What you need to know for the 2014 Congress before you travel to Canada:
Registration Fees and HST Tax – the 2014 registration fees in all categories are the same as the 2013 Congress fees – none of the registration fees were raised. However, Canadian law requires that we charge an HST tax of 13% on all registration categories, lunches, tours and product sales. This tax has been pre-figured into all of the fees on the registration form. To find out more about HST and for questions concerning HST visit http://hstontario.com/hst-questions/.
Passports and Travel to Canada – if you live outside of Canada, a current passport will be required and you will need to allow ample time for processing. The costs vary but should range up to $165. For complete information go to http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english.html. Canada also has a number of rules and restrictions for entry into to Canada for anyone with a criminal record. If this applies to you, you may need to obtain an approval for rehabilitation well in advance of any planned travel to Canada. Please visit the following page for more information.
Lunches – Unlike previous Congresses, union rules at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) prohibit APWA from using tickets at their concessions. Other options to provide lunch for each registrant are cost-prohibitive for APWA to include these lunches with Congress registration this year without having to increase registration fees. Because of this, attendees will be on their own for lunch on Sunday and Monday. Full concessions will be open on the exhibit floor and there will be a wide variety of food options available for less than $10 CAD
Hotels – as always, APWA has negotiated excellent rates on four official hotels near the convention center. The rates for these APWA official hotels are very similar to the rates in Chicago and room rates are subject to HST tax of 13%. For more information concerning HST visit http://hstontario.com/hst-questions/
Cell Phone Service – for those attendees living outside of Canada, you will need to check with your cell phone provider’s international service plans before you leave to ensure
• you will have service when you get there
• you will not incur extremely high rates for both cell and data
Clearing Customs –
Currency – the currency in Canada is Canadian dollars and the exchange rate varies each day. Most cabs, hotels and restaurants accept your credit cards and you are charged the exchange rate at the time the transaction is posted. If you need cash, ATM's are on the same network as the U.S. Below is a list of banks close to the Convention Centre where you can exchange money.
TD Bank (closest to MTCC South)
15 York St. (York St. is just south of Bremner)
Closed on Sundays
TD Bank (Open Sunday)
247 Spadina Ave.
Open Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
CIBC – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (Open Sunday)
Spadina and Fort York Blvd.
Open Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Link to today's U.S. exchange rate at TD Bank: http://www.tdcanadatrust.com/custserv/rates.jsp
The Toronto Airport has very clear signage for how to clear Customs. Be sure to watch for the directional signs and you'll be fine. Customs is not at all difficult if you follow the signs, read and follow directions.
Outbound – Flying to Canada
You will be given a Declaration Card either at the gate or on the plane on your flight into Canada.
Complete the form on the plane. You will need it when you ‘clear Customs’ in Toronto. You should also hang on to your boarding pass, you may be asked for it when clearing Customs.
Upon deplaning follow the crowds to Customs and get in line. Once you reach the front of the line a Customs Agent will tell you which Customs Booth to go to.
Remember to have:
Your Passport open to the page with your picture
The completed Declaration Card
Your Boarding Pass
When it’s your turn to approach the Customs Booth, you ‘ll be asked for your Passport and completed Declaration Card and possibly your Boarding Pass. Answer all the questions asked by the Customs Agent.
Once you’ve been cleared by the Agent, he/she will stamp your Passport and give you back your Passport and Declaration Card. Then you’ll head for baggage claim.
Be sure to keep your Declaration Card handy. Once you retrieve your luggage you’ll exit the secure area and turn in your Declaration Card to the Security Agent stationed at the baggage claim exit.
Inbound – Flying back to the US. – Be sure to arrive at least 3 hours before your departure time!
Upon arriving at the airport, begin the process by checking in for you flight at the airline kiosk. You can use your Passport instead of a credit card. This part is the same process as checking in for a domestic flight. Once your luggage tags are printed a gate agent will call you name and put the tags on your luggage and give you your baggage claim sticker.
Then you’ll proceed to the Customs Area. The Pearson International Airport uses an automated Declaration system instead of using a paper Declaration Card. The kiosks are very much like the airline check-in kiosks. Start by placing your Passport in the machine then follow the instructions. You will be asked the same questions electronically that you completed on the paper Declaration Card on your in-bound flight. At the end of the process the machine will take your photo and print your completed Declaration Card.
Take your Declaration Card, Passport, Boarding Pass and luggage and get in line for Customs. You’ll go through the same process as you did clearing customs coming into Toronto.
Once you have cleared Customs you’ll drop your luggage on the luggage mover. Look for the signs. It’s on your way to security.
Then you'll stand in line again for Security.
Once through Security you are home free – head for the gate.
GETTING TO TORONTO
Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport is Canada’s principal airport, servicing 32 million passengers on 65 airlines with service to 182 destinations in 56 countries around the globe.
Pearson International Airport is located 27 kilometres (16 miles) from downtown and is accessible by a variety of transit options. Average travel time to and from Toronto Pearson International Airport to downtown Toronto is 25 – 40 minutes.
