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G20 Travel to Toronto

What you need to know - not to do!

After a cold Canadian winter, Toronto is decked out ready welcome the world. From Canada's Wonderland to Center Island to the A-list celebrities singing their hearts out at BMO Fields and the Roger's Center - and don't forget the taste sensations of Summerlicious - it's celebration time in Toronto. This year, the G20 and G8 are lighting up the city in a different way.

Toronto Skyline at NightToronto Skyline at NightThe G20 Summit is set for June 26 and 27 at the Toronto Convention Center, not to be confused with the G8 Summit on June 25 and 26 in Huntsville, Ontario (four hours away). Navigating through the G20 and G8 safely and without frustration is mostly about knowing what not to wear, where not to go and what not to do.

What not to wear during the G20

We understand that fashion-forward is the acceptedPlaying in TorontoPlaying in Toronto currency of Torontonians and those travel there. But consider shedding your put-together image for a more casual look during the G20. Being a target of protestors is definitely not cool.

  • Adopt an alternative form of power dressing. Shed the suit, but stick to classic casual instead of opting for crunchy granola - this isn't an excuse to let yourself go native. Think Banana Republic, not American Eagle.
  • Go ahead and throw your North Face jacket over your suit but use common sense. Decking out in your après-dinner golf suit is just as big of a red flag as the ascot.
  • Mind your feet. Toronto girls are good at shedding the stilettos for the subway hike and this is no time to disrupt that status quo.

Where not to fly during the G20

Pearson Airport security is thorough, to the say the least - and we appreciate it, really we do. But even when not on high alert, it can take two to three hours to pass through all the security check points. During the G20 and G8 Summits, as the world's leaders fly into Pearson, expect even longer delays.

Pearson International Airport will be on high alert fromToronto Air TravelToronto Air Travel June 21. Flights into the airport will shut down when President Obama arrives and anyone coming into the airport will be thoroughly searched. News reports from Toronto say police will be equipped with gas masks and are prepared for violence.

Our advice? Use Buffalo Airport during the month of June. It's an hour's drive from Toronto and flights are often a fraction of what you pay flying out of Toronto. Parking is also much less expensive, as are neighboring hotels that provide free shuttle service to and from the airport.

Where not to go during the G20

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre and surrounding hotels (the Royal York, the Intercontinental and the Harbour Castle) will be protected by 3-meter high walls and access will be strictly controlled by Canada's RCMP (Royal Mounted Police). If you live or work within this zone, you'll need to apply for a security pass. If you're sightseeing, forget it. This is airport security at its tightest.

The Globe and Mail reported that more than 10,000 uniformed officers, 1,000 private security guards and an undisclosed number of Canadian military forces will be monitoring activity. When you add in the world leaders and their security details, journalists and the people and businesses who work in the core - paralysed might be a better way to describe Toronto during the G20 Summit.

Where not to stay during the G20

Mayor David Miller says Toronto is "fantastic in the summer," but this particular weekend (June 25 and 26) may be tricky. All the downtown hotels are booked. And considering they'll be filled with international security, getting a table at your favourite restaurant might be as impossible as snagging a reservation at Canoe - with less than a 6 month waiting period.

Summerlicious in TorontoSummerlicious in TorontoA number of Toronto hotels in the inner core of the summit will also be off limits. The Royal York, the Intercontinental and the Harbour Castle Inn will be behind a tight wall of security and inaccessible.

We love Toronto (remember Summerlicious?) but the G20 and G8 are reason enough for us to steer clear. Come July, the city will be at its summer-best and ready to dazzle once again. And you know what? We're happy to wait.

Good luck to the G20 G8 leaders - we'll watch with interest, online.

Got any advice for traveling to Toronto during the G20 and G8? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or drop us a line to let us know.


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Toronto is my favorite and most amazing place to travel in vacations. There are many places which are really very good to travel in Toronto and there are many tourist visit Toronto every year. This is my dream destinations. I must want to travel this place and I am also planning to visit Toronto this year in summer vacations.

Without realizing the Summit dates, a dinner at Medieval Times (Exhibition Place) on Mon June 28th and a trip to Wonderland on Tues June 29th was planned... Should I cancel? Thanks for your time!

This article was great and just what I was looking for! Do you think it is a bad idea to travel to New York while this is happening - June 23-27? Or maybe it's best to stay out of town?What about Porter airlines? I am assuming it will be near impossible to get to that airport - let me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! New York is a long way from Toronto, so I think you'll be fine traveling during the G20. You'll likely find the security levels will be slightly elevated - but that's nothing new :-) Hope you have a safe trip and enjoy New York - it's beautiful this time of year! Julia

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