Welcome to Toronto! Home of UC 2014!

Now that Toronto is finally the host of our Annual User Conference, we all thought it would be helpful to share with you our favorite things about our great city. Many attendees of this year's user conference are making a vacation of it by bringing their spouses, significant others, kids or friends. Come a few days early, stay after or even  during downtime from all the User Conference learning, we've got some sights, sounds, and tastes of our city for you to consider. Several from TheWorxHub team have chipped in with their favorite spots.

After each place or attraction we'll suggest the best way to get there, the time it will take to get there as well as the cost of the attraction

  • Free
  • $=Cheap
  • $$=Affordable
  • $$$=Am I being taken advantage of?
  • $$$$=This better be worth it!

Note that transit (subway, bus, streetcar) is $3 one way. As far as Taxi fares go, you can make it to most places on this page for $20 or less. You can estimate fares using taxime.com.

Kyle Adamo

Favorite Restaurant: RealSports Bar & Grill. Voted the #1 sports bar in North America by ESPN. If you like sports, you'll find your team on one of the199 HD TVs including a 2 story, 39 foot HD screen. It's something to behold, and the food is shockingly good.

Getting There: Walk it | 20 min | $$

Favorite Tourist Trap: The Toronto Islands are a beautiful oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city but still considered downtown. Just a 10 minute ferry ride and you'll have an unmatched view of the Toronto Skyline, from a peaceful car-free setting surrounded by mature oak, elm and willow trees. The islands offer beautiful beaches (even clothing optional ones), bike rentals, walking trails, kayaking, eateries, and Centreville amusement park.

Getting There: Transit then Ferry | 50 min | $$

Torontoisland

Favorite Local Secret: Rush Lane is a little known urban gem, just steps from the ultra-hip shopping district of Queen Street West. Just head south from Queen between Spadina and Portland, directly behind the Queen Street shops you'll find a long alleyway of unbelievable street art spanning several blocks. Don't worry, Toronto is a safe place and this alley is no exception. If you're lucky you'll catch some artists in action or a taping of the iconic Canadian show, the Rick Mercer Report.

Getting There: Walk it | 20 min | Free

rushlane.jpg

David Richardson

Favorite Restaurant:  Smoke's Poutinerie.  You have all heard of poutine and that's all this place sells.  Fresh hand-cut fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds, or a wide range of other great combinations.  Try this Canadian classic in its traditional form or all dressed up.

Getting There: Walk it | 10 min | $$

Favorite Tourist Trap: The Distillery District.  This former Gooderham and Worts distillery has been turned into a great cultural and shopping area with a play house, restaurants, a micro-brewery, art galleries and shops.  It is a fascinating place to walk around as each building has kept some of the old distilling equipment and it is mixed in with cool architecture, great shopping, delicious food and local music.

Getting There: Taxi | 10 min | Free, until you eat or shop then it's $$$

distillerydistrict.jpg

Favorite Local Secret:  Seeing the St. Lawrence Market early in the morning.  Head down to the St. Lawrence market before 6am on a Saturday (open at 8 on weekdays) to see the stalls opening up and without all of the crowds.  The St. Lawrence market is one of the largest farmers' markets in North America and if you are around on the weekend - the North market is open on Saturday and you can try local products fresh from regional farms. 

Getting There: Transit | 16 min | Free

Josh Malbogat

Favorite Restaurant:  'The Nose' as it's known by locals (officially Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant).  Italian tapas served up in an old bank with a giant paper mache nose on the front.  If you're in a big group -- book the vault room - the "private" room in the back (doubles as the wine cellar).

Getting There: Transit | 25 min | $$$

Favorite Tourist Trap: CN Tower.  Formerly the tallest tower in the world, now just a great view
with some nauseating thrills. A glass bottomed elevator shooting you up 1136 feet in 58 seconds and a glass floor at the top will leave you breathless. For the truly daring there's the Edgewalk - take a walk around the top of the CN Tower (116 stories high) on a 5 foot wide ledge.

