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This article was the Collaboration of the month for July through September 2010.

This article was the Collaboration of the week between 6 Mar 2006 and 12 Mar 2006.

Downtown Categorization[edit]

IS wrong. Downtown areas: Downtown. NO... Downtown areas: CBD would be more accurate. Places like Corso Italia, Little Italy, or Greektown are not dwontwon either. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 13 Aug 2006

Stay Safe or Not[edit]

The stats are not specific to the victimization of tourists and the stats need some sourcing to check for accuracy and currency. If you're going to give any stat, it should be how many visitors per 100,000 are the victim of a crime, including vehicle theft, assault, robbery, murder, etc. Produce those figures for Toronto and the cities that you want to compare. For example, while NYC might have a higher homicide rate, the rate is not even across the entire city - the boroughs where the rate is high are not where tourists usually traverse unless they're intending to visit a high crime rate area. Also, if you're going to compare, how about comparing Canada to Germany - Canada's rate of murder is 3 times that of Germany. A fair comparison should indicate where Toronto is in relation to the lowest to the highest rates; by comparing only to the higher rates, you're giving a false impression. Also, don't compare to all the cities in the USA - do one major city from several different countries and perhaps compare Toronto to Montreal and the national rate. 00:50, 26 May 2006 (EDT)

So you're comparing Toronto to the whole country of Germany? Berlin, a similar sized city in Germany, has a considerably higher homicide rate at 4.4 per 100,000.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 13 Aug 2006

Yes, I suck for changing "harbour" to "harbor". If someone has a better plan for spelling, please give it on Wikitravel talk:Manual of style. -- Evan 23:14, 7 Oct 2003 (PDT)

Yes, you suck. First, you can't change the name of a place, so Pearl Harbor is spelt that way no matter how silly it is, and Toronto Harbour is spelled *that* way no matter what you think. Second, do you really think Americans are going to be the main audience for wikitravel? Don't they have far more ways to find out what to see or visit? I'd rather suspect it would be those who don't speak much English desperately using web translator services and printing this page in a net cafe...

I agree that proper names should use their local spelling ("Harbour Centre" shouldn't be changed to "Harbor Center"). But that doesn't mean that when they're used outside of the proper name ("at the center of the harbor is...") we shouldn't follow our guidelines.
Do I think Americans are the main audience? No. But that's not why we use American spelling. We standardize on American spelling for consistency, and to avoid pointless edit wars. If you have a problem with the spelling policy, propose something different on Wikitravel:spelling.
Do I think that Americans have other sources for travel information? Of course. People in every country, who speak every language, have travel resources at their disposal (some good, some not so good). But they're not free, they're not realtime, and they're just not as good as ours.-- can you direct
I'd like to think that eventually we'll have different guides in different languages, so that people who only speak Navajo will still have quality travel information. --Evan 10:47, 19 Dec 2003 (PST)

Real real big "Eat" section[edit]

I wonder if it's time to separate Toronto into district articles. --Evan 10:50, 19 Dec 2003 (PST)


Is it "Mövenpick" or "Movënpick"? The hotel chain is called "Mövenpick", which is much more common on Google. -phma 22:48, 15 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Toronto to Chicago train[edit]

I do not think this is a very short trip.

This train is no longer running.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 29 Dec 2005

I'll make this change for you, but in the future please do feel free to edit the actual article. -- Mark 07:48, 29 Dec 2005 (EST)

The Maple Leaf amtrak service travels from Toronto to New York Daily. You can connect at the Depew - Buffalo with the train service from Chicago. Check amtrak fro information.

Robbery Rates[edit]

"Toronto also ranks low, with 115.1 robberies per 100,00 people, compared to Dallas (583.7), Los Angeles (397.9), Montréal (193.9), New York City (490.6) and Washington, DC (670.6)."

Is this 115.1 per 10,000 or 100,000? per 100,000. However, only a Canadian, American, or someone from a crime plagued third world city would call that low and even find it "acceptable". Many European cities of similar size have robbery rates of 20 to 30 per 100,000 and they think of it as a huge problem! Same applies to murder rates and car theft which are a fraction of Canadian rates. But hey, as Canadians we tend to only compare ourselves to anyone we are "better" than, and ignore the rest.

