Getting around

Toronto is easy to travel by bicycle, using public transit, and on foot around the event venue.

Cycling is possible with Bike Share Toronto, a city-wide bike share program. See the system map for stations throughout the downtown area. Bikeshare is membership and pass based. There are day passes for $7, or a 3-day pass for $15 which include unlimited 30-minute rides.

Public transit is operated by the Toronto Transit Commission and the network consists of subway, streetcar, bus, and rapid transit. Fares are for the whole system, so you can transfer between bus, streetcar and subway on a single trip. A single trip costs $3.25, multiple trips are a reduced rate using tokens (minimum purchase 3, $3.10 per trip) and PRESTO, an electronic payment system. Cards can be purchased for $6.00 and loaded with funds at subway stations.

From Toronto Pearson International Airport, you can travel to downtown Toronto via:

  • UP Express, a rapid train link between Pearson Airport and Toronto’s downtown, leaves every 15 minutes throughout the day (25 mins to Union Station, $12.35 one-way or PRESTO)
  • TTC, via bus and subway, leaves every 20 minutes (45 mins to 1 hour to downtown, $3.25 for trip or PRESTO)

Staying in Toronto

The city is an expensive place to live and visit. For those looking at alternative accommodations including platforms like Airbnb, we wanted to provide context about the housing market. Like many cities around the world, Toronto is experiencing an affordability crisis in part driven by condos being treated as investments and “ghost hotels”. This has led to the lowest rental vacancy rate in 16 years, renovictions, and in response tenant organizing and rent strikes.

To support folks attending the conference, we have a community billets program and provide information on ways to mitigate the impact of short-term rentals. Inspired by 4S 2019 in New Orleans, notes on how to make your own guide are shared at the bottom of this page.

Community billets

Billeting is a way of supporting participants to attend within their budget and at the same time welcome them into our community.

We anticipate securing a limited number of spots with people based in Toronto. If you indicated you were interested in hosting or staying in a community billet check out the community billets list and add your info or email and we’ll help coordinate!

Small-businesses and BIPOC-owned hotels

We searched and could not confirm a directory of BIPOC-owned accommodations in Toronto, if you know of any, please contact us.

Unionized hotels

We checked Fair Hotels and called UNITE HERE 75 for leads and updates. As of May 2019, these hotels are still unionized with them, roughly sorted by lowest price and distance:

Other short-term rentals

Additional care to take if engaging in a short-term rental in Toronto:

  1. Avoid Airbnb rentals in the following neighbourhoods which are experiencing gentrification (based on Toronto Star analysis of Environics income change data):
    • Parkdale
    • Bloor/Lansdowne (Wallace Emerson, Earlscourt)
    • Leslieville
    • Junction
  2. Avoid hosts with multiple listings and identified by local research and insideairbnb data as the worst Airbnb “ghost hotel” landlords:
    • Toronto Suite Rentals (77 listings)
    • Emil & Sue (75 listings)
    • Steve (40 listings)
    • Sakir Suites (formerly known as “Sam”) (39 listings)
  3. Try to avoid listings for entire homes, usually condo units, as a majority (58%) are ghost hotels based on Fairbnb analysis.

Would you like to make a guide like this for your event or city? If so:

  • Search for reports from local housing justice organizations. Read them carefully, summarize their insights, and link to them. Use their recommendations to craft your suggestions
  • Categories of hotels to look for include: unionized hotels, small businesses, indigenous-owned hotels, black-owned hotels, as well as latino- and POC-owned hotels. There are U.S lists (see 4S 2019 in New Orleans conference for more), however for Canada we searched based on city
  • Use any of the text above for your conference in Toronto without need for attribution. Please include this note on how others can approach making one for their event or city
  • After you’ve read the reports, distilled their findings, listed unionized hotels and hotels owned by structurally marginalized people, and crafted a first draft of your document then share it with local housing justice for feedback (We’re working on this!)