Fifteen hours and no ideas
January 8, 2009 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Saturday and night in Toronto?

A bad flight connection is going to leave me at Pearson from 10 am Saturday through 5am Sunday. Too short for a hotel and too long to be an airport hobo, I think, so maybe a day trip into the city?

Left on my own I'll probably dump my bags somewhere at airport then take a taxi (shuttle? Bus?) downtown for wandering and window shopping but that'll only kill the afternoon part. I'm looking for both day and night things to do or places to wander. I'm easy to please but short on ideas so I won't steer likes and dislikes here.

Any odd suggestion welcome, especially timely things for this weekend only that I might not find in a Google for "killing a day in Toronto."
posted by rokusan to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A taxi downtown from the airport is going to run you $50+ but there is an "airport rocket" TTC bus that will take you to the subway for $2.25. I am bereft of ideas for spending your time though.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 4:34 PM on January 8, 2009

Here is information on ways to get downtown from Pearson (TTC fare is $2.75). Getting back out there in the wee hours may be difficult, though, so beware.
posted by onshi at 4:39 PM on January 8, 2009

For wandering and window shopping, I would suggest Queen St. (East or West), the Danforth, or Yorkville depending on your interests.

Standard 'cultural' suggestions: Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Textile Museum of Canada, Bata Shoe Museum.

If you expect to ride the TTC 2+ times (plus twice to the airport and back) then a Day Pass will be a good value.
posted by onshi at 4:48 PM on January 8, 2009

Take the TTC bus/subway downtown but come back by the Airport Express which, according to the Airport Express schedule will get you back to the airport by about 5:10 am.

I am not living in TO currently so I regret I cannot tell you what exactly is going on this weekend. NOW magazine is a good source for listings. NOW's 24 hour listings might have some general ideas for the wee small hours.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:54 PM on January 8, 2009

This may or may not be up your alley, but I love the Monster Factory for non-standard, amusing fun. And the monsters make really great gifts, if you're looking for that kind of thing. I agree with sevenyearlurk that the Airport Rocket is a great, cheap way to travel, especially since you're not on a tight schedule.

I wonder if it's too late to get a Toronto MeFi Meet-up going? I would love to offer my couch for the late night through 5 am portion of your stay but I'm afraid I can't -- maybe another MeFite has a more accommodating living situation, though.
posted by kate blank at 4:55 PM on January 8, 2009

Torontoist's Urban Planner will also offer up some event ideas, but you'll have to check on the day of. BlogTO is worth checking, too.
posted by onshi at 5:07 PM on January 8, 2009

No idea on how practical an idea it would be, but, if you've never been, you could consider going to Niagara Falls for the day/night. The casinos are open all night, which is the main reason I'm suggesting it. I imagine there is some sort of regular shuttle service running between the two, as well.

There are a few other 24 hour slot-only casinos - Woodbine Racetrack, for example, is very close to the airport.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:06 PM on January 8, 2009

Travel Store on the departures level of T1 has luggage storage.
posted by dawdle at 9:29 PM on January 8, 2009

I think Niagara Falls is a bit far for your timeframe and after getting off a plane you'd have to take a shuttle to the bus terminal and then a 2 hour bus ride to the Falls and all this back again. No fun and lots of potential for weather to screw up your plans.

Instead, you could could first go for some brunch at the Cafe Diplomatico or maybe Bar Italia on College St. (west of Bathurst). Pick up a NOW Magazine to get the club listings for later. Then take the Streetcar Eastbound to to Sherbourne St. (College turns into Carlton past Yonge) to reach Allen Gardens. It's large, domed turn-of-the-century greenhouse with newer additions. Wander the pathways and breath in that oxygen. Keep your wits about you because the area south of the gardens gets kind of rough. Take a streetcar back westbound and get off at Spadina and walk south. Choose from any of the restaurants along the Chinatown strip for dinner. Go see a live act and have a few brews (I'd stick with clubs along College or Queen West rather than schlepping out to the giant warehouse venues near the lakeshore). Some places stay open later than advertised. Don't get too drunk. Have fun!
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:54 PM on January 8, 2009

Kensington Market(s?) -- damn, it's only been 18 months since I lived there and I'm already forgetting precise names! -- could be worth a wander for counter-cultural sorta thangs, including shopping (lots of second-hand) and food and whatnot. (Nice meals for cheap at the Rice Bar there, about $7 IIRC.)

I've seen it recommended, and would second, that riding the streetcar along Queen St, from maybe The Beaches to about where it intersects with Ossington or Dovercourt or so, and just people watching/checking out what's going by is a good introduction.
posted by springbound at 12:22 AM on January 9, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks guys. Some good ideas here, and that Airport Rocket TTC tip alone is golden.
posted by rokusan at 9:47 PM on January 9, 2009

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