Errr. Wrong. Our murder rates really are quite low for a city of our size ANYWHERE, although there are obviously places with lower crime yet. Our overall crime rate would be comparable to a moderate Western European rate. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 13 Aug 2006

updated crime rates:

Let's be honest, you're more likely to get spontaneously shot whilst slurping some overpriced meal or killed by some trigger happy kid who, in his mad shooting rampage, forgets to take even a single dime from your pocket. What is Canada coming to?! -- 23:22, 27 August 2012 (EDT)

Stay Safe Statistics[edit]

Is there updated murder rate available for Toronto? It's 6 years old and it's probably a lot higher. kingjeff


There are a number of local web sites offering reviews on Toronto restaurants, try:

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Elgaard (talkcontribs) 17 Dec 2005

Kensington Hostel[edit]

It should be noted that the Kensington Hostel is not open and is reportedly moving to a new location, per their website. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 29 Dec 2005

  • Now deleted, as website says no more than Kensington Castle is moving to a new, bigger, better location! Details coming soon. Please note that our old location on Bellevue Avenue is now CLOSED. Please add to relevant district page when new address is revealed - thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 10 Mar 2006


If districts weren't counted against it, I think that this would be a guide. --Ravikiran 21:27, 12 March 2006 (EST)

From a practical point of view, this is a terrible article. I'm in Toronto for the first time for a few hours tomorrow and I'm having trouble finding anything (a sight to visit or a restaurant to eat at) that sounds interesting — and I doubt this is the city's fault. Jpatokal 23:49, 23 April 2007 (EDT)

Airport hotels?[edit]

What district do hotels immediately around the airport (eg. this) belong in? Jpatokal 11:29, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Hotels around the airport (Lester B. Pearson Airport... the main one, not the tiny island airport) are NOT in Toronto or any district of Toronto. They (and the main airport) are located in a city called Mississauga. Mississauga is just outside of Toronto (ten minute drive to downtown Toronto) with a population of over 650,000 people. - July 4, 2007

Given that I've gone through the airport and slept at a hotel there without ever hearing the words "Mississauga", this legal hair-splitting doesn't seem very useful to travellers -- especially as Mississauga proper appears to be 30 min away by car from the airport. Jpatokal 23:23, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Let me make this simple for you. Pearson Airport is located in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area - THIS IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE ACTUAL CITY OF TORONTO). It is clear - to anybody who knows the area - that the airport is located in Mississauga, not Toronto. I will compare it to London, England - Stansted Airport is NOT located in London, it is in the Greater London Area, and therefore is usually referred to as a "London Airport". Mississauga can be as close as 10 minutes to downtown, although it is very rare that with city traffic, you will make it in 10 minutes.
Aeroport is situated on the Mississauga side of the border between City of Toronto and City of Mississauga. Some hotels are on the Mississauga side, but most are actually in the City of Toronto (Etobicoke, clustered around Dixon and Highway 27 intersection). RJ CG 16:25, 28 February 2008 (EST)


Hi i thinking about staying at the GLOBAL VILLAGE BACKPACKERS TORONTO prior to my semester in Ryerson. I really dont know if it is a great hostel or what... any comment?

Add external links?[edit]

Should we add external links to Toronto travel and tourism websites, especially the official one,

Only the official link is permissible per Wikitravel:External links, and that should come right after the word "Toronto" at the top of the article, thanks ;) --Peter Talk 16:47, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
You should note, you should only have one external link, just incase you didn't know :)! Edmontonenthusiast 14:00, 24 October 2008 (EDT)


Why is there no recognition or mention of Torontos huge and thriving gay village and club scene.

Why not add it yourself? Keep smiling, ee talk 18:10, 15 November 2008 (EST).

Confusing geographies[edit]

If you're talking about Toronto now, the borders which one must use are the 1998 amalgamation borders. You can subdivide them into their previous neighbourhoods (already done on this page -- Toronto proper, North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke), but as a rule: northern border is Steeles Avenue, southern border is Lake Ontario/Toronto Islands, western border is Highway 427 and eastern border is Rouge Park). -

The geographies Central Toronto, North Toronto, East Toronto, West Toronto, etc. don't make sense since locals don't use these neighbourhood/district names. You're more likely to hear Downtown, the West End, the East End, and Midtown (for North Toronto).

Just because the locals are wrong doesn't mean this has2 b. In Edmonton, Oliver is considered apart of Downtown which is a common mistake. It is it's own neighbourhood. Also in Edmonton, you'd call the Southwest district, the south side, but that is just a generalisation. Also, on WT, we make the districts to suit the TRAVELLER not the CITIZEN. Keep smiling, edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:09, 17 November 2008 (EST).

"Just because the locals are wrong" seems like a silly thing to say. Any traveler attempting to use those terms in the city would just get a blank stare if asking a local for directions. Doesn't that undermine the whole 'usability' argument?

