Welcome to Toronto

NOTICE: The information provided in this document is not guarenteed to be free from error or omission. For legal advice contact a lawyer. The information is provided for informational sake, CHN and its employees DO NOT claim any responsibility for any liability resulting from the use of this information.

For those of you that are visiting Toronto this holiday season here is a guide to help you anwser some of your questions as well as make your trip enjoyable.

Quick Facts
Population: 2,503,281
Area: 630 km² (243.2 sq mi)

Toronto, while not the capital of Canada (that would be Ottawa) certainly is regarded as the financial capital of Canada, home to the larges Canadian stock exchange (the Toronto Stock Exchange or TSX). Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario. Toronto has many nicknames ranging from hog-town ( a reference back to the pork processsing in Toronto), T.O. (a reference to the city and the province it resides in Toronto,Ontario), Megacity (a reference to the amalgimation of the smaller cities), and finally the Big Smoke (the reasoning unkown, presumably a nomiclature brough by early Bristish immagrents).

Transportation
The main east-west highway in Toronto is the 401, the main north-south highway being  the 400, both by the province of Ontario. Traffic can range from extreamly busy to empty, during inclment weather traffic becomes extreamly congested.  The 407 serves the norther portion of the Toronto region, it is however , a tolled road. As such users are billed, those without a transponder face additional charges. Information on the 407 can be found on their website.

There are road closures if weather isn’t condusive to driving. As such closures are availble on the Ontario Ministry of Transportion website, or on the City of Toronto website.

Public transit is also managed by the Toronto Transit Commision (TTC) and the GO Transit.

Roads in Ontario have speeds posted in Kilomerters per Hour. See conversions below.

50 km/h = 31 mi/h
80 km/h = 49 mi/h
100 km/h = 62 mi/h
Border Crossing and Cutoms
Crossing the boarder can be a rather involved process, in Canada border security is the responsibility of the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA). Border wait-times are available on their website. Security at the airports is managed by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, there are restrictions on what can be taken on board, please consult their website.

Shopping
Toronto is home to numerous shopping centers its largest malls are Yorkdale, Eaton Center (downtown)Vaughan Mills, and Sherway Gardens. For sporting goods consider visiting National Sports or ProHockey Life (located at Vaughan Mills) among others.

Laws and Police
Be advised that laws in Canada differ from the United States. One notable difference is that in Canada impared driving is a Criminal Offense should you be charged you will be detained, your license will be suspended. All persons entering Canada have their right guarenteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In Ontario the used of radar detection devices is prohibited. Should you have one disconnect it and place it in your trunk. The use of seat belts is mandatory.The consumption of alcohol is also prohibited in public.  Legally you are required by Ontario law to report any motor vehicle accident where $1000 or more in damage occurs. Smoking is prohibited in all building in Ontario.

Policing in Toronto is handelled by three different police forces. Toronto has its own police serivce, responsible for most of its policing. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) also polices provincial highways and small towns. Finally, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is Canada’s national police force responsible for large interjurisdicional crime as well as international crime. Should you need EMERGENCY police assistance call 911.

Hospitals and Healthcare
Healthcare in Ontario is paid for by the goverment provided you have an OHIP card. If not you are required to pay for your healthcare unless you are from another Canadian province. Toronto is home to many hospitals, the Hospital for Sich Children specializes in advanced care for people under the age of 18, St. Micheal’s Hospital is one of two regional truma centers in Toronto, the other being Sunnybrooke Health Science Center. All hospitals in Toronto have emergency rooms. These “truama centers” are concerned with more serious injuries and life threatening situtaions.

Fire and Ambulance services are provided by the City of Toronto for a fee. If you are in need of EMERGENCY medical assitance dial 911.

Alcohol
In Ontario the legal drinking age is 19, it is illegal to supply someone under that age with alcohol. The sale of Alcohol is restricted in Ontario, alcoholic beverages may be purchased at the LCBO (Licqour Control Board of Ontario) and beer may be purchased at The Beer Store.

WELCOME TO TORONTO, ENJOY YOUR STAY!

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2 Comments

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