Public transport between toronto and st catharines – toronto forum – tripadvisor f gas certification logo


I am travelling to Ontario to visit family at the start of June, there will be myself, my wife, my sister and her boyfriend (all between 25 & 30). We are starting our trip in Toronto for 2 nights staying downtown (Sat 4th & Sun 5th June) then somehow travelling down to St Catharines (where we have book a rental car) on Mon 6th for 7 nights. Can anyone suggest what is the easiest way to travel to St Catharines from Toronto on public transport on that Monday morning?

The ViaRail service between Toronto and St Catharines seems scarce with only a couple of trains a day on weekdays. The GO service seems fairly regular but would take over 2 hours. I take it there is no other way to make this journey or either company increase their services in the Spring/Summer?

Also might be looking to do the same journey the following Friday or Saturday to take in the Blue Jays game vs the Red Sox at the Rogers Centre. I would prefer not having to drive to allow us all to have a few drinks before/during and after the game. Is it easier to consider the Saturday afternoon game to allow us to get back to St Catharines earlier in the evening?

Okay, well first off all, since I have family both out Kitchener way and down Niagara way, let me just tell you that getting to and from those two areas direct is just not great. The two areas are not well connected to each other, so that’s going to be a bit of a hassle for both sides to arrange. Just so you know.

Here’s a fantastic site for the wine info; pretty much any of these wineries are of interest.… Beamsville itself is the heart of our major Ontario wine industry, lucky you; some of the best ones are in there.

I would suggest that you really don’t need to keep moving hotels in order ot spend the time in Niagara Falls. St. Catharines is only about a 25 minute hop down the highway from Niagara, and if you are already staying in that area, it is much cheapter than to stay in the Falls area proper (you’re in MAJOR high tourist season). St. Catharines, Beamsville, Niagara on the Lake…all are neighbours within about 20 minutes of each other, so it’s more of a comfort level thing (i.e. not moving every few days) and a cost issue.

Traffic OUT of Toronto on a Friday is nightmarish because of cottage season. Traffic INTO Toronto on a Friday in the summer is not as bad. It’s just that the itinerary you’re setting for yourself is kind of back ‘n’ forth, like a duck in a shooting gallery. You’re going to get tired of all that highway driving pretty quickly. It will depend on what concert or whatever is doing in Toronto on that specific weekend, too.

Toronto for a few days (maybe coincide with a game). You can accomplish a drive in and out of Kitchener during that time. It’s only about 1.25 hours to Kitchener on a direct and flat stretch of highway; I often have to drive there ‘n’ back to Toronto on same day. Quite do-able.

Then, transfer from Toronto to St. Catharines. Make sure you book a dinner at Treadwell’s, in St. Catharines. AMAZING chef. Check out some of that winery info for the area, spend a day or two doing that. A number of the wineries have restaurants.

You probably only need to plan only one day at the Falls; if you are in St. Catharines, you can start the day early, and do the Maid of the Mist boat (truly a must-do!) first, before the crowds get bad (after 11 am) and then just spend the rest of the day with the rampant tourism of the falls. If you really want to move hotels, go from St. Catharines to Niagara on the Lake, it’s only 15 minutes from the falls, lots of action without all the additional tour buses. Quaint town with the added attraction of the Shaw Festival, one of Canada’s premier summer theatre companies, celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, featuring the works of GB Shaw, see:

Get yourself to Buffalo, do the cheap flight to Chicago. Then consider taking Porter Airlines from Chicago Midway airport direct to Toronto’s Island (downtown) airport. Great little airline, not as cheap as Southwest, but they just excel at service. Never heard a bad word about them yet. You’ll land within a stone’s throw of the baseball stadium, BTW, where, if you build the timing right, you could perhaps stay over your last night in downtown Toronto, taking in that game.