As someone who has lived in Toronto and traveled to Ottawa numerous times, I have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge on the best ways to travel between these two vibrant Canadian cities.
Whether you are a tourist visiting Canada or a local looking for a weekend getaway, there are several transportation options available to you.
From flying to driving, taking the train or hopping on a bus, each mode of transportation has its unique advantages and disadvantages.
In this guide, I will share my personal recommendations and tips on how to make the most of your journey from Toronto to Ottawa.
If you're looking for the quickest way to travel from Toronto to Ottawa, flying is the way to go. The flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Ottawa International Airport takes about an hour, making it the fastest option available.
I usually book my flights through websites like Expedia or Kayak, where I can compare prices and find the best deals. The cost of a one-way ticket usually starts around $100 CAD, but can vary depending on the time of year and how far in advance you book.
One of the advantages of flying is the convenience of not having to worry about traffic or making stops along the way.
Additionally, the airports in both Toronto and Ottawa are centrally located and easily accessible by public transportation or taxi.
However, flying can also have its downsides. The cost of checked baggage can add up quickly, and there can be long wait times at security and customs. Plus, you'll miss out on the scenic views that a road trip or train ride can offer.
Driving From Toronto to Ottawa
Driving from Toronto to Ottawa is a popular option for those who want to experience the beauty of Ontario's countryside and have the freedom to make stops along the way.
The trip takes about 4-5 hours, depending on traffic and the route taken. To get from Toronto to Ottawa, the most common route is to take Highway 401 East until it connects with Highway 416, which leads directly to Ottawa.
The cost of driving will depend on factors such as gas prices, tolls (if any), and parking fees. As of March 2023, the average cost of gas in Ontario is around $1.30 CAD per liter.
A full tank of gas will cost around $60-70 CAD, depending on the size of the vehicle and the efficiency of the engine. Additionally, there may be tolls on some sections of the highways, which can range from $3-10 CAD per toll.
One of the advantages of driving is the freedom to stop along the way and explore the charming towns and scenic landscapes that Ontario has to offer.
Some popular places to stop include Kingston, the Thousand Islands, and the charming towns of Merrickville and Smiths Falls. However, driving can also have its disadvantages, such as dealing with heavy traffic, road construction, and weather-related issues.
Train From Toronto to Ottawa
Taking the train from Toronto to Ottawa is a comfortable and convenient option for those who want to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic views. The trip takes approximately 4-5 hours, depending on the specific train route and any stops along the way.
The cost of a train ticket varies depending on the class of service and the time of booking. Generally, prices for a one-way ticket range from $70 CAD for economy class to $180 CAD for business class.
Tickets can be booked through VIA Rail, which operates the majority of train services in Canada.
The departure station in Toronto is Union Station, located in the downtown core. The train arrives at Ottawa Station, which is located just west of downtown Ottawa.
Both stations are easily accessible by public transportation, taxi or ride-sharing services.
One of the advantages of taking the train is the comfort and relaxation it provides. Passengers can stretch their legs, read a book, or use their electronic devices without the hassle of driving or navigating.
Additionally, train travel is more environmentally friendly than driving, making it a great option for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint.
However, the disadvantage of taking the train is that it can be more expensive than other modes of transportation, and there may be limited schedules and routes available.
Bus From Toronto to Ottawa
Taking the bus from Toronto to Ottawa is an affordable and convenient option for those who want to travel on a budget. The trip takes approximately 4-5 hours, depending on the specific bus route and any stops along the way.
The cost of a bus ticket varies depending on the company and the time of booking. Generally, prices for a one-way ticket range from $25 CAD to $50 CAD. Tickets can be booked through companies such as Greyhound, Megabus, and Coach Canada.
The departure station in Toronto is typically the Toronto Coach Terminal, located in the heart of downtown Toronto.
The bus arrives at the Ottawa Bus Terminal, located just east of downtown Ottawa. Both stations are easily accessible by public transportation, taxi, or ride-sharing services.
One of the advantages of taking the bus is the affordability and flexibility it provides. Passengers can often choose from a variety of departure times and dates to fit their schedule.
Additionally, many bus companies offer amenities such as Wi-Fi, power outlets, and onboard entertainment to make the journey more comfortable.
However, the disadvantage of taking the bus is that it can be less comfortable than other modes of transportation, and there may be limited legroom and space.
Additionally, buses can be subject to traffic and delays, which can add to the overall travel time.
Toronto to Ottawa Rideshare
Ridesharing is becoming an increasingly popular way to travel from Toronto to Ottawa. There are several websites and apps available where you can find a rideshare partner who is going in the same direction and share the cost of the trip.
One advantage of ridesharing is that it can be more affordable than other modes of transportation, especially if you split the cost of gas and tolls with your rideshare partner. Additionally, it can be a more eco-friendly option since you're sharing a ride instead of driving alone.
However, there are some potential disadvantages to consider when ridesharing. For example, you may have less flexibility in terms of departure and arrival times, and you'll be sharing a car with someone you may not know well.
There are several websites and apps that you can use to find rideshare partners for travel from Toronto to Ottawa. Some popular options include:
- Facebook groups such as "Toronto to Ottawa Rideshare" or "Ottawa to Toronto Rideshare"
These platforms allow you to search for rideshare partners based on your departure and arrival locations and dates, and you can also see profiles and reviews of potential rideshare partners. It's important to do your research and choose a reputable rideshare platform and partner to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.
Motorcycle From Toronto to Ottawa
If you're a motorcycle lover, taking a road trip from Toronto to Ottawa can be an exciting adventure. The trip takes approximately 4-5 hours, depending on the route you take and any stops you make along the way.
One of the advantages of taking a motorcycle is the freedom and flexibility it provides. You can choose your own route, make stops along the way to explore different areas, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Ontario. Additionally, riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience and a great way to connect with fellow riders on the road.
The cost of taking a motorcycle trip can vary depending on factors such as fuel prices and accommodations. However, it can be a more affordable option than other modes of transportation, especially if you already own a motorcycle.
One disadvantage of taking a motorcycle is that it can be less comfortable than other modes of transportation, especially for longer distances. You may also have to deal with weather conditions such as rain or wind, which can make the ride more challenging.
Yes, you can take an Uber from Toronto to Ottawa. However, it is important to note that this will likely be a very expensive option since it is a long-distance trip.
The cost of an Uber ride from Toronto to Ottawa will depend on factors such as the time of day, the demand for rides, and the type of Uber service you choose . As of 2023, the estimated cost for an UberX ride from Toronto to Ottawa is around $400-$500 CAD.
Generally, yes, GO train is cheaper than VIA Rail for travel within Ontario, Canada. GO train is a regional commuter train service that primarily serves the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding regions, while VIA Rail is a national passenger rail service that operates trains throughout Canada.
GO train fares are generally lower than VIA Rail fares because GO train primarily serves commuters, and the fares are structured to be affordable for daily use. Additionally, GO train offers a range of fare options, including discounted fares for students, seniors, and frequent riders.
The cheapest transportation option from Toronto to Ottawa is usually by bus. Bus companies such as Greyhound, Megabus, and Ontario Northland offer affordable fares for this route, with prices starting at around $20 CAD for a one-way trip. However, the travel time can be longer compared to other options, such as flying or driving.