Hiring a car in Toronto

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Hiring a car in Toronto

With the romance of Niagara Falls just 90 minutes away, pick up your hire car at Toronto airport and explore what Canada's most populous city has to offer.

60-second guide to Toronto

In its own head...

"Uniquely Canadian and hugely multicultural, we're the city that's got it all. Just look at all our theatres, restaurants, museums and galleries!"

...but more realistically

There's no shortage of entertainment and pleasures to be found in this cosmopolitan and cultured city. But if you're looking for something edgy, you'll have to put in the effort in.

The vibe

Ethnically diverse communities live side by side amid the skyscrapers, townhouses and sports stadiums, forming a safe, satisfying and attractive whole.

The natives

Traditionally Scottish and English in origins, Toronto has morphed into one of the richest melting pots in the world.

The weather

It's generally hot and sunny in the summer, with snow and freezing temperatures in the winter. Autumn is particularly beautiful and spring is short.

The local speciality

Aside from the typically Canadian fare of pancakes in maple syrup, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to international cuisine. You can choose from a Greek town, three Chinatowns, a Portuguese village, a Little Italy, a Little India and a Little Poland.

The celebrity

Prince has a home in Toronto, as does the author Margaret Atwood. The actor Hayden Christensen was raised here.

Did you know?

Forty-nine per cent of Toronto's residents are thought to have been born outside Canada.

They say...

"Enlightened, multicultural and uniquely Canadian. Typically laconic, Toronto is both unpretentious and complex." - Lonely Planet

5 to see in town...

1. Rogers Centre

A sporting Mecca that's home to the Toronto Blue Jays (baseball) and the Toronto Argonauts (American football).

Where to park:

There's an underground car park.

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2. CN Tower

Overtaken in the vertiginous stakes by lofty edifices in Asia and the Middle East, the CN Tower is still the tallest free-standing building in North and South America. The glass floor will give those nervy of heights the heebie-jeebies.

Where to park:

The nearest car park is the south lot of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre or at the Rogers Centre (Lower Simcoe Street entrance).

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3. Art Gallery of Ontario

As well as housing fine displays of Canadian art, this also has works by masters such as Gainsborough, Picasso, Rubens and Van Gogh in its collection.

Where to park:

There are car parks along McCaul Street and an underground garage at the nearby Village by the Grange apartment block.

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4. Fort York National Historic Site

The British built Fort York, where the battle of York came to its bloody climax in 1813 during the War of 1812. It was home to a military garrison until the 1930s.

Where to park:

There's free parking on Garrison Road.

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5. Casa Loma

Atop an imposing hill stands this grand, elegant castle. Check out the secret passages and the 800ft-long underground tunnel.

Where to park:

There's on-site parking available.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Niagara Falls

These waterfalls are the most famous in the world for a reason: they're beautiful, thunderous and spectacular; especially Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.

How to get there:

It's a 90-minute drive. Take University Avenue and after nine miles take Queen Elizabeth Way. After ten miles, take Queen Elizabeth Way West for 13 miles. Continue on Queen Elizabeth Way for 39 miles, then exit on to Highway 405 East for three miles.

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2. Wasaga Beach

Every good holiday has a little beach time factored into the itinerary, and this one is the longest freshwater beach in the world. You could take the 8.7 mile walk along the sand, refresh yourself with a swim in the warm waters or sign up for one of the many activities in the area including cycling, hiking and skiing in the winter.

How to get there:

It's a 90-minute drive. Take University Avenue to the Frederick G Gardiner Expressway West and after nine miles take Queen Elizabeth Way. After ten miles, take Queen Elizabeth Way West for 13 miles. Continue on Queen Elizabeth Way for 39 miles, then take Niagara Stone Road for four miles.

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3. Algonquin Provincial Park

This lush, sprawling park has many walking trails and abundant wildlife, including black bears and moose, and more than 2,400 lakes.

How to get there:

It'll take you just more than three hours. Head for the town of Huntsville on Highway 400 North. Take 400 North for 52 miles, then take Highway 11 North for 75 miles. The West Gate Information Centre is 27 miles from Huntsville.

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4. Lake Simcoe

Lake Simcoe is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. In Canada's harsh winter, it freezes over completely - ideal for ice fishing. In summer, it's perfect for boating.

How to get there:

It's just more than an hour-and-a-half north of the city. Take Don Valley Parkway North for eight miles, then Highway 404 North for 22 miles and Highway 48 for 15 miles.

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