We go to Niagara Falls regularly but not everyone has a car, especially people traveling from out of the country. So we want to share the experience of how to go from Toronto to Niagara for not only locals but also tourists and visitors to our city. Dave and I love visiting Niagara Falls, Canada, it is one of our favorite year-round Ontario destinations and we have visited Niagara countless times.
How to Get From Toronto to Niagara Falls
Ever since we first met in 1991, Dave and I have always made time for a weekend getaway in Niagara Falls. But until writing this article, we never thought of taking the bus or transit there. So when Busbud asked us if we’d like to take a bus trip to anywhere in North America, we chose the Toronto to Niagara Falls bus.
There are also many tour companies where you can book day trips to Niagara from Toronto, but Niagara Falls is really easy to get around on your own. And Niagara is easy to get to from Toronto by bus, train, transit and car.
Travel Times to Niagara from Toronto
Highway Driving – 90 minutes of no traffic (however, it’s Toronto so you’ll always have traffic, especially on a weekday. Public Transit GOTrain / GoBus – 2 – 2.5 hours Bus Travel – 1 hour and 45 minutes (depending once again on traffic)
Toronto to Niagara Falls by Car
The journey to Niagara from Toronto by car is straightforward and offers flexibility in terms of stops and detours. This is the way we normally visit Niagara Falls. We like having the luxury of being able to drive to Niagara on the Lake to tour some wineries or to stop in Hamilton or Burlington to do some shopping. If you are driving to Niagara Falls from Toronto, here is the route you’ll want to take.
Route: The most direct route is to take the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) southbound from Toronto.
Duration: The drive typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic.
Tips: Consider using Google Maps or Waze to check for real-time traffic updates and potential delays. Parking is available near the falls, but it can get crowded during peak times and it can be expensive, so arrive early or consider off-site parking options. We find that the most reasonable are the $5 lots that you’ll see on the way in. They promote $5 but it really ends up being $15 for the day. (The $5 signs they hold are for 1 hour.)
Downton Toronto to Niagara Falls – Step-by-Step Directions
Start from Downtown Toronto and navigate to the Gardiner Expressway West. Merge onto Gardiner Expressway West. Follow signs for QEW/Hamilton. Continue onto the QEW. The Gardiner Expressway will transition into the QEW as you move westward at Burlington. Stay on the QEW in the left-hand lanes and follow that towards Hamilton. Bypass Hamilton. As you approach Hamilton, the QEW will split. You can either continue on the QEW/ON-403 W following signs for Hamilton/Brantford or follow the QEW Niagara, which will take you over the Burlington Skyway Bridge. For Niagara Falls, ensure you stay on or rejoin the QEW Niagara. Follow the QEW through St. Catharines. As you pass St. Catharines, continue following signs for Niagara Falls/Fort Erie. Exit the QEW at Niagara Falls. As you approach Niagara Falls, you’ll see exits for the city. You can take exit 27 for McLeod Rd or exit 32 for ON-420 towards Niagara Falls/USA Border, depending on your exact destination in the Niagara Falls area. Follow local roads to your destination. Once you’ve exited the QEW, use local signage or your navigation system to reach the specific part of Niagara Falls you want to visit. Here are directions on Google Maps
Toronto to Niagara Falls by Megabus
The bus terminal in Toronto is located at Union Station. Buses leave throughout the day starting at 6:00 a.m. If you are on a short visit to the city, you can hop on an early bus to Niagara, spend the day sightseeing, and head back to Toronto on the 11 p.m. bus. You wouldn’t even have to change Toronto hotels.
You can book buses from Toronto to Niagara Falls quickly and easily through the Busbud booking site.
The Megabus terminal is located at 30 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M8W 1N4 and it also leaves from Scarborough. You can check the times and prices here.
Arrival in Niagara Falls by Bus
The Niagara Falls bus terminal is located downtown in the Queens Street District at 4555 Eerie Avenue. Don’t let this fool you. Downtown Niagara is not downtown near the hotels and attractions. There are taxis waiting outside too or you can easily call an Uber. It’s a 30-minute walk to Clifton Hill.
You can also book with FLIXBUS which leaves from either downtown Toronto and Scarborough Town Center. It will drop you off at Fallsview Casino in the hotel zone which is closer to Niagara attractions such as the Skylon Tower, the incline railway, and Table Rock Centre. Read: The 30 Best Things to do in Niagara Falls
If it is a nice day you can walk along the Niagara Parkway that takes you along the river. But the more direct route is to turn right when you leave the terminal and keep on walking until you get to Clifton Hill. It’s an easy straightforward walk with pedestrian paths through the park.
Toronto to Niagara By Go Train Transit
Go Transit is a convenient option for traveling from Toronto to Niagara Falls. For just $18 CAD roundtrip you can relax from Toronto’s Union Station to Niagara Falls. The best thing is that it includes a WEGO Bus pass that connects the top Niagara Falls attractions. Read more: The Clifton Hill Fun Pass in Niagara Falls: Is it Worth it?
Special Weekend Service: During summer weekends and specific holidays, GO Transit offers direct train service from Toronto to Niagara Falls.
Tips: Using a PRESTO card can make fare payment more convenient. The PRESTO card can be used for Toronto Transit and is easy to top up when needed. Always check the GO Transit schedule in advance, as timings might vary, especially on weekends.
About the WEGO Bus
The WEGO bus is a hop-on-hop-off bus that takes you along to different Niagara Parks locations along the Niagara River Corridor connecting Niagara Falls attractions such as Whitewater Walk, the Whirlpool AeroCar, Niagara Gorge, and Niagara-on-thepLake and more.
