Where to Go for Pet-Friendly Fun in Toronto

Where to Go for Pet-Friendly Fun in Toronto, ON

There’s plenty to do for humans in the city, but what about our furry companions? If you’re looking for pet-friendly places to visit in Toronto, check out these spots!

Black Lab Brewing

With a name based on a dog breed, it should come as no surprise that this microbrewery allows dogs inside. In fact, the location’s name comes from the owners’ dog, Snoopy, who you just might get a chance to meet when you visit.

Centreville Amusement Park

To get to this fun place, you’ll need to take a ferry with your pooch. This amusement park features various rides and an antique carousel, offering family fun for all ages. But the best part? Your leashed dog can walk within the park with you. However, someone will need to watch Fido if you plan on riding anything, as dogs aren’t allowed on the rides.

High Park

With over 160 hectares of space to adventure, High Park is a great place to take your furry best friend. You’ll even find various leash-free trails where your pooch can explore many ponds and rivers as well as a partially fenced dog park. When it’s time to relax, stop by one of the tables for a picnic lunch.

These are just some of the many dog-friendly places to visit in Toronto. What are your favourite spots to go with your pup? Let us know the next time you see us at Downtown AutoGroup!

Best Toronto Festivals to Attend This Summer

Best Toronto Festivals to Attend This Summer | Toronto, ON

Now that the weather is improving, you might be itching to get outside. From music and cars to celebrating our true selves, there are plenty of things to do in our city! Rather than wandering around aimlessly without a plan, consider checking out these fun Toronto festivals this summer.

Toronto Pride Festival

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and a great way to show your support to the queer community is by attending the Toronto Pride Festival. The festival takes place from June 24-26 downtown and includes drag shows, booths with local art on sale, and parades.

Beaches International Jazz Festival

If you’re all about music, you have to check out the Beaches International Jazz Festival, which takes place July 2-24. That’s right; you’ll have three weeks to head to The Beaches and enjoy jazz concerts, food trucks, contests, and fundraisers.

Honda Indy Toronto

For those with a need for speed, Honda Indy Toronto is the place to be. Formerly called the Molson Indy Toronto, this event at Toronto’s Exhibition Place occurs from July 15-17 and includes trackside beer gardens, delicious food trucks, and — of course — the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

Which event are you most excited to attend in Toronto this year? Let our team at Downtown AutoGroup know the next time you stop by!

How to Get Better Gas Mileage This Winter

How to Get Better Gas Mileage This Winter | Toronto, ON

Whether you have noticed or not, your vehicle uses more fuel during the winter. Due to the weather conditions being tougher to drive through, your car must work harder and — as a result — use more gas. But there are ways to get better gas mileage this winter.

Stop idling to warm up

Although it may seem like a good idea to start your car and let it sit to warm up, you’re actually wasting gas that way. Instead, simply driving your vehicle is a better way to heat things up in the cabin and be on the way to your destination, thus saving gas.

Check the tires

When your car’s tires aren’t properly inflated, they’re not performing at their peak. Be sure that they’re not underinflated or overinflated by checking the PSI. Check the owner’s manual for your vehicle, or look at the driver’s door jamb, to find the correct PSI for the tires. Keep an eye on tread depth, too, and have the tires replaced if needed.

Consider a block heater

If the temperatures drop immensely to below freezing, your vehicle’s engine may need some assistance just to start. A block heater is a device that will warm up the engine ahead of time while reducing fuel consumption.

If you notice any issues with your vehicle this winter, contact our team at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, Ontario, for assistance.

Enjoy These Outdoor Winter Activities in Toronto

Outdoor Winter Activities | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON

It’s never hard to find something fun to do in Toronto, especially during the winter. If you’re looking for some winter fun that’s also socially distanced, check into these outdoor activities.

Head to an outdoor skating rink

It wouldn’t be winter if you can’t go ice skating, so head to one of Toronto’s 54 city-run outdoor ice rinks for some free skating. It’s easy to stay spaced out from other skaters, and many rinks require you to reserve spots online before arriving. For instance, Nathan Phillips Square only allows 25 participants at any time, and you must wear a face mask and reserve a spot online before heading to the rink.

