Canadian Ports of Entry
- A passport or equivalent government-issued travel document is required to cross into Canada and return into the United States.
- How to apply for a passport: If you start the process by January 31, 2016, you should have your passport well before the meeting in May. If you are applying for your first passport, you will need documents that prove your identity such as a certified birth certificate. You will also need a passport photo of a specific size and shape. After you mail your completed application, it will take four to six weeks to receive your passport. Expedited service is available for an extra fee.
- Note: Some US citizens have a passport card, which is a wallet-size travel document that can only be used at land and sea entries into Canada. It can't be used for travel by air. If you are a US citizen and plan to fly into Canada, you will need a passport.
Starting March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada will need and Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include US citizens and travelers with a valid visa. Learn more at eTA help.
When you arrive in Canada, you may be asked about the purpose of your visit. An appropriate response is "to attend a medical library annual meeting at the Toronto Convention Centre.” Keep your meeting registration handy, just in case you are asked for additional verification.
Letters of Invitation
Please contact Mary Langman at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a letter of invitation to “Mosaic: Be Part of the Big Picture,” May 13–18, 2016, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for your visa application.
Please indicate whether you are just attending the meeting or are making a presentation (see below).
In your request, include:
- first name (given name)
- last name (surname)
- street address
- city, zip or postal code, and country
- email address
Please indicate which type of letter you are seeking:
- attending (You must be registered for the meeting.)
- making a presentation (You should have received an acceptance email from MLA. You still must register to attend the meeting.)
Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and meeting expenses. MLA does not pay for these costs.
We hope to welcome you to “Mosaic: Be Part of the Big Picture,” May 13–18, 2016, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Please email email@example.com with questions.
Getting to Toronto
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) receives flights from most major airlines in the world and is Canada’s largest and busiest airport. The airport is approximately 27 kilometers (16.5 miles) from the city centre.
- Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) receives flights from their partner, Porter Airlines, from many cities in Canada and the United States. The airport is located on an island downtown (with amazing views when you’re landing!) and provides a free shuttle to the Union Station area, a short walk to both hotels and the convention centre. Air Canada flights from Montreal also fly into the island.
- Air Canada, the Official Canadian Airline for Mosaic ’16, is offering a special discount for the travel period Friday, May 6, 2016, to Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Log on to Air Canada, enter your promotion code (TNF8E6K1), and book your reservation to the city of Toronto, airport code YYZ.
- United Airlines is offering a discount (2%–10% depending on zone) for travel May 10, 2016, to May 21, 2016. Book online and enter ZVGC396063 in the Offer Code box when searching for your flights. If you are booking through a travel professional or United Meetings at 800.426.1122, please give them the following information: Agreement Code: 396063, Z Code: ZVGC. Outside of the United States, please call your local United Airlines Reservation Office.
- Porter Airlines is offering a 15% discount on available base fares (with the exception of the lowest class fare during a public seat sale). Book online at Porter Airlines or through your travel agent using promo code MLA16. For any questions regarding Porter’s services, please call 888.619.8622. The discounted fares are available for booking from October 5, 2015 to May 21, 2016 and are applicable for travel locations and dates below:
- from anywhere in Canada or US to Toronto from May 10, 2016, to May 18, 2016
- from Toronto to anywhere in Canada or US from May 13, 2016, to May 21, 2016
- Via Rail runs frequent trains along the Quebec City to Windsor corridor that stop at Union Station, across the street from the hotel.
- Book Amtrak online reservations or call 800.USA.RAIL (800.872.7245).
- MLA has partnered with Avis to provide rental cars at a discounted rate. The Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number number is D317028. The AWD will be effective from 7 days prior to the event until 7 days after the event. Reservations can be made online or by calling 800.331.1600. When calling Avis, please provide AWD number to ensure the best available car rental rates.
Dollar amounts are in Canadian dollars.
- Taxis, Limos, Uber Black Car: Taxis and limos operate on a zone system and will charge you based on distance rather than time. Cost for a taxi is about $60 (if you’re lucky). Time? Depends on traffic, at least 25 minutes.
- Rail Connection: UP Express runs from the airport to Union Station, located across the street from the hotel. Trip is 25 minutes, making 2 stops along the way. Cost $12 one way or $24 round trip. A $25 family fare is also available for up to 2 adults and up to 3 guests 19 years of age and under.
- Rental Car: MLA has partnered with Avis to provide rental cars at a discounted rate. The Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number is D317028. The AWD will be effective from 7 days prior to the event until 7 days after the event. Reservations can be made online or by calling 800.331.1600. When calling Avis, please provide AWD number to ensure the best available car rental rates.
- Public Transit: An express bus (192 Airport Rocket) runs to the Kipling Station, where you can transfer at no additional charge to the subway and make your way downtown, with a transfer at St. George Station or Spadina Station (better with lots of luggage), to Union Station across the street from the hotel. Cost is $3 (may increase). Time 45–60 minutes.
Getting Around Toronto
- Public Transit: The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates a system of subways, streetcars, and buses throughout the city.
- On foot: Toronto, while large, is best experienced on foot. It’s safe and clean, and people love tourists and will help you out if you get lost.
From Linda Bruton, Tourism Toronto... One of the most frequent questions I get is about cell phones. Why doesn’t my cell phone work in Toronto? Why am I not receiving emails on my phone?
- Exchange rates for the Canadian dollar: Bank of Canada Daily Currency Converter
- A good way to obtain Canadian currency is to use an ATM in Toronto or when you enter Canada. There are plenty of ATMs around that should work with your bank. It is not a good idea to carry large amounts of cash when entering a foreign country. If you have questions, make sure to consult with your banking institution.
- Before you travel to Canada, contact your credit card company and let them know that you are travelling to Toronto, especially if you are not a regular traveller to Canada. Many credit card companies will see foreign locations being charged on your card, consider it to be suspicious behavior (i.e., identify theft), and may put a hold on your card.
US meeting attendees do not need to bring a power converter. Canadian power outlets use the same voltage as US outlets do. Those visiting from other countries should check to see if voltage converters will be necessary. European and other international attendees should bring power converters that work for US/Canadian voltage.
Celsius, not Fahrenheit: Canadians measure temperature in Celsius. US attendees should not be alarmed by a forecasted temperature 18 C in the month of May. No need to break out the long underwear. That’s 64 F. You can find a Celsius to Fahrenheit converter at www.metric-conversions.org/conversion-calculators.htm. If you have an independent streak and prefer to do the conversions yourself, do not hesitate to do some easy math: °Cx9/5+32=°F. A close estimate of Celsius to Fahrenheit can be achieved by these quick calculations:
- C to F: Multiply the temperature by 2 and then add 30.
- F to C: Now just work it backward, subtract 30 from the temp, and then divide by 2.
Do not forget to find out if you are covered for health care in a foreign country! Of course, no one wants you to become ill while at Mosaic ’16; however, unforeseen circumstances do arise. Before you leave your home country and if you carry health insurance, be sure to check to see if your health insurance and/or affiliated institution will cover expenses if you need medical attention in Canada. If they do not, you may wish to investigate the purchase of supplemental travel health insurance.