The 'Shakey-Lady' who sits, or rather shakes, at the corner of Yonge and Bloor. Now I'm not one to advocate ignoring people in need, God knows we all need a hand sometimes in our lives, but this lovely creature is perched on the pinnacle of the 'pathetic plateau'.
She sits on the ground half the day, shaking and wheezing, begging for your hard earned travel money, and you'll give it to her right? Well, just to let you know, she eventually gets up, walks to a car with two rather large men inside, climbs in, and drives away. Apparantly, through estimation, it's possible for her to clear approximately $2,500.00 per week! Can you believe it? It's brilliant. I guess what pisses me off so much, is the fact that she took me for $20.00 3 weeks ago. Ahh,...good 'ol Toronto. :o)
Unique Suggestions: Look skyward and keep your change in your pockets.
As with any big metropolitan city, there are many homeless people on the streets downtown. Most of them won;t give you any hassle but it does get pretty annoying after a while. Unless you can afford to dish out loadsa money, my advise is not to. I felt pretty mean the first few times but afterall, you can;'t give out your precious money to everyone.
Yoonge Street. I have to add this. it is a great shopping street, but also a rip off and you will be hassled by beggers in the streets. But don't let it put you off, go with someone and have a great days shopping but expect your credit card to be maxed out. Mine was :-(
One thing I was surprised to see so many of in Toronto when I first arrived was beggars. They are practically everywhere asking for either money or cigarettes. The latest fad is to ask for money for pot. One guy started it and I guess he got a positive response so now everyone is taking after. To be honest with you, they pi.. me off. There I go..working my ass off at a crappy job, and the first people I meet after a long day at work are people that wants my money for free (and some of them gets really pissed off if you don't give them something or if they think you give them too little) Get me right..Toronto-Canada overall has a pretty well working social security system and there is PLENTY of jobs for them who wants them (I, myself proved that, not being a citizen or anything) The only reason why these people are not working is that it's a hell of a lot easier to sit in a streetcorner and chat with your friends all day, than cleaning floors at Mc Donald for minimum wages. I agree..sounds like fun..but for f..s sake..where is your pride people?! My advice is to NOT give beggars any money. EVER. (This goes for Toronto, we are not speaking of a third world country where they sell their children for a loaf of bread ok)
Please don't encourage the "homeless" by giving them money. Offering food or coffee, or used clothing is a nice gesture - but not money. The more aggressive ones tend to be scam artists and your generousity only tends to encourage them.
The truly needy folk can often be found keeping warm on a grate somewhere with their belongings scattered about - and they don't tend to bother the passersby so much, as they are suffering from greater problems such as schizophrenia or depression.
There are people who beg in the streets of Toronto, but really don't bother you. They may say or scream things at you but don't let it ruin your vacation. plus, they are far and in between.
Renting a car in the city?? Watch out for those "window washing" kids who just approach and wash your windshield without you even asking them to and expect to get paid. If you didn't ask for it don't pay or if you want to be generous give them a dollar or two.