Are you suggesting changing the names, or moving the districts. In either case, propose what you have in mind, see what other people have to say, and proceed along with the consensus. Sure, the traveller comes first, but the local names often align with what the traveller needs - directions, other guides, referencability etc.. --Inas 20:47, 10 February 2009 (EST)
"Because the locals are wrong" -- totally boneheaded comment. The geographical description of the City as presented here drives me nuts, and has no basis in either politics, geography or culture either historical or current. "West Toronto" does not exist in our local lexicon. The article draws a boundary at Dupont, when everyone here knows that the major north/south boundary is Bloor. This article has inspired me to get an account and dive in here, Toronto's a fantastic place to live (as I do) and visit (as millions per year do).
I agree one hundred percent with the above comment. The long, long, long rambling descriptions of the city into four random areas (without any paragraphs!) is useless. You can't read it and you can't use it. It has absolutely no bearing whatsoever in reality. It's like claiming that midtown Manhattan begins at 100th street because there are about 200 streets, or calling Shinjuku in Tokyo by the name West Tokyo instead. 13:12, 25 May 2009 (EDT)
Would you be interested in proposing something different? See Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy#Districts in cities if interested. You could also take a look at other huge cities with proper district divisions, like San Francisco, for example, for inspiration. --Peter Talk 15:42, 25 May 2009 (EDT)
Why not just use the names we use for neighbourhoods and divide them up accordingly? Smaller neighbourhoods can be grouped under big names. For example, Queen West, the Financial District and Kensington Market would be part of Downtown. The Beaches (or The Beach, whichever you prefer), The Danforth and Leslieville would go under East End, and so on.
Sounds like a decent plan. Perhaps you could write up a full proposal here, with the district names, and the neighborhoods that would be included within those districts. That would help get the ball rolling. --Peter Talk 15:05, 23 June 2009 (EDT)

I agree that the geographies don't make sense, and if a traveller were to mention these districts to a local, they would probably get a lot of blank stares. I propose that we set up the districts as such:

Downtown - roughly bounded by Bloor Street/Dupont Street in the north, Bathurst Street to the west, the Don Valley Parkway to the east and the lake to the south. This area would include the following neighbourhoods: The Annex, Kensington Market, Chinatown, the Entertainment District, Yorkville, the Financial District, St. Lawrence Market, Church and Wellesley, Cabbagetown, the Distillery District and any other neighbourhoods that fall within this geography.

Midtown - roughly bounded by Bloor Street/Dupont Street in the south, Bathurst Street to the west, Bayview Avenue to the east and Lawrence Avenue to the north. This area would include Rosedale, Yonge and Eglinton, Lawrence Park, Forest Hill and any other neighbourhoods that fall within this geography.

West End - roughly bounded by Bathurst Street to the east, the lake to the south, St. Clair Avenue to the north and Jane Street to the west. This area would include Koreatown, Little Italy, Little Portugal, West Queen West, Parkdale, Roncesvalles Village, the Junction, Corso Italia, High Park, Swansea, Bloor West Village and any other neighbourhoods that fall within this geography.

East End - roughly bounded by the DVP to the west, Mortimer Avenue to the north, Victoria Park Avenue to the east and the lake to the south. This area would include the Danforth, Riverdale, Leslieville, Little India, the Beach/Beaches, and any other neighbourhoods that fall within this geography.

Then, we could add separate district articles for Etobicoke, York, East York, North York and Scarborough since locals still use the old municipality names even if they don't technically exist anymore.

I think most locals would agree with these geographies. What do you all think? 01:20, 14 September 2009 (EDT)

That sounds like an excellent, small number of districts to start with (I can't comment beyond that, since my knowledge of the city is shallow). I'd be happy to draw up a draft map based on these proposed boundaries, and should be able to finish that sometime this week. --Peter Talk 02:40, 14 September 2009 (EDT)
Thanks, Peter! Any mapping help you could provide would be most appreciated! I also think a visual representation should help to illustrate the idea a little better. BTW, I love your maps. Darkcore 14:39, 14 September 2009 (EDT)
Maybe we could merge East York into the East End and York into Etobicoke, since both East York and York are pretty small geographically, and have little to offer the average tourist. Plus, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Torontonian who knows where, say, Etobicoke ends and York begins, or where "old" Toronto ends and East York begins. Darkcore 14:59, 14 September 2009 (EDT)

