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GO Train/Shuttle to NOTL from Toronto

New Jersey
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GO Train/Shuttle to NOTL from Toronto

I am planning a vacation to Toronto in mid-August. I’m trying to determine what is more cost effective and easier; renting a car for a day trip to NOTL or using public transportation. The problem is I can’t figure out the cost or the schedule to take the train from Toronto to St. Catherine’s and then taking a GO bus shuttle to NOTL. I realize the train/bus is seasonal but do they offer this method of transportation on weekends only? The information online is limited. I’ve been reading online that GO bus shuttles are provided for the Shaw Festival. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to attend a show but we definitely want to go to NOTL for the day. I’ve tried calling the phone number provided on the GO train website but it is inactive. Plus, I don’t understand the difference between Go Train and Rail. Is there a difference?

Can someone give me some guidance as to how to purchase a ticket or at least find out how much the fare will cost? In addition, to plan the day I will need to see a schedule of drop off and pick up times for the train and bus shuttle. If anyone knows from experience that renting a car is easier please let me know. It is very confusing. I rely on this forum and have found it very helpful. Thanks

SE Ontario
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1. Re: GO Train/Shuttle to NOTL from Toronto

GO Train is the regional commuter service. VIA Rail is the national passenger service train. In fact the VIA service that goes to Niagara is actually an Amtrak train, as it continues down to New York.

Renting a car is actually the most convenient because it allows you the flexibility to travel in and around NOTL, especially if you're interested in visiting some of the wineries in the area.

I'll leave the question of the GO schedule and shuttle to others more knowledgeable. I only ever drive to NOTL.

Edited: 1:03 pm, July 12, 2013
Niagara Falls, ON
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2. Re: GO Train/Shuttle to NOTL from Toronto

The GoBus service from the St.Catharines rail station to Niagara on the Lake is only on weekends and holidays during the summer, and only a few times per day.

On the GoTransit site, you need to look at: "Full Schedules - Full-version Schedules - Train Schedules - Niagara Falls/Toronto - Saturday/Sunday toward Niagara Falls" to get to the schedule you need. It shows leaving Toronto Union Station at 9am, arriving in St.Catharines at 10:38am, departing SC at 10:48am and arriving in NOTL at 11:33am. Other trips start at 4:15pm and 8:10pm. Return times are leaving NOTL at: 10:55am, 6:40pm and 9:55pm.

The fare is $17.10 each way. It can be found by selecting Niagara Falls as the city and then NOTL as the stop.

C B
St. Catharines...
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3. Re: GO Train/Shuttle to NOTL from Toronto

If you are travelling to Niagara on the Lake you can take a shuttle (schedule on this link http://www.shawfest.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/NOTL-Shuttle.pdf) offerred by the Niagara Parks Commission that takes you along the Niagara River Parkway to NIagara on the Lake from Niagara FAlls. You are probably better to travel by Go train to Niagara Falls and walk to one of the stops near the Whirlpool Aerocar for the shuttle to Niagara on the Lake. This is about a 15 min walk from the Go Station in Niagara Falls. I do agree with the other reply, that a car is much better as much of the wineries are rural the and distance from Niagara on the Lake to Niagara Fallsor St. Catharines is faster by driving. You can also rent bikes and scooters in Niagara on the Lake or along the Shuttle route near McFarland House and take the paved path to Niagara on the Lake. There are lots of road side fruit markets and some wineries on the route. Have a fun trip!

Niagara Falls, ON
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4. Re: GO Train/Shuttle to NOTL from Toronto

The Niagara Parks Shuttle only travels between Queenston Heights and Niagara on the Lake. You have to take the WEGO bus to get from Niagara Falls to Queenston. The WEGO Day Pass is $7 and the Shuttle is $10 return, adding another $17 and extra hour travel, over the St.Catharines to NOTL Go shuttle.

Whitby, Canada
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5. Re: GO Train/Shuttle to NOTL from Toronto

You are much better off with a rented car. It is going to be more expensive, but the cost far outweighs being limited by the less than ideal GO train schedule. The flexibility to come and go as you please would be the deciding factor for me.

Niagara-on-the-Lake...
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6. Re: GO Train/Shuttle to NOTL from Toronto

As a local, I would rent a car. Look for a Hotwire special! The transit is awkward, scant and hard to use down here. Once you're in town, you will want to go out to the wineries etc and there is no transit for that. Walking around town is easy, but for a 60min car ride from Toronto (with good traffic) vs the big hassle of trying to navigate our fledgling transit infrastructure, I would pick car!

7. Re: GO Train/Shuttle to NOTL from Toronto

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