How to Get From Toronto to Guelph: Your Transportation Options

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Here’s How To Get From Toronto To Guelph!

Heading to Guelph from Toronto and wondering how to do it? Exploring Guelph is a great idea. The small city makes a great day trip from Toronto – and you’ve got options to get there!

We really like Guelph and are lucky enough to have a car to drive back and forth. That said, Eric has taken the bus to Guelph and back from Toronto in the past as well.

In this post, we’ll outline all the routes and the pros and cons of each. So, whether you are looking for a ride from Toronto to Guelph, take a taxi from Toronto Airport, or want to take the GO Train, GO Bus, we’ve covered all transportation options below!

Toronto to Guelph Transport Options

  • By Car: As fast as 1 hour 20 minutes from downtown Toronto via Highway 401
  • By Bus: As fast as 2 hours 35 minutes (from downtown) with GoTransit (Bus)
  • By Train: As fast as 1 hour 10 with ViaRail (frequent 1 hour 27 minutes trains with GoTransit)

Toronto to Guelph By Car

downtown buildings with cars parked on street at busy intersection
There are a few parking lots located downtown.

Since most of southern Ontario is connected by roads, it makes sense that the most common way to go from Toronto to Guelph is by car. The (driving) distance from Toronto to Guelph is about 100 km.

However, this measure also depends on where you are starting in Toronto and the actual highway route you end up driving.

Toronto to Guelph Self Drive

If you are driving (usually from within/around Toronto), you just take Highway 401 west towards London/Sarnia.

The drive is pretty rural and green once you leave the city and enter Milton, etc. Then you can take Highway 46 (Exit #299) which turns into Gordon Street and takes you RIGHT through downtown.

The other option once you get near Guelph is to exit north on Highway 6 (Exit #295) to head into town. You’ll then have to get off at Wellington Street West to head downtown.

Both are pretty simple – just follow the signs. If you are visiting Ontario, a rental car comes in handy about now.

Overall, the trip takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. However, the estimated time is VERY DEPENDENT on the time of day (and thus the traffic) leaving Toronto.

You could also take Highway 7 from Toronto. You’ll end up heading through Brampton and going through smaller towns/cities like Georgetown and Acton.

Once you get to downtown Guelph, there is street parking but also a few paid lots scattered close to/in the downtown core.

Search for the Baker Street, Wyndham Street, or Chapel Lane Parking lots. They are all clumped together and a very quick walk to the heart of downtown.

Navigation Address for Downtown Guelph Parking: 55 Chapel Lane, Guelph, ON

If you are visiting the province, renting a car is a great way to get this drive done without much hassle.

Toronto to Guelph Rideshare

If you didn’t want to rent a car, you could always look into a rideshare. Toronto to Guelph is a fairly popular corridor so you might find a ride in one direction or both for cheap.

You could check out Poparide and/or Kijiji to arrange pick-up and price. We’d expect a Poparide car-share ride to be about $12.00 to $14.00/way.

Toronto to Guelph Taxi/Shuttle

Generally, people take a taxi or shuttle from Toronto when they are arriving at the airport. This is because they have bags with them and it can be a hassle to take the bus or train.

Luckily, Toronto Pearson Airport has flat rates for “out of town” locations. To Guelph, it would be about $130 CAD in a taxi and slightly more in a Toronto Pearson Airport limo taxi. Here’s the official Airport website for prices!

If you want to look into a private company, Red Car Service is based in Guelph and runs shuttle services between Guelph and Toronto Pearson Airport. You can check out their fares here.

Toronto to Guelph by Bus

green GO bus turning towards downtown guelph buildings with sky above
There’s goes the GO Bus heading for downtown now!

If you want to take the bus to Guelph, the only option is the Go Transit Bus. The Go Bus takes a bit longer (around 2 hours 35 minutes) depending on whether you choose to leave early morning or late at night (those are the only bus-only time slots).

There are, however, several Go Bus and Train combination trips where you have to change somewhere. We will try to cover these combinations when we talk about “trains to Guelph” down below.

The Go Transit Bus option is to take the GO Bus from Toronto Union Station GO Bus Terminal to Guelph Central Station. It is a bit tricky because it only has a handful of bus-only direct trips each day – either early or very late.

Other departure slots throughout a regular day have you start by taking the Go Train or Go Bus to another station (like Aldershot, Kipling, or Square One in Mississauga) and then changing to a bus which then stops in Guelph.

The easiest way to figure it out is to go to the See Schedules Page on Go Transit and type in the date, time, and starting and end points. Go’s website is actually much better/reliable for trip planning.

Leaving Toronto on the GO Bus

If you do catch the Go Bus, the GO Bus Station at Union Station (called the Union Station Bus Terminal) is outside and right beside the main Union Station building to the east. You’ll see a number of platforms, green buses, and people waiting.

Navigation Address of Union Station Bus Terminal: 81 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario

These buses that run to Guelph Central Go Station directly are number 31. Check the TV screens for the exact platform number, though. You can always ask a driver – they are generally really friendly.

