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Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

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Winnipeg, Canada
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Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

Hi! I'm visiting Toronto next week and I'm going to see a concert at Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street on a weekday. Could anyone tell me if it’s safe to walk back to downtown from there?

I've heard it's in the middle of an industrial area and transportation isn't the best, especially late at night. I'm hoping to catch a TTC/cab though, do you think it’s safe if I walk to downtown from there?

Thanks!

Toronto, Ontario
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1. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

Hi, Uma-Japan, welcome to Trip Advisor, and welcome to the Toronto forum.

For m'self, I wouldn't walk to downtown from there. Sound Academy gets a little sketchy sometimes, and crowd mentality takes over. The place holds a lotta people, so when it empties, there are a lot of folks out, and stuff happens.

There are usually cabs waiting around, because it's in such an awkward location. I'd take one up to Front street and THEN do the walking. Once you're back in the downtown core proper, I wouldn't hesitate, it's just that area is somewhat deserted, except for the partyers at that hour. Why risk it?

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

I don't think that's warranted. I think it's safe, especially if there's a concert. There's always a lot of people walking back downtown after a concert- that's what makes it safe? "Crowd mentality takes over?" I have never heard of violence or anything else unsafe occurring after a concert here.

And, in terms of being safe walking to TTC, the bus stop is right across the street!

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3. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

The closest bus stop, at Polson and Cherry Streets, is a 400m walk away, but you would be walking along the street that all the cars and cabs leaving the concert will use, so it shouldn't be deserted. There's bus service in summer evenings (72B Pape is the TTC route) but it's infrequent. Buses run every 24 minutes with last bus on weekdays a little after 1:36 am.

I guess you could budget for a taxi ride but judge for yourself based on the concert crowd. As Flyinmom says, there aren't going to be too many non-concertgoers around, and none of the other businesses down there will be open at that hour. That's unlike downtown, where there are regular folks around at all hours and plenty of places open late.

Edited: 25 June 2012, 10:29
Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

I should add that I don't believe the walk back is unsafe, but it's right that this part of town is deserted, and a little creepy at night. That being said, I'm sure there are others who would walk back downtown so you wouldn't be all alone. When I go to a concert here, I usually time my departure to get the last bus. It's difficult to get a cab after shows because there's so many people and it takes forever for the cabs to get out of there.

Winnipeg, Canada
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5. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your advice! You guys all have good points.

My plan was taking TTC on the way there and walking back to downtown because it looks pretty simple (on the map) to go back to downtown if I walk on Cherry. I do have some routes printed out from the TTC website though, the routes would be slightly different depending on what bus I take after the show and I never know how long it would take to wait for a cab there.

I am not familiar with any of the routes or downtown in Toronto (I'm originally from Japan and currently in Winnipeg), so I am a bit worried to get on a wrong bus and totally get lost at night. Well, probably it's better than walking around the venue though.

Thank you so much again, I'll try to get a cab or talk to random people to stick around or find a ride to downtown...

BTW, I'm flying to Toronto tomorrow and going to see the Hives. Is anyone going?

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

I've walked it myself, during the day. It's 2 km (25 minutes at an average walking speed) to get from Polson Pier back to civilization, or 3 km to get to what most Torontonians would consider downtown. BTW, Cherry Street is closed north of Lakeshore Blvd so you'd have to walk along Lakeshore Blvd over to Parliament.

When you arrive in Toronto, ask the fare collector at any subway station for a "Ride Guide", a free pocket-sized map of the city and its transit routes. And don't hesitate to ask the bus driver if you're getting on the right bus -- they get that question all the time. (That said, there is only one bus route along Cherry, so at least coming back from the concert there'd be no chance of getting the wrong one.)

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

Where Sound Academy is, the 72 (the bus that goes down there) kind of does a loop, so it can be a bit confusing which stop is for the right "direction." The one you want goes to union station, and the other one goes to pape station. The worst mistake you can make is to take the bus to pape station, but if you do this, you can just take the subway back to where you need to go. Chances are everyone will be trying to take the same bus as you, so you could just follow people, or ask someone.

Winnipeg, Canada
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8. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

Thank you so much, mattInTO! I didn't know Cherry st. is blocked...you saved me! OK, I'll get the Ride Guide. Now I sound like I won't get lost:)

Toronto, Ontario
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9. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

Emilybean, your comments are not without merit...if they were directed to a fellow Torontonian. The thing is, Uma-Japan is not from Toronto, so she doesn't have the same familiarity or comfort zone that you might have with our transit system. (Uma, I am making the assumption you are female; forgive me if I'm incorrect.)

I've spent a lot of time down in that area over the years, for a variety of reasons, so I've been down there when there are NO events on, and I've been down there when it's filled. There are times when not so legal substances are pervasive in a concert crowd, and <gasp, dare I even suggest?> underage liquor consumption. 99 times out of 100, there is no violence, and that stands true for all of Toronto. But a (female) stranger who is unfamiliar with the 'hood asking for advice on late night, post-concert transportation...yeah, as a mom, I'll stay with my recco of taking a taxi.

Uma-Japan, if you just have the cab take you to Union Station, that's fairly close, so a not-too-expensive taxi ride, and then you can safely ride our Toronto subway to where you need to finish your evening.

Gotta say, with the way the Gardiner keeps dropping little gifts on the road, we wanna maybe rethink being in a car down there, too, now!!!

toronto
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10. Re: Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street, Toronto

I've been to a ton of shows at Sound Academy (a great venue, btw) and there are always long lines of taxis waiting after to pick up fares. ...Which is great in the winter or if it's raining hard. Having said that, in the summer, when shows let out, there are MANY people walking back towards downtown adn it can be a lot of fun to continue the vibe and the party. Don't worry about it - make sure you have $20 in case you wnat to jump in a taxi -- if not, you can walk.