Ontario — Transportation
Ontario Taxis and Car Rental
Taxi service is reliable, but expensive, in both Toronto and Ottawa. Taxi fees from Toronto companies like 416-Taxicab (+1-416-829-4222) begin at C$4 before vehicles leave the parking lot and increase by C $0.25 every 509 feet. Blueline (+1-613-238-1111) is one of Ottawa’s biggest taxi companies, with a fleet of over 600 cabs ready to pick up passengers 24 hours. In Ottawa, taxi fees begin at C$2.90 per day and increase by C$1.60 per kilometer and C $0.45 for every minute spent stuck in traffic. Most major Ottawa hotels and other buildings have taxis parked in front, but taxis can also be hailed on the street or by telephone.
Although taxi fees are cheaper in smaller Ontario cities, rental cars are a more reliable way to travel between communities, especially in northern Ontario where distances are vast and public transportation options are few and far between. Car rental is easy to find at Toronto’s Union Station as well as at most major Ontario airports and hotels.
Ontario Water Taxis
Ontario’s main ferry services are the Pelee Islander and MV Jiimaan ferries to Pelee Island, the Chi-Cheemaun ferry between Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula community of Tobermory from May to October, and 15-minute ferry excursions to the Toronto Islands from downtown Toronto.
Ontario Trains and Buses
Toronto’s public transit system ranks third only behind New York City and Mexico City in terms of passenger usage. The Toronto Transit Commission operates not only an efficient inner city bus network, but also Canada’s largest subway network and the country’s only surviving streetcar network. OC Transpo, Ottawa’s public transportation network, operates both the Transitway bus network and an O-Train light rail system. Most small Ontario cities have small inner city bus networks.
Ontario’s main inter-city bus companies are Greyhound Canada, which services almost 1,100 communities across the country, and Pacific Western, a charter bus company which travels to Montréal, Buffalo, Brampton, and Niagara Falls. Ne-On operates two daily buses from New York City to Toronto.
VIA Rail connects Toronto with Ottawa, Québec, western Canada, and several small southern Ontario communities. Amtrak operates regular routes between Toronto, Niagara Falls, and New York City. GO Transit is a popular commuter network across the Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe areas. The Ontario Northland rail route between Toronto and northern Ontario recently ended in August 2012.