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  • BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    Planning a trip to Toronto in summer 2023. Any suggestions for mid-range hotels, preferably Hilton / IHG group? Priorities are modern hotel, good breakfast, walking distance to a subway station (as I dont think i’ll drive there) – restaurants or markets within a few stops. Thought of looking at long stay hotels like Staybridge or Homewood, but they usually have terrible breakfast.

    Is 6 days too long for Toronto, including a day trip to Niagara falls? Thought I’ll spend a few days in Montreal, but with a toddler, not sure if its worth the hassle.

    dst87 264 posts

    On the IHG scene, we stayed at both the Intercontinental downtown and the Kimpton St. George.

    The Kimpton was great, but I wouldn’t recommend the Intercontinental too much. It felt (and this is obvious with hindsight) like a big, busy, conference hotel. We didn’t have breakfast at either place though, so I can’t comment on that.

    I recommend taking the boat over to Toronto Island Park. You can spend the day there, hire some bikes to cycle around (it’s effectively car free). Some great views back over to downtown Toronto too. Just a beautiful place to be.

    We did Niagara Falls and met up with some friends for a couple of nights there. Really enjoyed it, and more nature-y stuff to do than I expected. They have terrible transport links from Toronto to Niagara – there is a train, but it’s seasonal and even then runs only a couple of times a day. It wasn’t running at all when we were there. Then you’re stuck with a bus or private transfer (we got a lift from friends who had a car).

    John 1,012 posts

    Many Hiltons in Canada, including Toronto (from what I’ve heard), think they’re in the US and do the “credit” thing instead of breakfast.

    Bus (coach) to Niagara is actually ok without a toddler, it’s not that far, however not sure the falls are the best thing to do with a toddler as if you have no car there’s quite a lot of walking and they won’t understand/enjoy the boat trip (that’s partly why we haven’t done much touristy stuff lately as we want ours to go again when he’s older and can learn things)

    LeeH 25 posts

    The InterContinental is ok, and I’ve had plenty of good upgrades, here, but the onsite restaurant is awful. Terrible (and small) food selection. And it’s closed for lunch, which I only found out once after arranging to meet someone there for lunch. The Kimpton St George is a fab place. A little less central, but better in almost every regard.

    BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    Thanks all, I shouldve clarified – we’ll be visiting Niagara with a friend who has a car. But for most other things, its mostly subway or uber.

    degsy 150 posts

    There’s plenty to do, so six days should be ok, especially if you’re going to Niagara on one of those. Even if you’re not doing things, the city’s got a lovely vibe, so it’s a great place just to chill in. To add to some of the other suggestions, you could also take in a Blue Jays game if they are in town (& toddler allows).

    Re Montreal, I was slightly underwhelmed tbh (it certainly doesn’t have Toronto’s wow factor) so personally I don’t think it’s worth the hassle. But that’s just my view and others may disagree.

    Nothing really to add on hotels – we stayed in the Fairmont Royal York (in one of the larger rooms) which was superb. Didn’t include breakfast though.

    NigelHamilton 217 posts

    We are travelling to Toronto (and Montreal/Quebec) next month, with three teens. We were meant to be going in the summer but I managed to injure myself! I’ll report back on our experiences, but based on our planning, I would say the following:

    1) 6 days is a long time in Toronto, but noting with a toddler that you can’t do as much each day doesn’t feel OTT. It would have been too long with our three (we’ve gone for 4 nights, including a Niagara trip). Staying in an apartment very close to the CN Tower/baseball stadium rather than a hotel, so can’t help much here! Radisson Blu looked good when I was researching and well located.
    2) We are catching the train from Toronto to Montreal (approx 5 hours, though well priced) and then flying out of Montreal, where the Avios availability (particularly in club) was notably better
    3) Montreal looks like it has a number of great toddler friendly-attractions, such as the biodome, so if you can get a trip organised that includes it, likely to be worthwhile.
    4) Lots of the key appeal of Canada for me at least, lay outside of the major cities. But without going far, a canoeing trip out of Toronto would be a toddler-friendly option and allows you to see the countryside. The islands look good too.
    5) It’s likely to be pretty warm (upper 20’s/low 30’s)

    NigelHamilton 217 posts

    Updating (still in Canada, but done Toronto and Montreal). Both cities were fantastic, Toronto was the more obvious choice with the children and while your toddler would LOVE the Montreal biodome, it wouldn’t be worth making a special trip there given the distance between the two cities. Niagara was about an hours drive, we went on an organised tour – falls and lunch super, rest of the tour a little long for the kids, and ours are teenagers. Niagara the Town isn’t a great looking place so would definitely do that as a day trip rather than stay there.
    Other tips – location was hugely important. We were right in the centre virtually next to the CN Tower and hence easily walked back after each thing we did (CN Tower restaurant, Blue Jay’s baseball game, Niagara tour drop off). It would have been much more tricky had we even been a train ride away from the centre. We didn’t go to Ripley’s aquarium but that was also right next to the CN Tower and likely to be toddler friendly. There are lots of great places to eat – Kost (Amex platinum dining credit) was a super spot for brunch and the CN tower meal was superb, fairly expensive (set meal CAD 90) but worth every cent for the view – they also do a kids menu (CAD 40). We went at sunset. The baseball took 4.5hrs so likely too long but was a lot of fun, despite the result. The “Path” underground city was also an interesting concept – you can basically walk under the city for miles, connecting shopping malls, food courts and businesses. We also found the city super safe and immaculately clean. All covid restrictions had been lifted by the time we went. All in all, you’ll have a super time!

    Lady London 2,112 posts

    Maybe Quebec City rather than Montreal?

    Montreal has the attraction that it’s another city underground in winter (we went in November) but Canadians told us they’d do Quebec City instead.

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