How To Get From Toronto To Ottawa: All Your Transportation Options

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Here’s How To Get From Toronto To Ottawa!

So you are in Toronto and thinking to yourself how neat exploring Canada’s capital would be, right? Well, if you are done visiting Toronto and want to get from Toronto to Ottawa, you certainly have options!

The route from Toronto to Ottawa is pretty well laid out – meaning you can get there in a bunch of ways: driving yourself, rideshare, train, taking the bus, or even taking a flight with Porter! Each one differs by time spent travelling, total distance, and cost – and each has its own pros and cons.

Before he met Lisa, Eric had driven to Ottawa countless times. Now with Lisa, we’ve made the trip from Toronto to/through Ottawa (heading for Petawawa, Quebec City, etc.) many times.

Having lived in Kingston for so long (basically halfway to Ottawa from Toronto) it was easy to pop up to Ottawa to visit friends, run errands, etc. So, needless to say, we know how to get to Ottawa. Let’s get you there, too!

Toronto to Ottawa Transport Options

  • By Car: Between 4.5 and 5 hours from downtown Toronto (traffic and route depending)
  • By Bus: Between 5 and 5.5 hours (from downtown Toronto) with either FlixBus or Megabus
  • By Train: Average 4 hours 30 minutes (direct, with some stops) with ViaRail
  • By Plane: About an 1 hour (direct from either Pearson or Billy Bishop Airport)

Toronto to Ottawa By Car

The most common way to get between Toronto and Ottawa is likely by car.

The (driving) distance from Toronto to Ottawa is between 400 – 450 km and takes between 4.5 and 5 hours – depending on the route you take and traffic.

Toronto to Ottawa Self Drive

You can either go Highway 401 out of Toronto all the way to Highway 416 (heads north) into Ottawa, then catch the 417 (which is basically in Ottawa) or take Highway 7 from around Peterborough all the way into Ottawa, again, catching the 417 once you get there.

Option 1 with the 401 is faster and easier, whereas Highway 7 (part of the Trans Canada Highway) is more scenic and a tad slower with small towns on the way.

Overall, the trip to Ottawa from Toronto is scenic with green trees, open fields, and rock formations along the highway as you go.

You can even stop in small towns or at famous roadside attractions like The Big Apple in Colborne!

Once you are approaching Ottawa, follow the signs for the downtown/city centre. You’ll end up on the 417 that runs through the south end of the city centre.

Then just get off where you need, like Bronson Ave or Bank Street. Renting a car is a great way to get this drive done without much hassle. The drive is quite nice, too!

Toronto to Ottawa Rideshare

If you wanted to Rideshare between the cities, there are plenty of cars heading in that direction. You could check out Poparide and/or Kijiji to arrange pick-up and price (usually $30-40 CAD).

In case you were wondering, a cab from Pearson to Ottawa would be over $700.00 CAD so you’d be better off booking a flight from downtown Toronto – unless you have a large group then maybe it makes sense? Here’s a website for prices!

Toronto to Ottawa by Bus

You can also get to Ottawa from Toronto by bus. For this option, there are two bus companies that service this route: FlixBus or Megabus.

The trip is about 5 hours (from Union Station Downtown Toronto) and each service runs a few routes (6 and 8, respectively) per day.

The buses both leaves from the new Union Station Bus terminal in Toronto.  It’s at the corner of Bay St & Lakeshore Blvd. on the 2nd floor.

Navigation Address of Union Station Bus Terminal Downtown: 81 Bay St, Toronto, ON

The Toronto-Ottawa route is often the same bus that takes you from Toronto-Kingston… it just keeps going to Ottawa as a final destination.

Once you are in Ottawa, the buses arrive at different points.

The Megabus will arrive at St Laurent Station – Stop E. You can then take the 1 Blair Line of the LRT to get downtown.

Navigation Address: 1300 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1B

The Flixbus is supposed to pick-up/drop-off at 35 George St, Ottawa, ON K1N 6Z6 (near ByWard Market) but it apparently now (in early 2024) drops off at this location on Commissioner Street. Check this FlixBus page about their Ottawa stops for current information.