Explore a winter trail

There are so many lovely natural spaces in Toronto, and many have their own hiking trails. Why not bundle up and head out to enjoy the beauty winter has to offer? Check out Sun Valley Trail, the High Park Trails, or the Beltline to name a few. You can easily stay distanced from other hikers while enjoying some crisp winter air.

Grab your toboggan

Heading out to your local sledding hill doesn’t have to be reserved for your kids. If you’re young at heart, this is a great way to spend the day outdoors in Toronto! There are plenty of options to choose from — just be smart and stay safe while you’re out on your toboggan.

Need a dependable vehicle to get to all these activities this winter? Here at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, we have a wide range of models for you to choose from — whatever your needs and budget.

AWD or FWD: What’s The Best Choice for Your New SUV?

Toyota RAV4 AWD | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON
Toyota RAV4 AWD | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON

There’s no denying that winter in Toronto can be hard on drivers. But do you need all-wheel drive to thrive out on the snowy, icy roads? Here’s a look at whether AWD or FWD is the right option for your next SUV purchase.

All-Wheel Drive

A vehicle with all-wheel drive sends its power to every wheel. This allows the wheels to compensate when one starts to slip, giving you better traction out on the road. If you’re constantly driving in tough conditions, an AWD-equipped vehicle will give you the grip you need. There are multiple types of AWD systems, including a partial system that will only send power to all wheels when it needs it. This makes it more efficient than a typical full-time system.

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-wheel drive is a simpler system than all-wheel drive, making it easier and less expensive to maintain. Because this system is also lighter, FWD vehicles also tend to have better fuel economy. With FWD, your vehicle will be sending all of its power to the two front wheels. This gives these types of vehicles better traction when climbing hills and is even a good option for rainy conditions. Thanks to anti-lock braking and traction control, FWD vehicles can even take on snow, though they’re not as good at it as AWD rides are.

The upshot: AWD vehicles are best for traction in bad weather. However, FWD vehicles are plenty capable, too, and also more efficient. You can find great examples of both right here at Downtown Autogroup in Toronto, and our friendly sales staff will be glad to help you make the choice that’s best for your needs.

3 Winter Day Trips for Toronto Dwellers

Winter Day Trips | Toronto, ON

If you’re looking to get out of Toronto for some winter fun, there are so many day trips to consider. To help your decision easier, we’ve put together a list of things to do this winter near Toronto.

Take in natural beauty at Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Cold weather doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the great outdoors. Bundle up and head to the Crawford Lake Conservation Area. It’s the perfect place for a winter hike. Be sure to check out the meromictic lake, which is a rare lake type that has multiple layers of water that stay separate.

Get a unique glimpse of Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is a beautiful destination by itself, but did you know you can experience what it’s like behind the falls, too? Visit the Falls and opt for the Journey Behind the Falls experience. You can enjoy a close-up view of the waterfall and venture 125 feet down into 130-year-old tunnels.

Relax at a spa. Winter can be a stressful time. Relax this year with a visit to Scandinave Spa. The spa is known for its heated outdoor pools that allow you to enjoy the beauty of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Niagara Escarpment. Right now, it even has strict COVID protocols to keep your visit relaxing, and the spa is only a two-hour drive away from the city.

As you make your travel plans, be sure to elevate your peace of mind with a visit to a Downtown Autogroup location. We’ll provide your vehicle with the service it needs to run reliably for the whole trip.

The Best Toronto Outdoor Activities You Can Enjoy Right Now

Toronto outdoor activities | Toronto, ON

Toronto is filled to the brim with green space, which makes it a lovely city to explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking to get some exercise or simply need things to do this weekend, consider these exciting outdoor activities in T.O.

Head out onto the trail

Toronto is filled with hiking trails to choose from. With the need to social distance out and about, hiking is a solid option for anyone looking to stretch their legs. Consider the Scarborough Bluffs Trails in particular for an easy walk with some beautiful vistas.

Try your hand at paddle boarding

Head out onto the lake with Toronto Island SUP, a local paddle boarding company that offers a range of fun experiences. You can do paddle boarding yoga, go bird watching, and more, all while staying at least 2 meters apart.