Toronto also offers the centrally located Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre Airport (Island Airport) located on 80.9 hectares (200 acres) at the western end of Toronto Islands, "on the city's front doorstep." The Island Airport is linked across the Western Gap by ferry services. Flights come in from over 15 cities in Canada and the United States.
By Rail and Bus
Nine municipal transportation agencies, together with the provincially-owned GO Transit, offer an extensive bus and train network that covers the entire greater Toronto region, making it easy for delegates to get around. Go Transit also offers a direct-route Airport Express bus that departs from various locations in the city to Pearson International Airport.
Trains roll into downtown’s Union Station bringing Via Rail passengers from Eastern and Western Canada, while Amtrak offers regular service to Toronto from such cities as New York and Chicago. Union Station is a hub for national VIA Rail trains, U.S.-based AMTRAK trains, Ontario North trains, regional GO trains and buses and TTC trains and buses. Union Station, located in the heart of downtown Toronto. It also connects to the underground subway.
Toronto is one of the most easily accessible cities in the world. Several highways, including Highways 2, 400, 401, 403, 404, 407, 427 and the Queen Elizabeth Way link surrounding cities to Toronto. The closest Canada-U.S. border crossings are at Niagara Falls and Fort Erie.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR GETTING TO TORONTO
We have been able to obtain some special pricing to get you to the conference.
Porter Airlines –is a regional carrier based at the Toronto City Centre Airport minutes from downtown.
Porter Airlines is offering a 15% discount on base fares booked prior to August 23, 2014. You can travel from anywhere in Canada or the US to Toronto for travel between August 14 to 20, 2014 and return from Toronto to anywhere in Canada or the US for travel between August 17-23, 2014.
You can book online at www.flyporter.com
or through your travel agent using Promo Code APWA14.
West Jet is offering a 10% discount off their best available Flex fare for flights into and out of Toronto or Hamilton, Ontario.
The discounted rates are available for travel up to 7 days prior to and 7 days after the conference.
To book contact the Westjet Groups Department at 1-888-493-7853 and quote discount code CC8217. The discount code is not available for use on westjet.com.
Via Rail Canada
Via Rail Canada is offering 10% off the best available fare in Economy, Economy Plus, Business, Business Plus, Sleeper or Sleeper Plus.
The discount is valid from August 14 to August 22, 2014 for travel from any VIA station to Toronto and return. To book you must reference the VIA convention discount code 12668. To book online go to www.viarail.ca
. When booking online you have to log into your profile or create one. Select “Convention fare” on the Passenger information screen. From the “Discount Type” drop down menu enter the discount code 12668. The special conference fare will be shown on the next page.
You can also contact VIA Rail Canada at 1-888-842-7245.
WHILE IN TORONTO
Neighborhoods you may wish to visit:
Roncesvalles Village Polish Centre
Getting to these neighborhoods for a walk, shopping or to enjoy a great meal is easy. The Toronto Transit Commission or TTC is the second largest public transit system in North America (after New York City) and really is “the better way” to get around. The public transit system is made up of busses, streetcars and subways which will get you to your destination. One way adult cash fare is $3.00 ($2.00 for senior/student and 75 cents for child). Also available is an adult day pass for $11.00 or adult weekly pass for $39.25 ($31.25 for senior/student). For additional information, schedules and directions you can visit the TTC website at www.ttc.ca
If you choose to drive in the city, Toronto is one of the busiest cities in North America. Traffic can be quite heavy especially during morning and evening rush hours from approximately 7 -9 am and 4-6 pm. If you are driving, Toronto streets are based on a north-south and east-west grid system so it’s pretty easy to find your way or better yet just use a GPS!
Similar to other large cities, parking downtown can be limited and expensive during the day. There is metered on street parking and both private and public parking lots. City owned ‘Green P’ parking lots often offer a competitive parking rate. You can find them at http://parking.greenp.com/find-parking.
Another travel option is to use a taxi available from a number of different taxi companies in downtown Toronto and the fares are metered.
There is a little secret that many Torontonians don’t know about or
realize exists and it’s the downtown underground “PATH”. The PATH is
27 kilometers of underground walkways connecting buildings with below
ground shopping, entertainment and services. Just follow the “PATH”
signs to find your way. Many of the TTC subway stations can be accessed
from the PATH.
In addition to Toronto’s great and diverse cultural neighborhoods, there are many top attractions to see Some you may wish to visit are: the New Ripley’s Aquarium, CN Tower, the Toronto Islands, the St. Lawrence Market — recently awarded the ‘worlds best food market’ by National Geographic, Hockey Hall of Fame, Eaton Centre Shopping Mall, The Distillery Historic District, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Zoo — with over 5000 animals, Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma Castle, Canada’s Wonderland — theme park with over 69 rides and a 20 acre water park.
For further information on tours, attractions and transportation you can visit: