Useful Information For Visitors
When staying in Toronto, either temporarily or permanently, there’s some essential information every visitor or resident should know. It’s important to know about local laws and restrictions, emergency services, rules and general safety guidelines.
311 Toronto Information
311 is the largest, most exciting customer service improvement undertaken by the City of Toronto since amalgamation. Improving accessibility to non-emergency city services and information 311 increases the city’s effectiveness in responding to public inquiries. Dial 311 and you can report graffiti, arrange bin collections and report road damage. During winter you can report roads that have heavy snowfall and need ploughing. Once reported, you can even track your enquiry/complaint online or by called 311. If a tree is causing a problem you can report it by calling 311. It’s an invaluable service that has greatly improved the lives of many who live in the City of Toronto.
In Toronto, like anywhere in Canada, you call 911 for an emergency. Whether you require fire, police or ambulance you should call 911. You can dial 911 from a mobile even if you don’t have credit and from any landline. If calling from a mobile be sure to relay your exact address to the emergency service operator. If English is not your first language, stay on the line and wait for the operator to contact their telephone translation services.
Police dial 416-808-2222
Paramedics dial 416-392-2000
Fire Service dial 311
The weather in Toronto during the winter months can be testing for some who are not use to the cold. Temperatures have been known to fall as low as -25c. If you are visiting the city during winter be sure to be prepared. Prior to your visit and during, be sure to keep up the date with any weather changes. News channels, radio, papers and various weather websites will help keep you in the know. Staying Warm Tips:
- Wear a thick windproof jacket, wool gloves, hat to cover your ears and a scarf to wear around your neck and face
- Under layers are key and should ideally be made of wool, silk or polypropylene because they keep you warmer than cotton
- Good quality waterproof footwear with a thick lining are best
Money & Banks
The currency used in Toronto and across Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Coins are available in 5, 10, 25, 50 cent as well as $1 and $2 dollar coins. Bank notes are available in denominations $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Some coins and bank notes are more common than others, and some are no longer produced but are still being circulated.
There are ATM’s throughout the city. You will never be far from a machine if you are running low on cash. Foreigners will likely have to pay a surcharge and a foreign fee each time a withdrawal or card transaction is made. This is standard practice by many banks, however the amount can vary from each bank and each ATM.
If you would prefer to use an alternative method, travellers cheques and prepaid cards are also good options for use in Toronto. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at money exchange counters throughout the city and prepaid cards can be used at any stores, restaurants, bars, hotels where they accept visa card. A prepaid card is a great way to keep on top of your spending – you can only spend as much as the balance on the card.