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Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

Conisbrough, United...
posts: 142
reviews: 26
Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

Hi all,

We are spending 17 days in Toronto in August, and currently have six days put aside for the Toronto area itself. We're visiting Niagara Falls for a few nights, and New York by plane.

We'd like to explore Ontario a little more, but are restricted to buses or trains, as we don't wish to drive while on holiday.

Which of the following places would you recommend based on my basic knowledge of the rail routes, and are they viable in one day?

1) Stratford

2) London

3) Kitchener

4) Sarnia

5) Windsor

6) Sudbury

Willing to stay overnight for one night if needs be, so would consider further afield too.

Would love to go north really, as I think northern Ontario looks beautiful. Kinda want to escape the urban scenery.

SE Ontario
posts: 6,164
reviews: 7
1. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

Without actually looking at the schedules, I can tell you that only Stratford & Kitchener are viable as day trips. London at a stretch.

Another option on VIA would be Cobourg - east of Toronto - beach, charming historical town. In fact I note that all the locations you've mentioned are west of Toronto (except for Sudbury).

if you look at Go Transit (commuter train & bus service), and at Greyhound bus you may find a few more options. Greyhound for example goes to Barrie, on Lake Simcoe, about an hour north of the city. Or Peterborough, again about 90 minutes northeast of Toronto. Guelph also.

Without a vehicle, it can be very difficult to access locations outside the city.

You may also be able to find private tour companies that go further afield - 1000 Islands, St. Jacobs, etc.

Kingston, Canada
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel
posts: 3,678
reviews: 108
2. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

Agree with above. Sarnia, Sudbury and Windsor are not day trips. London would really be pushing it - I wouldn't do it.

Is going for longer than just a day an option? If it is there are quite a few possibilities.

ktown

Conisbrough, United...
posts: 142
reviews: 26
3. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

Certainly.

For example, travel out Friday, spend Saturday in a place and stay overnight, and then return Sunday.

SE Ontario
posts: 6,164
reviews: 7
4. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

You could look at taking the Park Bus which would get you north to provincial parks such as Algonquin.

This post includes info on that:

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154979-i54-k639034…

Windsor is not an overly interesting place to visit.

You could look at heading east to Kingston - accessible by either train or bus (greyhound and Megabus).

http://tourism.kingstoncanada.com/en/

Kingston, Canada
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel
posts: 3,678
reviews: 108
5. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

Then I would certainly consider Ottawa and Kingston. Unless there is a specific reason for visiting Windsor and Sarnia, then I'd skip those.

ktown

Toronto, Canada
posts: 7,829
reviews: 439
6. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

Kingston/Ottawa would be an excellent weekend trip by rail....if you wanted to take an extra day or so, Sault Ste Marie has excellent scenery, the Agawa Canyon Train goes through a lot of the terrain the Group of seven used in their paintings....again this would be a much larger commitment...

Niagara
posts: 1,584
reviews: 16
7. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

If you want to see the north Ontario scenery, that is the Canadian shield landscape. The only place you will see that is Sudbury and on the way there. The shield country starts about 1.5 hours north of Toronto. That is north of Lake Simcoe or Port Severn. If you look on Google maps, it will be obvious with many small lakes and lack of roads.

As mentioned by phpr in post #4, the Park bus sounds good to get to Algonquin or Killarney.

Conisbrough, United...
posts: 142
reviews: 26
8. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

We'll certainly consider a trip north!

The other half is slightly concerned about bear encounters. As long as we stick to busy places, towns etc., there's not much chance of encountering a black bear is there?

Sounds ridiculous - but coming from a country where the most dangerous animal is probably a cow...

SE Ontario
posts: 6,164
reviews: 7
9. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

Rare to see a bear in a town. Not even all that likely you'd see one in the provincial parks. They don't like people so do their best to avoid us as much as we avoid them. The park staff will know if there are "active" bears in any particular areas.

Edited: 8:00 am, April 19, 2013
Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
posts: 10,098
reviews: 54
10. Re: Day trips from Toronto by train/bus

That is except around dumps in rural or forested areas. (I am talking about bear, of course).

Stratford would be an excellent choice if you plan on more than a day trip. Of course this is if you like theater! You could take the train one day and return by the one the day after, Coming an going in only one day will be way too much. The city is very nice with so much parkland and boast a great restaurant scene, alebeit expensive most of times. And then there is the Theater Festival. Plays in 4 different theaters, lots of Shakespeare of course but also musicals and a whole mish mash of other plays. It is more enpensive during the week-end so you could go on a Tuesday or Wednesday and be able to attend two plays as there are matinees on most Wednesdays. Try to see a show at the main Festival Theatre as it's architecture and scenery is quite unique, a mix of ancient Greek and Elizabethan theaters! There are tours of that building too but may be not on week days, tours of the costume wharehouses too. Check http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/ And if you decide to go on week-end anyways there is a cabartet show at 11h30 pm that is usually a blast.

Oh on the website I saw that there is a Stratford Express bus that come and go from Toronto for only $20.

Bus tours of the Saint-Jacob's market and neighbouring are available from Toronto too.

Then you could do Kingston and Ottawa but then why not come to Montréal too?

As per the Canadian Shield it is a bit far but you can certainly visit the McMichael Collection in in Kleinburg just north of Toronto. There are possibilities to get there by public transit and the surroundings are really "rustic Canada" plus a ton of paintings showing Canadian nature by Group of 7 and others.http://www.mcmichael.com/