Trip Report: Toronto (part 8) Four Points Toronto Airport

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Introduction
Four Points O’Hare
Niagara Falls
Ritz Carlton Toronto
CN Tower
Center Island
Rogers Cup
Four Points Toronto Airport
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Four Points Toronto Airport

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Four Points Toronto Airport

When we arrived at the airport we proceeded to the American Airlines checkin counter and decided to checkin at the automated kiosks.  When our boarding passes printed out we saw the boarding time showing for 2pm the next day!  I thought it was maybe just a mistake so we decided to go to the counter to have them printed out correctly.  Unfortunately, it was not a mistake and Continue reading

Trip Report: Toronto (part 7) Rogers Cup

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Introduction
Four Points O’Hare
Niagara Falls
Ritz Carlton Toronto
CN Tower
Center Island
Rogers Cup
Four Points Toronto Airport
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Rogers Cup

On Monday we went to watch some first day action of the Rogers Cup.  We took the subway from the Ritz-Carlton north to the Downsview stop where my cousin picked us up.   We had a nice breakfast with the rest of the family and then headed over to the Rogers Cup to watch some tennis.  We had tickets to the main stadium which affords you the option to watch any match at the event for that day (day session runs to about 5pm).  The forecast called for afternoon rain and sadly the forecast was correct.  We were able to watch about 2 full sets of various tennis matches before the rain really started to come down and we then needed to eventually leave to catch our flight home.

The event was very nice.  We watched a match on one of the smaller outside courts with only about 40-50 other people thus we had great seats.  We watched about 6 games before it started drizzling enough to stop play for 30 minutes.  That gave us time to walk around most of the grounds and I bought some small souvenirs from the main tent.  We then went to watch tennis on the main court where the “bigger” names are playing. We got to watch the final set of Cilic vs Istomin and a good chunk of the first set of Lleyton Hewiit vs Julian Benneteau before the rain got worse.  They dried the courts out after about a 40 minute delay however the rain came back and it came down in buckets for a while.

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Rexall Center

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Main Stadium at Rexall Center

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Rogers Cup main entrance

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Roger Federer a two-time champion here

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Interestingly enough, it happen to be South Asian Day
Continue reading

Trip Report: Toronto (part 6) Center Island

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Introduction
Four Points O’Hare
Niagara Falls
Ritz Carlton Toronto
CN Tower
Center Island
Rogers Cup
Four Points Toronto Airport
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Center Island

On Sunday evening we decided to take the ferry over to visit the Toronto Islands.  There are three ferry’s to the islands. We decided to take the ferry to Center Island which is the “main” island.  We paid $7 roundtrip per adult so $14 for both of us.  We had about a 15-20 minute wait for the ferry to arrive back to the dock.  We were stunned how many people came off the boat!!! Seemed like thousands!  We found out that the islands were very crowded this weekend!!!  The ride to the island is less than 10 minutes and very scenic. You get some great views of downtown Toronto.

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Toronto Islands on Google Maps

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Toronto Skyline from the ferry

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Toronto Skyline from the ferry Continue reading

Trip Report: Toronto (part 5) CN Tower

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Introduction
Four Points O’Hare
Niagara Falls
Ritz Carlton Toronto
CN Tower
Center Island
Rogers Cup
Four Points Toronto Airport
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CN Tower

On Sunday after brunch at LeSelect we walked to the CN Tower.  Of course the lines were extremely long due to the busy holiday weekend in Toronto.  It was about 30 minutes in line to get tickets and then another 45 minutes once past the ticket counters to get to the elevator.  Tickets were $32 per person!! The $32 does not even include the even higher SkyPod viewing deck which would be an additional $12!!! There is a more reasonable family pass if you are a family of four for $99.

They have added an additional attraction called the “EdgeWalk” which is really insane!  We most definitely passed on that attraction. We walked around the observation decks for about 30 minutes and saw the glass floor feature of this tower which is an interesting attraction.

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CN Tower

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CN Tower

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CN Tower entrance

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Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport from the CN Tower

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Views of Toronto from the CN Tower

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Rogers Centre (I prefer SkyDome) from the CN Tower)

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More city views from the CN Tower

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My wife enjoying the CN Tower views

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Looking through the fenced in portion of the CN Tower

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Looking through the fenced in portion of the CN Tower

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Walking through the fenced in portion of the CN Tower

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CN Tower glass floor

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CN Tower glass floor

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Looking down through the CN Tower’s glass floor

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My wife standing on the CN Tower glass floor

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CN Tower glass floor

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CN Tower

While visiting the CN Tower was an interesting experience we would both pass on ever needing to visit it again.  Maybe if there were no lines and the price was more similar to the $18-$20 for the Willis Tower in Chicago charges it could be worth it. But for $64 or almost $90 for two tickets for the observation deck and the SkyPod it is not worth it at all in our opinion.  We are happy we gave it a go and checked off our site-seeing list.  The views are nice and its a good way to see the city from the top!

-pointspinnacle


 

 

Trip Report: Toronto (part 4) Ritz Carlton Toronto

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Introduction
Four Points O’Hare
Niagara Falls
Ritz Carlton Toronto
CN Tower
Center Island
Rogers Cup
Four Points Toronto Airport
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Ritz Carlton Toronto

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Ritz-Carlton Toronto entrance

We stayed two nights at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto on Saturday and Sunday nights.  This was the busiest weekend of the year in Toronto so I felt like we got a steal on the hotel room!  I booked our room months ago through TravelPony! We both really enjoyed our stay here!! This is quite a stellar property in our minds.

