Monday, June 30, 2014

Exploring Toronto By Car

  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


I love to head into the heart of Toronto on weekends to explore neighbourhoods and visit restaurants. Some of our most enjoyable experiences as a family have come from exploring Toronto neighbourhoods like High Park, Kensington Market, Harbourfront and Queen Street West.

Because we travel by car, our first priority is always looking for convenient, safe and affordable parking. Toronto streets can be quite busy, so it's best to know where you are going before heading out. There are a lot of one-way streets too, so you want to map your route. Before we leave home, I visit the Toronto Parking Authority website and type in the location we plan to visit. This past weekend, for example, it was the Art Gallery of Ontario.


Once I submitted "Art Gallery of Ontario," up popped a map showing me all of the "Green P" parking available in the area. There was also a list showing me the distance of each parking location from the art gallery and the parking costs for each location. You can download free Green P mobile apps for your iPhone or android phone too.

We were able to pick a parking structure that was close to the gallery and affordably priced. Because Green P parking is run by the Toronto Parking Authority (owned by the City of Toronto), I trust that I am getting good value. Other lots may have fluctuating prices depending on events going on in the area (hello Toronto Blue Jays fans!), and the costs can get very high. Plus, 42 cents of every dollar you spend on Green P parking goes back to the City.


The Larch Street Green P garage is right in Chinatown, making it a great central location for exploring. And it has an impressive view of the CN Tower too!


We were very tempted by the offerings of fruit and veggies at Chinatown markets, but with time at a premium we had to move on to the gallery pretty quickly.


We were eager to see the Art Gallery of Ontario's Francis Bacon and Henry Moore exhibition, "Terror and Beauty." And what an incredible show it was, combining the works of two men who both experienced the horror of wartime England and responded with amazing and very different artwork.


During any jaunt to the Art Gallery of Ontario, we pay a visit to the architecturally stunning Galleria Italia, which runs along the front of the building.


That's where we stopped to refresh with a strawberry Italian soda from the cafe.


On our way back to the parking structure, we saw this cool car from the University of Toronto. I don't think I'd be brave enough to drive that around the city!


The very helpful attendant at the garage told me that they had recently added new, brighter lighting to the parking structure (and many other Green P lots in the city) to increase the safety factor for both people and cars. Her safety tip for women travelling alone was to park as close to the attendant's booth as possible. She also noted that security guards pay regular visits to the parking lots.


What I liked about the parking garage was that we didn't have to guesstimate how long we would take at our destination. We simply inserted a credit card into the machine when entering the garage and then inserted the same card while exiting. This way there's no worry about not inserting enough money in a parking meter. Have you ever had to send one person running to check the parking meter while the other person pays the restaurant bill? I'm sorry to say we have...a few times.


What's your favourite Toronto neighbourhood? Do you travel by car or some other means of transportation?


#CollectiveBias #shop

22 comments:

  1. Next you have to go and visit the Big Nickel :P And the top you're wearing is lovely!

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    1. I'll put that on the agenda for this summer. ;) Thanks. You would be proud. I got the top for $4 at Plato's Closet (secondhand store). It still had the original tag on it. :)

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  2. Beautiful pix. Toronto could use them as tourist ads. You are a very accomplished photographer.
    Cathy Haley

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    1. Gosh you are so sweet! I am very flattered. Thanks Cathy. :)

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  3. Great pictures! I hate weekend downtown parking and usually take the TTC instead, but looking up the nearest green P's ahead of time is a great idea!

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    1. Thanks Taylor. Usually we bring the kids (and all their stuff) along, so it's easier to have our car. ;)

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  4. Great pictures! I need to get back to Toronto soon!

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  5. I Love all your pictures of Toronto Jo.
    And those shoes are adorable where did you get those?

    Love You

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    1. Thanks Nancy! I got them in Florida. I forget the name of the store! xo Jo

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  6. I am so so behind on my reading, but what a fun post. I've never been to Toronto, that museum looks wonderful (and I adore both Francis Bacon and Henry Moore, what an interesting show!). I want to know more ;)

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    1. It's a fun city. You'll have to come visit one day. Yes, the show at the AGO was very interesting. They don't let you take pics inside the show, or I would have! :) Jo

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  7. looks like a fun trip.. and that car is cool

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I would like to know more about that car!

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  8. Oh, good tips! We love Toronto, and can't wait to make it back up there. Maybe when Brian's finished with this leg of his army career we can do that!

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    1. It would be great if you guys could get up for a visit! :)

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  9. I moved away from the Toronto area (Kitchener to be exact) 2 years ago to the States and this post just makes me realise how little time I spent there. If I ever move back, I have to check it out more. It's so fun!

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  10. I went to school in Kitchener-Waterloo for a bit. Yes, Toronto is great. You should try to get up for a visit. :)

    Jo

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