Toronto to Ottawa by Train

If driving and buses aren’t for you, then you are in luck – because Ontario’s larger centres (and even some smaller cities) DO have train service.

For these long-distance trains, you can take the ViaRail. Eric has taken the ViaRail to Kingston and Montreal loads of times and the ride is always really good, honestly.

For the Toronto to Ottawa train route, there are as many as 10 departures from Toronto Union Station to Ottawa daily. Some days have less frequency.

The train takes about – on average – 4 hours and 30 minutes. If you book online the “Escape Fare” is as cheap as $50.00 CAD (one way) but you have to book online and book early usually!

To leave from Toronto, head down to Union Station which is on Front Street. This is Canada’s busiest transportation hub (even busier than Pearson) so you certainly can’t miss it!

To take the ViaRail train, follow signs for the Grand Hall / Via Concourse, and then down the ramp, you’ll see signs for Departures. You can always ask a staff member if you are lost – they are super friendly!

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

The Ottawa Train Station is nothing fancy – although it’s celebrating its 50th birthday! It’s very much a terminal for picking up people and getting on/off trains.

There’s not much for food options, but there is a large parking lot with paid parking, and also a pickup/drop-off. Here’s more information about the Ottawa ViaRail train station.

Navigation Address: 200 Tremblay Rd, Ottawa, ON K1G 3H5, Canada

The train station isn’t right downtown so you will need to either take the bus (OC Transpo) or grab a taxi to get to your next location/downtown.

You can hop on bus route #61 in the direction of Terry Fox and it’ll take you just over 20 minutes to get right downtown Ottawa.

Toronto to Ottawa by Plane

The final option would be to fly from Toronto to Ottawa. Unlike flying to Kingston (which has a tiny airport), flying to Ottawa isn’t as crazy an idea given that it is the nation’s capital city.

Generally, we wouldn’t recommend flying this route due to its environmental impact and the fact that there are good alternatives. However, this option can make sense if you are flying from elsewhere into Toronto and then connecting through to Ottawa.

For the flying option, there are two airports you could potentially fly from in Toronto: Toronto Pearson International (YYZ, outside the city centre) or Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ, located on the Toronto Islands close to downtown). We will explain the difference in-depth below.

Ottawa has a small but busy international airport called… Ottawa International Airport (airport code YOW). The airport is located in Nepean which is well south of the city centre. You’d grab a cab to get into the city, most likely.

Navigation Address of Ottawa: 1000 Airport Parkway Private, Ottawa, ON K1V 9B4, Canada

The airport is not as large as Toronto Pearson but still has a few US flights and serves mainly Canadian/Ontario destinations – like Toronto. We flew out of Ottawa for the first time recently (to Halifax) and we actually really, really like it.

Flying to Ottawa from Pearson Toronto Airport

There are many (in 2024, easily over a dozen depending on the day of the week) direct daily routes making the flight from Toronto Pearson Airport to Ottawa, in case you wanted to know.

The vast majority of the flights are serviced by Air Canada or Porter (and one with WestJet). Flight time is just over 1 hour (about 1 hour 5 minutes).

Navigation Address of Toronto Pearson: 6301 Silver Dart Dr, Mississauga, ON

Flying to Ottawa from Billy Bishop Airport

There are approximately 12 daily direct routes making the short flight (approximately 57 minutes) from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. This is the airport on Toronto Island and it is not Pearson.

The flights out of YTZ to Ottawa are serviced by Air Canada and Porter. Flying is more expensive but much faster and Porter is a great small airline to go with.

Navigation Address: Address for Billy Bishop: 2 Eireann Quay, Toronto, ON M5V 1A1, Canada

Related Articles

If you are still planning your Ottawa trip, also have a look at these articles:

And there you have it – basically all of the ways possible to get from Toronto to Ottawa.

We’re sure that you will choose a way that works best for you – you certainly have options. Be sure to relax and enjoy Ottawa when you get there!

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.