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Toronto Transportation: How To Navigate the City With Ease
January 3, 2023 By CityPASS
Toronto is one of North America's biggest cities and one of Canada's primary tourist destinations. With tourist attractions like the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum, and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, there are numerous ways to spend a weekend or more in Ontario's most populous city.
For visitors hailing from large cities like New York and Chicago, navigating Toronto's public transportation system will feel like second nature. Still, even travelers from more rural areas will appreciate how easy it is to use the various transportation methods in Toronto.
Continue reading to learn how to get around Toronto easily using the various transportation methods available, including public transportation, ride-sharing, and taxi services. In addition, you can learn how to save on Toronto's top tourist attractions with CityPASS® tickets.
Getting Around With Toronto's Many Forms of Transportation
Whether you're planning a trip to Toronto in the fall to catch the changing leaves or in the springtime to enjoy the warm weather, learning how to get around the city will let you have all the experiences you want without a vehicle.
Consider the following methods of Toronto transportation.
Union Station: Canada's Largest Transit Hub
Union Station is more than just a way of getting around the city; the national historic site and Canada's largest transit hub is a tourist destination in its own right.
With numerous dining and shopping options and the ability to people-watch the more than 300,000 travelers per day who visit the station, you can easily spend a few hours taking in the sights and sounds of the property.
Visitors to Toronto should strongly consider using the city’s comprehensive public transportation system run by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The transit agency's website allows riders to easily plan their routes by entering their starting point and destination.
In addition, you can save time spent waiting in rush hour traffic by riding the subway and streetcar, as well as significantly save on the cost associated with single-rider modes of transportation like taxis and ride-sharing apps (although the ease of these options can hardly be compared).
The Toronto subway is the most common way to get around Toronto. If you're visiting the city, you'll notice thousands of locals riding the various subway lines daily (this number exceeds one million riders during the week as people commute to work).
Passengers can access subway stations all over Toronto, which include four subway lines that reach different areas of the city. If you only plan on using the subway for a few trips, you might be better off buying a ticket for a single ride each time.
However, you can also purchase subway tickets by the day, week, and month, which offers unlimited rides during that window if you're planning a more extended stay.
The Toronto subway typically runs from 6am or 8am until 2am daily, depending on the day of the week.
In addition to the subway, visitors to Toronto can quickly get around the city using the public bus system. There are dozens of bus lines with bus stops scattered across the city, and pedestrians can easily access them to get around town without using the subway.
Use the Toronto Transit Commission's website to view maps of the various bus routes and plan your public transportation route. Be aware you may need to utilize a combination of public transportation methods, depending on where you start and end your trip.
Hours of operation depend on the bus route, although some bus and streetcar services run overnight via the Blue Night Network.
In addition to the subway and bus system, Toronto has a streetcar with consistent street operation. There are roughly a dozen streetcar lines in Toronto, like the Toronto subway and bus systems; you can find streetcar stop locations and routes on the Toronto Transit Commission's website.
Visitors can identify accessible streetcar stops by the blue International Symbol of Access on their sides.
Hours of operation depend on the streetcar route.
Although more and more people are opting to use ride-sharing apps instead of cabs, taxis are still commonly used in Toronto, particularly within the city limits. Pedestrians can hail taxis as they walk along the street, making it an incredibly convenient option if one happens to be passing by.
While taxis are more expensive than public transportation in Toronto passengers can be subject to surge pricing when using ride-sharing apps, which can hike up the cost of riding.
For this reason, taking a taxi is often more cost-effective than ride-sharing is.
Ride-sharing is an increasingly common way of getting around in large cities, and if you're not concerned about the cost of transportation, then there's no question it's the most convenient method.
Simply download a ride-sharing app on your phone, and you can control when and where you'd like to be picked up and dropped off. You can select from single-rider fares, which are the quickest but most expensive, and ride-sharing options, where you share your ride with other passengers and make multiple stops along the way.
Even if you plan to take public transportation to get around in Toronto, you may consider opting for a ride-sharing app for your transportation from the Toronto airport to your hotel or lodging and back.
This ensures you get your trip started as quickly as possible, and you can even plan a pick-up time for your ride back to the airport if you have an early flight.
Some of the most common ride-sharing apps used in Toronto include:
- Ola Cabs
Pull Up to Toronto's Hottest Attractions With Tickets In Hand
Toronto offers visitors endless possibilities, from outdoor activities to visiting popular tourist destinations. Getting around the city is a breeze using the city's public transportation methods, taxi services, and ride-sharing apps.