Toronto Internet Access for Travellers

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by miniConvert, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #1
    Hello!

    I'm finally off to Toronto next month, something I've been trying to do for ages (and ages), and it goes without saying that I'm very excited. I'll still be working every day while I'm in Canada, and so I'll need reliable and cheap Internet access that I can VPN over.

    I'll be staying in Toronto for the first week. The hotel has WiFi, but I wont be at the hotel all that much. After the first week, I'll be exploring further afield, in areas approximately 40 minutes drive from the centre of Toronto.

    In the UK or Europe I'd just use my Vodafone USB HSDPA modem, but that will cost me £5/MB to use in Canada and I believe that it would be GPRS/GSM speeds only :(

    So, my questions:
    1) Is it easy enough to find cheaply available WiFi in and around central Toronto? I guess I'm referring to coffee shops etc, but also free public WiFi if there is any?
    2) What are my options for getting online "from almost anywhere". I.e. in the car. In the UK we have Mobile Broadband that connects us to the net at around 1Mbps - it costs around £20 on Pay as you Go for a few gigabytes. Is there anything similar?
    3) Any other tips or tricks for travellers getting online in and around Toronto?

    All help very gratefully appreciated.
     
  2. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #2
    There is One Zone in downtown Toronto you can use, I believe it covers 6 sq km of Wifi. I dont think it's too expensive. Also, in pretty much any coffee place (starbucks, second cup), you can get wifi for a fee.
     
  3. miniConvert thread starter macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #3
    Bookmarked One Zone, that's a good start, thanks.
     
  4. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #4
    If you see "OneZone_High Speed Internet" in your computer's airport, than you have access to it. :)
     
  5. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    #5
    Welcome in advance! I hope you enjoy your stay as much as I love to visit the UK.

    Second Cup, Canada's answer to Starbucks, has wifi in many downtown locations, but I confess I haven't used them due to what seemed to be high rates ($7 per hour?). I don't think it's free.

    I've seen random pubs around town with free wifi access inside.

    As far as getting around, the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) is pretty reliable and has extensive coverage. That'll satisfy most needs, except for the fact they may be going on strike within the week.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #6
    That One Zone thing uses 450 km of fiber optic cabling to provide 6 km^2 of coverage?

    :eek:
     
  7. miniConvert thread starter macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #7
    Thanks binky!

    Sounds like I'll be fine down town. Lord only knows what's going to happen when I venture out into the surrounding area!
     
  8. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #8
    I found a site for finding free wifi around the globe.. Linky.. :eek:
     
  9. miniConvert thread starter macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #9
    Thanks :D I emailed Rogers to find out exactly what they offer (their website is appalling) and they emailed back with some link to Blackberry plans :confused: From that page, though, there was a link to some pretty reasonable data plans. Looked like 3 year contracts only... though the email I received said their plans were available on a month by month basis. I guess I'll find out more when I get there - do Rogers have their own stores in Toronto?
     
  10. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    #10
    Yes, there are Rogers Video stores, some of which have cell phone stands, and dedicated Rogers Wireless (sic) boutiques with better plan hardware assistance.

    I took a contract next to a Second Cup with HotSpot access, but found an open signal outside under a shady tree that sufficed.
     
  11. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    Be careful with Rogers- they may tell you one thing, but you'll end up buying something else. It happened to me, and I'm pretty sharp. Long story short, I ended up on the phone with a few customer reps for over 2 hours arguing my way out of a $200 per phone (2 phones) cancelation fee. I got them to drop it, because of the sales tactics originally used, but it took some work, and it took some time to finally find a rep that would believe me. The sales reps are pretty sketchy. Make sure that whatever you agree to, there is no contract and there is no cancelation fee. Sometimes they skip over those part....

    I used to live here, and I used to go to this coffee shop. They have free wifi, all you need to do is sign up with an email address (they also have great coffee and nice lunch food). Also, I'm pretty sure that the St. Lawrence Market has free wifi inside as well, I always saw people surfing and eating their lunch in there. These places are convenient if your hotel is nearby.
     

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