car free day trips toronto

The top 5 day trips from Toronto if you don't have a car

Day trips from Toronto are a ritual, but it can be tough to get in on the fun when you don't have access to a car. There are, however, some options worth exploring for the car-less among us. Whether it be through GO Transit or alternative services, it's possible to ditch Toronto in favour of the country even if you've never set foot behind the wheel.

Here are my picks for the top car-free day trips from Toronto.

Bring your bike to Niagara

Niagara Falls has always been one of the easiest day trips to make without a car thanks to the various buses that deliver people from Toronto to the kitsch capital of the country, but throughout the summer GO Transit also offers service from Union to Niagara-on-the-Lake that allows you to bring a bike and explore the region at large.

Soak up small town Ontario in Stratford

Those looking to catch some theatre or to soak up the vibe of small town Ontario can take the Stratford Direct Bus, which runs on performance days between May and October. The return fare is $25 with a festival ticket, which makes this an affordable way to indulge in some culture while also escaping the big city.

Go on a waterfall hunt in Hamilton

There are so many reasons to go to Hamilton, but perhaps the most scenic is the city's host of waterfalls, many of which can be reached easily from downtown. Take the 45 minute ride on the GO Bus from Union Station and then head out to explore the Chedoke and Bruce trails, which are lined with breathtaking waterfalls and gorgeous vistas.

Head to Lake Simcoe without getting stuck on the 400

If you're dying to get out of the city on an oppressively hot weekend, head north to Lake Simcoe and spend the day exploring Barrie. The city sometimes gets a bad reputation, but they have a nice waterfront area and there's a burgeoning beer scene here. For a day by the lake, take the train to Allandale Waterfront GO Station and head to Centennial Beach.

Hop on the Parkbus and explore Ontario

In addition to weekend getaways to places like Algonquin Park, the Parkbus also heads to closer spots like the Elora Gorge, Kelso, Rattlesnake Point, and Albion Hills. These trips depart from a variety of downtown pickup spots in the morning and return in the evening, allowing you to forget about driving in favour of exploration and fun.

Lead photo by

Parkbus Facebook page


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