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How to Get from Toronto to Ottawa? The Most Scenic Routes

How to Get from Toronto to Ottawa? The Most Scenic Routes

Located in the southern portion of Ontario. Ottawa is the capital of Canada with many great attractions to visit. Since most visitors to Canada decide to stay in Toronto, in this article, we will introduce you to the different ways you can get from Toronto to Ottawa, from the fastest to the cheapest and most scenic ways. 

Furthermore, if you travel to Canada in the summer, you shouldn’t miss visiting Ottawa, which is one of the best places to visit in Ontario in the summer

Pack your suitcases, we are going on a long trip to Ottawa from Toronto. 

4 Ways to Get from Toronto to Ottawa

Toronto is almost 400 km away from Ottawa. However, the distance may vary based on your chosen route and transportation.

4 ways to get from Toronto to ottawa

1. Train 

One of the best and most convenient methods to travel from Toronto to Ottawa is using a train operated by VIA Rail. The train departs from Toronto Union Station and arrives at Ottawa Station. Even if you miss one train, you can wait for three hours to get to the next train to Ottawa. This journey usually takes 4 hours and 30 minutes. 

Here are some tips and details to help you plan your trip: 

  • Duration and Distance: As mentioned, the train journey from Toronto to Ottawa takes approximately 4.5 hours and covers a distance of about 275 miles (444 kilometres).
  • Train Operators: VIA Rail is this route’s primary train service provider. They offer direct trains from Toronto Union Station to Ottawa Station, with multiple departures throughout the day.
  • Booking and Schedules: You can book your tickets and check schedules on the VIA Rail website or at the train stations. Be sure to plan ahead, especially during peak travel seasons, to ensure availability.
  • Scenic Route: You may wonder if the train ride from Toronto to Ottawa scenic. Of course. The train journey offers a scenic route through the Ontario countryside. Mainly, it offers views of Lake Ontario, particularly around Scarborough, where you can see the bluffs area.
  • Onboard Amenities: VIA Rail trains typically offer comfortable seating, food and beverage services, and restrooms. Some trains may also have Wi-Fi and power outlets. If you require any specific amenities during this trip, check them at the train station. 
  • Station Information: Toronto Union Station is a major transportation hub with easy access to public transit and amenities. On the destination, Ottawa Station is located in the heart of the city, making it convenient for exploring the capital. 
travel from Toronto to Ottawa by viarail

2. Plane

Undoubtedly, traveling by plane is the fastest way get to Ottawa from Toronto.  However, it will also be the most expensive method. Toronto to Ottawa flight is cheaper during the off-peak seasons, such as spring and fall. 

It’s also recommended to book around 1-3 weeks in advance to find the most affordable flights. 

How Long is the Flight from Toronto to Ottawa?

The flight duration from Toronto to Ottawa typically ranges from 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, depending on the airline and factors such as weather conditions.

3. Car 

If you enjoy driving, you can drive from Toronto to Ottawa. Travelling by car has several benefits, but it can be exhausting since you need to drive for more than 4 hours. 

On the other hand, this trip can be fun because the road is so scenic and you can stop and check out beautiful scenery and attractions on the road. 

What Are the Scenic Routes to Drive from Toronto to Ottawa?

There are several scenic routes you can take to drive from Toronto to Ottawa:

  • Highway 7: This route takes you through picturesque towns and countryside, offering a more leisurely drive. It starts by taking Highway 7 East from Toronto, passing through communities like Peterborough and Perth before joining Highway 417 East, which leads to Ottawa.
  • Old Highway 2: This route follows the north shore of Lake Ontario and passes through charming towns like Gananoque, Kingston, Belleville, and Brighton, which are beautiful small towns near Toronto. It takes you into downtown Ottawa along busy roads like Lakeshore Boulevard.
  • Highway 400 and Algonquin Park: Another option is to take Highway 400 north from Toronto to Highway 11, then east on Highway 60 through Algonquin Park to Highway 417, which leads to Ottawa. This route offers a scenic drive through the park.
  • Loyalist Parkway (Bath Road) and Prince Edward County: From Kingston, take Loyalist Parkway east to the ferry to Glenora on Prince Edward County, then go through Picton before joining the 401 East. This route offers a scenic drive through the county and along the lake shore.
Algonquin Park
Algonquin Park

These routes provide a more enjoyable and visually appealing drive, although they may take slightly longer than the direct route on the 401 Highway.

