Getting from Toronto to Calgary (and return)
Toronto, the capital of Ontario, is the most populous city in Canada. The city is located on the shores of Lake Ontario and offers a lot of things to do. Travelers can spend some time on the beach or walking in the city. Don’t forget to visit some museums or the zoo.
Calgary is the largest city in Alberta Province and is the gateway into the Rocky Mountains. It is the most likely point of access for Banff and Jasper. While here make sure to check out the Chinatown , some of the museums and parks.
Due to the long distance between the two cities , choosing the means of transportation depends on both the budget and the time available to cover the distance.
Flying is fastest and the single fares start at CAD $287* for early spring 2012. But you’ll cover the distance in less than 4 ½ h.
Buses are definitely the cheapest choice, with single fares starting at CAD $170.10. But the travel time is 2 ½ days.
Since Calgary is not served by a railway station, you need to take the train to Edmonton and then catch a bus for the last part of the journey. It’s expensive and time consuming.
Flights from Toronto to Calgary
Although Toronto is served by three airports, the one handling flights to Calgary is Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), located about 23 km from the city center. It is the busiest airport in Canada and hub for Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Transat, CanJet, Sunwing Airlines and WestJet.
Calgary International Airport (YYC) serves the city and the surrounding area and is located about 17 km from downtown. It is Canada’s fourth busiest airport and headquarter for WestJet, as well as hub for Air Canada and Canada Express.
If you plan to fly between the two cities for the winter holidays (2011), expect to pay from CAD $384 one way on Air Canada . Flying in mid-March 2012 means you’ll pay from CAD $287 one way on WestJet . The flight time is 4 h 18 min.
Trains and buses from Toronto to Calgary
Due to service cut backs in the 1990s, there’s no rail service to Calgary. However, you can travel by train on VIA Rail Canada to Edmonton and then catch a bus to Calgary.
1. Trains from Toronto to Edmonton
There is one train connecting the two cities and departs Toronto daily at 10 p.m. It arrives in Edmonton after 2 days 10 h 37 min. The single adult fare is CAD $244.08.
The train leaves Edmonton daily at 11:45 p.m. and arrives in Toronto after 2 days 10 h 45 min.
The single adult ticket is CAD $226.80.
>>read more about Train Travel in Canada
2. Edmonton to Calgary
Greyhound Canada runs a service between Edmonton and Calgary , which also includes express buses, which take between 3 ½ h and 3h 50 min to cover the distance between the two cities. There are 5 express buses per day departing from Edmonton, the first leaving at 7 a.m. and the last at 6 p.m. The advance purchase single adult fare is CAD $34.00.
Regular buses depart 3 times per day and take between 3h50 min and 5h15 min to cover the distance. Advance purchase single adult fare is also CAD $34.00.
Express buses depart 5 times per day from Calgary as well, the first bus leaving at 7 a.m. and the last at 6 p.m. There are three regular buses serving the route, as well and the fare is the same.
>>read more about Bus Travel in Canada
Buses from Toronto to Calgary
Greyhound Canada also offers a direct bus between Toronto and Calgary. It leaves Toronto daily at 1 a.m. and the travel time is 2 days 7h 35 min. The web only single adult fare is CAD $170.10.
Two buses leave Calgary daily at 12:01 a.m. and 12:51 p.m. and the travel time is 2 days 4h. The same web fare applies.
>>read more about Bus Travel in Canada
Driving from Toronto to Calgary
You can rent a car and drive the 3300 km (or 3400 km) between Toronto and Calgary. Both available routes pass through the USA, so make sure to ask the car rental agency weather you are allowed to take the car over the border.
The shortest route is via US-2 W and takes 1 day and 13 hours. Plan to make several stops along the way and spend a night along the route.
Note: * at the time the article was written