at the Eaton Centre Mall, dinner, and finding some evening events to attend.
On Saturday, we will venture around some of Toronto’s unique communities. We will take in the sights, scenery, and views at the Toronto Islands. Our next stop will be lunch at the Harbourfront neighborhood, where we will see extensive views of Lake Ontario while sightseeing. We will then venture around and eat dinner at Kensington Market, one of Toronto’s most multiethnic and eclectic neighborhoods. A round trip ferry ticket to the Toronto Islands is $7.00.
On Sunday, we will conclude the trip with touring and shopping in the Bloor-Yorkville area, an upscale Toronto community which features exclusive restaurants, stores, and boutiques. We will also visit Casa Loma, a massive castle that sits on five acres and was the home of a famous Canadian financier. The castle contains four levels, decorated suites, towers, secret passages, and an underground tunnel. Visit www.casaloma.org for more information. Admission to the castle is $20.55.
*I understand that the Scotiabank Caribbean Festival is supposed to take place during this time period. I will continue to do more research and I will find a way to include it into our itinerary.
-I will keep continual communication with the group several times before the date of the trip to follow up and to notify attendees of any changes to the schedule.
-Be sure to have your money exchanged into Canadian dollars before going on the trip. Some places of business in Canada may accept U.S. currency, but it is safer to have your money exchanged just in case. After the trip, you can have your money exchanged back to US currency. Travelex exchanges most currency in a matter of minutes and are located in Union Station, Pentagon City Mall, and on K Street (1800 K Street Washington, DC 20006).
-I have made reservations at the Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre, which is located in downtown Toronto near the Toronto Coach Terminal. Currently the rate for this hotel on July 12th and 13th is $139.95 per night (room with 2 double beds). Visit the hotel website by typing Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre in your search engine for more information or if you are interested in staying at this hotel. Call and book a reservation as soon as possible to avoid price increases or changes.
-There are other hotels that are in the downtown area if you are interested in choosing your own hotel. Visit hotels.com, expedia.com, kayak.com and other related websites to find good hotel deals in or near downtown Toronto.
*If anyone wishes to share a room with someone on this trip, members are encouraged to communicate with each other on the comment board of this meetup announcement.
Other Important Notes
*A detailed itinerary will be emailed one week before the date of the trip.
-We will meet at Union Station at 7:00PM. We can all meet in front of the Starbucks in the Food Court.
-We will be traveling through the MegaBus service. Tickets can be purchased online at www.megabus.com. Ticket prices can range from $30 to $140 round trip, depending on how early you purchase your ticket.
-When entering website, schedule the bus trip for Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 8:00PM – 9:30AM (Depart to Toronto, ON), and schedule the return trip for Sunday, July 14, 2013 at 7:45PM – 9:30AM (Return to DC). Please be sure to enter your information correctly, as MegaBus does not refund tickets; however, they will allow you to reschedule the trip 24 hours prior to the scheduled trip date.
-Union Station is located at 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE Washington, DC. Union Station is also Metro accessible on the Red Line at the Union Station Metro Station. Parking at Union Station is available at their parking garage; however, the maximum cost is $22.00 for one day parking.
-Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or concerns.
See you there!