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VSTTE 2008 -- Verified Software: Theories, Tools and Experiments

2008 October 6--9

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Local Information

(Courtesy of Eric Ruppert and the organisers of CONCUR 2008.)

Travelling to Toronto

Toronto's Pearson International Airport (YYZ) has direct connections from 180 cities. This page contains information about the airport.

When you book your trip to Toronto, you may want to extend your stay before or after the conference. Below you can find ideas about things to do in and around Toronto.

Taking a cab from the airport to downtown Toronto costs $46. Airport Express buses will take you from the airport to some downtown locations for $18.50 (and $29.95 for a round trip). You can also take public transit from the airport to any location in Toronto for $2.75 (exact change required) but this will take longer.

Travel Documents

Please check here if you need a visa to enter Canada.

If you require a visa for entering Canada, and need a letter of invitation, you should contact the conference chair, Eric Hehner.

Note that there are new requirements for U.S. citizens crossing the U.S.A.-Canada border: see this page for details. (Short version: bring your passport.)

About Toronto

Toronto is the capital of Ontario, and the largest city in Canada. (The population of Toronto is 2.5 million and its suburbs make up for another 2.5 million.) English is the main language in Toronto. Toronto is a city of immigrants; about half of Toronto residents were born outside of Canada.


The city is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Most streets are on a grid system. Street numbers on north-south streets increase as you go north (away from the lake). Yonge Street is the central street that runs north-south. Street numbers on east-west streets increase as you go away from Yonge Street. VSTTE 2008 will be held downtown, which is very walkable. See here for the conference location and its basic surrounds.

Public Transit

Getting around the city is very easy by public transit (called the TTC). There are subways, buses and streetcars. When entering the system you pay a fare and can obtain a slip of paper called a transfer (either from the bus or streetcar driver or from a red machine in subway station entrances). A transfer allows you to transfer from one TTC vehicle to another any number of times and is valid as long as you are making one continuous journey, without stopovers. If you pay cash (with exact change), a trip costs $2.75. However, at the entrance to any subway station, you can buy 5 tokens for $11.25 ($2.25 per ride), or a weekly pass (valid for unlimited use from Monday to Sunday) for $32.25. To obtain a free map of the system, ask for a "Ride Guide" at the entrance to any subway station. There is a nice online map here.

TTC bus TTC subway TTC streetcar


The average daily maximum temperature in October is 15 degrees (Celsius) and the average daily minimum is 7 degrees. It rarely snows in October, but it can be wet, so bring a raincoat or umbrella.. For more climate information see this page.


Toronto is in the Eastern Time Zone (same zone as New York).


Toronto is one of the safest large cities in North America. (See this page for statistics.)


To call direct to international locations, dial 011 followed by the country code. (To dial within North America, just dial 1 followed by the area code.)


Toronto's daily newspapers include the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.


The currency is the Canadian dollar (currency conversions). ATMs are available everywhere, and Mastercard, Visa and American Express credit cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants. It's customary to tip waiters (about 15%) and cab drivers. In shops and restaurants, advertised prices do not include provincial sales tax (8%) and the goods and services tax (5%), which apply to most items (but not all).

About Canada

Canada is a constitutional monarchy; H.M. Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada. The official languages are English and French. The country is divided into ten provinces and three territories. Quebec City, the oldest permanent European settlement in Canada is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year, although the Vikings briefly settled in Newfoundland around A.D. 1000. Canada became an independent Dominion on July 1, 1867, and underwent several territorial expansions between then and July 1, 1949 (when Newfoundland joined Confederation).

This is the first time VSTTE is being held in Canada.

Things to Do in Toronto

The free weekly Now magazine includes extensive listings and reviews of events going on in town. Get it from the green newspaper boxes on streets. Eye magazine (yellow newspaper boxes) is another free weekly paper that also has listings.

The Toronto Tourism site has lots of information about Toronto. The My Toronto Meeting site contains some useful information as well (in particular the "Event Calendar" as well as the "Special Deals").

Below are some Toronto highlights.



Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods with distinctive characters. Here are some favourites.

Tourist Attractions

Shopping Districts

See neighbourhood listings above, but also:

GLBTQ Attendees

The centre of Toronto's gay and lesbian neighbourhood is along Church Street between Carlton and Bloor, just east of the Wellesley subway station. (It will look familiar to viewers of Queer as Folk, which was set in Pittsburgh but actually filmed here.) The bi-weekly free newspaper Xtra, available from purple newspaper boxes on streets, includes event listings. You can also get married while you are in town; it is legal here.

Outside Toronto

The Ontario Tourism site has information about the whole province.