Toronto Subway vs Montreal Metro – A Comparison

If you’re a Canadian, two major cities on everyone’s lips are Toronto and Montreal.  The two most populated cities in Canada boast extensive train systems, and yours truly had to navigate both on a daily basis.  So, how do the two stack up?

Access

Toronto: While in Toronto, I stayed in two fairly densely populated areas, Yonge and Spadina.  Both subway stations were a bit of a walk, at least 15 minutes.  The stations in general are laid out decently, but seem to cover a concentrated area.  The Yonge-Unversity-Spadina line is a U-shape, while the Bloor Danforth runs east and west, leaving out some grey areas in between.

Toronto platform

Montreal: No matter where I was in the city, or what time of day a Metro station was always near.  Whether hanging in Verdun, The Plateau, or NDG, I never felt stressed about finding a station to return to my hovel.  Montreal’s lines are organized by color and destination name, which renders it simple to understand, even if you’re a lowly Anglophone. The orange line is a U-shape, but two separate lines (blue and green) intersect at different zones in the city east and west.  That’s a lot of coverage.

Metro turnstiles

The winner? Montreal.  Excellent access all around!

Layout of Stations

Toronto: Their system is a veteran, first built in 1954 with 12 stations, but since then has expanded to 69 stations.  Accessing the platforms is either by turnstile or heavy, awkward revolving doors, difficult to push myself and a backpack through.

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By |September 17th, 2010 |Categories: Montreal, Toronto |17 Comments

Worst Washroom of the Week

Maybe it’s time to get travel insurance.  Pitch black washrooms = accident potential = body parts plunged into icy cold toilets = ewwww.

Thunder Bay, Ontario

 

By |September 11th, 2010 |Categories: Toronto |6 Comments

10 Best Pictures of Toronto and Montreal

TORONTO

1. Toronto skyline

2.  Subway tunnel

3.  Crazy plant car, Kensington Market

4. Massey Hall

5. Royal Ontario Museum

MONTREAL

1. Metro Station

2.  Notre Dame Basillica

Notre-Dame Basilica

3. Olympic Observatory

4. Notre Dame de Bon Secours

5. Row houses

By |September 6th, 2010 |Categories: Montreal, Toronto |26 Comments

Of Love and Salsa (Toronto)

9:30 pm, couldn’t bear sleeping. So, I walked, pounding the pavement.  For a Monday, Yonge Street was a sleeping lion.  Something brimming underneath the placid sheen.

My West Coast friends call the face of Toronto corporate, an American wannabe, but I protested.

“The village feel is here, alive and well!”  My best friend grew silent on the other end of Adium.  She was unconvinced.

Where was I heading?  To prove her wrong.  Capture a flavor of Toronto that no one else had.

I passed a twenty-something smoking the last nip of his cigarette.  He tried to hand me a leaflet for a club downtown.  A forlorn face met me, faded jeans sagged off his frame, a dayglo T-shirt punctured my night vision.  I half felt sorry for him, taking a leaflet that I intended to throw away later.

Just past him, a rumbling penetrated from the pavement through my sandals zinging the soles of my feet.  I peered down a pitch black, foreboding alley.  It was not.  The flavor was found.

Pounding Latin music enveloped me as I entered.  A sweet faced Korean girl stood behind a worn wooden table, one that had seen better days. A metal cash box overflowed with money.  Korean girl?  Salsa beats?

“What is this?”

“Every Monday is Salsa night,”she uttered matter-of-factly.

“Ohh.. what’s the cover?”

“Five.”

A variety of types milled in a darkened corridor; a coffee skinned man in a full suit, a gorgeous blonde in a backless dress, a balding middle-aged bloke hovering, trying to capture a spicy glance.

I had to go in.  The twirling, gyrating bodies.  The muggy smell of sweat.  People dressed in

By |August 20th, 2010 |Categories: Toronto |7 Comments

5 Best Eats in Toronto

Toronto is a multi-cultural hub of food. Traveling has pushed food to the forefront for me. I fantasize about it, and once in a while eat it.  Check out my faves from the largest city in Canada.

1.  Seafood – Buster’s Sea Cove

Famous St. Lawrence Market is an international food explosion.  When you enter the main doors walk all the way to the end of the first floor and take a right.  What assaults you are rows and rows of any seafood imaginable.  I munched on creamy lobster bisque and seafood orzo, chock full of mussels and prawns.  Prices are unbelievably reasonable and the variety of ways to eat a particular fish will make your head spin. The fish sandwiches are a popular item.  No metallic or fishy flavors, just damn good.  Address: 93 Front Street East.  1-416-369-9048.  Off the King subway line.  Price range: $10 to $17 CDN.

2.  Caribbean – Caribbean Bistro

You want home cooked jerk chicken or stewed oxtail, this is THE place.  I was surprised to find this gem in a fairly overpriced retail neighbourhood.  Sample the Sahiena, a spinach fritter made with split pea flour, herbs, and a hint of garlic.  Served with tamarind chutney.  Quench your thirst with Pear Drax, a carbonated drink infused with natural juices (apple and other flavors available).  I ordered the stewed fish and ate every single bite of the tender fish slowly cooked in tomato sauce, topped with rice, beans and coleslaw.  When there, ask if  any Cassava (yuca or manioc) cake

By |August 16th, 2010 |Categories: Toronto |16 Comments
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Worst Washroom of the Week

You could eat off this floor.

Toronto, Ontario

By |August 13th, 2010 |Categories: Toronto |3 Comments