Dos and Don’ts

Small Talk: “There’s a rule in etiquette that says that you should never ask people what they do. But in Toronto, that question is totally appropriate. Work is what people want to talk about.”

Driving: “Don’t rent a car. Parking is very difficult in downtown Toronto, and with so many condos going up, the situation is only getting worse. Take taxis—you never have to wait for one to come along. You’ll never find yourself stranded or trapped on a street corner, like you might in New York City.”

Friday Night: “Book a dinner reservation for a Friday night. Friday nights are when locals go out for dinner. Suburbans drive in for dinner on Saturdays.”

Personality: “People say that Torontonians are friendly, but they’re not necessarily warm. Be prepared for a bit of a chill: it’s not rudeness, it’s just reserve.”

Pets: “Torontonians love their pets. The city is packed with dog parks, vets, upscale pooch spas, and pet boutiques. And dogs (and babies) help break down that Toronto reserve.”

Phrase Book

The 905: What the locals call the suburbs (Mississauga, Scarborough, Etobicoke, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, and so on).

905ers: A slightly pejorative term for people from the suburbs.

Bay Street: What locals call the Financial District centered on Bay Street and King Street.

Hogtown: A nickname for Toronto; owes its porcine name to former prominent businessman, James Hogg, who operated a successful distillery and grist mill.

The Mink Mile: Bloor Street West, running from Bay Street to Avenue Road, is the city’s premier upscale shopping boulevard.

Red Rocket: Nickname for Toronto streetcars.

Scarberia: Argot for the suburb of Scarborough.

TTC: Toronto Transit Commission, the subway system that runs through the Greater Toronto Area.

T.O.: Common nickname for Toronto (Ontario).

T-Dot: Nickname for Toronto, popularized by local hip-hop artists.

Tehranto: The Toronto community along Yonge Street between Shephard and Steeles Streets, so-named for its large Persian community.

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