Arriving in Toronto without a GPS

Toronto Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 68 › view all entries
The amazing Queen Street

I arrived in Toronto just after lunch; I had flown in from Frankfurt after I had left Copenhagen in the morning. The flight had went faster than I expected it would feel, and I kind of liked the 1 1/2 hour break in Frankfurt Airport, because it was short and the final leg didn’t feel to long.

I had been sitting at a window seat on 32nd row next to a nice guy from Syracuse, NY. He was married to a Czech woman and he had just been visiting her and her family in Czech Republic for a couple of weeks. His travel back so far had been a total nightmare of long connections and he had even missed one plane and was almost full day delayed. He was still in good mood and he even had 5 h stay in Toronto before his flight to Syracuse and driving from Toronto to Syracuse could easily be done in less than 4 hours.

The amazing Queen Street

I was in no hurry leaving the plane because I was at my final destination, so I took it easy and let all the other passengers leave before me. When I left the plane the Canadian Custom was greeting me with a severe check. I was taken out for further questioning and I passed after a couple of minutes of stress testing questions regarding my stay at Canadian soil. The immigration control was almost as bad as the one I experienced in Newark, NY and we were all standing in a line for more than 30 minutes; again I could not help measuring it and the line was close 500 meters when we stayed. When it became my turn it did not take that long to get the stamp in the pass, so I could move along in the process and could pick up my luggage down below.  

I had rented a car in the airport by Hertz but when I came there they could not find my booking or let's say it was not prepared.

The amazing Queen Street
For some reason they stated that my credit card was not valid for the booking even though I had it confirmed by Hertz themselves 48 hours prior to my arrival in Toronto. They got it fixed without any problems and then tried to find a car to my liking. I had booked a midsize SUV and they wanted to give me a Volvo S80, which is a nice car but not what I wanted. They managed after some back and forwards to give me a Ford Escape that had done 5000 km and I took that. To me it made no sense to drive an European car in Canada and America. There you need a large SUV type of car some you are blown of the freeways by a Mack monster truck! 

The car came without GPS with I had refused to pay for anyway because I found the price ridiculous expensive and I had therefore downloaded the entire map of USA and Canada on my Garmin GPS or so I thought.

The amazing Queen Street
When I finally mad it work in the car I found that it had 2 roads in the Toronto area, which naturally wasn’t according to the truth.

I knew that I had booked the hotel close to the CN Tower and Bay Street seemed like a big street when I booked. I was following mostly by coincidence the awesome Queen Street until I bumped into Bay Street. The Marriot Toronto Down Town Hotel was huge and I drove into the parking area just at the main entrance. The same moment I parked a guy from the hotel asked me if I wanted a valet parking or I would use the self-service in the basement. I took the self-service because there was elevator going directly to their hotel.

Driving downstairs in the parking made me realize how big this hotel was; it was the largest hotel parking I seen in long time.

Down Town Toronto
I found a space near the elevator and brought my bags to the reception area that was full of people checking in and waiting to leave. After 10 minutes it was my turn and I got my room pretty fast. I was given a room on the 12thfloor; room 1201. I feared that the room was close to the elevators but instead I found that it was the room furthest away from then. The hall going there was full of housekeepers getting the different rooms ready for the people waiting in the reception lounge.

The room was really nice; I had received a corner room with windows on two sides, which made the room really bright. It was also fairly large given European standards; there was a nice sized closet to the left when I entered. Along the windows to Bay Street there was a nice large desk and a huge flat screen.

Down Town Toronto
There was both Wi-Fi and fixed Internet but the there was also a fee of 15.95 C$ pr. 24 hours. Along the second window wall they had left a small table and a lounge chair.

The bed was a king size that I looked forward to enjoy after my trip and the bathroom was okay in size and it had a tub that I rarely use because I prefer a shower unless I am really cold or tired.

My first choice was that I wanted to use the Internet and get some cold to drink. Much to my surprise there was not any minibar; more and more hotels seem to abandon that. I guess it gives a lot of administration and people cheat with them. I my case I was just damn disappointed because I had really looked forward to it because I was really thirsty.

I called the room service and ordered a couple of beer and some Pepsi’s and 15 minutes later they where brought to my room by a really friendly waiter. They were in a bucket of ice and they were just what I needed.

I had planned to meet Andrea on the first day of my stay, but I was so tired when I first looked at the bed after a couple of beers in the room.

carlbNY says:
Christian!!! You drove right past my house in NY and PA and didn't give a shout - shame on you!!
Glad you had a good road trip and congrats on the feature!
Cheers, Carl
Posted on: Sep 10, 2011
andreamylesa says:
Congrats on your feature Christian:)
Posted on: Sep 09, 2011
alyssa_ob says:
Congrats! Nice, honest review of your trip. I like it.
Posted on: Sep 09, 2011
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The amazing Queen Street
The amazing Queen Street
The amazing Queen Street
The amazing Queen Street
The amazing Queen Street
The amazing Queen Street
The amazing Queen Street
The amazing Queen Street
Down Town Toronto
Down Town Toronto
Down Town Toronto
Down Town Toronto
Down Town Toronto
Down Town Toronto
Down Town Toronto
Down Town Toronto
Colours waiting for a bus
Colours waiting for a bus
Down Town Toronto
Down Town Toronto
My hotel room
My hotel room
Cold beers after a long trip
Cold beers after a long trip
My Molson in the window
My Molson in the window
Toronto Hotels & Accommodations review
Nice hotel - well located in city center
I arrived in Toronto just after lunch; I had flown in from Frankfurt after I had left Copenhagen in the morning. I had rented a car in the airport and… read entire review
Toronto General Tips & Advice review
Nice fast service and nice cars
I had rented a car in the airport by Hertz but when I came there they could not find my booking or let’s say it was not prepared. For some reason th… read entire review
Toronto General Tips & Advice review
Good airline to cross the pond
It was my first flight with Air Canada and I was heading for Toronto from Frankfurt a trip that was scheduled to 7 hours and 45 minutes. The boarding … read entire review
Toronto
photo by: yasuyo