From NANOG Wiki
NANOG 39, Toronto, Ontario, Febuary 4-7 2007
General Meeting Information
Airport, Ground Transportation
- US/Canadian passport info Note! Unless you're a US or Canadian citizen travelling to Toronto by road, if you don't have a passport already and you plan to cross the US/Canadian border, you're probably in trouble
- Visitors from the US will find themselves landing and clearing customs at the newly-opened Pier F at Toronto Pearson International Airport
- A cab from Pearson International to the Sheraton will cost something like $50-$60 Canadian
- There's a bus service between Pearson and downtown which is far cheaper than a cab, and usually not much slower. You can buy tickets through the web page or on arrival at Pearson (you get a discount if you pay for them through the web).
- People visiting from outside Canada who have previously taken advantage of the GST Visitor's Rebate Programme should note that the rebate programme is still available, but will be discontinued in April
- Toronto Tourism is a good place to look for general information about visiting the city.
- If you are trying to orient yourself:
- the lake is roughly south. From almost anywhere in the city, that also means that the CN Tower is south.
- the city is laid out on a roughly NS/EW grid
- Yonge Street (pronounced "Young") is the NS axis. "Something Street W." means that street to the west of Yonge. "Something Street E." means that street to the east of Yonge. Numbers start from Yonge. Not all streets cross Yonge.
- If you are driving, and have never driven here:
- the big red trolleys (we call them streetcars) share the traffic lanes
- they sometimes turn left and right
- they will let passengers out into the right hand traffic lane (because they travel in the left-hand trffic lane). You must stop for the disembarking passengers. Streetcar drivers and passengers sometimes get violently angry (well, ok, for Canadians) if you do not.
- it's also an expensive fine if you get caught driving past the streetcar while its doors are open.
- Public Transit (buses, streetcars, subway) is provided by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) (2.75 per ride)
- Note that you can navigate much of the downtown core underground via The PATH, which connects directly to the Sheraton on the same level as the NANOG meetings. If you're from California and are confused and frightened by all this cold, wet, white stuff blowing around in the wind outside, take comfort in the fact that you can probably avoid going outside most of the time without becoming a hermit. Be aware that there's one path marked on all the maps that doesn't really exist. Don't worry - it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
- Canada shares E.164 country-code 1 with various other, less significant countries in North America. Toronto requires 10-digit dialling.
- Rogers Wireless has roaming agreements with many other GSM carriers. Note all GSM in Canada operates on the 850MHz and 1900MHz bands.
- If you have a choice when getting your room at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, there is a building accross the north east corner of the hotel that has a big clock, which chimes on the hour and at the 1/2 hour... if you value your sleep look to get a room facing 'Richmond St'
Super Bowl XL
- There will certainly not be an unofficial, non-sanctioned, nothing-to-do-with-us-honest, Slingbox-powered Super Bowl viewing spectacular at the Sheraton in one of the meeting rooms after the Community Meeting, because the legal implications of such a thing would be dicey in the extreme.
- The fourth Toronto Winterlicious Festival is on during the meeting
- The Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar doesn't take reservations for dinner, but has wildly good tapas.
- Susur Lee's is world-renowned, and it's probably far too late for you to get a reservation, but worth a try. Be sure to take a hungry vendor with a company credit card.
- A directory of downtown vegetarian restaurants, or the most-vegetarian area close to the hotel.
- Cafe Volo, 587 Yonge Streeet, is a tiny place just north of Wellesley on Yonge. It's quite a good restaurant, and actually has (in your humble reviewer's opinion) one of the best selections of beer in the city, in spite of its diminutive size. Also, the staff are great. Vegetarians will find the pickings slim, but that's true everywhere in Toronto these days.
