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Old 03-28-2013, 12:37 PM   #1
LuvOrtiz2004
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PA family going to Niagara Falls and Toronto!

I'm so excited to be planning a family trip to Canada with my kids (two girls 15 and 13) for the first time! We have decided to stay at the Sheraton on the Falls, but haven't found any deals. The hotel looks beautiful!

I would love to surprise my husdand with going to a Toronto Blue Jays game on July 2 for his birthday (still working on this). Any other suggestions from things to do in Toronto?

Of course any do's and don'ts advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LuvOrtiz2004 View Post
I'm so excited to be planning a family trip to Canada with my kids (two girls 15 and 13) for the first time! We have decided to stay at the Sheraton on the Falls, but haven't found any deals. The hotel looks beautiful!

I would love to surprise my husdand with going to a Toronto Blue Jays game on July 2 for his birthday (still working on this). Any other suggestions from things to do in Toronto?

Of course any do's and don'ts advice is greatly appreciated.
CN Tower, right beside the Rogers Center --- have you looked at a City Pass? they are great values if you ar going to be here for 4 to 9 days.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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Toronto has lots to offer, depending on how long you stay. CN tower, Blue Jays and general strolling downtown are great.

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods. I personally would recommend strolling through Kensington Market, Cabbagetown with a stop at Riverdale Farms and maybe even a day (if the weather is nice) at the Beach (it's where I live, often overlooked and FABULOUS!).

When in Niagara, if you have time take a day to go to Niagara-on-the-Lake. It's our "wine country" and but it's also beautiful and a really cute Main Street.

There is even Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara your kids might like for one night.

Enjoy your stay and welcome to our beautiful country!
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LuvOrtiz2004 View Post
I'm so excited to be planning a family trip to Canada with my kids (two girls 15 and 13) for the first time! We have decided to stay at the Sheraton on the Falls, but haven't found any deals. The hotel looks beautiful!

I would love to surprise my husdand with going to a Toronto Blue Jays game on July 2 for his birthday (still working on this). Any other suggestions from things to do in Toronto?
CN Tower is right beside the Rogers Center, so it is a good place to go before or after the game. If you book the restaurant for lunch/dinner, the ride up to the top is included, so price wise it is actually not a bad deal.

Centre Island is good for a picnic, there is also a small amusement park on the island, but your kids maybe a bit old for it. You can actually rent boats to paddle across if you're brave.

The Toronto CityPass offers admission several attractions in the GTA area for ~60.00 a person.

The Toronto Zoo will have a set of new Pandas on display by July. Probably worth a visit if you have never seen Pandas before (July 1st being a national holiday, that weekend will probably be busy). North of Toronto is also Reptilla, a mid-sized reptile zoo. African Lion Safari, a safari style zoo, is located about 1.5 hours outside of Toronto (should be on your way from Niagara into Toronto).

High Park has an annual "Dream in High Park" festival where they put on plays in an outdoor amphitheatre during the summer. Admission is by donation, suggested is about 10.00 a person. Bring a pillow or your bum might be sore after an hour or two.

If you want something more ethnically unique, visit Pacific Mall in north Toronto - it's an Asian Mall with lots of unique shops and restaurants. Toronto for that matter has good ethnic food of all types, especially Greek, Chinese, and Japanese. Only warning is that the Chinese food in Toronto is not chicken balls and chow mein, which are available the Mandarin Buffet if you want it, but authentic Hong Kong style food (Sweet and Sour pork and Peking Duck are always safe tasty choices ). While you're up in Markham consider visiting Unionville a small turn-of-the-century town for food or perhaps go for dim sum at one of the many Chinese restaurants up there (i.e. Dragon Boat Fusion Cuisine or Spring Villa Chinese Cuisine ... expect a line up on weekends). Black Creek Pioneer Village is also in the "area" about 20 - 25 minutes away.

Outside of the city, you can visit Stratford, ON (2 hours west) which holds a fantastic Shakespeare festival each year (along with popular musicals too). St. Jacobs Market is also near Stratford.

Toronto also has a couple great musicals which you may want to see before leaving; you can order tickets from mirvish.com.

Here is a good list of major attractions:

http://www.toronto.com/guides/major-attractions/

Last edited by coolspot; 03-28-2013 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
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I love Sheraton on the Falls. It's the perfect location. They usually have at least AAA discounts. I think I've seen them in Groupon emails too so be sure to sign up for Groupon notifications for Niagara Falls/St. Catherine's.. If its your first time in Niagara Falls I would get the Adventure Pass and spend at least 2 or 3 days there. There's also a Clifton Hill pass which is a much better value than paying for each individual thing.

Toronto is great. Stay downtown for sure. City Pass is a pretty good value. It's easier to drive to the Zoo and Casa Loma so do one on your arrival day and one on your departure day. Stay Downtown and just leave your car parked and use public transportation. Toronto public transportation is excellent. You often have to pay every time you leave self parking so it's better to just leave your car parked. The science centre, CN tower and ROM are easily accessible by subway. The King St. Street car stops at the Blue Jays stadium.

TTC (Toronto transit commission) has day passes for families. They're available on weekends and holidays for $10.75. The family pass is good for up to 2 adults plus up to 4 kids all on one pass. You can ride all the busses, subways and streetcars unlimited all day.

You need easily 3-4 days to do everything on the city pass.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolspot

Outside of the city, you can visit Stratford, ON (2 hours west) which holds a fantastic Shakespeare festival each year. St. Jacobs Market is also near Stratford.
You forgot to mention it is also the hometown of Justin Bieber. There is some theatre he used to sit in front of and play his guitar for donations. The city of Stratford put a star something like the ones you see at Hollywood Walk of Fame there. My niece drove up there one day with her friends and they all had their picture taken on his steps and with his star.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:58 PM   #7
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Another vote for the City Pass. It will be your best value.