Also, you can buy a ticket at the machines, online in advance, or use your Presto Card (the Toronto transit fare card) to “tap” onto the bus (which is a simple way, too).

Fares are $16.15 (one way) if you just buy an e-ticket ticket and less ($13.59) if you use Presto.

Arriving in Guelph on the GO Bus

As we said above, once you arrive in Guelph, the bus station (which is also the train station and near the Guelph Transit bus station) is located right downtown.

Navigation Address Guelph Central Station: 79 Carden St, Guelph, ON N1H 3A4

You’ll unload at the curb out front and then you can easily walk to where you need to go downtown.

Again, remember that the station doesn’t have many amenities (like a washroom, cafe, ticket counter, etc) and that there is very limited parking.

There’s a ticket machine for the GO Transit Bus if you need to buy a ticket and you can wait inside but that’s about it.

If you have further to travel, you might also want to catch the city bus in which case you can find the Guelph Transport site here.

Toronto to Guelph by Train

red train station with tower and cars parked in front
Guelph Central Station is right downtown.

If you want to take the train from Toronto to Guelph, you have two options: the GO Train or the ViaRail Train.

The GO Train is the Ontario regional train while the ViaRail is a Trans-Canada Train that just happens to pass through Guelph heading for Sarnia.

Below we will breakdown how to take each train to Guelph and what might make the most sense for you.

Toronto to Guelph ViaRail Train

If you want to take the ViaRail, it runs to Guelph once per day (updated early 2024).

Train #87 leaves Toronto at 17:40 and takes about 1 hour 10 minutes. That’s a pretty fast way to get to Guelph – but it’ll be a little more expensive (as little as $23-25 CAD).

You can check the ViaRail schedule here yourself. You can also learn more about what to expect in Guelph when taking the ViaRail train on the ViaRail website here.

*To get back to Toronto it’s the same idea but would be the next day – train #84 leaves Guelph at 12:26 pm to head back to Toronto Union and gets in at 1:38 pm.

Toronto to Guelph Go Train

The most practical option for train between Toronto and Guelph would be the Go Transit Train. They have made schedule updates in recent years and are renovating the Guelph Station for more frequent two-way trains in the near future.

In 2024, there are now several train-only (direct, no transfers) trips from Toronto to Guelph one in the morning, then around lunch, then a bunch in the late afternoon (to serve the commuters heading home to Guelph from Toronto). These train trips take about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Also, since weekday and weekend schedules vary slightly, it’s important to check the GO Transit Schedule ahead of time to know how and when you are travelling.

Leaving Toronto Union Station on Train

To take the Go Train from Union Station to Guelph, go to Union Station on Front Street. Once inside – they have built new halls and concourses – you need to head up to the tracks.

Navigation Address of Union Station: 65 Front St W, Toronto, ON

The GO Train tracks are above your head (physically) so find a TV screen, look for the platform number, and take the appropriate stairs/elevator up to the trains.

It’s easy if you’re in the newly opened York Concourse (at the west end of Union Station). You can always ask a staff member if you are lost – they are super friendly!

Remember, you can buy a ticket at the machines in the station, online before, or simply use your Presto Card (the Toronto transit fare card) to “tap” on at one of the little green terminals before you head up to the platform.

To take the Via Rail train, same building, same tracks, slightly different approach. There is a “Grand Concourse” for ViaRail Trains and you go down a big ramp in the middle of the building to the waiting area.

From there, you get your ticket checked and then go up escalators to the Via Platforms (which are essentially up beside the GO Trains).

Arriving at Guelph Central Station by Train

When you get up to Guelph, both the ViaRail and Go Trains end up at the same place. If you took the ViaRail, just get off of the train and head downtown.

Navigation Address for Guelph Central Station: 79 Carden St, Guelph, ON N1H 3A4

In case you used a Presto Card to tap onto the GO Train, you also need to tap off the train in Guelph on the platform if you’re just visiting and if Guelph is not your “home station”.

You don’t usually have to “close your loop” when using your Presto Card on the Toronto subway, for example, but you do have to “tap out” of the system if you take the GO Train.

Once again, you are basically right downtown so you can walk, cab, bus, or bike to where you need to get to!

Related Articles

If you are planning a trip to Guelph or the surrounding area, check out these helpful posts as well:

And there you have it – basically all of the ways possible to get from Toronto to Guelph. Guelph makes for a great day or weekend trip and it’s not hard to get there – so make use of the public transport available.

You don’t always need a car in Ontario! Once there, you’ll find a great city for hiking and nature. Enjoy Guelph!

As always, Keep Exploring, eh?
– E&L

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Eric Wychopen is a Canadian content writer who loves to share his passion for Ontario. Originally from a small town in Simcoe County, he has almost 50 countries under his belt - but Ontario will always be home. Having travelled thousands of kilometres across the province for work and play, Eric has a wealth of knowledge about the province and is always looking for new experiences in Ontario.