- Harvey's is a burger chain that serves poutine
- Udupi Palace is among the popular restaurants in "Little India". You'll need transportation from the hotel. The easiest way by public transit is to go west on Queen to the Osgoode subway station (it's a short walk), take the northbound train to Queen's Park station (get a transfer in Osgoode station), and go up to the street. Take the 506 streetcar eastbound (ask the driver to make sure you're going as far as Coxwell). All the restaurants are within a couple blocks on Gerrard Street.
- Live Organic Food Bar, at 264 Dupont Street, has had very good reviews among the hipster set. It also actually serves good food. Note that the linked review is actually of the previous, smaller place. There are more tables now, but it's still a small place.
- If you're in Cabbagetown anyway for the twee houses or coffee (see below), both The Ben Wicks and House on Parliament have surprisingly tasty food and tiny but good-and-reasonably-priced wine lists.
- Simple but good Italian food is available at Terroni, 2 blocks east and 1/2 block south (on Victoria) of the hotel
- Rob, Geoff, George, and I ate at Boom Shiva (about 5km W of hotel) Thurs eve. Exceedingly tasty vegan food. Definite must go,
- A group of NANOGers had excellent churrascaria (Brazillian Barbequeue) on Sunday evening at Red Violin. Reservations recommended.
- Toronto's finest and most authentic Italian espresso bar
- Latte Art at Bulldog Coffee. This place closes inexplicably early, and one of the proprietors is somewhat surly, but the coffee is excellent
- Gatto Nero, a College Street landmark situated in the heart of Little Italy
- Jet Fuel Coffee Shop in Cabbagetown
- Mercury Organic Espresso Bar between Riverdale and Leslieville serves excellent espresso (all organic, of course) - and the wireless is free.
- Second Cup is a franchise chain that pretends to serve espresso. Whilst technically true, in the sense that they appear to use actual beans and appear on the surface to be equipped with actual commercial espresso machines, you'll find after you've ordered that what you actually bought was a paper cup containing odious sludge.
- Starbucks has franchises in Toronto. We're sorry about that.
- This barely belongs in this section, but the ubiquitous Tim Hortons is largely impossible to miss. Phrase book: "regular" means "with cream and sugar"; "double double" means "with double cream and double sugar". Don't be alarmed if you hear people asking for a "large regular". Do be afraid when you notice how many people near you are asking for a "triple triple". Asking for a "regular black coffee" will yield more or less random results. Don't try ordering any 'fancy' drinks - they're reliably awful.
Bars & Clubs
The Sheraton Hotel is just east of Toronto's Entertainment District, which includes a large number of bars, pubs and clubs.
- Toronto.com, a useful site with plenty of information about what to do in Toronto while you're here. If you're looking for something in particular, chances are this site will have a listing.
- Philthy McNasty's, 276 King Street West. This is probably the largest Sports Bar in the downtown core. Super Bowl fans take note.
- There are plenty of other bars within walking distance of the Sheraton, from casual to trendy.
- There are plenty of clubs within walking distance of the Sheraton, from rock and retro to hip-hop to electronic dance.
- For beer geeks, there are several local options. The following is not an exhaustive list:
- Beer Bistro, 18 King Street East, tends to the "upscale", but has an extremely good beer menu, and a beer-baseed menu that is also quite good, if heavy on the meat.
- C'est What, 67 Front Street East, is a venerable brewpubish place down in the St Lawrence Market area. It isn't really a brewpub, as they don't brew on premises, but they have several house recipies on tap that are brewed locally under contract.
- Mill Street Brewery is a local brewer.
- Amsterdam Brewing Co. is one too, and you can visit them at 21 Bathurst Street.
- Steam Whistle Brewing, which is named because of its location in The Roundhouse, so you can actually be a beer geek and a railfan all in one go.
- The Victory Cafe is a microbrew-oriented neighborhood cafe at 581 Markham Street. Spoken word and poetry at the art bar poetry series every Tuesday night upstairs.
- Denison's Brewing Company on 75 Victoria Street is brewpub that specializes in Bavarian style beers.