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Survival Guide

What to bring to the Toronto Caribbean Carnival

H20: Drink plenty of water and stay in the shade to avoid heat stroke. Check the weather forecast for updates.

 

SUN BLOCK: Use generously. Follow the recommended dosage.

 

A HAT OR VISOR: Proper headgear will also help stave off heat stroke and protect your eyes and head.

 

SHADES: UV rays are harmful to your eyes. Be sure to wear sunglasses with UV protection.

 

A CAMERA: You won't want to miss a moment. Capture all the breath taking Toronto Carnival costumes.

 

A WHISTLE AND FLAG: Whistle along to the beat and wave your flag in the air. A rag also comes in handy for soaking up sweat after all that whistling and waving.

 

AN UMBRELLA: Rain or shine, this is going to come in handy.

 

FOLD UP CHAIRS OR A BLANKET: There isn't much seating along Lakeshore Bouleva and you WILL get fatigued at some point. Especially if like most people you were out partying till six in the morning.

 

COMFORTABLE SHOES: Be ready for a day of walking, dancing, jumping and more walking. Save the heels for the clubs.rd

 

YOUR APPETITE: Outside of the Caribbean, Toronto is the best place on earth to enjoy authentic island cuisine. There are literally dozens of vendors who can satisfy your craving for roti or jerk chicken.

 

TRAVEL PACK: You should bring a small bag to hold money and valuables, extra tissue in case portable toilets are out and any other essentials you may need.

 

BUDDY SYSTEM: The crowd there can be overwhelming and cell phone reception tends to be dismal on the parade route. Make sure to keep close contact with friends and set up meeting places if you get split up. It's not uncommon to arrive with someone only to not see him or her until well after the parade! If you're traveling with children then make sure they know where to go if they get lost. Or better yet, have them tethered to you at all times!

 

THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH

 • Lakeshore line passengers can take advantage of regularly scheduled trips, running every 30 minutes.

 • Regular GO Bus service is available to/from Union Station Bus Terminal.

 • From Union, it is a 10-minute walk to David Pecaut Square or connect to TTC.

 

KING & QUEEN

 • Lakeshore line passengers can take advantage of regularly scheduled trips, running every 30 minutes.

 • Regular GO Bus service is available to/from Union Station Bus Terminal, with connections at Union onto Lakeshore West to get you to Exhibition GO.

 • From Exhibition GO, it’s a short walk to Lamport Stadium.

 • When heading home, the last train departs Exhibition Station west towards Aldershot at 12:50 a.m., and east towards Oshawa at 12:00 a.m.

 

PAN ALIVE COMPETITION

 • Lakeshore line passengers can take advantage of regularly scheduled trips, running every 30 minutes.

 • Regular GO Bus service is available to/from Union Station Bus Terminal, with connections at Union onto Lakeshore West to get you to Exhibition GO.

 • From Exhibition GO, it is a short walk to Lamport Stadium.

 • When heading home, the last train departs Exhibition Station west towards Aldershot at 12:50 a.m., and east towards Oshawa at 12:00 a.m.

 

***THE GRAND PARADE***

 • Lakeshore passengers can take advantage of of regularly scheduled trips, running every 30 minutes

 • Barrie & Niagara passengers can take GO’s seasonal weekend train service, connect at Union Station, and continue to Exhibition GO

 • Bus passengers can take GO to and from Union Station Bus Terminal

 • SPECIAL trains will run on Milton, Kitchener and Stouffville lines to/from Exhibition GO

 

 

CLOSING CHURCH SERVICE

 • Lakeshore line passengers can take advantage of regularly scheduled trips, running every 30 minutes.

 • Barrie and Niagara passengers can take GO’s seasonal train service.

 • Regular GO Bus service is available to/from Union Station Bus Terminal.

 • From Union, it’s a 15 minute walk to St. James Cathedral.

 

 

 

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Travel Info

Take GO to the Toronto Caribbean Carnival!

 

FULL SCHEDULE

INFORMATION

Getting Around Toronto

If you can, avoid driving yourself around, as traffic restrictions near Festival venues will only slow you down. Festival venues are all easily accessible without having to drive. The following are all great alternatives to driving:

Taxi

Expect to pay about $27 to get across town, or more with traffic. Fares are reasonable and taxis are generally easy to flag down, though your best bet is to ask your hotel concierge to call one for you.

 

TTC (Toronto Transit Commission)

At $3.00 for an adult fare (one way), you can't beat the price. Better yet, get an all day pass for $10.50 and hit all the events. If the TTC is your means of transportation during your stay, you will find yourself taking a bus, streetcar or subway - or a combination of the three. Be sure to grab a transfer when paying your fare if you will be changing routes.At $3.00 for an adult fare (one way), you can't beat the price. Better yet, get an all day pass for $10.50 and hit all the events. If the TTC is your means of transportation during your stay, you will find yourself taking a bus, streetcar or subway - or a combination of the three. Be sure to grab a transfer when paying your fare if you will be changing routes.

 

By Car

Most of the Festival's venues are close enough that there is no need to drive if you're already downtown and parking can be difficult. There are also various traffic restrictions near several Festival venues. If you are driving, try to park in one of the designated lots. Parking restrictions vary from street to street and ticketing and towing is happily enforced.

 

Information on accessibility for people with disabilities, visit the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.

 

 

From out of town

 

Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

Union Pearson Express (UP Express) connects Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station in downtown Toronto in just 25 minutes. UP Express trains depart every 15 minutes between 5:30 am and 1:00 am.  There are UP Express fares for Families and Seniors.  Plus, children 12 and under ride for free. Visit UPexpress.com for details and to book tickets.

UP Express Service

Up Express Fares

 

Toronto City Centre Airport (YTZ)

The Toronto City Centre Airport is located downtown and has limited international and domestic arrivals but is consistently adding to the cities it serves. There is a shuttle service between the airport and the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, which is across the street from Union Station. See Porter Airlines for more details.

 

Train

VIA Rail Canada operates trains coast to coast and conveniently stops at Union Station downtown.

 

The Toronto Coach Terminal

This is the main bus terminal connecting Toronto by coach to cities across North America.

 

Fun Facts

FUN FACTS about the Toronto Caribbean Carnival

• It takes 4-5 hours for a mas band to travel the entire parade route

• Parade Route is 3.5 kilometers

• Average travel rate of a mas band = 1km/hour

• Approximately 15,000 people will play mas in costume for 2015

• There are 9 mas bands

• Largest band: Saldina (3000 people)

• 4 bottles of water consumed per person; on a hot day, more

• 16 feathered plumes go into one headpiece

• 20 yards of fabric makes approx 8 costumes

• A "costume" is worn by the masquerader; no assistance required

• Once a costume needs the assistance of wheels for it to be carried, it becomes a "float"

• On average, there are 7-8 sections per band: King, Queen, Male Individual and Female Individual sections portrayed by adults PLUS King, Queen, Male Individual and Female Individual sections portrayed by children from the Junior Carnival (Kiddies Carnival).

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