New Year's Eve: Where to go and getting there safely

There are many things going on for New Year's Eve across the GTA. The TTC and Toronto police want to ensure that you get to wherever you are going safely.
Fireworks will light up Toronto City Hall tonight marking the end of 2013. (Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press)

As you get ready to wave goodbye to 2013, here’s a look at ways to ring in the New Year in Toronto — and how to get home safely.

Getting around

The TTC is offering free, extended service from 7 p.m. tonight to 7 a.m. Jan.1 as part of their partnership with Corby Spirit and Wine to encourage safe travel.

Full details

Click here for full details and schedule information about tonight's special free TTC service.

“We don’t want people to drink and drive, of course ... let us do the driving,” said TTC spokesperson Brad Ross.

GOTransit is also free tonight.

Late night service is extended on most routes:

  • Routes with Monday to Friday late evening service will continue until 4 a.m., with the blue line network taking over from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Last trains on Yonge-University-Spadina line will leave Union Station at 3:30 a.m. for Finch and Downsview stations.
  • Last train on the Sheppard line will leave Sheppard Station at 3:58 a.m. for McCowan.
  • On New Year’s Day, the TTC will be operating on Sunday service with the subway opening at 9 a.m.

In keeping with the theme of safety, Toronto police will also be doing RIDE spot checks.

Const. Hugh Smith says drinking and driving is down from previous years.

“We haven’t made as many arrests, and through December we are almost at half of what we had last year,” Smith said. “So people are making better choices.”

Parties and events

There is also the annual free party at Nathan Phillips Square, with a huge fireworks display and lots of live entertainment.

The Toronto Zoo has a family friendly earlier evening planned from 5 to 8 p.m.

In Liberty Village, Peter Donato and his crew are meeting to set up the third annual New Year’s Eve five-kilometre midnight run.

“We’re going to be salting some areas, we’ve got shovels at the ready ... You know it’s a fun run but there’s always that competitive runner that shows up and takes it seriously,” said Donato.

A skating party is also taking place at the Harbourfront Centre until 2 a.m.