Okay, so it feels like Toronto’s going to be seeing a LOT of people from around the world this year!
The Pan Am and Parapan American Games, FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto Run are joining the lineup of the usual internationally known events happening in Toronto like the Honda Indy, NXNE Music Festival, Luminato, Pride Toronto, Caribana, Rogers Cup, Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto International Film Festival and a whole lot of other events that I can’t even remember right now.
The Run Nike Women Series’ Facebook page gets dozens of the same questions about hotels, transit, parking, and other local information that they can’t answer it all!
So, as a local Torontonian, here’s a quick FAQ for the Nike Women’s 15K.
Q: Where is the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal?
A: More commonly known by Torontonians as the “Queen’s Quay Ferry Docks” or some variation of that, it’s located on the southern side of downtown Toronto and best accessible by TTC by two streetcar routes:
– 509 Harbourfront from Union Station, the most southern subway station on the yellow line. It’s a little confusing because of the renovations, but feel free to ask a volunteer in a bright orange vest where to go!
– 510 Spadina from Spadina Station, one of the transfer subway stations between the green and yellow lines. It’s one of the stations right in the middle of the map.
Both streetcars go to Queen’s Quay (pronounced like Queen’s KEY), where you get off and head towards the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, which is right next to the ferry terminal. You can ask for directions from a friendly Torontonian or you could probably follow the massive crowd heading to the ferries, too.
The TTC (our only public transit system in Toronto) opens at 9am on Sundays! So, since our ferries start at 6am, your best bet to get to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is most likely going to be a cab or someone driving you. If you’re staying a hotel in the downtown core, you can ask the front desk for directions and you can most likely walk straight there. The city itself is pretty huge, but downtown is very walkable.
Q: I’m going to be driving to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. Where can I park?
A: Nike recommends parking at the Harbourfront Centre, which is pretty close, but there’s only so many spots available and it’s more on the pricy side of parking rates over there.
I’d recommend looking for a Green P Parking lot or an Impark lot by searching the “Queen’s Quay Ferry Docks.” You can check out their websites right now to see where they have lots so you don’t waste time circling around downtown!
Green P Parking – http://parking.greenp.com/
Impark – http://www2.impark.com/Pages/default.aspx?lang=en®ion=toronto
Q: Why do we have to get to the ferries so early when the race starts at 9:30am?!
A: Usually, the ferries don’t see a lot of traffic because the Toronto Islands are very tourism-driven. There are some people who live on the Islands, but the vast majority of the businesses there are only open during the summer.
So, even though our 5 ferries have small capacities ranging from 220 to 975 passengers, this works for the city the majority of the time.
Q: Alright, I have a 7am ferry time. What’s there to do on the Islands until I get into my corral?
A: You’re about to run a 15K race! Why not spend some time warming up on the lush green lawns of the Islands while taking in the fantastic view of the Toronto skyline?
Nike has also mentioned that they’ve set up some activities on the Island to help pass the time.
Still bored? Take a short walk around the Start/Finish line and you’ll find a lot of scenic points to get away from the city.
Q: I don’t have a spectator ticket but my friends/family/dog want to come and watch. What should I do?
A: The Nike race has booked out all the available ferries until 9:30am. After that, the ferries will go back to their usual schedule.
That means, if your friends/family/dog don’t mind getting on a later ferry than you, they can simply get a ticket from the Terminal and board the next available ferry like a normal traveller.
(This is what my family and friends are doing. They can’t be bothered to get up that early!)
Q: Speaking of dogs…
A: Yeah, they’re allowed on the Islands. Just make sure that they’re leashed and that they don’t come off the leash while on the ferry.
FYI, there’s been a rash of off-leash dog incidents recently, so the police are doing a crackdown. If you are bringing your pup down to the Islands, please keep this in mind and don’t take off the leash. (Read more here!)
Q: What if I miss my ferry?
A: That would suck so bad. Aim to get there 30mins before your ferry time since it is a real pain in the ass to travel in this city these days!
If you’re running super late and it looks like you’ll miss the race, you can try to take a Water Taxi. But, don’t rely on them since there really aren’t a lot of them available. (See reason above for lack of water transportation.)
Water Taxi Information: 416-203-TAXI (8294)
Q: What else can I do in Toronto after the race?
A: Depends on what you like! Toronto’s a huge city with lots of hidden gems and a ton of things to take in. The tourism board and websites aren’t the best, but if you reach out to a Torontonian forum like on Reddit, you can get some pretty decent answers.
Personally, I’d recommend checking out the food here. There’s something delicious for everyone!
Have another question? Tweet at me @cafelilium or leave a comment! :)