Using the Chicago article as a guide, I've come up with a revised "district" section. I think the article should move away from talk of amalgamated municipalities; your average tourist is not going to know or care about this, and it's my sense anyway that locals are caring less and less about it too as time goes on (it has been 11 years after all). People still identify with their "old" municipality but in name only. In any case, comments and suggestions are welcome. Darkcore 16:13, 14 September 2009 (EDT)

File:Toronto districts.png
Districts of Toronto
Downtown (Queen West, Harbourfront, Chinatown, Church and Wellesley, The Annex)
The city's economic and cultural heart, and where most of the city's popular tourist destinations are located
Midtown (Forest Hill, Rosedale, Yonge and Eglinton)
Upscale neighbourhoods with grand old mansions housing the city's moneyed and elite, beautiful parks and ravines that extend for kilometres
West End (Little Italy, West Queen West, Parkdale, The Junction)
Ethnic enclaves, dive bars, and hipsters abound in this rapidly gentrifying part of town
East End (Riverdale, The Danforth, Leslieville, The Beach)
The West End's quainter, quieter alternative, with low-key neighbourhoods and nice beaches
An economically diverse suburb with some undiscovered gems along Bloor Street and near the lake
North York
Pretty far off the beaten track, this district is largely suburban but has something to offer the casual tourist including the largest urban park in Canada, not to mention the best bagels in the city
This much-maligned eastern suburb of the city has lots to offer, including the Scarborough Bluffs, authentic (and affordable) ethnic cuisine and the Toronto Zoo
Two things: 1) flatten the hierarchy & 2) don't create too many districts too quickly:
We should not have a two-layered hierarchy of districts—none of the districts should overlap in any way. So if Chinatown is part of Downtown, we should not have both a Chinatown and a Downtown article. The Annex, Harbourfront, and Chinatown all have reasonably well developed articles, so I'd say it does make sense to have Downtown broken up at this stage. Could you suggest street boundaries for the five you are proposing?
For Midtown, West End, and East End, I don't know that we should break them up into pieces just yet. Rosedale can be merged back into Midtown, Leslieville and The Beach into a new East End article, and possibly Little Italy, WQW, and Parkdale into a new West End article. We could then separate those articles back out as we get more content (unless you are interested in plunging forward and writing them now...). The main point is that it won't be useful to create 19 nearly empty articles right off the bat, even if we plan to eventually have them. --Peter Talk 18:36, 14 September 2009 (EDT)
Downtown can be subdivided into many different neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods in Toronto (especially Downtown) tend to be relatively small, only a few blocks or so, and combining them could be problematic. For example, I could see combining Chinatown and Kensington Market into one article because of their geographic proximity, but I wouldn't want to do that because they are very distinct and deserve their own unique articles. Anyway, I agree with your reasoning for Midtown, and the West and East Ends. As for Downtown, here are the neighbourhoods that I know (boundaries are, of course, very rough):
  • Kensington Market - Bathurst to the west, College to the north, Spadina to the east, Dundas to the south
  • Chinatown - Spadina to the west, College to the north, University to the east, Queen to the south
  • The Annex/University of Toronto - Bathurst to the west, Dupont to the north, Avenue Road to the east, College to the south
  • Yorkville - Davenport to the north, Avenue Road to the west, Yonge to the east, Charles/Bloor to the south
  • Queen West/Entertainment District - University to the east, Queen to the north, Spadina to the west, Front to the south
  • Financial District - University to the west, Dundas to the north, Yonge to the east, Front to the south
  • St. Lawrence, Corktown and the Distillery District (three different neighbourhoods that could be combined) - Yonge to the west, Queen to the north, Gardiner/DVP to the south and east
  • Harbourfront - everything south of the Gardiner between Yonge and Spadina
  • Cabbagetown, Regent Park and the Garden District (also three different neighbourhoods that can be combined) - Queen to the south, Jarvis to the west, Bloor to the north, DVP to the east
  • Church and Wellesley - Jarvis to the east, Bloor to the north, Yonge to the west, Carlton to the south
Let me know what you think. Darkcore 01:08, 15 September 2009 (EDT)
I think we should have this finished at least when the CotM ends. These amount of neighborhoods does seem a bit of overkill though. Obviously Toronto/The Annex and Toronto/Chinatown are cool, but how shall we divide the rest of Downtown? --globe-trotter 12:20, 7 July 2010 (EDT)
I've taken the liberty to break down Toronto by its districts, which is how I feel it should be. If you look at large cities, aka, New York City, they clearly break down the Boroughs, then the neighborhoods inside those.

