The Toronto Transit Commission (TCC) is the public transportation network of Toronto. While it is not as elaborate of a system as some major European cities and a bit antiquated, it is the largest system available in North America.
You should be able to access any point of the city using a combination of buses, subways, and streetcars. One should expect some overcrowding and delays while using the TCC. However, it is a safe and low-cost way to travel throughout Toronto.
You can use exact cash, a ticket, a token, transfer, or PRESTO card on buses and streetcars.
At subway stations there are collector booths where you can purchase your ticket or pay your fare. These booths will have change and accept cash, credit, and debit cards. You can purchase your fare for the TCC at any of the Subway Collector Booths, or any other location where they sell fares. You can purchase a prepaid PRESTO card for $20 at Gateway Newsstands in TCC metro stations or online.
Toronto is a major hub for the Canadian railway system and central North America. You can take trains with Canada's VIA railway service, Amtrak and GO transit system.
Tickets can be purchased online at VIA's website, or at Union Station in downtown Toronto.
There are ferries in Toronto that take you to the Centre, Hanlan's and Ward's Island. Schedules vary depending on the day and which island you would like to go to, so be sure to check the schedule before heading to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (the ferry docks). Pricing for the ferry(without taxes) are: $7.71 for adults, $5.05 for students and seniors, $3.72 for kids under 14 and free for children under the age of 2.
There are two airports that service the Toronto area:
Trains: Union Pearson Express is a dedicated train that transports passengers directly from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Union Station in downtown Toronto. The UP express takes about 25 minutes and costs $12 per ticket
Bus: The Toronto Transit Commission (TCC) uses a combination of a the bus and subway system to take you from Toronto to the Toronto Pearson International Airport. This option will take you longer than non-public transportation options. Plan on the trip taking 60-90 minutes. However, this option is the cheapest with tickers costing only $3.00
Shuttle: From Billy Bishop Airport you can use the free shuttle service provided to reach Union Station in Downtown Toronto in just 15 minutes.There is no shuttle from Toronto Pearson.
Drive: From downtown Toronto the drive to Toronto Pearson International Airport should take 30-45 minutes depending on the traffic level. The distance is 18 miles/ 30 km. To get a personalized map to your address from the airport click here.
Taxi: Taxi drivers will wait at a designated area for passengers who need a ride. You must wait in the queue before being assigned a taxi, however, you may also arrange a taxi beforehand. The cost of traveling to downtown Toronto should run from $50-$70 if you use the metered fare. You may also ask for a flat rate. Remember to include a %10-%20 tip for your driver.
To hail a taxi in Toronto, simply stand near the curb and wave your hand if you see a taxi passing by. The light at the top of the taxi should indicate if they are available. The light should be turned off if they already have a passenger. You may also call the taxi company's phone number to have a taxi sent to your location.
Taxis in Toronto are required to use a meter. You should not have to negotiate cost with your driver. Fare will vary depending on the time of day, but the normal rates are as follows:
You should tip your taxi driver in Toronto between 10% to 20% of the total bill.
Canada has more than 1,400,000 km of roads. Car rental can allow visitors to see the hidden parts of Canada and move around the Greater Toronto Area with ease. Rentals can be easily arranged online or at points of entry. Several major car rental dealers are located at the International Airport, as well as the main train stations.
Expect to pay about $75-120/day. Gasoline/petrol costs will always fluctuate, but expect to pay around C$1.51 per liter (US $5.70 per gallon). Car rental may require you to be over 21 years old, or pay an additional premium up to age 25. Renters must have a valid driver's license, insurance certificate, and ID.
Rental agencies require a credit card in the name of the primary driver as a deposit. Rental deposits at a value of at least $200 in available funds are required. Some rental locations may accept debit/check cards for deposits but may have additional requirements such as requesting proof of a round trip transportation itinerary in order to rent the vehicle. If you are using a debit card, the car rental company will place a hold on your deposit amount, and you will not have access to these funds until the car is returned. Please note that the amount of available credit that is necessary varies, depending on the type of car and the rental period.
Driving rules in Canada are similar to that of most of the western world. You are required to wear a seat belt, and cell phones must be used handsfree if you are driving a vehicle. Roads and highways are managed by provincial and municipal authorities, with the exception of the Trans-Canada highway.