Toronto Travel Guide

Canada  #7 in Best Weekend Getaways
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Courtesy of Stuart Murray/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getting Around Toronto

The best way to get around Toronto is by public transportation. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) runs three modes – subway, streetcar and bus – which operate extensive routes throughout the city and suburbs. You will need a token or a pass to travel on TTC; day and week passes allow for unlimited rides on all three forms of public transport. The subway also connects the city to the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), as do taxis. However, you can expect to pay around CA$50 to CA$70 (about $38 to $54) for a cab, while the subway will cost just CA$3.25 (around $2.50). 

Subway

If you're in a hurry, the subway is your best bet. However, it is not as extensive as above-ground transportation. There are two main lines: the Yellow Line (Yonge-University) runs north to south starting at northern Yonge Street then down to Union Station and back up north again. The Green Line (Bloor-Danforth) runs east to west starting near the Etobicoke neighborhood and running through Central Toronto to the Scarborough area. The smaller Scarborough line juts off of the Green Line, and the Sheppard Line, which only consists of five stops, services a small portion of northern Toronto. Trains run every few minutes from about 6 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays; they run from about 8 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Sundays.

Single rides on all TTC transit costs CA$3.25 (roughly $2.50), but if you're planning to rely on public transportation for more than just the occasional ride, it's a good idea to purchase a day- or week-long pass. Day passes cost CA$12.50 (less than $10) and weekly passes cost CA$43.75 (about $34).

Buses and Streetcars

Where the subway doesn't go, buses and streetcars do. You will need a token or a pass to ride. Most streetcars run 24 hours a day; buses operate from 6 a.m. (8 a.m. on Sundays) to 1 a.m. daily.

Ferry

The only way to get to and from the Toronto Islands is by ferry. The ferry departs from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal in downtown Toronto and takes visitors to Hanlan's Point, Centre Island and Ward's Island. Tickets cost CA$7.71 (around $6) for adults and CA$3.72 (about $2.85) for children 14 and younger.

Taxis

Like in other major cities, Toronto cabs are not hard to come by. You can hail them on the street or simply wait in front of a major hotel or attraction. But keep in mind, taxi fares tend to add up quickly, no matter where you are. Relying on public transportation may not be as convenient, but it allows you to save your money for attractions and souvenirs. Ride-hailing apps, such as Uber and Lyft, also operate in Toronto.

Car Toronto's grid layout makes it easy to navigate. But a car is unnecessary if you're planning to stay in the city proper. Traffic in central Toronto can be a major headache (especially during rush hour) and parking can get pricey. Also, if you are visiting during the winter and do not have much experience driving in snow and ice, it's best to leave the driving to those familiar with the conditions. If you do decide to rent a car, most major rental agencies are represented at the Toronto airport, and you can also find several agencies scattered throughout central Toronto. You won't need an International Driving Permit if you have a valid U.S. driver's license, but keep in mind that speeds are posted in kilometers and gas is sold by the liter (not the gallon).
On Foot or By Bike

Toronto is a big city, but its neighborhoods are relatively easy to explore on foot. As in any unfamiliar city, just be careful about walking around at night. Stick to well-lit streets and never walk alone. If you'd prefer to explore Toronto's neighborhoods by bike, the city offers a bike-share program, Bike Share Toronto. With nearly 3,000 bikes and almost 300 stations, it's easy to find a bike and go. A day pass costs $7, with the first 30 minutes of every ride included.

Explore More of Toronto

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