Toronto is definitely large and diverse enough to accomplish this. We could use the City of Toronto's official break down for neighborhoods, but it would add up quickly. Grouping together neighborhoods might be a better solution, as long as we can agree on what to merge. Each neighborhood is very distinct in many cases though, and it's just required time and effort to make this happen. Jlankford 15:24: 28 July 2010 (EDT) —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Speaking of confusing, why did you sign the post as a user you're not logged in as, with a date from two months ago? LtPowers 17:10, 28 September 2010 (EDT)

Jabs at the United States / Anti-Americanism[edit]

"The overall violent crime rate in Canada, and particularly in Toronto is much lower than that found in major cities the United States, but is still higher than the rate in some European countries such as Germany."

"One exception to relatively low crime rates is that both car and bike theft are comparable to other large North American cities."

"Toronto has a larger homeless population that many other similar-sized cities because there is a law allowing homeless people to remain on the sidewalk, as long as they are not aggressive." (nice excuse but no, there's a well known lack of affordable housing - nice to leave that bit out eh?).

This is a problem I find with anything Toronto related on the internet, whether it be here, another wiki or on travel forums, and it's mostly a result of the ridiculous amounts of hubris exerted by many Torontonians. There always seems to be a desire to compare Toronto to other cities, especially American cities, as well as excuses for real problems in Toronto, as a way for Torontonians to somehow justify that their city is superior or not as rough as it actually is in parts.

This article is about Toronto, Ontario, Canada (i.e. NOT affiliated with the United States or Germany, or any other country). Can someone then explain to me why the editors of this article feel the need to, as with most Toronto articles, throw in jabs at American cities? The U.S. articles don't mention comparisons to Canadian or other international cities. The Mexican articles don't mention comparisons to U.S. or Central American cities not in Mexico. Vancouver has *lower* crime than Toronto yet Vancouver's article doesn't have comparisons. Care to explain this? I think the comparisons need to be removed.

Crime Rate Lies and False Impression[edit]

Canada has almost TWICE the violent crime rate of the USA...Fully 1 in 4 Canadians have been a victim of a VIOLENT CRIME.

This entire article is a joke and should be deleted.

I'm guessing you're the same person who wrote the "Anti-Americanism" rant as well? LtPowers 21:37, 30 September 2010 (EDT)

Lead image[edit]

Our image policy discourages the use of montages, which is what the current lead image is. Can we find a single image to use instead? LtPowers 21:41, 30 September 2010 (EDT)

Yes, I removed the montage. --globe-trotter 01:35, 5 December 2010 (EST)
Well, to be honest, I kind of prefer the montage to nothing. But I'll see what I can find to replace it. LtPowers 09:41, 5 December 2010 (EST)

To be moved to district articles[edit]

These two listings where found in the article underneath the blind note -- felix 09:03, 5 November 2011 (EDT)

  • The Feathers Pub 962 Kingston Road (416) 694-0443 is possibly Toronto's most British pub, and has approximately 300 single malt scotches available at reasonable prices.
  • The Brazen Head 165 Liberty St. East (416) 535-8787 is a large three-storey Irish Pub located in Liberty Village, built on the foundations of a WWI munitions factory, inspired by the same named Pub in Dublin.

Beggars or Panhandlers?[edit]

An IP editor changed three instances of the word "panhandler" to "beggar". The latter word strikes me as somewhat pejorative in North American English; 'panhandler' is the more usual term. My reversion was itself reverted by the IP editor. Thoughts? LtPowers 10:39, 8 February 2012 (EST)