Getting There: Walk it | 20 min | $$

edgewalk.jpg

Favorite Local Secret:   Woodbine beach. On the east end of the city is an oasis of endless white sand beaches, bike trails and boardwalks on the shores of Lake Ontario. In the summer it's great for kites, beach volleyball, swimming, people watching, bike rides or roller blading. Even in the winter there's activities such as  Winter Surfing. I'm not a surfer and I'm not crazy enough to jump into the water in February but I love walking the dog on the beach in a snow storm while watching crazy Canucks surfing.  Only in Canada...and possibly Michigan. 

Getting There: Transit | 25 min | Free

Woodbine

Janice Herrington

Favorite Tourist Trap: In terms of the number of visitors, The Eaton Centre is Toronto's top tourist attraction, with around one million visitors per week.  A bright and airy multi-level shopping mall in the heart of Toronto's downtown that houses over 250 stores, it is a prime destination for those who love to shop.  Watch the Centre Court's famous fountain, or look up at "Flight Stop", Canadian artist Michael Snow's fiberglass geese sculpture hanging under the glass ceiling.

Getting There: Walk it | 5 min | Free until you shop!

eatoncenter.jpg

Favorite Restaurant: The best thing to happen to the food court!  The 980-seat Urban Eatery at the north end of The Eaton Centre was designed to "provide a modern contemporary alternative to downtown dining".  It features typical food court outlets (such as A&W, McDonald's, KFC and Subway), and much, much more.  Real plates, glasses, and cutlery replace disposable packaging.  There are no garbage receptacles in the Urban Eatery - just bring your food tray to a staffed collection station.

Fast Fresh Foods builds custom gourmet sandwiches or salads to your specification.

Getting There: Walk it | 5 min | $$

Favorite Local Secret:  PATH is a 30-kilometre (18 mile) network of pedestrian tunnels underneath downtown Toronto.  According to Guinness World Records, PATH is the largest underground shopping complex in the world.  PATH does not follow the grid patterns of the streets above. Colour-coded signs with directional cues (P-red for south, A-orange for west, T-blue for north, H -yellow for east) are posted throughout, but many still complain that the system is hard to navigate.  You're not really a Torontonian until you've gotten lost in the PATH. 

Jo-Anne Kempe

Favorite Restaurant:    Right inside our User Conference hotel is the well-known, slightly upscale Chinese food restaurant, Lai Wah Heen  that serves the best dim sum, Peking duck and other favourites in the city.  After your Chinatown tour whets your appetite, enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner back home at Lai Wah Heen.

Getting There: It's in the hotel! | $$$

Favorite Tourist Trap:  Casa Loma is our own castle right in the heart of the city. Visit Casa Loma and step back in time to a period of European elegance and splendour. Visit the magnificent former home of Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt who made his fortune in electricity and then lost it all. Hear his fascinating life story as you tour opulent, beautifully decorated suites, secret passages, indoor gardens, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables, and beautiful 5-acre estate gardens. 

Getting There: Taxi | 10 min | $$

 casaloma.jpg

Favorite Local Secret:  Not really a secret as much as a 'must see' is Toronto's Chinatown rivalling others in San Francisco, New York or London.  Experience the sights, sounds and aromas of the produce shops with exotic fruit, vegetables and herbs burgeoning out onto the street, the butchers hanging their wares in the window and friendly hustle bustle reminiscent of Asian markets everywhere.  Beginning just one street north of our hotel, Chinatown is an ideal destination for your daily powerwalk. 

Getting There: Walk it | 15 min | $

china-town.jpg

 

Bonus Location:   Easy walking distance -- only 2 minutes away is Toronto's City Hall which, these days is less famous for its stunning architecture than for being the office of our celebrity Mayor, Mr. Rob Ford. 

Getting There: Walk it | 5 min | Free

robford.jpg

 

This entry was written by TheWorxHub Team, posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. You can post a comment.

1 comment on “Welcome to Toronto! Home of UC 2014!”

  1. Posted Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 6:38:06 PM

    Some people we've talked to were interested in the Hockey Hall of Fame which for some reason didn't make our list.

    It is like the Disney World for hockey fans, and it's an easy 15 minute walk from the Hotel.

    http://www.hhof.com/

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