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A Know-Before-You-Go Fact Sheet

 

Evelyn Hannon

Why Toronto?

If you're looking for a happening, female-friendly kind of city, Toronto is definitely it! The museums, restaurants, shopping and theatre are world-class. The public transit system is clean, safe, efficient and doesn't cost a fortune to ride. Worried about going out alone in the evening? Don't be.The local gals do it all the time. Toronto is not only a perfectly sensible getaway for those living in Canada, it's an absolute steal for those travellin' women coming from countries whose currency is worth a whole lot more. Stay for a weekend and get a tiny taste of the city. Stay for a week and you'll still leave Toronto wanting more. Highly recommended!


Her suitable sleeps...

Toronto is a very big city with big city choices. From the most posh to the more modest, there are hotels, bed & breakfasts, and hostels to suit your need and budget.

$$$$$House
If money is no object, you'll enjoy luxuriating at the Four Seasons Hotel (21 Avenue Road) located in the chic Bloor-Yorkville area (...the last time Journeywoman popped in for a visit, I shared an elevator with "the" singer, Rod Stewart. M-m-m-m!). Want to rub shoulders with guests in the entertainment industry? Try the sophisticated Sutton Place Hotel (955 Bay) with a concierge staff of four females to answer your every women-centered whim. Want to stay where "English Royalty" stays? Then be queen-for-a-day at the Royal York, 100 Front Street West.

$$$
Less regal but very clean, practical, and beautifully located is the Quality Hotel in midtown Toronto. This Annex-based neighborhood hotel is within walking distance of great ethnic restaurants, the University of Toronto campus, a subway (across the street ) and the most exclusive shopping in town. Call 416.968.0010 for info.

$$House
If you're a B&B kind of woman, you'll want to contact Bed & Breakfast Homes of Toronto. This is a co-op of inviting accommodations (many women-owned), each with their own unique ambiance, each conveniently located close to public transportation. Call 416.363.6362 and choose the home and the neighborhood you'd like to stay in. To visit their website, click here.

$
Female hostellers are definitely in luck in Toronto. At Global Village Backpackers, a gal-on-a-budget can get 6 to 10-bed dorm accommodation for just $25.00 CAD per night, 4 beds per room at $28 and a private room with double bed for $60. Further discounts if you have an ISEC or Hostelling International card. This hostel is located at 460 King Street West, right in the heart of all the action -- theaters, bars, shopping. It's very clean, well-run and (as a safety precaution) hostellers need a number code to get in after 11 P.M. (code changes every night). Call 1.888.844.7875 toll-free in North America to find out more or visit their website, at http://www.globalbackpackers.com.


Gal-friendly stuff to know about the Toronto subway...Abe

Hats off to the Toronto Transit Commission for doing their women-centered homework! The TTC understands that the number one concern of the female traveller is her safety -- especially since she is not completely familiar with the city, or the transit system itself.

  • Going in and out of the subway stations there are security mirrors placed at corners to ensure that a female can always be aware of people around the other side.

  • Every subway stop has a well-lit designated waiting area (DWA) where females can wait for the train. This DWA is monitored from the ticket collector's booth by closed circuit TV and a voice intercom system. The guard's car on each train stops right at the DWA so that female passengers can always have a TTC employee riding with them and keeping an eye on things.

  • There are cameras and intercoms at all unattended, automatic entrances.

  • There are easily identifiable Passenger Assistance Alarm strips above the windows in all subway cars. Help can be there in minutes if this alarm is pressed.

  • Taking a city bus solo after dark? The Request Stop Program allows women travelling alone to get off buses at locations on the route rather than regular TTC stops. It's in effect seven days a week from 9 p.m. (or when the street lights come on, whichever is later) until 5 a.m. All you need to do is let the driver know one stop ahead of where you want to get off. P.S. To be extra sure, women are asked to leave the bus by the front doors. The rear doors remain closed so that no one can follow you from the bus. How's that for gal-friendly service?

  • For fares and further information, call the Toronto Transit Commission 416.393.4636 or visit their website at http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/ttc/index.htm
    (Source: Journeywoman Files, Your Safety Partner leaflet and A Rider's Guide -- Safety and Security on the TTC)



Loads of great running trails...

Running or jogging alone can be daunting. Toronto has a lot of great running trails, but if you're a women coming to this big city for the first time, you won't know where to go for a good run and how to stay safe. I suggest you call the Running Room (416.762.4478). This Canadian running franchise has running groups leaving from their various storefront locations each Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. Everyone is invited to run with the group, no fee, no membership required. If these times aren't convenient, call up or drop over to the location nearest you, and the staff will be more than happy to recommend safe and appropriate routes. By the way, if you're in the market for a good pair of running shoes, once again I highly recommend the Running Room. All the staff are enthusiastic runners and know how to fit the right shoe to the right runner.
Erica Ehm, TV Personality, Toronto



She's on location in Toronto...

Action The city of Toronto is known as Hollywood North and on any given day, there are between 18-40 productions being shot here. Don't be surprised if you come upon a film crew at work or even recognize a famous face is front of the camera. Actor spottings have included...

  • Kathleen Turner - A Simple Wish
  • Diane Keaton - Mrs. Soffel
  • Cher - Moonstruck
  • Nicole Kidman - To Die For
  • Bette Midler - Stella
  • Whoopi Goldberg - Bogus
  • Gena Davis - The Long Kiss Goodnight

 

 

 

 

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