Best Transportation Methods Around Toronto

Toronto is a big city and it can be challenging and overwhelming for newcomers. There are so many places to go, and things to see, and it can be confusing to navigate around, particularly if you don’t know the right transportation methods to use. We’ve broken down the best transportation methods around Toronto.

The subway, streetcars, buses, and other public transportation are perfect for discovering and exploring Toronto as they have extensive routes throughout the city and suburbs. Due to the city’s well-connected public transit system, many of its residents don’t feel the need to buy a car. Public transportation is not only the most affordable method of traveling across Toronto but also the most convenient.

A map of the Toronto public transit stops.

Subway

The subway is one of the transit services provided by the Toronto Transit Commission. It is also your best bet if you are in a hurry, as it runs very frequently – as often as every two minutes in rush hour and about every five minutes at other times. Toronto’s subway functions using 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 comprises five stops, services a small portion of northern Toronto.

Every day, trains run from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m, except on Sundays when they start at 9 a.m. All TTC single trips cost CA$3.25 (approx. $2.50), but if you’re planning to become a regular user of this transportation mode, it’s smarter to purchase a day- or a week-long pass. Day passes and weekly passes cost CA$12.50 (less than $10) and CA$43.75 (about $34), respectively.

Street car stopped at a red light

Streetcars

Streetcars are also known as trams or trolleys in some parts of the world. They consist of a large portion of the Toronto above-ground public transit. They’re easily identified by a white pole with red bands and a streetcar icon. They’re used to mark every streetcar stop. Stops are either found on a separate platform along the tracks or on the sidewalk just like a bus stop – in this case, wait there until a streetcar stops, then walk out onto the street to board it.

With newer streetcars, direct payment to the driver is not allowed. If you are paying with cash or tokens (can be purchased at subway stations or at TTC certified convenience stores), enter by the middle door, there you’ll find a red machine that accepts payments and issues a transfer. Or you can pay in advance using the machine located at the major stops. Fares are the same as the subways.

A bus and car driving opposite of the photographer on a snowy day.

Buses

Buses run from 6 a.m. (8 a.m. on Sundays) to 1 a.m. daily, and like streetcars, they cover areas the subway doesn’t. Similar to the streetcar stops, bus stops can be identified by a white pole with red bands and a bus icon. If you’re taking the bus, ensure to drop your fare in the farebox; if you’re switching to another route later in the same trip, ask the driver for a transfer. Or, if you already have a transfer or pass, show it to the driver. When you’ve reached your destination, pull the yellow stop request cord or press one of the “Stop” buttons and exit.

You can also travel across Toronto using ferries, bikes, and taxis such as Lyft and Uber. However, the transportation modes mentioned above are the most cost-effective and efficient ways to get around in the city.

Train cars passing through a neighbourhood

Toronto has many great neighbourhoods worth exploring and many great ways to get around. The best transportation methods around Toronto save you the headache of parking tickets. If you decide to extend your visit to Toronto, or just looking to move to a new location, be sure to visit Guiker for verified rental units in neighbourhoods that you’ll love.