If you want to see a Blue Jays game for the day you stated, make sure you purchase tickets way in advance. It's Canada Day long weekend, and your choices for seats will be limited if not purchased ahead of time.

Do you have access to a car?
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
Ima Disnewby
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Originally Posted by MamaLema View Post
Another vote for the City Pass. It will be your best value.

If you want to see a Blue Jays game for the day you stated, make sure you purchase tickets way in advance. It's Canada Day long weekend, and your choices for seats will be limited if not purchased ahead of time.

Do you have access to a car?

just quoting this because the advice on the Jays tickets bears repeating!! their Canada day games are always AWESOME!! they always have extra activities & special merchandise & giveaways etc...dh has taken ds a few times when we haven't gone away for Canada Day. just make sure you buy your tickets WAAAAY in advance!!!

Niagara Falls is gorgeous in the summer, you will love it!!! my personal favourite hotel is Embassy suites. love eating at the keg there overlooking the falls at night

City pass is a fantastic value! i *believe* costco.ca sells them?? or did at some point?
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:38 PM   #9
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Wow -- I love all the enthusiasm here. I concur: Toronto is a terrific city. As a PP said, it is a city of neighbourhoods, which means it's walkable. Transit (despite the grousing) is excellent.

Get the CityPass, so you can do the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario (should you wish), and the Bata Shoe Museum. Walk Kensington Market. Buy those Blue Jays tickets early (and be prepared to pay the most for stadium beer you've ever paid). Go to the Beach neighbourhood for lunch at a cafe and a stroll through the shops (easily accessible by the Queen streetcar). Tour Yorkville/Cumberland and see if you spot anyone famous as you window shop. You could also take the subway to Runnymede station, and walk the Bloor West shopping strip west to the Jane station, and then head back downtown. There's also the Eaton Centre, our downtown mall. Just east of there is the St. Lawrence Market, which on Saturdays is just sooo much fun to browse and people watch.

There will be traffic, especially around the baseball stadium. But this is still a city that works, largely because people live everywhere you go. It's their neighbourhood, and they'll be proud to show it to you.

Have a great trip!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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Niagara Falls is gorgeous in the summer, you will love it!!! my personal favourite hotel is Embassy suites. love eating at the keg there overlooking the falls at night
I love Niagara Falls and the Embassy Suites is my new favourite hotel! We got a great deal through travelzoo in January.

Op - If you decide to go on the skywheel in Niagara, try it at night. It is so beautiful!
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:21 PM   #11
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The city pass is a great deal. The metro zoo, rom, and science centre are all great. I find the cn tower really over priced but I think admission to the tower is includes in the city pass. So it's great to do if you have that.

Niagara is beautiful, I used to live there. Stay away from marine land. It's over priced and not very impressive. A drive along the Niagara river from the falls to Niagara on the lake is really nice. There are paths along the river and plenty of parking, so it's great to take a walk. There are also some really cool historic sites and a fort in Niagara on the lake.

The Kitchener/Waterloo and Stratford area is really nice to. Stratford is beautiful (and yes home to Justin). The farmers market in st Jacobs is great and you will be right in the heart of Mennonite country. You will see horse and buggies. The market is open tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in the summer.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:03 AM   #12
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Thank you everyone for all the fantastic advice! It is greatly appreciated
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:53 AM   #13
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Yes, we will have a car.


Quote:
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Another vote for the City Pass. It will be your best value.

If you want to see a Blue Jays game for the day you stated, make sure you purchase tickets way in advance. It's Canada Day long weekend, and your choices for seats will be limited if not purchased ahead of time.

Do you have access to a car?
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #14
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There is even Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara your kids might like for one night.
Great Wolf has an offer running right now where you can get 25% off their regular rates for summer if you stay two nights or more (I believe the code is "EARLY"). I ran some sample summer dates yesterday using the promo, and it brought the nightly cost on a regular room down to $199 per night. Might be worth considering if you are not 100% sold on the Sheraton........my DS, at 17, still loves it there.

While in Niagara, do consider the Niagara Parks Commission attractions pass....its a great value. I agree with the PP who said avoid Marineland.....it will be a disappointment (particularly if you have ever visited SeaWorld). If you can squeeze it into the itineary, walk across the Rainbow Bridge and do the Cave of the Winds on the US side of the Falls. For our family, it ranks on par (or even above) the Maid of the Mist when it comes to favourite attractions for "experiencing" Niagara.

For Toronto, I would highly recommend the Residence Inn Toronto Downtown/Entertainment District. For a trip that includes a Jays game, the location can't be beat. Large rooms, a view of the CN Tower from your window, included breakfast, very clean pool area......it is a great place to stay.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:59 AM   #15
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While in Niagara, do consider the Niagara Parks Commission attractions pass....its a great value. I agree with the PP who said avoid Marineland.....it will be a disappointment (particularly if you have ever visited SeaWorld). If you can squeeze it into the itineary, walk across the Rainbow Bridge and do the Cave of the Winds on the US side of the Falls. For our family, it ranks on par (or even above) the Maid of the Mist when it comes to favourite attractions for "experiencing" Niagara.
I really enjoy Journey Behind the Falls as well, it's kind of cool to be able to stand behind Niagara Falls. Maid of the Mist is also very good, but I haven't been able to go for several years (over a decade or two) due to being the off-season
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