Beggars, "Panhandlers" is for the same but south of the border. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
I'd vote for panhandlers; beggars is certainly a pejorative and not too helpful in a warning about homelessness. Both words could indeed mean the same thing, but locally "panhandler" seems to be the more common (polite) way to refer to the stereotypical "homeless" looking person waiting for spare change. A beggar is someone who generally asks or money; this would include everyone from the people who sell chocolate bars outside the Eaton Centre, to the people who try to sell cheaper TTC tokens outside automatic subway entrances. These people probably are not "homeless", and I don't think there is any reason to warn of these people here. --Smgreg 22:50, 8 February 2012 (EST)
Wait, is 115.87 claiming that "panhandlers" as a term is not known in Canada? LtPowers 11:03, 9 February 2012 (EST)
My experience is that 'beggars' is used in Canada, and not necessarily pejorative. I've only seen 'panhandlers' in US newspapers, magazines & books. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
Your experience seems idiosyncratic. A Google search seems to indicate that the term is widespread, even in Canada. LtPowers 18:33, 15 February 2012 (EST)
Google search? WTF?!?!?! As a Torontonian I agree with previous contributors, and can assure you 'beggars' is common useage and it is 'panhandlers' that more unusual. I would also note that it is not for an American, as I assume you are, to conclude what is idiosyncratic language in Canada. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
And a Google search for 'beggar' far exceeds that for 'panhandler': Beggars > panhndlers —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
My friend told me about this discussion, and Ive come here as I am disgusted. How dare an American declare that a Canadian is wrong or idiosyncratic for using a word that differs to what he uses. The word I am familiar with is beggar, and panhandler only from US TV shows & movies. Canada is a country, and is not the 51st state of the US -> we speak how we choose and not how Americans try to dictate. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
As a Canadian, from Toronto, I've head both panhandler and beggar. Panhandling in more official, legal or neutral conversations, begging in more casual or pejorative uses. Maybe we can agree that both terms are used in Toronto, and accept that since that the point of this paragraph is to warn of "aggressive panhandling", we can replace beggars with "aggressive panhandlers"? Smgreg 13:02, 26 February 2012 (EST)
As another Canadian also from Toronto I disagree that beggar is used in any pejorative sense: it is the more common term, and I would suggest the standard. On the other hand panhandler is far less common, and is US word that should not be used for a Canadian article. I am against any use of it here, including "aggressive panhandling". It should be simply "beggar." Thanx, Steve.
Panhandling is not a universally understood (English language) term, whilst "beggar" is. WT articles are international in readership. There is no need to use US idiomatic terms in the articles, even in the US articles as it may lead to confusion amongst an international readership. Perhaps the use of begging for money, or asking for money from people passing by may be less pejorative and therefore less controversial. Perhaps consider using this instead:
  • Toronto has a visible homeless population, many of whom will ask you for money. If you do not want to provide them with money, simply look the person in the eye and say "No thank you" or just ignore them. If you do give them any money, they usually leave you alone. There have been occasional occurrences of aggressive requests, with one resulting in a fatality. If a person demanding money becomes aggressive, move away quickly and alert a police officer. -- felix 14:42, 29 February 2012 (EST)
What utter claptrap. "Panhandler" is not a "US word"; it is an English word and a perfectly legitimate one at that. The number of professional Canadian writers who use the word is uncountably high, as a simple Google search demonstrates. Pull the other one, it's got bells on. LtPowers 17:20, 2 March 2012 (EST)

Interesting that you refer to what I wrote above as "claptrap". I recalling your efforts to 'inform' me sometime back last year on the contemporary use of the term "Aussie" to collectively describe an Australian person, outlining that it was not at all offensive to Australians and had no pejorative aspect to it and no contemporary derivative racist usage, despite the fact that it does. This was done with the benefit of a view apparently unobscured by the several thousand kilometres of ocean that separate the US from Australia, both geographically and culturally. I recall you readily overlooked and dismissed my own opinion readily derived from my own considerable amount of time spent in that country.
So now you are apparently striving to 'inform' Canadians on appropriate linguistic interpretations in the Canadian articles.
Though I do not have a lot of experience living in the US myself I have most certainly visited there, several family members live there and I have many friends who are either resident there or expatriates abroad. I am not entirely unfamiliar with the place, though I most certainly am an outsider and do not consider myself an expert on either American society or US English colloquialisms. So therefore I will need to rely on what I trust are acceptable authoritative resources.
The term panhandler has mixed and slightly confused origins but is clearly of American derivation, with some possible Spanish influences.
It's linguistic origins are readily attributed to references such as the 'panhandle' of Oklahoma and the figurative relationship between an outstretched arm, and a panhandle. If you read some John Steinbeck it may make some sense in the concept of the dispossessed who may turn to begging in some circumstances. Other influences may be attributed to gold panning practices to seek money, and the Spanish "pan", meaning both bread and money.
You mention "Canadian writers" you might find their use of the word is contextual and may have more to do with a seeking broader general North American linguistic market appeal than anything. Language inarguable does cross national borders, especially land borders. "Aggressive panhandling" is a legitimate (US/American) term and is used descriptively in an ordinance context when defining an aggressive behavioral characteristic of begging. The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Problem-Oriented Guides for Police Series, No. 13 tackles the issues of panhandling. They describe "aggressive panhandling"; "Generally, there are two types of panhandling: passive and aggressive. Passive panhandling is soliciting without threat or menace, often without any words exchanged at all–just a cup or a hand held out. Aggressive panhandling is soliciting coercively, with actual or implied threats, or menacing actions. If a panhandler uses physical force or extremely aggressive actions, the panhandling may constitute robbery."

