You've sauntered off the plane to be met by the warm Toronto breeze; welcome to WPC! Microsoft chose the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) to host its biggest partner event of the year.
Let's be real. The Convention Centre will be more crowded than Diagon Alley a week before classes start at Hogwarts. If you're looking for a great place to continue conversations somewhere off the beaten path, don't worry—we've got you covered.
Nearby coffee shops. Need a place that provides a quieter atmosphere for business meetings? These coffee shops are close enough you won’t be sweating to get to your next session.
- Tim Hortons: Traveling to the Great White North and not stopping at a Tim Hortons is a travesty. Luckily, there is a Tim Hortons right across the street from the Convention Centre.
- The Coffee Bar: Within a stone's throw west of the MTCC, this café offers many veggie and gluten-free snacks for those with dietary restrictions. If you plan on meeting with such an individual, it's your best option. Oh, and it was voted one of Toronto's best coffee stops by Zagat. No big deal.
- Starbucks: You know it; you love it—ole reliable. Seattle's most famous café has a location next to the Centre one block North on Wellington Street. You can even use your app and earn stars.
How about a lovely park? Maybe you've had enough coffee to last you all week and you're looking for another cool, quiet place to meet. These parks are just a short walk away and boast beautiful views of the city.
- Roundhouse Park: Who would've known that WPC would take place right next to a 17-acre park in Downtown Toronto? Spoiler alert: it's big. The park is home to the Toronto Railway Museum and a fully operational mini train and railroad. Steam Whistle Brewing is also in the park, in case you're craving some ales with your rails.
- Simcoe Park: A great place to sit and chat while gazing upon some great works of art. The Worker's Monument was created to honor lives lost due to work-related injuries or illness. Mountain, a gigantic aluminum sculpture, was erected to represent the first winter that newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe and his family spent in Toronto (York, at the time—1793).
- Isabella Valancy Crawford Park: This park kisses the MTCC's west side. The perfect spot for those notorious do-everything-in-five-minutes meetings. It's small, simple, and crazy close, letting convenience win over stunning views or bonus attractions.
Want to get away from work while you’re in town? The 4th largest city in North America, Toronto has quite a bit to offer. For those who plan on taking a bit of time post-WPC to explore Canada's biggest city, here are some places you may be interested in.
- Hockey Hall of Fame: The Hockey Hall of Fame has everything from the largest collection of hockey memorabilia to life-size, interactive displays of today's greatest players—which you can go one-on-one against if you're feeling saucy. Ever wanted a picture with the Stanley Cup? You can make that dream a reality! Admission is $18/person.
- Art Gallery of Ontario: At 480,000 square feet, the AGO is one of the biggest galleries in North America. Enjoy over 80,000 works in its vast collection, including a monstrous assortment of Canadian art and beautiful sculptures. Tickets are $19.50 per person, and the AGO is open from 10:30-5pm.
- Ripley's Aquarium of Canada: One of three aquariums owned by Ripley Entertainment, this includes over 450 species of aquatic life. The aquarium is open from 9 am to 11 pm every day, and tickets are around $30 per person.
- Toronto Islands: A group of islands connected by paths and bridges, the Toronto Islands possess a plethora of attractions ranging from boat and bike rentals to sandy beaches and an amusement park. It's one of the largest urban car-free communities in North America. Ferries from the mainland are available every hour from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.
- CN Tower: The CN tower is over 1800 feet—ahem, 549 meters—high, about three times taller than the Space Needle. It's the 7th tallest freestanding structure in the world! Take a trip to the top and then brave the glass floor at 1,100 feet. Tickets are $35, or if you can pose as a 12-year-old, you’ll save $12.
- Niagara Falls: Niagara Falls is about 128 kilometers (that’s 80 miles) away from Toronto but well worth the trip. We recommend you expense a car rental as “team building” with your coworkers, but there are many Tours of Niagara Falls available from the city, too. Aside from its beauty and status as a natural wonder of the world, Niagara Falls is a great resource for hydroelectric power.
Hungry? Thirsty? Check out part two, all about restaurants and bars in Toronto!
See what BitTitan is up to at WPC here.