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downtown street near bus station toronto to guelph

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 once you’re done visiting 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, or Greyhound bus, we’ve covered all transportation options below!

Once you get to Guelph, check out these posts for trip planning!

Toronto to Guelph By Car

downtown buildings with cars parked on street toronto to guelph driving
There are a few parking lots located around 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, 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.

Address for Downtown Guelph Parking: 55 Chapel Lane

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 $116 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 toronto to guelph
There’s goes the GO Bus heading for downtown now!

If you want to take the bus to Guelph, the two options are the Greyhound or the Go Bus. They also leave from different places in Toronto so keep that in mind when planning. The Greyhound Bus takes between 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on the number of stops.

Taking the Greyhound bus is relatively simple because you just get on one bus and head for downtown Guelph. You can check the Greyhound schedule here.

The Go Bus takes a bit longer (around 2 hours 30 minutes) depending on whether you choose to leave early morning or late at night (those are the only bus-only time slots).

You COULD also start out by taking the GO Train in Toronto and connecting to a GO Bus (at the Mount Pleasant GO Station) but we will cover that combination when we talk about “trains to Guelph” down below.

Toronto to Guelph Greyhound Bus

We have never done this exact route but it’s with Greyhound so you can expect a safe ride from Toronto with a known brand. You can check out the Greyhound website to start trip planning.

Leaving Toronto on the Greyhound Bus

As we’ve mentioned in other posts on getting to places from Toronto, the downtown coach terminal can be tough to find. It is close to the corner of Bay and Dundas Street West. When you are there, just walk north towards Edward Street and the terminal entrance will be apparent on the left.

The Greyhound bus from Toronto to Guelph takes between 1 hour 30 and almost 2 hours – depending on how many stops. There are also multiple buses throughout a day – with as many as 8, 10, or 11 departures to Guelph on Fridays and Sundays. Fares are generally cheap – as little as CAD 10.00 one way for a “web fare” that is non-refundable.

Address of Toronto Coach/Greyhound Terminal Downtown: 610 Bay St, Toronto, ON

*You can also take the Greyhound bus from Toronto Pearson Airport to Guelph. There are usually 2 buses per day with as many as 4 on Sundays, leaving throughout the day.*

Arriving at Guelph Central Station

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. You’ll unload at the curbside (along the street) and then easily walk to where you need to go downtown.

Keep in mind that the station doesn’t have many amenities (like a washroom, cafe, ticket counter, etc) and there is very limited parking. There’s a ticket machine for the GO Bus if you need to buy a ticket and you can wait inside but that’s about it.

If you have farther to travel, you might also want to catch the city bus in which case you can find the Guelph Transport site here. Guelph is also very bike-friendly should you want to rent a bike – check out Speed River Bicycles in that case.

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

Toronto to Guelph GO Bus

The other bus option is to take the GO Bus from Toronto Union Station GO Bus Terminal to Guelph Central Station. The GO Bus is tricky because it only has a handful of departures each day (3 in the very early morning and 2 in the late evening) keep you on a bus the whole time.

Other departure slots throughout a regular day have you starting out taking the GO Train on the Kitchener Line AND THEN switching to a bus at Mount Pleasant GO Station. You’d look for the bus #31 or #33 (plus added letters like “A” or “C” to get to Guelph – but ask a staff/driver if you are unsure because it can get confusing.

You can find the whole “mini schedule” for the GO Bus + Train to Guelph here. It’s actually easy to read once you understand it.

Leaving Toronto on 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.

These buses that run to Guelph 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 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 a ticket and less ($13.59) if you use Presto.

Address of Union Station Bus Terminal: 141 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario

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. 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 Bus if you need to buy a ticket and you can wait inside but that’s about it.

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

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

Toronto to Guelph by Train

red train station with tower and cars parked in front toronto to guelph central station
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. You can find the GO Train schedule above with the GO Bus and the ViaRail schedule just below.

Toronto to Guelph ViaRail Train

If you want to take the ViaRail, it runs to Guelph twice a day from Toronto. Train # 85 leaves at 10:55 am and takes about 1 hour 10 minutes. Train #87 leaves Toronto at 17:40 and also 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 $20 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 here.

*To get back, it’s the same idea – you can leave Guelph at 9:44 am or 22:12 to head back to Toronto Union.*

Toronto to Guelph Go Train

If you want to take the GO Train to Guelph, you can take a number of combination to get there. During the day, you can start your trip by taking a train BUT then you have to get on a bus along the way (usually Mount Pleasant). These journeys take about 2 hours in total.

You CAN take the GO Train all the way to Guelph, but you have to leave Toronto after 15:35 because that’s when all the commuters (people who work in Toronto) are returning home to Guelph. Make sense? They only run trains directly to Guelph during commuter hours.

So, it’s likely you will take a combination of the GO Train and GO Bus to get to Guelph. Also, since weekday and weekend schedules vary slightly, it’s important to check ahead of time to know how and when you are travelling. Here is the “mini schedule for Monday to Friday” to check for yourself.

Tip: You can also buy the GO Train ticket through the ViaRail site!

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.

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 OR 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 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).

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

Arriving into Guelph Central Station on Train

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

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 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!

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

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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