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Day Trips from Toronto without a car

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Day Trips from Toronto without a car

I am looking for suggestions of places to go, day trips, excursions near Toronto without a car. We plan to do Niagra but also looking for other suggestions, we will have 7 days and I am worried there isn't enough to keep us entertained in the city. Thanks

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10 replies to this topic
Burlington, Canada
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1. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

Not enough to keep you entertained in the City of Toronto?

Just got to the top of "the page of things to do" on the Toronto Forum and you'll find enough to keep you busy for a year.

SE Ontario
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2. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

Agree - there is plenty to do in the city.

However, if you could actually tell us more about your trip, we could probably make suggestions:

Time of year? Number of people in your group? Children? Interests?

While there is excellent public transit within the city, traveling outside the city without a vehicle takes a lot of planning, and in most instances is just not realistic without a vehicle. Are you unable to drive or do you just have a concern about driving on the "wrong"(to you) side of the road?

The more info you can provide, the easier it is for us to help.

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3. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

Regardless of what time of year you visit Toronto, getting away from it is mostly car dependent.

A couple of places you can google to see if they interest you - Collingwood, St. Jacobs, Stratford and then check the Greyhound.ca site to see what's possible. You can also google "public transport from Toronto to..." to see if there any other options. These 3 locations are very nice in the summer.

If you want to spend an overnight away from Toronto then Collingwood is nice. Another option if willing to stay overnight is Ottawa - it's quite easy to get there by train (Via Rail). You can also fly there but flying within Canada is quite expensive.

I'm not sure why you don't want to drive but if it's an option it's not really that scary and great for the first 3 places I mentioned as a day trip. Driving in the winter if you've never done so is another matter entirely.

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4. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

Thanks, I will have a look at greyhound to Collingwood. We just don't fancy driving, we spend so much time driving all year round on holiday we like not to to have the option of stopping and having a wine or two with lunch. I am keen to see other places within a reasonable distance.

We are two adults travelling in August.

Edited: 18 November 2017, 13:11
SE Ontario
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5. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

Stratford for the Stratford Festival and historical homes

Cobourg & Port Hope for waterfront beaches, heritage communities and theatre in Port Hope's national historic site - the Capitol Theatre.

All available on VIA Rail. Stratford Festival offers a dedicated bus if you have theatre tickets.

Kitchener/Waterloo (and the above St. Jacobs) for mennonite markets, clay & glass gallery.

Available on GO Transit

Take some time to explore the Ontario travel website.


Areas such as Kingston, 1000 Islands and Prince Edward County are reachable by train, and then perhaps a rental car to explore in and around. An overnight is easy to do for these destinations.

West Grey, Ontario
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6. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

>> I am keen to see other places within a reasonable distance.<<

Hi Poppyontour_76;

You need to remember that Canada is a huge country, where the car is King.

About 165 miles / 265 km, a 3 hour drive east of Toronto, are the towns of Kingston and Gananoque.

In the town of Kingston, you won't want to miss Fort Henry, which has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (UNESCO)

The original Fort Henry was built during the War of 1812, between Canada and the United States.



Just 18 miles / 28 km east of Kingston is Gananoque (pronounced Gan-an-ock-way), the "Gateway to the Thousand Islands". For this part of your trip, I would suggest renting a car.

From Gananoque you can take a 1 hr, 2.5 hr, or 5 hr boat tour of the 1000 Islands.



The 5 hour tour stops at Boldt Castle, which was built in 1900 by the former owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. If you wish to walk about the island and tour through the castle, you will need to clear U.S. Customs, as the island is in American waters. Be sure that you bring your identification as required.



While in Gananoque, check out;

Robeson’s Country General Store for a nice family style breakfast, brunch or lunch.



The Thousand Islands Playhouse for great live theatre.



1000 Islands Skydeck for great panoramic views



1000 Islands Helicopters for fabulous views from above.



For more info on the 1000 Islands;





Canada has a natural beauty that MUST be seen, which is why I'm suggesting sometime in the 1000 Islands Region. IMHO, I would cut out 1 or 2 days of city sightseeing somewhere !

From Toronto, you can take a bus or train to Kingston



Best Regards

Akron, Ohio
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7. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

So many aspects of you trip are not known. I agree with earlier commentators, namely that there is more than enough you keep you busy in Toronto if you do not want to drive a car there. Easy to walk through many parts of downtown Toronto. I wouldn't pay for private tours by car driven by other people. No need for a taxi or guided tours by people driving their cars. Use VIA rail for transportation to near by places and even Ottawa. Transportation by VIA rail to Ottawa is available from Union Station. Most convenient. Good service and inexpensive. The train station in Ottawa is not in the center of town, but there is access by other means. Same for Ottawa - you can walk through many parts of that central city without depending on a car. Not sure about time of your planned visit or how many people will be with you and their ages. Maybe you are not confident for driving a rental car in winter. That is understandable. Safe public transportation in Toronto will get you to many places or close to them. There is such public transportation as subway, Go-trains and busses in the city. Would cities like Peterborough, Waterloo or London appeal to you? Two or more days in Ottawa would be nice. I believe that Markham and drama performances at the Shaw festival are within reach by bus but in opposite directions. I do not know your budget. What are your interests? Exploring the city of Toronto by the subway is worth your time. Industrial towns like Oshawa might interest you. Given your reluctance to drive a car or preference not to drive a car I would suggest that you stay within Toronto and travel by VIA rail to Ottawa. When in Toronto spend part of one day traveling by subway to see the outer reaches of the TTC. Going to places like Scarborough or Yorkdale Mall or even to Finch and Sheppard was fun and educational. CAA had much information for helping me even though I did not travel by car. Each of my twenty or so good vacations in Toronto have been done in this manner. Likewise for Ottawa. I hope my suggestions will help.

Oshawa, Canada
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8. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

Please ignore the above post Guido often gives erroneous or outdated information.

Since you asked about day trips, I assume you want to return to Toronto each night as you have accomodation booked? Seeing Cobourg and Poer Hope area or the Prince Edward County, although day trips by farm are not feasible by public transportation. We are a very car orrientated society and while the buses and trains mught go its a once a day schedule, with returns inconvenient.

You can tho take the Go Transit to outlying areas. It is basically a commuter system that runs frequently 7 days a week.

Ultimately if you want to see Ontario and not the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) you would need a car.

However there is more than enough to do right in Toronto for only 7 days.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

Kingston and Gananoque are great options though not really day trips if you are somewhat at the mercy of transport, but the area is worth considering for an overnight, particularly to see the Thousand Islands. Rail is the most comfortable way to get to either town, but Gananoque has less service and the station is somewhat in the middle of nowhere. If Boldt Castle does interest you the tours to it sail from Gan, while you can get tours from the waterfront in Kingston as well. I'd consider either for an overnight short visit. Other possible considerations are St. Jacobs, Stratford, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls. There are tours available to those locations you can find reviews of online. That might be worth it if you don't want to drive but would prefer to leave the planning to someone else!

Guelph, Canada
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10. Re: Day Trips from Toronto without a car

The only GO trains that really work for day trips are the ones that run on the Lakeshore lines. Most of the other lines basically just run trains into Toronto in the morning and out again at night. Via Rail service is also pretty infrequent to most destinations. As others have said, travelling outside of Toronto without a car is challenging.

Edited: 18 November 2017, 22:02
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