The Room

We were in room 1403 which is in the corner of the property but not a corner unit since all the suites have the corner real estate.  Prior to arrival I emailed the property letting them know that we would be celebrating my wife’s birthday.  I asked if there was any complimentary upgrades or anything they could do to make this a memorable experience.  I was in communication with a guest relations staffer via email in regards to some options that were available.  I went with a rose petal turndown and a bottle of champaign.  Upon entering the room my wife was delightfully surprised by the rose petals. After about 10 minutes or so in the room we received a knock on the door from a very nice young gentleman delivering champaign on ice with a birthday cake for my wife!  He set everything up on the desk for us and was on his way.  My wife and I enjoyed Continue reading

Trip Report: Toronto (part 3) Niagara Falls

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Introduction
Four Points O’Hare
Niagara Falls
Ritz Carlton Toronto
CN Tower
Center Island
Rogers Cup
Four Points Toronto Airport
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Niagara Falls

We landed in Toronto and after a lengthy wait going thru immigration/customs, we met our cousin at the airport and we went directly to Niagara Falls.  There turned out to be more traffic than usual as this was a three day weekend in Canada and many people were heading out on the roads to enjoy the weekend.  There was also a bridge closure due to a major accident the day before.  After about a two hour drive we made it to Niagara Falls!!  Its a very touristy destination and as you get closer to town you can see the area is more built up and swarming with people.  It reminded us of the Wisconsin Dells closer to home.

Everything is fairly pricey there and parking was $5 per hour (we stayed about 3 hours).  We walked over to the Falls to look over the scenery.  I haven’t been to Niagara Falls in 20 years and my this would be my wife’s first visit ever.  It is stunning when you get your first glimpse and the enormity of the waterfalls!  I forgot to charge my camera (of course) so I had to take all our photos here using my iPhone 5.

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Our first views of Niagara Falls

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My wife getting her first glimpse of Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls Continue reading

Trip Report: Toronto (part 2) Four Points O’Hare

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Introduction
Four Points O’Hare
Niagara Falls
Ritz Carlton Toronto
CN Tower
Center Island
Rogers Cup
Four Points Toronto Airport
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Four Points  O’Hare

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Four Points by Sheraton O’Hare exterior

We started our trip with a late night stop at the Four Points O’Hare simply to sleep and make it to the airport in time for our 8:30am flight.  They have a shuttle that runs to O’Hare every 20 minutes which is very convenient! There are several choices of hotels around the O’Hare area but this one was our choice since it was only Continue reading

Trip Report: Toronto (part 1) Introduction

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Introduction
Four Points O’Hare
Niagara Falls
Ritz Carlton Toronto
CN Tower
Center Island
Rogers Cup
Four Points Toronto Airport
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Introduction

I think my wife was getting a little jealous as my past few birthdays we celebrated while on amazing vacations! So this year we (meaning I) planned a nice little get away north of the border for my wife’s birthday!  We chose Toronto for a few reasons, the first being I have family that has lived there for about a decade and we haven’t yet visited them.  The second reason being that my wife has never been to Canada (can you believe that?!).  Lastly the Rogers Cup tennis tournament was going on while we would be there and if you follow the blog you know I am a big tennis fan! So with those three reasons in mind I started the planning!

The Flights

I knew immediately that I would be using our British Airways Avios points for our flight up north.  I found the availability out of Chicago fairly easy for early Saturday morning which worked great since that would give us more time to enjoy Canada. I didn’t book the return flight right away, in fact I waited a few months but eventually found a Monday evening flight back to Chicago making this a nice three day weekend.  The flights were 4500 British Airways Avios points and I simply booked them online using the BA.com award search engine.  If you read my blog (or almost any other) then you already know you can accumulate BA Avios points easily with these cards: Chase British Airways Visa or transfer points to British Airways with Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus or Bold, or AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards like American Express Platinum card amongst many others.

I am not doing a full review of our flights as they were pretty standard economy flights on small Embraer commuter jets.  We did have to valet check our carry-ons as most of those jets are two small to stow roll-aboards in the bins.  On the way home however the Embraer 175 jet was able to accommodate our roll-aboards.   The flights were about 1 hour and 15 minutes and both flights were full.

The flight to Toronto was 4500 points per person one way with a $2.50 security fee per person on Britiish Airways One World partner American Airlines. Our cash price would have been $691.56 if not using points and booking on AA.com!!

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Our itinerary to Toronto

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Our payment information

On the way home our flight cost the same 4500 Avios points per person however the fees were higher due to Canadian Airport taxes and fees. Thus making the money portion $101.82 or about $51 per person.

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Our itinerary home to Chicago

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Our payment information

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Cash price was $691.56 if booked on AA.com

The Hotels

We stayed at my wife’s all-time favorite hotel the Four Points O’Hare (I’m joking, she hates it)!  We needed to be at the airport around 7am and we didn’t want to drive from Milwaukee that early thus the Four Points it was. This was our second time staying here in the past year.  I took a few photos so I will do a brief review of this hotel in the next installment of this trip report.

In Toronto we stayed at the Ritz Carlton for two nights and paid cash.  I will do an in depth review of that property in a future post in the next few days.

Lastly we had an unexpected stay at the Four Points Toronto Airport!!! I will do a brief review of that property to conclude this trip report.

Toronto

We squeezed a lot of stuff in this weekend but had a good time! Thanks to my cousins for helping us get around and being very hospitable! We got to see most of what we had planned!

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Toronto Skyline from our ferry ride to the Islands

-pointspinnacle