  • World English Dictionary

panhandle 1 (ˈpænˌhænd ə l)

— n

1. ( sometimes capital ) (in the US) a narrow strip of land that projects from one state into another
2. (in a South African city) a plot of land without street frontage
panhandle 2 (ˈpænˌhænd ə l)

— vb

informal ( US ), ( Canadian ) to accost and beg from (passers-by), esp on the street
[C19: probably a back formation from panhandler a person who begs with a pan]
panhandler: from Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition, 2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins

  • See also: Panhandler:

"Panhandler" is said to derive from the Spanish "pan", meaning both bread and money (just as the American slang "bread" does today). But though it is supposed to have been first recorded in 1890, the earliest quotaton I am able to find for it is in the humorist George Ade's 'Doc Horne'(1899): " He had 'sized' the hustler for a 'panhandler' from the very start". However, the fact that Ade put the word in quotation marks probably indicates that he did not invent it, as has often been claimed. QPB Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, by Robert Hendrickson

  • Panhandle:

something resembling the handle of a pan," 1851, especially in ref. to geography, originally Amer.Eng., 1856, in ref. to West Virginia (Florida, Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma also have them). Meaning "an act of begging" is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of arm stuck out like a panhandle; verb panhandle Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
I stand by what I wrote above; "Panhandling is not a universally understood (English language) term".
The US and North America is not the sum of the English speaking word, nor is the Americanised linguistic variation of English the guiding global force in English language usage worldwide. This Canadian legal definition serves to describes it quite well... from an area to the geographic area immediately north of the US-Canada border
However, WT is an international vehicle and the language used needs to be sufficiently understandable and free of linguistic intrigue, parochial artifacts and slang that it may be readily understood, also if a term is unnecessarily pejorative to a group of people then it should be expressed in a different but still descriptive manner. There is no readily identifiable need to stigmatise or unecessarily generalise concerning "homeless" people in Toronto or elsewhere in Canada by the use of the term panhandler as It is highly subjective to consider them all to be "beggars" or "panhandlers". As those who are engaging in activities where money is asked for or demanded may not be homeless at all it is better to just describe that process alone without a subjective qualification. Indeed many beggars worldwide are not homeless, many do it as a money making pursuit using emotional manipulation or implied threats to gain money from others.

There is no doubt that 'panhandling' has Canadian usage, there is even an Ottawa Panhandlers Union (though that is a recent thing-2003), and the term is used to describe 'begging' in some legal statutes. That does not mean that it lacks a pejorative context and if it is controversial to use it here in an article there are readily executed alternatives, such as the edit suggestion I made above that can easily avoid any potentially controversial interpretation whilst remaining sufficiently descriptive. I do not appreciate the response that my in good faith suggestion is "claptrap".
By the way "claptrap" is generally considered to have emerged in early 18th century England, a clap trap was a cheap, showy line guaranteed to 'trap a clap' from the audience. The word claptrap went on to refer to any line guaranteed to generate applause or appreciation, first appearing in print is in Nathan Bailey's dictionary of 1721. It is generally defined as:
1.contrived but foolish talk
2.insincere and pretentious talk: politicians' claptrap
[C18 (in the sense: something contrived to elicit applause): from clap 1+trap 1].
In short the clear meaning is that I have written a piece of contrived nonsense. I find your general tone in that regard is overbearing condescending and really quite offensive.
I am not in the habit of writing "claptrap" and do not appreciate the claim that I have here. Try to remember that 'America is not the world', there are other things going on outside that nations borders. If you are hearing bells ringing on you legs LtPowers then maybe it not someone 'pulling' your leg, maybe it is tinnitus, or the bells on your rocking horse, best see a doctor for both those issues. -- felix 02:14, 3 March 2012 (EST)

