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Here’s How To Get From Toronto To Kingston!
Exploring Ontario? Good – you’re definitely in the right place! If you are in the Toronto area but itching to go east to experience places like Ottawa or Kingston, you’ll need to plan out how to get there.
Luckily, the route from Toronto to Kingston is well established – and you can do it a bunch of ways: driving, Megabus, rideshare, train, or even fly (in theory)!
Eric lived in Kingston for years and made the trip between Kingston and the Toronto area no less than 150 times. He was mostly driving himself but has taken the bus and train, too. In any case, he knows how to get from Toronto to Kingston.
Just so you know, Toronto to Kingston on a day trip is doable but it would be a long day. The driving time is around 2.5 hours (without traffic) and at a distance of around 260 kilometres (160 miles) – it’s a lot of driving for a few hours to explore Kingston! Anyway, let’s dive in!
Toronto to Kingston: All Options
As we said, there are basically four main modes of transportation between Toronto and Kingston: car, bus, train, and plane. We guess you could boat there but that would be a long ride up the lake… let us know if you do that! Below are the actually feasible options!
Toronto to Kingston By Car
The best way to get between Toronto and Kingston is by car. The drive is about 2.5 hours on one highway – the 401. You will pass by/through many smaller towns, cities, parks, wineries in Prince Edward County, and rest stops – like The Big Apple in Colborne!
Once you near Kingston, aim for exits #615 (Sir John A Macdonald Blvd), or #617 (Division Street). These are the most popular routes and will bring you right downtown – Division more so than Sir John A.
If you are travelling around more of Ontario (or on towards Montreal) it might make the most sense to rent a car – if you don’t have your car with you – given the distances between city centres. In fact, this is the best way to go – let’s be serious.
Since it’s a bit of a longer drive you could also consider a rideshare. There are websites set up to help coordinate jumping into a vehicle that is heading in that direction. There are Poparide and Kijiji – and Queen’s University also has an unofficial RideShare Facebook group.
A seat in a car is usually around $20-25 CAD. We’ve never done this but we know people who use ride sharing frequently. It’s a cheap way to get back and forth. It’s also a good way for drivers to make gas money, have company, and not kill the environment – win, win, win!
We suppose you could take a cab from Toronto or limo/airport shuttle from Toronto Pearson Airport – but a personal driver would be hundreds of dollars. Still, an option for larger groups – here’s a website for prices!
Toronto to Kingston by Bus
You can also get to Kingston by bus. Same highway as driving (the 401) except you can relax and watch the landscape go by! For this, you are taking the Megabus!
The Greyhound Bus goes from Toronto to Ottawa but not through Kingston. So, you’d have to go to Ottawa and then go to Kingston. It takes 11 hours, is really expensive and makes no sense. Don’t do that unless you are actually going to Ottawa to check it out, too.
The only bus option is MegaBus – but it’s a great option. In fact, you can search on Coach Canada’s website for buses and it brings you to MegaBus.
They run the route from Toronto to Montreal and Kingston is a popular stop on the way. Usually the buses say “To Montreal via Kingston”. It goes 14 times a day and the shortest run is around 2.5 hours which is good. Here’s the Toronto to Kingston MegaBus landing page to check schedules and prices.
We took this bus all the way to Montreal and back and it was great. There are a few stops along the way as you exit Toronto but it’s easy to get on from downtown Toronto.
Address of Toronto Coach/MegaBus Terminal Downtown: 610 Bay St, Toronto, ON
The terminal in downtown Toronto can be a little hidden – it’s close to the corner of Bay and Dundas Street West… then walk north to Edward Street and the entrance will suddenly appear on the left. It’s confusing because it’s not obvious at first, trust us – it’s there.
Once you are in Kingston, you will arrive at the Kingston Bus Terminal. It’s just off the Highway 401 off of Division Street – meaning it’s not too close to downtown (which is where you want to go for your hotel or attractions). Here is the address:
Address: 1175 John Counter Blvd, Kingston, ON
Once you get off, there’s a Tim Hortons close by. The Kingston city bus #18 comes once an hours basically so you could wait. Here is the bus schedule.
You can also grab a cab to head downtown (usually a few are waiting at the bus arrivals) or call for one. Kingston cabs are – to be honest – not great but you have to deal with them. There’s Amey’s and Modern – but there is also Uber still for now. They all have a mobile app which can be helpful when you have wifi on the MegaBus.
Toronto to Kingston by Train
If you want to get to Kingston and also get a chance to relax, see the countryside, and get away from the cars, the train ride is the way to go! The operator is ViaRail (proudly Canadian) and they are pretty good! Eric has travelled that route dozens of times and it’s been great each time, honestly.
There are as many as 14 departures from Toronto Union Station to Kingston Train Station per day – some days have less. The train takes about – on average – 2 hours and 10 minutes. Some are 2 hours 30 minutes and some are 2 hours 9 minutes depending on extra stops. If you book online early enough the “Escape” Fare is as cheap as $60.00 CAD but this differs depending on which day and time you are looking at!
Union Station is right in Downtown Toronto. It’s is the busiest transit hub in the country, and the ViaRail leaves from the platforms up on the tracks. Once you enter the Grand Hall / Via Concourse, you’ll see signs for Departures. If you are unsure, just ask a staff person since the station might still be under construction (like always).
Address of Union Station: 65 Front St W, Toronto, ON
The train station in Kingston itself is pretty small but there’s a few shops for food, coffee, and convenience store things. There’s also a large parking lot with paid parking and pickup/drop off. Here’s more information on the Kingston Viarail train station.
Address: 1800 John Counter Blvd Kingston, ON
Now, the thing about the Kingston Via Rail station is that it is kind of in the middle of nowhere (like the bus station) – and it can be a pain to get downtown. You cannot walk. It’s too far – so you have to get picked up by a friend (optimal), take the city bus (#18 is once an hour), Uber, or take a cab.
The issue here is that EVERYONE ELSE also needs to take a cab – and if you take a train and get in at a peak hour (Sunday night at 5:30 pm) from Toronto, the line for taxis is absolutely massive.
It’s best to form a group of 3 or 4 people who are heading downtown (everyone usually is) fill a cab/Uber, and split it as you get dropped off. It’s a good way to make friends! You can TRY to pre-order a cab but usually they just get snatched so it’s not a guarantee.
The train is a great option – just know that the Kingston side of things can be annoying at times. If you travel mid-week you are basically good – only weekends can be a bit busier at the station.
Toronto to Kingston by Plane
If you really want to (or if it makes sense since you are flying in from elsewhere), you can fly to Kingston. You’d fly from Toronto Pearson International (which is also outside the downtown/centre).
Address of Toronto Pearson: 6301 Silver Dart Dr, Mississauga, ON
Kingston has a tiny airport called Norman Rogers Airport (YGK) and the airport is also well outside the Kingston city centre. You’d grab a cab, most likely.
There are 9 routes per day making the short flight (like 45 minutes). Eric has never done it – but has friends from school who did it ONLY because they connected through from Calgary, for example.
That said, if you want more information on flying to Kingston, you can visit the Kingston Airport (Norman Rogers Airport) website.
Address of Kingston Airport: 1114 Len Birchall Way, Kingston, ON
And there you have it – basically all of the ways possible to get from Toronto to Kingston. In the end, driving is optimal, bus and train next, and plane last. Let us know which route you take and how you enjoy Kingston! Check out our others posts on attractions in Kingston, bars and pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, or the 1000 Islands Boat Cruise if you need inspiration for your visit!
As always, Keep Exploring, eh?
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