Tips on Driving from Toronto to Ottawa

Here are some tips that can help you have a better road trip to Ottawa:

  1. Best Route: The most direct and fastest route is to take Highway 401 from Toronto. This route is approximately 450 kilometres and takes around 4.5 hours without stops.
  2. Avoid Rush Hour: To avoid traffic, it is recommended to leave Toronto before 8 a.m. or after 10 a.m. Meanwhile, the peak hours are 7 a.m.- 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.- 6 p.m.
  3. Scenic Stops: If you have time, consider stopping at scenic spots like Presqu’ile Provincial Park, Sandbanks Provincial Park, Cobourg Beach, Boldt Castle, Sibbald Point, Charleston Lake, Algonquin Provincial Parks, Kingston, Oshawa, and Kawartha Lakes.
  4. Plan for Accommodation: If you want to make the drive into a longer adventure, consider staying overnight at one of the many hotels or accommodations along the way.
  5. Winter Driving: Avoid driving during winter if possible, as the highways can be icy and visibility can be poor. Spring and winter also bring the risk of wildlife on the roads.
  6. Summer is Best: The best time to drive from Toronto to Ottawa is during the summer months when the weather is better, and there are more daylight hours.
  7. Budget-Friendly: Driving is the cheapest way to get from Toronto to Ottawa, especially if you avoid toll roads and plan your stops carefully.
  8. Flexibility: With a car, you have the flexibility to stop whenever you want, which can make the drive more enjoyable and relaxing.

How Long is the Drive from Toronto to Ottawa?

The drive from Toronto to Ottawa takes approximately 4 hours and 23 minutes. The distance is 351 kilometres (218 miles) by the most direct route. 

4. Bus 

Travelling by bus can also be a cheap way to get to Ottawa from Toronto. On the other hand, it’s the longest trip. 

But if you don’t have any other choice, and the duration is not a matter to you, traveling by bus can be convenient and affordable. There are three companies offering bus services from Toronto to Ottawa, including: 

  • FlixBus: It’s one of the popular bus companies in Canada that operates daily services to Ottawa, with an average duration of 5 hours and 5 minutes. 
  • Red Arrow: This company operates twice daily services from Toronto to Ottawa, averaging 5 hours and 10 minutes.
  • Rider Express: Another well-known bus company offers daily services to Ottawa from Toronto, with an average duration of 6 hours. It’s also the cheapest of all. 

Generally, travelling in Canada by bus is a common way because you can find great amenities on the bus, making this long road more fun and tolerable to passengers.

However, the amenities might be different based on the bus company you choose. Therefore, if any special option you require, ask the company to ensure you can get that on the bus.

Here are some of the amenities that these companies offer: 

  • Free Wi-Fi,
  • Climate Control, 
  • Charging Ports, 
  • On-Board Safety Kits,
  • Armsets on End Seats,
  • Large and Comfortable Seats. 

Tips to Travel from Toronto to Ottawa by Bus

  • Departure is from Toronto Union Station Bus Terminal, and arrival is at Ottawa St-Laurent Station.
  • Booking your tickets in advance is better to secure the best prices. 
  • Verify the schedules for each service to ensure they fit your travel plans.
  • Buy tickets online from the company’s website. 

Bottom Line 

Whether by car, train, or plane, the journey from Toronto to Ottawa presents a chance to discover the rich heritage of both cities and enjoy the scenic beauty along the way.

With a variety of attractions and activities to experience in each destination, travelling from Toronto to Ottawa promises an unforgettable adventure.


What is the Best Way to Get from Toronto to Ottawa?

That depends on your preferences. If you want to get to Ottawa at the quickest time possible, Toronto to Ottawa flight is the best way. On the other hand, if time is not a matter to you and you don’t get tired of driving, then driving to Ottawa will be your choice as it offers wonderful scenery. 

How Long is the Train from Ottawa to Toronto?

The train journey from to Ottawa typically takes around 4-5 hours, depending on the specific route and stops along the way.

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