Toronto’s a great city, but it can be a challenge to navigate.
Driving can be frustrating due to traffic and construction, but if you are driving, make sure you’re aware of the number one rule: don’t pass stopped streetcars at a stop. You’ll be honked at mercilessly.
UBER and UBERPool operate in the city fairly well, and offer a cheaper alternative to taxis, which are also plentiful. UBERPool is particularly interesting as a concept – the algorithm matches you party with another one heading to a nearby or on the way location; if you don’t mind riding with a few strangers, and taking a few more minutes to get to your destination, it can be a fun experience (or terrible – it’s really a crapshoot). Lyft has also recently moved in to provide some competition in the ridesharing space.
The Toronto Transit Commission runs the streetcars, subways, and buses in the city. If you’re looking for directions, Google and Apple Maps provide transit directions, as do many of the Transit apps. We do have a real time GPS data on buses and streetcars, through Nextbus and various apps (Transit is my favourite) to make waiting more bearable.
You can use cash, tickets/tokens, a pass, or Presto card for fares on TTC. Here’s a link to how much rides cost (approx. $3 ride (one way, 90 minute max, no hopping on/off) depending on method of payment) but remember to get a transfer from a streetcar or bus driver when boarding and paying, even if you’re not transferring to a subway or other mode of transportation. Most surface vehicles operate via Proof of Payment, and there are transit fare checkers riding around the system.
Biking in Toronto can be really enjoyable, though you will want to be careful around traffic and cars. If you’re not too confident biking in traffic, you may want to stick to the city’s bike lane/trail infrastructure, which has improved significantly over the past few years. A ride on the Martin Goodman Trail is a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday down by the lake.
While there are multiple shops set up to do rentals around the city, Toronto Bike Share allows you to pick up and drop off bikes at their many bike stations located in the downtown core. There are a few locations close to campus, such as Beverly south of College or Huron and College. If you’re visiting, their $15/3 day or $7/day passes are great value: this allows you multiple up to 30 minute rentals (just enough to get you from place to place). Anything over $30 is an additional $1.50 for the next 30 minutes (and it gets more expensive if you take the bikes out for the whole day – they’re really meant for short A-B rides).