The WEGO Bus has three different lines and they all connect at the Table Rock Centre. That is where you can easily hop on the bus to get anywhere in the city. Read more: The 30 Best Things to Do in Niagara Falls
You can also take the GO Train from Toronto’s Union Station to Burlington, where you’ll transfer to a GOBus that will take you to Niagara Falls.
Duration: The combined train and bus journey takes about 2 to 2.5 hours.
Special Weekend Service: During summer weekends and specific holidays, GO Transit offers direct train services from Toronto to Niagara Falls.
Toronto to Niagara by Train
Travelling by train is a fun and decadent way to travel. It feels like stepping back in time to take a scenic and comfortable journey via rail. If you are a train lover like us, you may want to take the train from Union Station in Toronto to Niagara Falls.
The train journey takes about 2 hours and operates through VIA Rail. You can check the VIA Rail schedule for departure times. Trains might not be as frequent as buses, so planning is essential.
You can book one-way or round-trip tickets. Prices start at $50 and only leave once a day at 8:20 am. Details here.
The Niagara Falls Train Station is located at The GO/Via train station and bus terminals are at 4555 Eerie Avenue and Bridge Street. The train station in Niagara Falls is a short taxi or bus ride from the main attraction.
Day Trips from Toronto to Niagara Tours
A day trip to Niagara can easily be done from Toronto. There are several Toronto to Niagara Falls Tours if you don’t want the hassle of trying to figure out how to get to Niagara by bus, train, or dealing with traffic. Here are a few of our favorites.
Just 90 minutes from Toronto, you can be at the falls for sunrise and then with an adventure pass in hand, you can see the top attractions in a day! Check out the best Niagara Falls Day tours here.
Seriously, we’ve done Niagara Falls in a day several times. Journey behind the falls, The Hornblower (formerly Maid of the Mist), Whitewater Walk and Whirlpool Cable Car can be done in a day. We’ve even thrown in a couple of wax museums and Nightmares on Clifton Hill into our day trip. Read more: 25 Day Trips from Toronto to Escape the City
(1 hour and 20 minutes from Toronto) Check out more Niagara Falls tips
Most likely if you are flying internationally or from the US to see Niagara Falls, you will be flying into one of Toronto’s airports Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) or Billy Bishop (YTZ). Billy Bishop Airport is located in downtown Toronto. You can get to Niagara Falls by all the ways listed above. You can easily walk or take the ferry to Union Station.
How to Get to Niagara from Toronto Pearson YYZ
Getting from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Niagara Falls is relatively straightforward. We almost always recommend renting a car when visiting Ontario as it is a huge province and truthfully, our public transit and train systems are overpriced and not the best. But here are some options to help you navigate from the airport to Niagara.
1. Driving (Rental Car):
Directions: Exit Toronto Pearson International Airport and follow signs to merge onto ON-427 South. From ON-427 South, take the exit onto the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) toward Hamilton. Continue on the QEW, following signs for Niagara/Fort Erie. As you approach Niagara Falls, take exit 27 for McLeod Rd or exit 32 for ON-420 towards Niagara Falls/USA Border, depending on your exact destination. Duration: About 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic.
2. Shuttle Service:
There are several shuttle services that operate between Pearson International Airport and Niagara Falls. It’s advisable to book these in advance. Duration: The travel time is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, similar to driving.
3. Public Transit
GO Transit: From Pearson Airport, take the UP Express train to Union Station in downtown Toronto. From Union Station, you can take the GO Train to Burlington or St. Catharines and then transfer to a GO Bus that goes to Niagara Falls. Duration: This method is longer, taking around 3 to 4 hours or more, depending on wait times for connections.
4. Private Taxi or Ride Share
Companies like Uber and Lyft operate in Toronto and offer rides from Pearson International Airport to Niagara Falls. Traditional taxi companies also provide this service. Duration: Roughly 1.5 to 2 hours, but could be longer with heavy traffic.
5. Direct Bus
Some companies, such as Megabus, offer direct bus services from Pearson Airport to Niagara Falls. Check schedules and availability. Check with FLIXBUS for schedules and rates here / MegaBus Here Duration: Approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.
Remember that travel times can vary based on traffic conditions, the time of day, and other factors. Always allow for some extra time, especially if you have specific plans or reservations in Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls Attraction Fast Tips
There are several attraction passes to choose from in Niagara Falls. We normally get the Niagara Attractions Pass from Niagara Parks which allows us to bundle some of the top Niagara Attractions. For a flat fee, it grants access to all the major attractions like the Hornblower Cruises. This famous boat cruise takes you past the American Falls and into the heart of Horseshoe Falls. It also includes Journey Behind the Falls, Whitewater Walk, and access to the WEGO bus that stops at all the major attractions.
You can buy an Adventure Pass in advance for deep discounts. It can be used anytime in the year you buy it.
Is there a direct train from Toronto to Niagara?
Yes, there is a direct train from Toronto to Niagara with Via Rail. There is one train per day, so make sure to book in advance. A train ride from Toronto to Niagara costs about $35 CAD.
Is there a bus from Toronto to Niagara Falls?
Yes, there are several buses daily from Toronto to Niagara Falls leaving from the main Toronto bus terminal on Dundas Street downtown. Read more here.
How Far is Niagara Falls from Toronto?
Niagara Falls is 128 km from Toronto and takes 2 hours to drive by car from downtown Toronto. Buses can take 2-hours and 10 minutes to 3 1/2 hours depending on the stops.
Can I get to Niagara Falls from Toronto Pearson International Airport by Bus?
Yes, buses leave several times a day from Toronto Pearson to Niagara Falls. You can check Busbud for more schedules and costs.
To book your bus from Toronto to Niagara Falls or anywhere in the world visit Busbud for online bookings.