The more I read the 'Stay Safe' section, the more I disliked it. I just finished a quick edit to the section, to remove some warnings about things that aren't really safety issues, like getting lost in the PATH, or the weather (which is already addressed just fine in the climate section). I left the paragraph on homeless as-is due to this discussion. I don't want to start another debate, but I really don't think homelessness/panhandling/begging or whatever you want to call it is that big of a deal in Toronto. It's certainly not big enough of a deal to warrant the amount of attention it is getting here. In at least the Toronto context, these people are no more dangerous than anyone else on the street, and the solution is common sense; if you feel unsafe, call the police. I'm inclined to re-write that section to be a little bit more specific about the type of situation someone is bound to encounter:
Giving Money
Like most cities, you'll find people on the street and in public areas asking for money, for one reason or another. The most vocal type is often found around Union Station and TTC stations when a subway collector is not on duty. They will often claim to need another few dollars to buy a train ticket, or will offer to sell you a subway token. If you do not want to offer anyone money when they ask, simply say "No thank you" or ignore them. If you are concerned for your safety, simply leave the area. It's illegal for them to block your path or follow you, but if you feel threatened, call the police.
Wording issues aside, my experience tells me this is a more accurate description of what to be aware of in Toronto. Smgreg 15:34, 3 March 2012 (EST)
Smgreg, the article appears to benefit from that clarification. I am not sufficiently familiar with the city to edit these sort of details so I will not but it is good to see someone doing it. -- felix 02:07, 4 March 2012 (EST)
I have a sense that panhandlers are slightly more visible on Toronto streets than in other major cities, but
One of your sources specifically identifies the word as both "Canadian" and "US" in usage. You seem to now be saying that we shouldn't use the word because it's not universally known... but before that you said that it was a "US word". Using that phrasing implied that the word was not used in Canada, which I hope I've demonstrated to be completely and utterly false. LtPowers 16:16, 5 March 2012 (EST)
The word is clarified clearly as being of US origin, as indicated by the cites I provided. That is not to say that it does not have either contemporary or past Canadian usage and I have endeavored to indicate that with the further cites, also above; namely the example of a central south Canadian provincial statute that specifically uses the term, plus pointing to the Ottawa Panhandlers Union, in addition to one of the dictionary references that mentions it as being; "informal ( US ), ( Canadian ) to accost and beg from (passers-by), esp on the street" - Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition, 2009.
There is no inconsistency to be found in the information I have provided above, rather it clarifies the words use in both a Canada and US linguistic context and describes it's origins Amer.Eng., 1856, in ref. to West Virginia (Florida, Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma also have them). Meaning "an act of begging" is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of arm stuck out like a panhandle; verb panhandle-Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper.
However that does not determine that it is universally understandable across the English speaking world. Indeed if you read the information above you will see that for example in South Africa it has an entirely different meaning. US English, or Canadian English is not International English and we need to avoid where possible the use of colloquialisms and idiomatic language in the articles, other than where they are describing the meaning of a particular local term for the benefit of travellers reading the material.
It is not appropriate to assume that usage in the US, or adopted use in Canada qualifies the meaning outside that geographic area.
Many parts of the world do not even use the term pan for the common cooking vessel, rather they define it more deliberately, as in frying pan (not frypan as in US English), or saucepan. Some may even interpret it as pan; to express a totally negative opinion. Pan pan can also be interpreted as a call for (emergency) assistance if made by radio broadcast, or the in the movement of a camera, the handle attached to the camera head being called the pan handle. In many parts of the world the WC pan or lavatory pan is called a pan and they sometimes have a handle, and guess what, it's called a "panhandle".
Again I state as I did above, we should not assume that America is the world. Not everyone outside North America understands the various linguistic idiosyncrasies and idiomatic language of the people of the United States.
Additionally in this case the phraseology is clearly contentious and it is clearly not necessary or particularly useful to the article to describe the activities of people seeking money by demand or begging as either "homeless", "panhandlers" or even necessarily as "beggars" if there is a more suitable method of description available. I believe Smgreg has already provided a suitably descriptive and eloquent solution to that apparent dilemma.--felix 09:35, 6 March 2012 (EST)
As a French-Canadian who lived for many years in Toronto, although recently moved to Paris, I add my full support to the use of <beggar> and the exclusion of <pan handler>. This because <beggar> is the word I heard and used for years in Toronto, and <pan handler> only on the TV or from visiting Americans. Oh, and despite what others my claim <pan handler> is an American word: OK and fine, but don't claim it is otherwise and don't try to force its use into Canadian articles -> I find some of the attitudes and opinions expressed on this discusion page by the proponents of <pan handler> to be objectionable, and some of those expressing such to be rude, patronising and arrogant: please could Americans not try to dictate how we speak and write.

Soma Chocolatemaker[edit]

The Soma Chocolatemaker in the "Buy" section - does this read like an advertisement to anyone else? Infact it looks like the only entry in that list that's for an individual business, as opposed to the others which are landmarks or areas. Obviously I'm not from Toronto because I'm reading this page, but am I right on this, or is Soma Chocolatemaker truly an iconic Toronto spot? —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)