Toronto City Pass promises to show you the Famous Five for less. But will it really save you money? And perhaps just as important: Are the attractions really “major”?
Yes, these are all major Toronto attractions. By that I mean year after year they attract thousands of tourists. Of course everyone will have their own opinion about their individual value (and in particular, whether or not they’re overpriced), but rest assured that this pass gives you the “crowd-pleasers” of Toronto tourism.
As a former resident of Toronto and now a frequent visitor to the city, I’ve done all of them at one point or another. My personal favourites? The Royal Ontario Museum and the Toronto Zoo.
Toronto City Pass currently offers tickets to five major Toronto attractions:
1. CN Tower Toronto – The world’s tallest free-standing tower.
2. Casa Loma Toronto – A weird and wonderful 20th century castle created for an eccentric and (eventually) bankrupt rich guy with a thing for the Past.
3. Ontario Science Centre – Great for kids.
4. Royal Ontario Museum – Dinosaur bones, Canadian art and antique furniture, giant Buddhas, the bat cave and more.
5. Toronto Zoo – Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Not to mention wolves, giraffes, birds and more.
*Note: they no longer cover the Hockey Hall of Fame.
How much can you really save with the Toronto Citypass?
Toronto City Pass promises that if you purchase the pass you’ll save 45% off admission prices. Is this true?
Yes… but it’s based on a couple of assumptions, which may or may not be true for you.
This promise assumes that
(1) you’d otherwise be paying the highest gate price at an attraction, which is not necessarily true. There are alternate ways to pay less for these attractions. For example, www.attractionsontario.ca often has coupons that can save you 20% or more, so check them out first. Full-time students with ID can get discounts at most of the attractions. The Royal Ontario Museum has half-price admission to all on Friday nights. Also, if you eat at the 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower, the price of the elevator trip is included in your meal, so the Toronto City Pass won’t help you at the Tower if you’re dining.
(2) you’ll be visiting all 5 attractions. But will you? Not everyone has same interests or time. So how do you know if it’s worth it for you?
Here’s how. The web site (http://www.citypass.com/price/toronto.html) shows you the current prices for each individual attraction, which is handy. Just look at the ones you want to visit and add them up. In general, you will really need to do at least 3 of them to get your money’s worth and sometimes not even then, if you can get coupons elsewhere. If you do 4, though, you’re almost guaranteed to save unless you’re really lucky with your coupons.
How long will it take to see and do everything?
One good thing is that the Toronto City Pass is good for 9 days, starting from the day of purchase. That’s handy because you can’t possibly do these attractions justice in one day or even two. Frankly, even three days would be pushing it. You could squeeze the CN Tower into a couple of hours depending on when you go (count on waiting in line for the elevator for anywhere from half and hour to almost two hours), but you’ll want to budget at least half a day at the others. Here’s how you might break it up.
Day 1: morning at the CN Tower Toronto (beat the crowds!) and then early lunch and the afternoon at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Day 2: Toronto Zoo - All day. Start early! It takes a while to get out the east end of the city, especially if you’re using public transit.
Day 3: You’ll need some travel time to get out to the Ontario
Science Centre, so start EARLY.
Do a few hours there, grab a quick lunch and then head off to Casa Loma. It’ll be tight. If you can spare another
day, giving yourself three-quarters of a day at each would be better.
Another good way to save time is to have dinner at the CN Tower restaurant, "360". Why? You bypass the lineup for the regular elevator and could shave a couple of hours waiting for the trips up and down.
Where to buy Toronto Citypass
You simply buy a pass at the first attraction you visit. The 9 days start from that day.
For more information
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