Have a picnic

There are so many gorgeous parks around Toronto, which makes heading out for a picnic easy. Pack up a meal of your own, grab a comfortable blanket that you don’t mind getting dirty, and find the perfect spot to enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having in the city.

Catch a movie outdoors

Throughout the city, you can find parks that are offering movies in the great outdoors. The best and most socially distanced option is Downsview Park’s Friday Night Lights series. In this annual movie night, you can bring along your vehicle and stay in it as you enjoy great films.

As you’re driving to these outdoor activities around Toronto, make sure your vehicle is in reliable shape to get you there — contact us here at Downtown Autogroup to schedule a service appointment.

Toronto Sights to Safely See Now

Safe Toronto Sights | Toronto, ON

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the best of Toronto’s many sights, it’s possible to do so safely. Consider these sightseeing options that will allow you to enjoy the city without stress.

Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari

If your family has been missing its regular visits to Toronto Zoo, then the Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari is for you. This zoo tour allows you to see all of the animals you love without leaving your vehicle. Traverse the staff-only roads that are throughout the zoo with your very own zookeeper, who will tell you everything you want to know about the animals. You can even go through the Lion Cave and see the lions up close and personal.

Virtual Toronto Tour

Discover the city you love without having to leave your house. This virtual tour of Toronto from Air Pano gives you the chance to check out what the city has to offer from a bird’s-eye view. Scan the harbour, check out the skyline, and explore the parks — all while sitting on your couch. It’s such a great opportunity to see everything the city has to offer and even learn some interesting facts while doing so.

Here at Downtown Autogroup, we love our city and hope you’ll take the opportunity to enjoy some of its best sights in a safe, socially distanced way.

Enjoy Toronto’s Best Outdoor Winter Activities

Toronto’s best outdoor winter activities | Ontario

Snow, wind, and frigid temperatures are no reason to avoid Toronto’s great outdoors during the winter. If you’re looking for Toronto’s best outdoor winter activities, you’ve come to the right place. Just remember to bundle up before you head out to enjoy.

Go snowshoeing

Throughout the city and surrounding areas, we’re lucky to have a wide range of trails to enjoy. When there’s snow on the ground, it can be difficult to traverse these — until you strap on some snowshoes. You can rent these from a variety of sports stores and head to trails like King’s Mill Park Trail or Bronte Coronation.

Consider a bike ride

When you think of winter, it’s likely you don’t think of enjoying a bike ride. Well, now is the time to change that. You can easily make your bike winter-ready with larger tires. Fat tires are ideal for snow-covered trails, allowing you to explore the areas around Toronto without worrying about your bike’s grip.

Head to the farmers market

If you’re looking for something less physically taxing, why not visit a farmers market? Explore local delights while still enjoying the outdoors. Evergreen Brick Works has a family-friendly Saturday market with many vendors and outdoor fireplaces to keep you warm.

We love winter here at Downtown Autogroup, and we hope you’ll take advantage of these suggestions to make the most of the season!

Get Merry with These Holiday Events in Toronto

Holiday Events in Toronto, ON

Do you hear the sound of jingle bells in the distance? It’s that season again, and we’ve rounded up a few holiday events in Toronto that you can enjoy.

Toronto Christmas Market

Whether you’re looking to get your holiday shopping done early or merely want to get into the holiday spirit, head on over to the Toronto Christmas Market. Located in the Distillery Historic District, this market takes place every year, bringing you the opportunity to enjoy festive food and drink while shopping for local artisan products. Held from Nov. 14 to Dec. 22, it will be open every day during this time except for Mondays.

“The Nutcracker” at the National Ballet of Canada

Start a new holiday tradition with your family by going to see “The Nutcracker” as performed by the National Ballet of Canada. Set in 19th century Russia, this ballet performance will transport you directly into the magical world of sugarplum fairies, giving you the chance to experience nonstop dancing, magnificent sets, and beautiful costumes. The company will be performing this classic ballet from Dec. 12 to Jan. 4.

The holidays should be a time for fun, friends, and family, and our staff at Downtown Autogrouphopes these events help you make the most of the season.